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Company: Detroit Watch Company

Model: M1

About:

For the past 11 years, I have been developing and designing original timepieces for various watch brands complementing my career and passion for designing cars over the past 30 years. Together with my wife Amy, also a designer for the past 25 years and a Michigan native whose family is from Detroit, it has been our dream to ultimately create our own timepieces thus the Detroit Watch Company was born.

From original sketch to timeless design, the Detroit Watch Company celebrates the history of Detroit with each timepiece characterizing a time and a place in Detroit and honoring all that is enduring about the city and Detroiters.

Together, Amy and I have partnered to create a watch brand like no other, bringing together our passion for design, love of timepieces, and our esteem for the city of Détroit as founded by a Frenchman, Antoine de la Mothe, sieur de Cadillac.

Patrick & Amy Ayoub

M1-Woodward Avenue is a highway notably referred to as Detroit’s Main Street and follows the route of the old Saginaw Trail that linked Detroit with Pontiac, and at the time, Flint and Saginaw.
Woodward Avenue was created after a devastating fire in 1805 and is one of five principal avenues in Detroit devised by Augustus B. Woodward as part of a street plan intended to make Detroit the Paris of the West, by emulating it’s wide avenues.

Woodward Avenue was the location of the first mile of concrete roadway in the entire country and in 1970, bore the M1 designation. Woodward Avenue is synonymous with cruising. As early as 1848, carriage drivers would race up and down Woodward Avenue after the roadway was converted from logs to planks.

By 1958, Woodward Avenue was the place to be for unofficial car racing and today continues to celebrate Detroit’s automotive history with a Dream Cruise, taking place during August of each year.

The Detroit Watch Company celebrates Detroit’s M1-Woodward Avenue history with the introduction of the M1- Woodward Chronograph series of exclusive automatic timepieces

The M1-Woodward Timepiece as exclusively designed by the Detroit Watch Company. Polished 44mm case. Automatic self-winding movement with day date window. Crown with black and white Detroit Fleur-de-Lys. The Woodward chronograph caseback displays all cities Woodward Avenue crosses from Detroit to Pontiac. Calf Leather band with deployment buckle.

Specifications

  • Swiss Automatic Movement
  • Self-Winding and Manual Winding
  • Sellita Caliber SW500/Eta 7750 Automatic & Manual Winding. Display by means of hands; hour, minute, second. Day-date display in window. Chronograph. Shock-absorber-Incabloc. 28800 Vibrations Per Hour, 4Hz. 48-hour power reserve
  • 30 min subdial counter
  • Hour subdial counter
  • Small second subdial
  • 25 Jewels
  • 44 mm Diameter
  • 14.5 mm overall height
  • 22 mm lug width. 20 mm at deployment clasp
  • Sapphire Crystal with Anti-reflective coating
  • Calf leather band with deployment clasp
  • Water Resistant 5 ATM
  • $1850 USD

 

The Packaging:

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As with most watches I receive they come in a traditional inner/outer box set up. The M1 Woodward Watches come in a nice black box set that features an inner box and an outer box. The outer box is hard black cardboard that features a large silver Detroit Watch Company D logo. The inner box is vinyl coated  and is stamped with Detroit Watch Company and the D logo. The important cargo inside is attached to a watch pillow and is additionally protected by foam padding. In addition to the obvious all important watch, it also contains two booklets, one is the specifications & instructions and the other is the warranty & instructions. Both booklets feature some beautiful pictures of Detroit Watch Company watches. The last page of the Warranty book features the warranty card, and information when the watch was assembled. I like this information, it adds personality to the watch. When I read the date, I immediately personalized the date because it is very close to my birthday and that is what I think adding the assembly date does. Anyone can immediately personalize an important date that is close to the written date and it also allowed me to visualize the finishing touches being done to the watch on that date. I love it.

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Some watches come with extras and sometimes they are just little cool additions that end up in the drawer and then other watches come with something that is just way too cool to store away. The M1 is that latter part. Each watch comes with a framed artist sketch of the M1 watch. It is so well done that you could display on your office wall or within your home. I think that this is such a well thought out and quite frankly these are an AWESOME addition. Being the watch lover that I am, to see this hanging on my wall or sitting on my desk would bring a smile to my face every time I would look at it.

 

The Case:

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The case on the M1 is polished stainless steel which gives the watch a dress style appearance, but the case thickness also gives it a rugged edge. I do prefer watches with thicker cases so this case is right up my alley. You know how chrome pops on a classic car, well that’s how the polished stainless steel pops on the M1.

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I always appreciate a signed crown and it’s a detail that I expect on a watch. But it really makes my day when a company takes a signed crown a step further. That is exactly what DWC did on the M1. This crown features the Detroit Fleur-de-Lys logo. Oozes cool.

I like a crown that is easy to grip and thanks to the gear style edges that are larger and further spaced apart operating this crown is smooth as butter.  Pictures honestly don’t give the crown justice until you see it in person. As with most dress style watches, the crown operates as a push/pull style crown and serves as the operating center for winding the watch when it is fully pushed in. Setting the time and date and winding the watch is done by the central crown. The crown is not alone here on this side of the case, there are 2 button pushers to keep the crown company. Starting and stopping the chronograph is done by pushing the top pusher and the bottom pusher resets it to zero.

