From Hoptroff’s website:
Hoptroff delivers elegant timepieces that embrace the very latest technology. An electromechanical movement, manufactured in-house using Bluetooth technology to allow wireless time and data updates.
Each timepiece in the collection offers a novel complication. Pioneering manufacturing technologies allow a degree of bespoke customisation last seen in the true luxury maisons of the past. Each timepiece is unique and answers to only one owner.
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You can call +44 (0)20 7127 0605
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Watch Model: Anniversary
Model numbers HANRPVD (Right handed)
HANLPVD (Left handed)
Case 44mm diameter, 13mm thick, black PVD coated steel
Movement Hoptroff No.14B (developed in-house)
Strap PVD coated steel
Water resistance 50m
Battery life 2-5 years depending on usage
60 days return policy, movement guaranteed 5 years
Price: approximately $1480 usd
We all forget birthdays and anniversaries from time to time. The Hotblack Anniversary timepiece offers a gentle, personalised reminder. On the top subdial, a pointer indicates a ten-day countdown to all annual events that might slip your mind. Enough time to book a restaurant, buy a card, or a bunch of flowers. Perpetual date is shown on the left sub-dial, and Hoptroff’s characteristic rocking seconds in shown on the bottom dial, accurate to an impressive 15 seconds / year.
The Hotblack Anniversary is a classic example of how discreet technology can be used to personalize a timepiece while allowing it to retain its traditional character, creating a treasure you want to live with forever.
Requires an iPhone or Android phone (download the free Hoptroff App from iPhone / Google Play) to set up anniversary dates and to set the time accurately.
In vertical-brushed, black-PVD coated stainless steel with a sapphire crystal, the Hotblack range is waterproof to 5 atmospheres, 15 second/year accuracy and a 5 year battery. The hands and hour digits are coated in superluminova. The calendar is perpetual and automatically adjusts for daylight saving and leap seconds. When you order, be sure to specify if you want the pushers on the right (for right-handed people) or the left (for left-handed people).
The watch comes in a appropriate ‘black’ box and it’s a traditional two part box set up. The outter box is made of hard, thick cardboard with a removable lid that is labeled with Hotblack London. Removing the lid reviels the inner box , that is a nice high gloss watch box with a hinged lid. The box is a step above just a typical watch box and has a dressy theme like that of the watch that is waiting inside. Opening the hinged lid to see the watch itself that is clasped to a watch pillow and the crystal & caseback have a clear plastic protector attached for added protection.
The Hoptroff Anniversary Watch is very sleek because of the vertical brushed PVD coating that is well done. The black case and matching bracelet is extremely stealthy in appearance. The 44mm case is very beautiful and you can immediately see the amount of care that went into the detailing with the PVD coating on the stainless steel case.
On the right side of the case are two button pushers and what intrigued me was the fact there was no crown. The pushers are very easy to operate and are used for various functions which will be explained later in the review along with how to set the time. The caseback is fastened down by 6 screws that are also black which stays consistent with the overall look of the watch. The caseback is engraved with HOTBLACK LONDON.
The sides of the case have a matte black finish which are outlined by protruding polished edge lines that run along the side of the case to finish off at the tip of the lugs. The lugs are relatively short which allows the watch to sit nicely on the wrist even for small or larger wrists.
The plain black bezel is fixed featuring brushing on the top and polished edges as is comes down into the case itself. The majority of the case is brushed PVD coated black which the brushing itself is very well done and very evenly done as well. I love the look of this case when it is on the wrist. The case is water resistant to 5 atm though it is advised that swimming with the watch on is not a good idea.
The dial is matte black with white numerals, text and hands. There are 3 subdials on the dial located at the 6, 9, and 12 o’clock positions. The subdial at the 12 o’clock position is a countdown for the days remaining until the date that you personally set as the date you need to remember, either a birthday of a loved one, a holiday, an important meeting, whatever the occasion is this is the string on your finger reminder. It counts down for 10 days to zero and has a color coating as well. From day 10 until day 5 it’s color coated with green. After day 5 until day 2 it is color coated with yellow and after day 2 it’s color coated red until zero. A small white hand points to the day throughout the countdown. The numbers of the countdown are printed in white.
