Editor’s note: For product reviews on outerwear, shirting, accessories and beyond, click here. Portions of this article use affiliate links, from which a small commission might be earned. The Style Guide only recommends and reviews products its editor loves and wears regularly.
The finishing touch that a watch can bring to an outfit is one of the small pleasures of the menswear world, in my mind. Throwing on a reliable and stylish timepiece day after day can become a nice sort of repetition — on days I’m not wearing a watch, it feels a bit like I’ve lost my totem. Whether that’s the case for you and you find yourself with a growing watch collection, or you’re just diving into the world of watches, looking for style and versatility with a budget in mind won’t let you down. Luckily for both the novice and experienced watch enthusiasts among us, a growing group of companies are riding the digital #menswear wave to put out watches that are stylish, affordable and reasonably well-crafted. Now, you won’t be getting a Patek Philipe from some of these brands, but that’s not what we’re going for. And among that set of brands producing sharp watches at excellent prices, MVMT Watches stands out.
The brand offers a variety of styles, including its simple-yet-slightly futuristic Classic line, and a series of Chrono watches that are a little more eyecatching — but the real pieces of interest (at least to yours truly) come from its 40 Series. The dials in the collection lean dressier thanks to the slim silver seconds markers, and the combinations — from rose gold plus brown leather to a silver dial with brown leather — are refined and yet easily wearable. With that being said, the brand was a new one for me before they reached out and were kind enough to offer this watch for review. I was admittedly a bit skeptical having not heard much about them (although their Instagram following is substantial). But after rocking The 40 – Silver/Brown Leather for the past month or so, I can safely recommend it as a bargain pick-up that wears a heck of a lot nicer.
The first standout quality about this watch is the color of that dial — I was initially a bit worried at how much I’d be able to wear a watch with a blue dial (we all know how much I love blue). But the rich dark brown leather of the strap, plus the slightly toned-down silver case markings, make this watch more versatile than, say, a blue strap and contrasting red dial markings might make it. In short, I’ve paired it as a complement to dark denim and navy chinos, and I’ve even paired it up alongside navy suede boots. So when worn in the right situation, it can add a nice complement to ensembles that at first glance might not work. And it’s to the credit of this watch that the durability surprised me even more than the style potential.
The great thing about this watch is that the dial should hit the sweet spot for a lot of us — similar to a brand like Daniel Wellington, a 40mm case diameter is decently big enough so as not to look too small on a larger wrist, and it does just fine in terms of standing out on a small-to-medium size wrist (who knew wrist size would come up so frequently here?). That’s where The 40 – Silver/Brown Leather falls on this spectrum, and it’s built to be worn with everything from suit trousers to a striped henley and cardigan. Crucially, the silver-plated stainless steel case feels fairly durable when wearing it, too — this isn’t a watch that feels too light on your wrist, or as if it can’t take a bump or two. Now, this isn’t a rugged dive watch, but the case is certainly thicker than a Daniel Wellington timepiece.
That extra thickness helps it wear a little more casual than a standard dress watch (although DW’s watches can be dressed down, too). The dark brown genuine leather strap doesn’t feel cheap or flimsy, and it’s worn pretty solidly throughout the past month — again, that’s a positive for the price. And if you’re the type who doesn’t like the “tick, tick” sound you get with some other watches (lookin’ at ya, Timex), rest assured, the 40 in Blue/Brown Leather runs smoothly. It’s also water-resistant, so that should add another layer of protection to this watch. As far as other details, it boasts a quick-release feature at the buckle for the brown leather strap, so a new NATO strap could be swapped in with ease.
The final selling point with this timepiece revolves around, as it seemingly always does — price! MVMT isn’t charging an arm and a leg (or a couple wrists) by any means. While this isn’t Timex-level pricing, $120 is still an excellent price for a watch that can carry you through at least three or four different outfits a week (as I’ve found) — and that goes for sharp situations that call for Chelsea boots (as seen above), to more casual weekend days. A blue dial could be an interesting style plunge to take if you’re just getting into watches, but it could definitely pave the way for future purchases if you wear this timepiece with confidence. And that’s what a great watch should ultimately give you at the end of the day — confidence. And oh yeah — the power to be on time to that lunch meeting.
What do you think of MVMT Watches? Would you consider buying a blue-dial watch?