Dialed Forty-Six (Review) + short interview with co-founder

Today we are gonna take a look at another cool automotive-inspired watch from a company called Dialed. It is a small company ran by BMW enthusiasts and they make watches inspired by the E46 M3 tachometer that’s why the name Forty-Six. The company is run by two brothers Matt and Steve who are huge car guys, especially when it comes to BMW. Matt is a mechanical engineer with a passion for style and design; he owns an E46 M3. Steve is a vintage automotive restoration expert with a passion for style, design and the eternal quest for perfecting the ride/handling compromise. He owns an E36 M3 and an e30 325i. And what is cool about this company I think is that they didn’t use any crowdfunding platform or anything, they just went in with their own money and made this watch! Before we take a look at the watch further, let’s have a small chat with Matt.

  • Introduce yourself?

I’m Matt Culver, designer and co-founder of Dialed Watch Company.

  • What started your watch passion?

I’ve been wearing a watch since I was a kid, but my passion for watches started in college. I noticed someone wearing a Panerai (which was THE watch to have at the time) and it really caught my eye. I couldn’t afford one, but I started down the rabbit hole of exploring styles I liked. I bought my Hamilton not long after.

  • What makes a good wristwatch to you?

To me, a good watch is the ultimate embodiment of the phrase “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” I appreciate a broad variety of watch styles, but it’s important that the design is cohesive; the dial, case, hands, et cetera should all represent a common theme. 

  • What watches do you have in your personal collection?
My collection changes often, but right now I have the following:
-3 Dialed watches, of course
-Hamilton Tachymiler
-Frederique Constant Slimline
-Elgin A-11
-Seiko 5 “bottle cap”
-Casio DW5600
-TAG Heuer Professional Quartz (hand-me-down from my dad)
-Apple Watch Series 3
  • Who is your ideal customer?
Our ideal customer is someone who is enthusiastic about both BMWs and quality watches. We offer a niche product for people like us.
  • Tell about what you like to do outside of watches. Where do you find inspiration for your work?
I do product design and development for a number of clients and I love what I do. I’m passionate about car culture and that’s definitely the biggest inspiration for our watch designs.
  • How do you see your watch brand in the future?
We’re constantly evolving, largely due to input from the community. We have about a dozen ideas for new releases at this point.
  • Are there any other new watches coming out this year?
We hope so!
  • What was the hardest part of creating a microbrand watch company?

Really, the hard part is the same as starting any other brand–you need the right product and the right people to see it.

  • Any suggestions to someone who wants to make their own microbrand watch?

Go for it! It’s not an easy industry to succeed in, but it’s incredibly rewarding. Oh, and if you’re going to create yet another minimalist watch brand, make sure you have some unique feature to differentiate your watch from the others like it.

So the Forty-Six came in a rectangle clamshell style box. The box is wrapped in leather and signed with Dialed logo. The box looks really well made. You open the box and here you see the BMW Evo3 Cloth style which was used in old BMW M-series with those red and blue colour graphics inside the box. Very nice touches, as I’m very into cars I know these things and it is quite interesting to see all these small touches that most of the people wouldn’t even notice. In the middle of, course sits the watch itself which looks gorgeous there, definitely one of my favourite microbrands I have reviewed this year! You pull by those two tabs to lift up the box portion where the watch sits and it reveals a portion where your second Nato strap in M colours sits with a spring bar tool and a couple of spare spring bars. A very nice unboxing experience in my opinion with nice touches to remind you about the BMW design influence to this watch! The watch itself immediately reminds me of M3 tachometer! And with that grey suede strap, it just looks killer!

The Forty-Six also comes in PVD case with the same grey dial and also a black dial version also in the PVD and stainless steel. The one we have here is the stainless steel case and grey dial variant which in my opinion looks the best!