The subdial at 9 indicates the days in the month which is done by a small white hand just like the anniversary countdown subdial. The days of the month are printed in white and are very easy to read against the black matte dial. The subdial at the 6 o’clock position is a seconds counter. It’s a half circle which the hand ticks back and forth instead of making a full circular rotation of 60 seconds like most traditional watches, the anniversary watch ticks back and forth in 6 seconds incriminates. It’s actually quite addicting to watch the seconds hand move side to side, so unique.
The dial is very easy to read because of the nice crisp white printing that is set against the matte dial along with the sapphire cystal. The hands are very simple which helps keep the dial very clean, the hour and minute hands are small, pointy and don’t reach out to the outter ring but they do reach to the hour and minute markers. Even with all the subdial and numerals, this dial is still very clean and easy to read. Accomplishing this is actually quite difficult but Hoptroff managed to get all this on the dial, yet keep it clean and legible.
Above the seconds subdial at six, features ‘Hotblack’ and the origin of Hoptroff ‘London’. The only hour markers that are represented by actual printed numbers are 12, 3, 6 and 9. Each number is partially missing due to the subdials. The other hour markers are represented by hash lines that are also printed in white. Just inside of the hour markers is a circle of minute markers that are represented by hash lines and actual numerals.
The black PVD coated bracelet matches the case perfectly. It features the traditional folding clasp style with micro adjustment for those inbetween wrist sizes. The clasp is very easy to operate and the clasps locks into place without any play. The clasp is engraved with Hotblack London. The bracelet links are pretty thin which helps with the overall weight and wearing comfort of the watch. The thin bracelet though doesn’t feel cheap at all. The removable links are held in place by screw in style pins. Richard was so kind to have adjusted the bracelet to my wrist measurement prior to sending the watch in for review. Not that I don’t know how to do this, but I have to admit that having it arrive already adjusted to go straight onto my wrist was very nice. I also like how nice the brushing on the bracelet consistently matches the brushing on the watch case.
For reference my wrist is 7 1/2″
The Functions and How It Works:
Having a a smartphone or tablet is a must if you want to take advantage of the awesome features of the Hotblack Anniversary Watch. First download the Hoptroff App onto your device, the app is free to download.
Once the app is downloaded, enter the app to get started.
To connect your watch to your device make sure your Bluetooth is turned on your phone or tablet, then select the new connection option in the Hoptroff app. It is the first option on the top when you first open the Hoptrff app. On your Anniversary watch press the top pusher at the 2 o’clock position. A sub menu will appear:
Select the watch model you want to connect, and click the box, this would be the box labeled Hotblack Anniversary. Once your watch is connected then it’s time to play! There is a menu that you can select to manually select the important date that you wish to remeber and have the watch countdown to that date. The watch won’t actually show the counting down until it gets to 10 days away for the actual date you selected.
The Hidden Treasures menu is also very cool filled with some cool information such as temperature, GMT time as seen in the picture below.
There is also a Test and Service- diagnostic menu that you can test the watches motor which checks all the dials by moving every hand on the watch. Not only is it helpful to run the tests, but is also so cool to watch the hands move all around, very sci fi esque.
Another menu allows you to align the hands on the watch manually in every direction.
The Hoptroff Anniversary Watch is a very unique watch, so unique in fact that I never experienced a watch like it. In this day and age of the “smart watch” the Hotblack Anniversary Watch still retains all that I love about a watch without going overboard on the gimicky tech aspect. What I would suggest to make this an even better experience is have a rechargeable battery feature, which would eliminate the 2-5 year battery life.
I love the simple, clean dial on this watch, you can’t beat matte black with white, it’s a stunning combo. The watch is extremely easy to operate using the also easy to navigate Hoptroff app. It’s an addicting watch to use because of the app features. It wears very comfortable on the wrist as well. This watch on a vintage leather strap would be a beautiful combination.
This is a great watch for everyday use and for those who like to have a smart or connected watch but still like the look and feel of an actual watch with hands and a physical dial. It’s a tech filled watch but retains that historical feel that make a timepiece just that, a beautiful timepiece. It’s an ideal watch for the office or for a dressed up occasion.
A very special thank you to Richard Hoptroff for making this review possible. A great person to deal with and the ease of communication made this experience even better. He is a horology master.