I have always considered myself a fan of the classics, classic art, classic cars, classic architecture, etc…. I wouldn’t necessarily say that I am not a fan of modern things, I just don’t devote the same amount of time and energy into modernist style as I do with the classical style. With that being said, as I was perusing around online is when the watch that we will be exploring together today caught me eye. It wasn’t a “oh that looks kind of cool” moment either, it was a “DAMN, WHAT IS THIS COOL LOOKING WATCH” kind of moment. Which for me, says a lot because it is extremely modern, with a very modern architectural style. I immediately needed to know more about this watch right away.
Fast forward to when this watch from 22 Design Studio arrived and when I opened up the cool modern, architectural themed packaging, I couldn’t wait to see the watch. One of those come on fingers move faster moments! The dial on this piece is striking on this watch and a true first for me. High-density concrete. I can’t even begin to describe how amazing that this dial is. Raw. Earth. Texture. It is so minimalistic yet full of a million things to look at and admire. The concrete dial is divided into 12 precise pie shaped sections, each section contains 5 minutes. Each section is graduated around the dial, reaching the highest point at the 12 o’clock position. The dial is laid out with absolute horological precision, making it quite arguably the one of most unique and precise designed dials I have experienced.
The hands are another first for me. At first glance they appear to be a normal set of polished watch hands, but under further inspection I noticed another detail that shows off more precise design. To allow proper clearance of the graduated concrete dial, the hands had to have a different approach from the standard set up. Each hand has a 90 bend in them and drop about a 1/4” to connect into the center of the dial. It is incredible to me how precise each bend has to be to not only clear the dial, but also to clear each other. I was completely hypnotized by watching the magic of the movement of these hands. I completely geeked out on these hands and dial, so refreshing to see something new, unique and executed with this kind of precision.
As many awesome details that there are on this dial, it is quite minimalist as well. There is no print on this dial, all the markers and text are raised up in the concrete. Every time I say concrete, it blows my mind. A dial made of concrete! The cylinder shaped date window is also well designed and actually made me appreciate a date window. This is how magnified date windows should be, under the crystal free of collecting lint and dirt. The hour and minute hands have just a small amount of lume on them which works for this watch.
The case of this watch is the perfect complement to the amazing dial. You get a nice flat sapphire crystal that allows you the perfect vantage point into the dial and into the Swiss-made sellita SW200-1 caliber movement. The majority of this case has a brushed finish, the only polished portion is the edges that encircles the dial. I really like the shape of this case as you can see by the picture below it has a cylindrical shape that angles in as it graduates to the dial and the case back. 22 DS must have known that I am a sucker for crowns on my watches and they definitely didn’t disappoint me by any means, even makes me overlook that its a push/pull crown. I absolutely love that the crown looks like a industrial nut, its a perfect detail to the industrial architectural feel of this piece. As for function, the crown works extremely smooth when manually winding the watch and for setting time/date.
Typically I don’t appreciate exhibition case backs but it actually works on this watch. The four flat head screws gives the 4 Dimension more industrial detail and gives you something more to admire. This watch has some great weight to it and wears completely comfortable on the wrist. Since it’s a lugless case, it naturally wears smaller that the 45mm dimensions, but has incredible wrist presence. I guess I would call this a more architectural industrial stylistic “puck” case. The “seam line” that separates the case into a top and bottom half gives the case a nice touch of detail to the profile. The OEM veggi-tanned black leather strap connects in under the lugless case. The leather strap is pretty standard, it’s well made, pliable and features a standard brushed stainless steel signed buckle.
The 4 Dimension watch for 22 Design Studios is an extremely unique piece that was executed with absolute precision. I was really impressed with this piece, especially the high-density concrete dial. 22 DS showed me there are more than just dive and tool watches that deserve a look see. Of course we all know that there are other styles of watches out there, but this watch definitely deserves a look. The dial and the case work together in complete horological harmony. I highly recommend this piece. Usually I will make a comment on who I would recommend a piece to, but I think that watch enthusiasts alike will appreciate the uniqueness of this watch. My oldest suggestion for improvement is making the crown into a screw-down style.
Of course the dial and the case are highlights of this watch. The edges and angles on the dial are so crisp, sharp that when you think what the dial is made of, it truly is impressive. The way that the hand are bent at a 90 degree angle is also impressive, not only because of the bend, but to bend a hand keeping from looking wonky, but also keeping it on target to where it needs to point to on the dial itself if quite an accomplishment. The second moves with such fluidity as well which is amazing in itself. I honestly respect what 22 DS was going for in their design process and respect the actual production piece. In a market flooded with rehashed designs, it is a huge risk to offer something different, and I have respect for companies that take that known risk.
I want to personally thank you all for reading my review and as always your comments and questions are welcome below.
Thank you 22 Design Studios.
45mm x 14.9 316L stainless steel case and date atrium
Concrete dial with minute scale
Swiss-made sellita SW200-1 caliber
Sapphire crystal glass with AR coating
Black vegi-tanned leather strap