Editor’s note: For more excellent product reviews, click here.
So this blog has talked more and more in recent months about small style upgrades — the little changes you can make to your daily ensemble (and accessories) that make a big difference. This is no more true when it comes to something like the watch you choose to wear every day. While watches aren’t for everybody, they can certainly provide a measure of calm and order in a world increasingly ruled by iPhones and the like. I myself am a big fan of watches, and I’m always keen to examine timepieces that strike a certain balance between nice looks and reliable performance. KOMONO is an accessories brand that sometimes gets lost in the wash — while they also make sunglasses, they produce timepieces that aren’t as affordable as a Timex, and yet aren’t sold through a mass-market third-party retailer like Amazon. Consider the fact that its watches are sold digitally next to a Euro symbol and you have enough to leave many regrettably confused. That’s their loss, however.
I had the chance to check out the KOMONO Winston Herringbone Watch over the past few weeks (as featured on this site’s Style Pick of the Week series last month), and I’ve been nothing but pleased with the combination of value for the price. As I’ve said in the past, I’m no watch geek by any means — I leave that to the experts. I do know what I look for in a reliable timepiece though — durability, function and nice looks. And the Winston Herringbone from KOMONO definitely provides that.
It’s a rather unique watch in that the cotton herringbone strap makes it the sort of timepiece that stands up to the chillier temps of fall and winter. In the same way that a sturdy NATO strap can inject color, pattern and function into a regular warm-weather watch, a timepiece with a thicker strap like this actually does better as it gets colder. Herringbone is a legendary cold-weather fabric when applied to blazers, so to dial it down into a watch is a pretty neat move. This also means it’s not an everyday watch that can pair with multiple outfits.
Crucially too, this watch isn’t the first one you should buy if you’re just starting out — something like a silver dive watch would work across all four seasons and in any situation imaginable, while a nice brown leather watch might also strike a good balance if you dress both casually and dressy on a frequent basis. However, if you seek the definition of a fall and winter watch, this is it. And for what you might call a ‘seasonal’ watch, its price tag (barely over $90 USD) isn’t bad at all.
The Winston Herringbone features the remarkably crisp and clean dial for which KOMONO is known, ands adds numerals at the hour markings — something that some of its other timepieces don’t use on occasion. The black face and red seconds marker provide a similar contrast to the Timex Weekender — yet this watch looks decidedly more modern. Some might not like the ‘KOMONO’ placement as opposed to the number ‘4’ at that marker, yet it still manages to complement the overall look (in my opinion). Its 41mm dial is heftier than a Weekender (and many other minimal watches), and the case is also thicker.
The thicker case is actually to its advantage, as it’s not the type of watch that might get overwhelmed in a fall or winter outfit filled with more texture. That means that it’s likely confined to use during those months, however — unless you live somewhere cold year-round (Brr!). It runs and winds quite smoothly — there’s no ‘tick-tick’ sound as you might encounter with other, less expensive watches (I.e. the Weekender). But don’t call it a full-blown dress watch as of yet. The thicker case and those numerals around the edge of the dial make it much more casual — and that’s all the better to wear with fall outfits. While it probably won’t work with a tuxedo or even a four-season suit, it’s the ideal type of watch to wear with a navy flannel suit — the strap complements the heavier texture perfectly.
A with most fall gear, this watch will be at its best paired with like-minded seasonal staples — like a suede bomber jacket, some roughout leather boots and dark denim. Taking the chance to pair with something like a shawl cardigan works, too. And although it’s a black herringbone pattern, that texture on the strap makes it more like a black rubber-strap watch — as long as you wear it casually, it can be paired fairly freely with black and brown leather boots alike. That goes particularly for leather high-top sneakers and the like. It also seems to add a slight jolt to more monochromatic outfits — wearing navy trousers and a navy sweater doesn’t seem all that much when you mix up a watch strap with some texture. Of course, it’s just different enough to set itself apart from other watches out there — it’ll draw more attention than a regular ol’ NATO strap out and about.
That being said, it’s not the kind of watch that could likely take a substantial beating. So if you’re looking for a watch to do some fall chores, it’s best to leave it inside. But the rest of the time, it’ll do more than fine. That’s about the most you can ask for from a seasonal watch that retails for under $100. And while the rest of its selections are worth checking out, KOMONO seems to do a nice job with timepieces that strike a decided niche — like this green-dial number. The Winston Herringbone certainly falls among that class, and it’s worth your time (pun intended) if you need a watch to fill the gap between dressy and casual, cold weather and warm weather.
Have you heard of KOMONO watches? Would you pick up the Winston Herringbone Watch?