Not to distant, in the near past, I used to not be a fan of surprises. I was the type of person who would skip ahead in a book to see how it would end. If I knew that you already watched a movie that we are watching together, that I haven’t seen, I would beg you to tell me what happens in the end. My begging wouldn’t stop until you told me. Yes, I was that guy! The past few years this has slowly changed and I now enjoy being surprised by things especially movies, books , and TV shows. I especially hate accidently reading a spoiler for a movie.
I am the same way with watches in the sense of being surprised. I make it a point to not read other peoples watch reviews especially if it is a watch that I may have the opportunity to review. This is also why I don’t go into detail about a watch’s packaging. I like you to be surprised when you get a watch in. Most of the time a watch’s package is an extension of the watch’s personality. Today I will be reviewing a new piece from Moduco. For this review I am using the nickname for this piece the “Vitruvius” after the Roman architect you will figure out why as we go through this review together.
Not only was I surprised by this watch but I was instantly facinated by it’s design architecture. Let me start with the finishes on this case which is a beautiful combination of Vertical, horizontal, diaganol brushed marks and matte blasted finishes with a touch of high polished thrown in for flavor. The diagonal strokes on the bezel are quite stunning. When looking top down on this watch seeing the matte blasted finished part of the case beneath the diagonal brushstrokes looks amazing. The very outer edges of the bezel is high polished offering just enough of a light catching effect this can also be found around the edges of the case back which gives a nice difinitive beginning and an end to the top and bottom to this case when viewing the case from a profile view.
The next design aspect of the “Vitruvius” that I really enjoy is the cylinder shape of the case. Like a piece of well designed architecture, the outer portion of this case nicely arches from tip of lug to tip of lug. This portion of the case is sandblasted matte finished and borders /embraces the cylinder portion of the case. The cylinder portion of the case is beautifully finished with horizontal brushstrokes. I like how thick the cylinder portion of the case appears. The case back is held in place by six flat head screws which are not only functional but also add a nice bit ofdetail to the case back. I have always said that the case back is an extension of the watch’s personality and should always be utilized by the watch designer. Moduco certainly utilized this space wisely with some nice engraving and brush stroke finish.
The crown is also another area that a company should use for the extending of detail and extending of personality. Normally my preferred method of this is when a company features a signed crown, but Modoco did something a bit different but did so in a way that holds true to the “Vitruvius” personality. The push/ pull style crown is not signed but features the same beautiful brush strokes that are found throughout this case. The crown is extremely easy to grip because of the gear style edges and the beveled angle of the gear edges.
The short lugs allow the watch to wear smaller than the dimensions suggest. The squared angled lugs are part of the blasted finish portion of the case and definitely part of the architectural portion as well. The quick release spring bars easily attach to the lugs and hold the leather strap in place without fail. The brown leather strap features some nice white even stitch work. The buckle on the strap is a nice extension of detail that are also found on the case itself. The buckle is a combination of brushed and polished finishes. The buckle also has flathead screws that match the flathead screws on the case back. This is something I like to see when a company pulls in design elements and consistently distributes them throughout all elements of the watch.
Moduco didn’t exclude the dial when distributing those details. I have to be honest here when I first saw this watch online it was the large oversized applied roman numeral XII that pulled my interest in. From the pictures that I did see of this watch on their website, I initially thought that the XII was painted white. But to my delight, it is in fact brushed finished, which again brings all elements of this watch together into design mechanical harmony. Something that is truly a hard accomplishment to achieve even for seasoned watch designers. The dial can be seperated into a top and bottom layer. The top layer is matte black and features the large oversized applied XII. In addition to the XII, Moduco and Swiss made are the only printed text on this dial. The XII gives a 3 dimensional look to this dial that creates a very cool effect.
The hands also remain true and consistent to the design of this piece. Each hand is matte brushed finished. The hour and minute hand is semi- skeletonized with squared tip/ends and these hands also feature some lume. The hands are very legible because they are set against the matte black dial. The “sub-layer” of this dial features brushed metal that nicely shines through the cut out hour markers on the matte black top layer. The semi-skelontized hands tie into this dial design as well. This is what I truly appreciate about the “Vitruvius” is that you can tell each design element was well thought out and planned for. Not just overnight either, this watch took some long planning and it is evident when you explore this watch.
This watch will be available at campaign time:
Automatic: $599 instead of $999 for LIMITED super early bird (save up to $400)
Quartz: $299 instead of $499 for LIMITED super early bird (save up to $200)
I am pleasantly surprised on how well executed this watch is. The finish on the case is some of the best that I have seen on a watch in this price point and can even rival watches above this price point. Especially considering that it is done by hand. This case is a real piece of architectural artwork. I would like to see a screw down crown which is always my personal preference on a watch. This watch has some great wrist presence which also comes off as a watch in a higher price point, especially if you get the early bird savings.
I don’t often review pre-campaign watches just based off of past experiences , but this is surprisingly one of the nicest executed watches that I have looked at in the pre-campaign phase. If you are considering this watch and if the production pieces match this prototype then you should have No worries in terms of case design and execution. I will be updating this review once I get the opportunity to handle the actual production piece, but we will explore the automatic verison next. I will also be taking it on some outdoor adventures with a ton of pictures.
I would like to personally thank you all for reading and as always your questions and comments are welcome below.
Thanks to Moduco for allowing me to explore their proto- type.
Case 44mm, stainless steel 316L, sandblast finishing
Bezel 41.5mm with vertical brushed sides, polished bevel and diagonal top brushed
Caseback Screwed case-back with vertical brushed sides, polished bevel and diagonal brushed bottom. Acid-etched marking
Crystal Flat sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating inside
Dial Matte upper layer dial. Cut out indexes shows lacquered sunray lower layer. High rise (1mm) vertical brushed applied XII
Hands Skeleton hands with vertical brushed finishing and Tritec Luminova C1
Strap Italian calf leather, COrdura textile, nylon nato, stainless steel mesh
WR 100meters / 330 feet