The New Second Hour Giant Stride Dive Watch (Review)
This microbrand is introducing its third collection, self-funded and using Swiss-made mechanical movements.
When it comes to microbrands, often launched through Kickstarter or any other crowdfunding platform, it’s always a question of how long a brand will be around. We’ve seen it happen all too often that after an initial successful launch, a second one never comes to fruition. It’s perhaps even more challenging to convince people to back you once more and repeat the success of the first time around. And there comes a point in time a brand is likely better off standing on its own two feet, instead of relying on crowdfunding. One such example is Second Hour, launching its third collection without external backers and featuring a Swiss-made movement. We’ve had the chance to go hands-on with a late-stage prototype of the Second Hour Watches Giant Stride.
Second Hour has not yet been featured on MONOCHROME, for the simple reason we can’t cover everything and we’re usually quite reserved when it comes to crowdfunded projects. It’s a murky business, and all too often a project doesn’t manage to get past the “project” stage. With Second Hour things seem to shift into a higher gear as the brand is now launching its third chapter, the Giant Stride dive watch collection.
The company originates from Melbourne, Australia and was founded by Peter Sargison. Philosophically naming his company Second Hour, Peter linked it to his personal second phase in life, shifting from corporate life to watchmaking. Of course, seconds and hours are also units of time, which need no explaining. The idea is to offer high-quality, originally designed mechanical watches at an affordable price and it seems to be working for Peter and his company.
Second Hour’s first watch was a retro-looking diver called the Gin Clear (above). It’s currently sold out but an MKII version is on its way. Then came the Mandala collection (below), a more sporty-chic watch set to be delivered to customers shortly. Both collections are (or were) available in a range of fresh, vibrant colours mixed with more classical tones like black or grey.
The brand’s latest and third creation, the Second Hour Giant Stride collection, has a robust 42mm wide, hardened stainless steel case with a mostly brushed finish and a few polished sections to elevate it a little. The bezel is relatively thin, allowing for a large dial covered by a slightly domed sapphire crystal. Four colours will be available; Slate Grey, Royal Blue, Bulls Eye Red (seen here) and Combat Green. On the periphery of the dial is a sloped inner rotating bezel with a segmented 60-minute track, numerals for the 15/30/45 minute marks and an indicative triangle at the full hour.
On the inside of that is the ring for hours, with applied indices. This ring features circular grooves and a contrasting outline running along with each hour marker. The markers themselves are filled with a decent amount of BGW9 Super-LumiNova. The indexes for 4, 8 and 12 o’clock are enlarged, a design element in all of Second Hour’s collections. The middle section of the dial has a wave-like pattern with the logo, name, depth rating and “Swiss Made” in print. The sword-shaped hour and minute hands indicate the time, with Super-LumiNova inserts and a red tip. The seconds hand has an arrow-shaped tip in red, with a small luminous insert.
On the right-hand side of the case are two crowns, both filled with Super-LumiNova. The upper crown features a luminous triangle and can be unscrewed to rotate the inner bezel. The lower screw-down crown is adorned with the Second Hour logo in luminescent material and allows you to wind and adjust the movement. A closed caseback is decorated with a 3D image of a diver. The water-resistance is rated to 200 meters, which means it can take a serious plunge if needed.
Where the previous watch, the Mandala, came equipped with a mechanical movement by Miyota, the Second Hour Giant Stride now features a Swiss-made movement instead. The automatic Sellita SW 200-1, a well-known alternative to the ETA 2824, is a simple and reliable calibre and can be easily serviced by just about any watchmaker. It has a frequency of 28,800vph (4Hz) and provides 38 hours of autonomy when fully wound. The movement shows the time, with hacking seconds, and the date – which can be quickly set by the crown’s second position.
The Second Hour Giant Stride comes on a solid stainless steel H-link bracelet with a folding clasp. The prototype we had featured a simple folding clasp, which did its job just fine, but it will be swapped out for a clasp with micro-adjustment in the final production version. It also comes with an additional NATO-style strap, which feels very smooth to the touch. Some other minor changes will be made to the final product, including a few touches on the dial and a polished chamfer on the bottom of the case to add some more detail.
I was happily surprised with the Second Hour Giant Stride, as it all feels solidly built and it looks like an original, fresh design with some interesting details. The mix of materials, textures and colours is quite good, and although the Bulls Eye Red wouldn’t be my personal choice, it does pop when on the wrist! No doubt its dimensions make it a rather large watch but the relatively compact lug-to-lug size, along with the shape and curvature of the lugs make it a pleasant watch to wear on my 19,5cm sized wrist.
The Second Hour Giant Stride will have an introductory price of USD 615, which will go up to the full retail price of USD 725 after the first ten days of the launch. The collection is limited to 350 pieces in total, through all colours combined. Considering what you get, I’d say that is quite fair value-for-money for sure.
For more information and orders, please visit secondhour.com.au.
A striking piece, a love it or loathe it design. A lot going on on that dial. A practical and should be reliable watch. Not to my taste but wishing them success.
Is the dial made of plastic