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When I look at the lugs on the M1 it’s hard not to think of the fenders on a car from the 1950’s. Angles and curves that seamlessly flow. Oh so sexy. The round fixed bezel beautifully frames the dial like a dial from the dashboard. Like the exterior of a vintage car, the interior was also a thing of beauty, especially the dashboard which was the main focal point of the car, just as the dial of a watch which this frame accents.

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Keeping true with the M1 style, the stainless steel case back features an engraved M1 street sign. As you would expect the engraving is well done with precision that is very smooth with no sharp edges whatsoever. How the case back is secured to the case it reminds me of a tire with the lug nuts because it is held in place by by 6 flathead screws that encircle the outer edge.

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The Dial:

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The M1 comes in beautiful 3 color variations for the dial as you can see in the pictures, blue, black and silver. I can appreciate a dial that is full of detail that has a lot going on but you can tell that the design process was planned out well. Despite of everything this dial has going on it is arranged in an organized manner. I spent a lot of time actually just looking at all of the many details. The color combinations really work well together and you team that with the great texturing, you end up with one killer dial or three in this case.

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The M1 of course gets it’s name from an automobile inspired theme, so measuring average speed & distance makes perfect sense and this can be achieved by using the chronograph functions. How many times have you worn a chronograph style watch and not used the feature? I will explain how to use this awesome feature which is not hard to do at all.

If you want to use the tachymeter to measure distance, you first need to know your traveling speed. Start at the zero second position, and end once your tachymeter reading is your traveling speed. For example, if your speed is 60 mph, once the tachymeter reading reaches 60, then you have just traveled 1 mile. Simple right?

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Look at the hands on the M1, they are absolutely stunning. As you glance around the dial from the main 3 hands to the sub dials hands you can see all the detail on them. Hands can really make or break a dial. As they can be too small, too short, too plain, etc… Not the hands on the M1 and to be honest they are some of the nicest hands I have seen on a watch. Detailed with accents of color just add to the legibility and to the overall beauty of the dial. It’s such a disappointment when a dial is flat and has no depth. The M1 dial features text/numbers that are printed, but the small seconds sub dial at 9 & the indices at each hour are applied. This depth keeps the M1 from becoming flat like a tire with a nail in it. Car detailing is a fine art, as is the guiloche concentric circles that are located in the sub dials at 12 and 6.

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I have reviewed and experienced quite a few dress style watches and it’s not out of the norm for there to be no lume on the dial. I was very happy to see that the M1 does in fact have lume. The applied hour indices and the hour/minute hand have lume which glows a pretty green glow when charged up.

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The Strap:

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Each dial variation comes with a different color strap. The leather strap is very soft and is a perfect addition to add to this classic style of this watch. The strap features white stitching that holds the double layer of leather together. Each stitch is perfectly spaced and is straight as can be. The leather is soft from the get go and forms nice to the wrist when its strapped on.  As with a dress style watch one would expect a signed, deployment buckle. The M1 abides and the reason why deployment buckles are so nice is because they add longevity to the strap.  You initially fit the strap to your wrist size by snapping the pin/clasp into the hole that best fits your wrist size. Then whenever you put the watch on your wrist it’s done by sliding the strap over your hand and then fold each side of the butterfly clasp until it clicks into place.

The Movement:

Inside the engine compartment of the M1 is the Sellita Caliber SW500, which has a 48 hour power reserve and an accuracy rate of +/- 15 seconds per day when I timed it for my review purposes. Of course you have the option to manually wind the watch via the crown or allow the rotor of the automatic movement wind it if you are feeling lazy.

Detroit Watch Company does use the Sellita Sw500 but only if/when they are run out of the inventory of the the ETA 7750. A little known fact is Sellita was contracted out for many years to build the 7750 for ETA. Sellita has become a good alternative since the ETA changes in supplying. Sellita was founded in the 1950’s and have been manufacturing their own automatic movements since 2003. Essentially the ETA 7750 and the Sellita SW500 are the same movement.

 

7 1/2″ Wrist Shot:

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Conclusion:

The M1 is clearly an automotive inspired watch, but it is executed in a classy way, and is in no way cheesy or gimmicky whatsoever. This watch is packed full of beautiful details and each dial color variation offers a different look and feel. The black dial has that formal feel that will work perfectly those special occasions out on the town, the silver dial will work for the business casual events/at the office, and the blue dial is the weekend warrior that works with a t-shirt and jeans when you take the convertible out for a spin.

Everything functions on these watches flawlessly. This watch has some excellent wrist presence for sure. If you are looking for a limited edition watch that features some great attention to detail and features then the M1 is for you. I personally wouldn’t change anything on the M1. It is a very attractive watch. The price might scare some potential buyers off. Is this watch worth the price? I honestly can’t answer that. You know the saying an item is only worth, blah, blah, blah……But what I can answer is that the M1 is a well made watch, that is very beautiful to look at and great to wear on the wrist. The finishing on this watch are extremely nice. The case construction is solid, there isn’t anything on this watch that feels “cheap”. The button pushers on the chronograph function crisp and when you reset the chronograph it returns to zero, lining up as it should. The watch is hand assembled right here in the US. I certainly would be happy with this watch if I were to purchase one.

 

I want to personally thank Patrick and Michael for the excellent communication and for allowing me the honor of doing this review. Photographing these watches was an absolute joy.

Thanks for reading!

Additional Pictures:

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