Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

Quiet Club Stays Quiet No More as it Debuts the QC01 Fading Hours

This cleverly constructed alarm watch is intended to gently remind you of the world around you when in deep focus.

| By Robin Nooy | 6 min read |

Imagine yourself being completely immersed in something of the utmost importance. Every single fibre is zoned in on the task at hand, whatever that may be. The outside world has ceased to exist for you in that moment of complete concentration. And then…. an alarm goes off, rudely breaking your concentration and bursting your zen-bubble. That very sensation is something we’re probably all familiar with, and it takes a lot of time to find your mojo again after it’s happened. Interruptions are something we have to deal with for sure, especially in this day and age. And in all honesty, it’s needed sometimes, to not forget about other responsibilities. But there are ways to make that break a bit more gently, less abrupt and smoother. That’s what Quiet Club aims to do with their first-ever watch, the QC01 Fading Hours.

The whole idea behind the Quiet Club QC01 Fading Hours comes from the very notion of trying to be laser-focused in work or something your deeply passionate about, and not wanting to be rudely awakened by outside interference. You can turn off your smartphone and shut out the outside world, but there are situations where you would still need some form of notification. Even if it’s something as simple yet vital as picking up the kids from school. One possible solution would be a mechanical alarm watch, which can be set to a specific time (or at least close to a specific time).. The mind immediately wanders to watches like the Vulcain Cricket or Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox, which is precisely the reference Quiet Club uses, but to Quiet Club these are a touch too crude in the sound and sensation they offer.

Ad – Scroll to continue with article
From left to right; Johnny Ting (Head of Design), HK Ueda (CEO), Norifume Seki (Head of Watchmaking).

In our recent interview HK Ueda, Johnny Ting and Norifumi Seki, the trio behind Quiet Club, have explained their philosophy behind the watch. And going into detail with it, albeit we haven’t seen it in person, things start to make perfect sense. From the outside, not looking at the back of it, the QC01 Fading Hours is a deceptively simple watch. There are very little frills and design elements simply for the sake of having design elements. Everything you see is made with a single purpose in mind; harmony. There are no pushers, no ornate decorations, there’s not even a logo or a name on the watch. And yet, you can tell there’s something there, waiting to be discovered.

To understand what this watch is about, you have to imprint that this is an alarm watch, but one to gently pull you out of your focus. So, to do that, you need a vibration or a sound. What’s striking about the QC01 Fading Hours, literally in fact, is the construction of the alarm complication. It’s not like others. Norifumi Seki, the watchmaker behind Quiet Club designed a special chiming system from scratch, where a hammer strikes a gong vertically. And in this case that gong is actually the whole dial!

In terms of materials, Quiet Club opted for German Silver, with a hand-polished and sand-blasted finish. The markers are Grand Feu enamel inlays for the hours and minutes, and the line running from 12 to 6 transfers to the outer ring. This outer ring also has a hole that indicates if the alarm system is activated or not. And while I mentioned there’s no logo or brand name, there is a very subtle nod to the Quiet Club name; the 9 and 3 o’clock markers are Morse code characters for Q and C. Clever!

Setting time for the alarm is also a very different experience. In a sense, it pairs the beauty of a minute repeater with the practicality of a mechanical alarm, in a watch. Refrained from pushers or sliders to activate it, the QC01 Fading Hours relies on the crown and bezel for setting and activating the alarm. You can set the alarm by pressing the integrated crown pusher and then rotating the bezel to set the secondary set of hands hidden underneath the main ones. Press it once more and you activate the alarm. When the regular hands catch up with the ‘alarm’ hands, the chiming sequence starts. A third push will deactivate the alarm altogether, relegating it to a time-only watch again.

Seki-san developed the entire movement from scratch, with the exception of a few components sourced from ETA calibres. Each component is designed, engineered and finished by hand in Norifumi Seki’s workshop in Tokyo, and it shows (even in the prototype). Its relatively large balance wheel is pushed to the centre slightly, to give space to the vertical hammer. The movement runs at a rate of 2.5 Hz or 25,200vph. When fully wound, it can store up to 50 hours of power. In terms of finishing, the movement is traditionally finished, in a rather restrained manner, befitting the philosophy of Quiet Club and the QC01 Fading Hours.

All this is set in a grade 5 titanium case with rather compact dimensions, especially considering the complexity of the movement. The QC01 Fading Hours comes in at 40.3mm in width, at a height of 12mm. These measurements are indicated by the prototype, and it might be altered a tiny bit for the final product, but all-in-all it’s a lovely restraint package. Given the short lugs, it should wear beautifully on the wrist, as it measures 44.0mm from end to end. The bowl shape of the case also helps with wearability, as the lower diameter is smaller than the top diameter. And naturally, the case is fitted with a sapphire crystal on both sides.

Now that Quiet Club has broken its silence, pun intended, on the QC01 Fading Hours, there are a couple of trivial details not to be left out. The initial allocations cover a run of 30 watches only, with a delivery schedule of 12 to 36 months from the moment of ordering one. All this work also comes at a price, as the Quiet Club QC01 Fading Hours costs USD 85,000. The books open on June 19th, and about 10 pieces are expected to be built in the first year.

Now, this is a substantial sum of money for sure, yet it’s somewhat to be expected given the complexity involved in creating this highly original alarm watch, and the amount of craftsmanship poured into it. To me, this is a completely unexpected but refreshing and most importantly a logical application of an alarm watch. The whole philosophy of Quiet Club, and by extension the QC01 Fading Hours, is a lesson in focus, devotion and originality that’s rarely seen in the industry.

If this is something that resonates with you, or to find out more and possibly allocate a build slot, please visit

2 responses

  1. The watch itself and the maker are quite interesting. Had they presented it simply as such I imagine it would do quite well, maybe it still will. But the story and image of the company comes off all wrong to me. The maker does not appear to be the head of the company, it’s not his story. The other two founders, in the video they showcased give off a pretentious Silicon Valley vibe. The video is a self aggrandizing monologue. It’s all wrong.

Leave a Reply