Today, we’re getting hands-on with a watch that we first told you about just over a year ago: the Objest Hach Automatic. Created by British boutique design company Objest Studio, Objest watches are designed in London and then assembled in Switzerland. Modern, minimalist and intended to be worn by both sexes, we were not entirely sure how we would feel when we put this watch on the wrist. It is, after all, quite unlike most watches that usually come through the MONOCHROME office. Suffice to say, we were pleasantly surprised by the Objest Hach Automatic, and we think you will be too.
The New (Watch) Movement
These days, thanks largely to a combination of the rise of crowdfunding and a downturn in the luxury watch market, there’s no shortage of new “Swiss made” start-up brands popping up. Personally, I think this is a great thing, as increased competition always pushes the best products to the top and then forces their makers to be even more innovative and creative. However, the flip side is that we also see a lot of repetition. Stale designs, rehashing of old ideas, homage watches that look more like the original model than the original model itself. You get the idea.
In this regard, the Objest Automatic collection is a breath of fresh air. Regardless of whether you like its contemporary design or not, you cannot deny that it is authentic and distinctive. This is even more pronounced when you consider that you can customise just about every element on the watch, with the exception of the ETA 2824-2 movement inside. In fact, in our earlier article, Brice calculated that, given all the options available, there are potentially 245,760 different versions of the watch that could be created.
The point is, Objest is not trying to be like anyone else. This can largely be attributable to the track record of its founder, Jared Mankelow, who can boast over 15 years of industrial design experience. After working for a number of different companies around the world, he established Objest Studio in London in 2014. Working with a team of international designers, they spend months developing a single watch, prototyping, testing and refining before they come up with a final product. It’s a rigorous process and each new watch design takes around 6 – 8 months, from inception to final execution.
In some ways, this seems counterintuitive, because the designs appear to be exceedingly simple. However, often times finding the beauty in simplicity is the greatest challenge a designer can face. What you choose to take away is just as important as what you choose to leave, and yet the end user only experiences what they see in front of them, not what could have been.
The Objest Hach Automatic
For me, this is what I found most compelling about the Objest Hach Automatic. Normally, this is not a watch I would personally choose for myself. Yes, I do like simple designs but usually, in watch at least, I am more partial to the traditional. On the wrist, however, it was a different story.
Firstly, the Objest Hach Automatic is exceedingly comfortable. The pebble-like case measures 42mm in the automatic collection but wears smaller thanks to its rounded edges and sloping bezel. There are no lugs to speak of, not in the traditional sense at least, and instead the strap is connected to the watch via a concealed attachment system, which is underneath the case. Protruding ever so slightly from the case is the crown, which features machined teeth for easy gripping when setting the time.
The version we had in for review is called the Hach Grey Automatic, which is presented in a black DLC-treated steel case with a matte finish. Other case variations are also available, such as gold plating and copper IP treatment, however, all feature a matte finish, which ties in nicely with a contemporary yet minimalist design. Likewise, the hach pattern on the dial is distinctive, yet only draws attention if you really look at it closely, particularly with the black version we tested.
One point of division did arise amongst the team, which is the date window at 9 o’clock. The standard version shows a white background, although you can customise this to be a black background, as with the model we reviewed here. Although none of us like the version with the white date disc and the black dial, I personally did not mind it with the black. My well-informed colleagues thought it should be removed altogether, however, with Brice not changing his opinion from his original article. Arguably this would emphasise the minimalist design more but make the watch slightly less practical. In any event, removing the date window is not a customisable option at this stage, so it’s kind of a moot point.
Turning the Objest Hach Automatic over, a sapphire exhibition caseback reveals the ETA 2824-2 movement inside complete with bespoke rotor. Nothing special sure, but a solid workhorse that is well-known, reliable and easy to service. The rotor features the Objest brand pattern in contrasting matte and Guilloché finish, and is available in either Ruthenium black or Rhodium silver.
Presented on a simple yet comfortable Italian leather strap, the Objest Hach Automatic is rated water resistant to 50m and comes with a 2-year warranty. Prices start at a reasonable GBP 450 and go up depending on how you customise it. As I said before, this design won’t appeal to everyone but I definitely found it to be a lot more interesting than I was initially expecting.
For more information, please visit: www.objest.com.
Technical Specifications – Objest Hach Grey Automatic
- Case: 42mm diameter – black DLC-coated stainless steel with matte finish – sapphire crystal with AR-coating – 5 ATM / 50 m water resistant.
- Movement: ETA 2824 with automatic winding – 38 h power reserve – 28,800 vibrations per hour – 25 jewels – hours, minutes, small seconds, date.
- Strap: Black Italian leather strap
- Price: GBP 495