Today we are gonna look at a company that kind of has a small connection in the name of the company with my life as my mom lives in Melbourne and in february this year I wanted to get to Melbourne and had a transfer in China and while I was on the way to China, the Australia closed the borders due to Covid19 outbreak and so I was stuck in China airport for 18 hours and then needed to fly 24 hours back to Latvia, through Amsterdam. Any case I had a plan to visit them in Melbourne and also go to Sidney and meet Jody from Just One More Watch (By the way it is the Best watch channel on Youtube there is!) But hopefully next year I will have better luck I will visit the Melbourne Watch Company and give you a tour of their facility and also meet Jody in Sidney and maybe to some collaboration! We will see how everything goes!
I actually have wanted to review a watch from Melbourne Watch Company since I started this blog as it was one of the first watch companies I discovered in the microbrand watch market. If you’re unfamiliar with Melbourne Watch Company, they were founded about 7 years ago, in 2013, after a successful crowdfunding of its first model, the Flinders. They are based in Melbourne, Australia that’s why the name. The company’s goal is “to create premium grade watches that are accessible to watch enthusiasts, casual collectors, and beyond,” and I’ve spent over two months with one of their latest releases the Lonsdale to see if they still live up to their great reviews from watch lovers.
The watch we are looking today as you know is Lonsdale with blue dial, but there is also other versions with green, black and silver dial. Lonsdale also comes on a very nice bracelet, but they decided to send me the leather strap version. Right now at the time of writing this article the blue and green dial versions are sold out both on strap or bracelet. The Lonsdale is kind of a perfect watch for casual daily wearer and at the same time it goes pretty well with a suit as a dress watch. Basically the perfect watch for both occasions.
The Lonsdale came in a very nice clam shell style box. It looks like a wood box at first, but it is actually a cardboard box that was made to look like wood. Inside the box you will find cleaning cloth, warranty card and instructions. The first impressions of the watch are mixed from me, I don’t know, maybe because I’m in more divers lately, this one just doesn’t work for me, it doesn’t have that wow factor. What I’m trying to say is that I don’t like the looks personally, the watch itself feels very well made and finished! But yeah the things I like is the strap, the legibility of the dial, the screw-down crown and the finishing on the case.
The case of the Lonsdale is made of 316L stainless steel. The case seems to be made really well, all the lines and angles are sharp and nice. The case shape is round with nice lugs and crown guards at 3 o’clock which are a good plus if you are active and they protect the crown from breaking. The side of the case are polished and the top and bottom is brushed. The finishing is done pretty good with no rough lines on the brushed surfaces and the high polish is shiny and reflective. The case diameter is 42mm, the thickness is 12.5mm, lug to lug it measures at 49,5mm and the lug width is 22mm. The overall dimensions in my opinion are spot on as the 42 is very modern sizing as it is the size that fits 70% of consumers. On the wrist it actually feels more like a 40mm watch which is no a bad thing. The fixed bezel has nice knurling on the side, which is a bit strange and kind of like after thought as it doesn’t turn, but anycase it adds more detail to the bezel. At 3 o’clock we have a screw-down crown which has a Melbourne Watch Company logo deeply engraved on the top. The crown has a very nice actions and it is pretty big and easy to grip for changing time or date. The screw in exhibition screw back is another great addition to the watch, yes the Seiko NH35 caliber isn’t anything special to look at, but it is still nice that they added that detail. On the top of the dial sits a flat sapphire crystal and on the case back we also have a flat sapphire. The water resistance is only 5ATM which is a bit of a shame as the watch has more potential and I would’ve made it 100m water resistant as it has screw down crown. But it is what it is. Anycase, I wouldn’t risk it so no water activities, just a rain or handwash, but no swimming.
The dial is blue with sunray effect in the middle portion. Around the dial we have a raised chapter ring with minute track printed in white colour. The applied hour markers are polished filled with lume on a circle pattern ring. The middle portion has the sunray effect. At 3 o’clock we have a square date window with a white date wheel, which is a shame, I just wish they matched the colour with the dial. At 12 o’clock we have the Melbourne Watch Company logo and at 6 o’clock we have the model name “Lonsdale” printed in white. The index hour and minute hands are very legible with the lume in the middle and they have a brushed finishing. The second’s hand is red with “M” counterweight for the Melbourne. In my opinion I would remove the “M” letter as it kind of cheapens the watch. The dial is in my opinion not the best example, I would get rid of those layers and make it simpler with just sunray dial or maybe a plain one or with some texture.
