Today we are gonna take a look at a brand called Auteur. Some of my old Instagram followers probably remember similar looking watch. And yes, I had a watch from this company, but then the company had a different name “MMT“. I don’t know why they changed the name, maybe they sold the brand or had re-branding. But that isn’t important as they still deliver quality timepieces. So Auteur is based in Hong-Kong despite its French name. But the founders of the company are real French. Thomas, he has designed products for such brands like Cartier, Louis Vuitton and Chanel. And Baptiste, who gained expertise in the retail industry. As the head buyer for Kapok concept stores for 6 years, he collaborated with leading international fashion brands. The company was founded in 2011. Here are pictured the founders:
The watch came in this shiny envelope. Inside the envelope, you will find a blue fabric box with Auteur logo and the box opens like a book. Inside the box, you will get a signature bookmark. Yes, you get a bookmark with the watch. Also, you have the warranty, instructions and I had a personalised greetings card which was a nice touch 🙂 Thanks, Baptiste 🙂 The packaging was done really nice. The first impressions of the watch were really good. I really like when companies use wood for some details on the case. And this walnut ring/bezel looks really good. You can feel all the grain on the wood and that buttery smoothes the walnut has. Also, I like the no bezel design case.
So the case is made of 316L stainless steel. The case has brushed finishing which is done really good. Can’t see any flaws here. The case has round shape with no lugs, it has what Auteur calls: “pebble shape”. The bezel is made from walnut wood. The bezel is very smooth and nice looking. Would love to see how it holds after some time, as I think it could gain nice patina after 5-10 years of use. The watch diameter is 43mm. Yes, it on paper seems very big, but as the case has the no lugs design, it wears like 40mm. So it automatically makes this one a unisex watch and also people with small wrists can wear this easily. The thickness is 10,2mm so it sits quite low on your wrist and could even fit under the cuff. The “lug” width is 18mm, it may seem again very strange size for a 43mm watch, but it looks good and the proportions are very good on this watch. As you noticed, this watch has no crown. So how do you set time on this watch? Well, they have a really interesting solution. The watch encloses a unique Swiss movement with no lateral crown. Hiding a push setting button at the back of the watch. So to set time you need to push a button on the case back with sharp point object and the hands will rotate. It is basically a signature thing to all Auteur watches. So the watch has a small case back on which you have the time setting button and Auteur logo, and some specifications engraved on it. The case back is a screw in and has polished finishing outline with brushed inside. On top of the case sits a domed hardened mineral glass. This crystal is good looking and is done good, but I would really like to see a sapphire crystal in the future. Even if the price raises, I think it would be a better choice. The watch is rated at 3ATM (30m), and it is enough to survive some light rain or handwash. I do not recommend to swim with a watch, unless it’s a diver’s watch or a watch with screw down crown and rated at more than 10ATM (100m). I also have to mention that you can personalise your watch. Auteur offers you to engrave the case back with some meaningful date or your initials.
The dial on the Revolution II is very minimalistic. The dial is stainless steel disc with circular brushing. Around the dial, you have a black, printed minute track with some longer lines for the hour markers. On the end of the hour markers, you also will find Arabic numerals. The hands are black and have stick shape to them. The minute’s hands are longer. So the dial is really simple. There are no logos or writings, which again I think is a brave move, as most of the companies try to put the logo in a visible spot so everyone knows what you are wearing. But here they rely on the design to speak for the company, and I think it works. You have only two hands and no seconds and in that way, it makes really easy to check time. The overall watch design really reminds me the Junghans Max Bill watches. They look very elegant, despite the simplicity. Less is more.
Instead of the traditional push-pull crown, on the case-back, in the very centre, is a little button. The ISASwiss movements inside are set via depressing this button, which jogs the minute hand around the dial clockwise. It’s simple to do, though you have to find a comfortable way to push the button while looking at the dial. Since it’s quartz, you will only have to do this once in a while, though I must say, going back an hour for daylights savings, which required going forward 11 hours, was a bit of a pain… But, one that was worth it for the aesthetic effect. Having completely uninterrupted cases, no crowns or lugs, makes for far cleaner, purer shapes, which pays into the overall minimal design.
The watches have a black leather 18mm strap. It is straight cut, with stitching around their edge. The strap is fairly plain and understated, which is to be expected for the design. The construction seems fair, nothing special, but well made. On the strap, you actually still see the old MMT writings on it. The buckle is simple tang style one with Auteur logo on it.
Overall aesthetically, the watch is stunning, comparing to the far more well known and expensive watches like Junghans Max Bill or any of the Nomos watches. It achieves that look and feel of a minimal design that grabs your attention, and somehow holds it with a lack of extraneous detail. But, the material story of this watch makes it so much more intriguing than expected, and frankly typically found at the price point. I really think you should consider this one too when you are looking for a minimal design watch. The only thing I don’t like is that mineral crystal, but that isn’t a major minus to not buy this watch. I think it is worth buying.
Price: 299$ @ auteur-watches.com
- Brushed 316 stainless steel case
- Two hand Swiss parts movement
- Solid walnut wood bezel
- Domed hardened mineral glass
- Black hands
- Brushed silver dial with indexes and numerals
- Diameter: 43mm
- Stitched black genuine leather strap
- Brushed stainless steel buckle