So the case of Forty-Six is made of 316L stainless steel. The case seems very well machines and has nice and sharp lines. The case is finished in polished and brushed finishing. The finishing is also done very good from the high polished edged of the case and lugs to brushed finishing of other parts of the watch. The case diameter is 43,5mm, the thickness is 12,5mm and from lug to lug it measures at 50mm. The case size seems big, but due to short lugs and that integrated strap design, the watch wears like a 41mm to 42mm watch. I really like the proportions and as this is a modern watch, I think they are kept in that right spot! At 3 o’clock we have a push-pull crown with deeply engraved Dialed logo on the top. The crown is very easy to use even if you have bigger hands. On the opposite side of the case, we have a deeply engraved Dialed logo. In my opinion, it doesn’t look good, this is probably the only thing I don’t like on the watch. The solid case back is held on with six small screws and is bead blasted. On the case back you will find some specifications and logo. But there is one quote that I really like, and its the “Made with pride in Shenzhen, China” which is really nice to see. I like when companies are proud where their watches are made and don’t hide it, but embrace it like Dialed does! Some companies are very misleading with where the watches are mad, for example, one company is registered in Lithuania, the design and ideology behind the watch is from Italy and the watches are built in China, but they don’t say where they are built and hide that behind the Italian design and other stupid stuff. You know who you are! Any case, back to the watch! The water resistance is 100m (10ATM) which is more than enough for rain or handwash, but no swimming, not that you will be swimming, more likely you will be wearing this while driving your car! On top of the watch sits a domed sapphire crystal which really makes the dial pop!

Now we come to the most interesting part which is the dial. As previously said the dial is inspired by the BMW E46 M3 tachometer (I added a picture for reference). And I think they really nailed it, down to the smallest details. The dial is in matte grey colour with white, red and orange printings on it. The Arabic numerals are from 8 to 4 o’clock the rest are hidden because there is a 24h retrograde subdial. In a normal M3 tachometer there we would have an oil temp gauge, but Dialed decided to put a 24h subdial there and it resets back when reaches 24h back to 0! First time I see something like this in a watch! The date window is placed at 3 o’clock. The date wheel is in black with light orange printing in digital font of the onboard computer on M3. Right under 12 o’clock, we have the water resistance written on the dial and right above 6 o’clock, we have the Dialed logo. I also like how Dialed shows the redline of the M3 with that orange and red between 3 and 5 o’clock.

The movement inside the watch is a Japanese Miyota GP01 quartz movement with 24-hour retrograde complication. I never had seen or known about this movement before, but I think this right now is one of my favourite quartz movements as I really like that 24h retrograde subdial at 6 o’clock! I don’t have anything much to say about this movement as it is quartz. All I can say is that it is Japanese, basically it means it is very reliable and precise, you just can’t go wrong with Japan made quartz movements! The battery life is around 2-3 years.

The strap on this watch is probably the best suede strap I’ve seen on a watch that costs under 200$! My version came on a grey suede strap, but there are also other strap options on their website. This strap is integrated and it is done very good! The suede almost feels like Alcantara strap that we saw on the Pacemasters watch I reviewed a couple of months ago. The suede is very nice to touch and feels smoother than any other suede strap on any of the watches I have ever reviewed. The strap is very supple and wraps your wrist nicely and due to that integrated strap design, the watch wears super comfortable on the wrist! The strap tapers from 22mm to 20mm at the buckle. The tang-style buckle is made of stainless steel and has brushed finishing. The buckle is also signed with Dialed logo. With the watch, you also get a nato strap which has the BMW M colours. The strap is pretty basic, nothing special, but a very good addition so you can wear the watch in summer!

Overall this is the best watch in the 200$ category! The watch costs only 179$ and for that, you get really a lot! A very nice and unique design, nice packaging with attention to detail, very nice suede strap plus that extra nato strap and pretty cool movement with that 24h retrograde subdial! This is a really well-made watch, I have tested it for more than a month and I love it! Can I suggest this watch? YES! If you are looking for a watch under 200$, don’t look at Seiko or any other popular watch brands, this is the way to go!

Price: 179$ @ dialedwatchco.com

Watch Specifications
• 43.5mm case size
• 22mm strap size
• Case material: 316L stainless
• Case colour: brushed stainless with polished highlights
• Strap material: suede or leather
• Strap colour: grey or black
• Every watch comes with a Motorsport NATO
• Japanese Miyota GP01 quartz movement with 24-hour retrograde complication
• 100m water resistance

Designed by Dialed Watch Company:
• Case
• Dial
• Hands
• Case back

Warranty

Two-year warranty on parts and a one-year warranty on labor.

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