The movement that is inside the watch is Japan made Seiko NH35, which is running at +9 to +11 seconds a day, at least for me. This movement is pretty popular in the microbrand world as 50% of watches that are coming out have this movement inside them. It has proven it’s reliability and easiness to service within many years. You just can’t go wrong with Japan made movements from Seiko. It is an automatic 24 jewel movement with 41-hour power reserve and beating away with 21,600 BPH. Melbourne Watch Company also throws on top of the movement a customized rotor in black colour.
The strap is a black leather strap with white contrasting stitching. The strap is pretty stiff at first, but after some wear in time it take the shape of your wrist and is very comfortable. The underside is lined with beige suede like material and is signed with Melbourne Watch Company logo. The strap is held on with quick release spring bars which are very handy to change straps on the go in the shortest time possible without tools. The tang style buckle is made 316L stainless steel with brushed finishing. It is signed with Melbourne Watch Company logo. On the wrist the watch feels pretty good, I really like the size and weight of it. A really good daily wearer if you ask me.
Overall the watch is really well built, but as I said previously I’m not a fan of the dial. Theres just too much details on the dial and I think they need to get rid of some, to make the dial simpler. Anycase the price is 322$ on leather and 336$ on steel bracelet. In my opinion it is a really good value for the money as the watch seriously is well made!
Price: 322$ @ melbournewatch.com.au
- CASE MATERIAL 316L Stainless Steel
- CASE DIAMETER 42mm
- CASE THICKNESS 12mm
- CASE LUG TO LUG49mm
- MOVEMENT Seiko Cal. NH35 Automatic
- CRYSTAL Flat Sapphire
- HANDS Brushed Steel
- STRAP 22mm
- WATER RESISTANCE50m/5ATM
2 thoughts on “Melbourne Watch Company Lonsdale (Review)”
Firstly than you for your very realistic and unbiased review. I will elude to my comments towards the end of my note, to explain my ramblings!!
I have had 3 Panzera watches, Sydney’s equivalent to MWC. Established 2010 by Roger cooper and co. great people to deal with. But I am experiencing the same sort of deflation when it comes to visual aspects of some Aussie built watches.. I am due to buy a watch in the next few weeks; I buy 10 to 15 a year, not always cheap or expesive . Usually Swiss, but heavily discounted ,but I must also really like the watch. There can be some very good buys on the internet; but that is only from my experience with tried and tested suppliers; i.e. Jomashop most recently; I have acquired three sensational watches ;two from a heavily under represented brand here , “Mido”. And a gogreous Alpina Heritage compressor.
But before I buy I always look at Panzera for any deals that would suit me, and now more recently the MWC; sorry but it is an easier mouthful than the whole title; no-matter how “posh” it sounds!! I was having a close look at the Lonsdale model in green, as I have most other colours and multiples 0f colours in most cases.
But I have the same feelings as you do, there is just a little something missing!! One reason for the interest in model in particular is the sizing, as I have an exceptionally well finished “Horween” honey tan leather strap that will fit , and I hate not using it. Even though a bracelet is far more practical and better resale I just like leather straps a whole lot more.
My question to you is” do you think on this watch, the strap is enough to lift it’s appearance?”
It is impossible to get a physical look at a lot of watches as I live in the wilderness called Brisbane.
Although Roger at Panzera always offers a refund if I don’t like the watch, but that makes me feel even more obliged to him.
It was his Panzera Breuer 43 . a fully Swiss made ETA 7750 that got ne first started back into automatic models. I had two of his other models, but neither compared to the Breuer and being diver orientated they were heavy.
Maybe you know of somewhere is Brissy who has the watches for inspection!!
Anyway ,again thank-you for your review .
P.S. If you get the chance, check out the Breuer 43 it is a lovely piece and although swiss made , it is designed and sold here in Australia. Good luck.
The biggest problem with MWC watches is that they’re disposable. Cheap movements at high prices means you pay between half to two-thirds the original RRP just to have them serviced or repaired. It’s actually cheaper to independently source and replace the whole movement than try to fix minor issues through a service – most people don’t have the patience for this, and so most people will end up just cutting their losses.