Timing Ideas Road Gear – 249 (Review)

Today we are gonna take a look at a rather interesting esoteric piece from a company called Timing Ideas. I think no one heard of this company before, and actually, the first time when I found it, I was surprised to see the designs they have. And I reached out to them if they can send in a sample for review. And they surprised me with this piece that isn’t even for sale yet. You can only preorder it right now.

So the company is called Timing Ideas. They are based in Hong Kong. They were founded in 2009. They specialize in making distinctive mechanical watches and tourbillion timepieces. They have some classic looking watches, watches with handpainted dials with all the horoscope symbols and some esoteric pieces too. Very interesting variety of designs.

“Founder Mr. Ka Wong CHAN, who is from Hong Kong, has been in the mechanical watches making industry since the 1980s. He is passionate about the complexity of mechanical watches and small-scale engineering embedded in those tiny pieces of components. In 1982, he set up his first mechanical watches company to make his own watches. Meanwhile, he regularly has exchange visits to different watches manufacturer in Switzerland. He believes innovative inspiration is from continuous learning. Mr. Chan said he appreciated that the Government of Switzerland would put watch-making industry as focused -industry. He expressed his respect to the pursuit of high quality and the heritage of watches making craftsmanship of Swiss watchmaker. He hopes these traditional watch-making craftsmanship and the pursuit of sophisticated technology can be inherited in the watches industry of China.”

So the watch they sent me is called Timing Ideas RoadGear. The watch is inspired by the Autosport, cars and car dashboards. And you really can see how that translates in that one hand and dial overall. The case in a gear shape which also mimics car parts. The watch comes in four dial colour variations. Right now it is on pre-order. I do not know the exact launch date, but as I assume it is pretty soon. So let’s dive into the review.

The Road Gear came in a large box. It has cardboard outer box and leather inner box. The box feels pretty good and better than most of the boxes I get with these small brands. Inside the box, you will get instructions manual, how to read dial instructions and warranty. Before I talk about the watch, I have to say that the strap you see on the watch in this review is mine which I put on the watch as I don’t like rubber straps. The first impressions when I took the watch out were mixed. I liked the idea of how you read time and that big moving second’s hand, but I don’t like the colour of the dial. From the four versions, I think I like the black one the most with those orange accents, but this yellow looks a bit cheap. But overall it was an interesting piece, I needed some time to figure out on how to read time on my own without instructions. 😀

The case is made of 316L stainless steel. The case is finished with black PVD coating which very thick from what I see and will last a long time. Also, it is very well applied, don’t see anything wrong with the coating. The case has this gear shape, on which we have a ring attached. The lugs, strangely enough, are attached to the case back and when you screw off the case back, it comes off with the lugs and strap. Never seen something like that. The case diameter is 44mm, the thickness is 14,6mm, lug tip to lug tip is 50mm and lug width is 22mm. On a paper, 44mm sounds big, but the watch wears surprisingly small. I would say it wears like 42mm watch. The lugs are quite short and slope down, this way it wraps the wrist nicely and looks smaller than it actually is. Actually, I’m pretty impressed by many companies as these days they manage to make big 44mm watches and make them wear smaller for smaller wrist size people. At 3 o’clock we have a push/pull crown with a Timing Ideas logo in glass on the tip of the crown. Reminds me the cabochon crown on Cartier watches. Case back is see-through and is held on with small six screws. The crystal on the case back is flat mineral glass. The top features also a mineral crystal, but domed. It is shame that they didn’t use sapphire because at price of more than 700$ it is expected to be at least sapphire or mineral crystal. The watch is rated at 5ATM (50m) of water resistance.

Now we come to the most exciting part, the dial. The Road Gear has a very interesting dial layout and process on how you read time. So the dial is yellow colour and has this CD almost vinyl-like texture to the dial and the inside of the dial has this very stealthy sparkle texture which looks great in the sun. So how you read the time? Let’s start with the easiest, the seconds. The seconds read on the biggest and only hand n the middle. It reads seconds just like a regular watch. The minutes are read on the left side of the dial. There you have three lines of numbers going, each line is 20min. And on the dial you have a glass disc on which you have three red lines, each line goes through each of the lines of minute track. And on which number the red line is on that minute track on the left of the dial, that time it is right now. The hours you can read by the small disc in the middle. At 3 o’clock you have a red line and when each of the numbers on that small disc lands on the red line, that is the exact time right now. I hope I explained it right, if not, here are the instructions:

At 6 o’clock you have a square date window with round silver outline. The strangest thing probably about the dial is that under the logo of Timing Ideas it says “Italy”. I really can’t find any connection to that, except some exotic car makers names from that country. It is very strange that they chose to put it there, as they are a company from Hong Kong and aren’t hiding that. But I like the idea on how you read time, but I think there is too much going on the dial, if the whole dial was without any textures and was just plain yellow, it would look a lot better, but these are just my personal preferences.

Movement in the watch is Japan made Seiko NH-35 automatic movement. It is pretty good and reliable mechanical movement. The power reserve is 41 hours. It has 24 jewels and 21,600 bph vibrations per hour. The movement is hackable which for some is a good thing as you can match the time with other watches. The accuracy of this particular was around +8 seconds a day, which is pretty good for these movements.

The strap was made from black rubber and had this crocodile, dragon skin texture cutout. Which looks pretty interesting. It also had stitching in yellow colour to match the dial. One of the keepers was held on by the small tips on the strap so it doesn’t move and the second keeper moves freely. The buckle is made of stainless steel and also has the PVD coating, only it has polished finish rather than matte finish that is on the case. The strap is pretty soft and has pretty good quality, but I prefer leather straps more, so I changed the straps.

Overall the Timing Ideas Road Gear is very interesting to watch. At least I never saw something like that before. I like the idea how you read time, the dial is cool and case too. But I have mixed feelings about this watch, I just can’t decide if I like it or not. The dial colour is just throwing me personally off. If this had the black dial with orange accents, probably I would like it much more. Anycase this is an interesting watch from a cool company who tries to make artistic watches.

Price: HK$5,980 (around US$760) @ timingideas.com

MOVEMENT:

Mechanical self-winding movement

CASE MATERIAL:

Stainless steel

CASE DIAMETER:

44mm

CASE THICKNESS:

14.1mm

STRAP WIDTH:

22mm

GLASS:

Mineral crystal

BRACELET:

Silicon strap

CLASP:

Pin buckle

WATER RESISTANCE:

5ATM

COLOUR:

4

FEATURES:

Propelled big second hand
Rotary hour and minute indicators
Polished dial surface with CD pattern
“Gear-shaped” matt black case
Date indicator at 6H

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