Today we are gonna take a look at a new company called Carrnegie. I have seen them on a couple of review websites and wanted to check them out by myself so I contacted them and they sent me 2 of their bestsellers! As most of the microbrand watch companies, they also started with a Kickstarter project. About a year ago they got funded there and got backed by 165 backers. I think why their watches got funded is because of the original design and pretty affordable price. I think they are pretty attractive watches for the price, so let’s dive deeper and test if they also are well made!
Carrnegie basically has 3 lines in their collections: Premier, Sport and Classic. The case and dial design stay the same, but they change the strap design. For the Premier you get an alligator look leather strap, for the Sports and Silicone strap and for the Classic line you get a very smooth leather strap. Of course, the case and dial colours differ, but not much. The watches I got are the Sport model in silver case colour, white dial and black silicone strap. And from the Premier line, I got a watch in a rose gold colour case colour, white dial and black leather strap. They both look really good and classy. They are very similar, but each looks different. Basically, you can buy thee two watches and wear the Sports model though out the day and when it comes to evening party or fancy event you can swap it for the Premier and looks classy, but wearing basically the same watch.
The watches both came in a very nice rectangular clam shell style boxes with Carrnegie logo on the top. Inside the box, you get the watch, instruction manual and warranty card. The first impressions of the watches are that they both look pretty good and even better than on the pictures. The one odd thing when it comes to design is that they should’ve used a wider strap + the weird 19mm is just really bad choice as it is really hard to find straps in that size.
The case of the Carrnegie watch is made of 316L stainless steel. The machine work is really good and the watch feel’s like it costs 5 times more. The finishing on the case is brushed and polished. They are done also very well and can’t see anything wrong there. The rose gold plating on the Premier watch is applied really good with no dripping or any other defect. And from what I see it is pretty thick and won’t scratch off so easily. The case diameter is 41,5mm (although they state it is 41mm), the thickness is 12,5mm (they claim it is 10mm) and lengthwise it is 50mm. The proportions are great as it wears like a 39mm watch. But one thing that makes the dimensions weird is that the lugless system where the strap attaches is to narrow, it should be wider as the watch would look more proportional. At 3 o’clock we have a small signed crown. Despite it being small it is rather easy to use. The lugless system has some drilled holes on both sides for much easier strap change. The solid screw in case back has engraved Carrnegie logo in the middle with some specifications around it. On the top, we have a domed sapphire crystal. On the sides, it has a lot of distortion and I wish they made it double dome. The water resistance is only 50m for both versions. I actually wish they made the sports model more water resistant, but I guess it is what it is.
The dial on the Carrnegie watches is in this satin white colour. It almost looks silver in the sun. Around the dial, we have a printed minute track in black colour. The applied hour indices are polished. At 3 o’clock we have the date subdial, at 6 o’clock we have the 24h subdial and at 9 o’clock we have the day subdial. One strange thing is that you can’t change the date with the crown and there aren’t any push buttons either. So you will need to go through each day manually turning the wheel to set the right day. In my opinion a bit strange as they easily could’ve chosen a movement that allows a button for that subdial or something. Each subdial centre portion has a circular texture which gives it almost of a sunburst effect. At 12 o’clock we have the Carrnegie logo printed on. The dauphine hour and minute hands are polished. The tapered second’s hand is also polished. Of course, the rose gold colour watch will have hour indices and hands in the same rose gold colour.
When it comes to the movement I really have no idea what exactly is in it as they don’t show it on the website or the Kickstarter project. I can only assume it is one of the Miyota quartz ones. As I don’t know anything about it, I won’t talk about it.
The straps that came on both watches are pretty good quality ones. On the Premier line, you will have a genuine leather alligator texture strap. Mine came in black. The underside is lined with this cream colour leather. The strap is pretty supple and won’t need any break in period. The Premier lines also feature a butterfly clasp which actually works pretty great and is very secure when closed. It is also signed with Carrnegie logo on top and features the same rose gold finishing as the watch case. The natural rubber strap which is on the Sports line is really good. It is soft and wraps your wrist nicely. On my example, we have the black rubber strap, but they also feature a blue one too. The underside is textured nicely and the watch doesn’t slide while on the wrist when you put it on a bit loosely. On the Sports line, you will only get a tang style buckle which is signed.
Overall I like these watches. It is nice to see something original coming out from a new brand. Usually, with microbrands, we see dive watch homages or something in those lines. But folks behind Carrnegie actually got involved more and designed something unique and actually cool looking. In my opinion, yes it has some strange design flaws like the 19mm strap width, but that isn’t a big problem. What I really like about these watches is that they are very versatile, you can wear them to work, to the beach and even to fancy events and the price is really good! The Sports line goes for 199$ and the Premier line for 239$. It is a bit strange pricing as I don’t know how could a leather strap cost 40$ than the rubber one. There is also the Classic line which is only 179$ if your are on a tight budget. Anycase the watches are really cheap ones and if you consider buying one, definitely get one!
Prices 179$ to 239$ @ carrnegiewatches.com