The two D1 Milano timepieces we have from Italian company D1 are pretty much housed in the same identical cases with different finishes, and the XRAY has a exhibition caseback while the P701 contains a solid steel caseback. The dimensions are very wearable at 41.5MM in diameter with a case thickness of a very slim 11MM. These dimensions fit very comfortable on my 6.5" wrist with ease and can definitely slip under a cuff if it were to be worn with a suit or shirt. Now, in terms of design these pieces generally take hints from watches such as the Patek Philippe Nautilus and contains some Royal Oak DNA in the integrated solid steel bracelet. However, when combined it happens to create a nice elegant and sporty everyday look at the same time which I found quite nice. The finishing is all brushed very smoothly on the P701 whilst the XRAY has a nice black DLC coating, giving it a stealthy and clean look. Some nice details include the polished sides of the stationary scalped bezels.
The P701 Dial is matte black with neatly applied brushed indices and a date cutout at the 3:00 position in black which matches the dial quite nicely. In terms of the XRAY - the dial features a nice skeletonized pattern with black hands and markers to match the chapter ring. It is definitely still legible, But I would not say it is as legible as the standard automatic P701. A nice detail is the black logo printing on the genuine sapphire crystal featured on the XRAY while the P701 boasts an AR coated Mineral Crystal. If there is one thing to improve here, at a pricepoint of $600+ USD - one nowadays really does expect a Sapphire crystal on a watch. Other than that, the dials are clean without any error or QC issues and can be read clearly.
Now, D1 Milano chose to go with Seiko made automatic movements which is a good thing. These movements are robust, tested, easy to function and maintain and last quite some years without a regular service interval from my many experiences with them. The P701 is rocking a standard NH35 caliber movement. This movement features 24 jewels - hand winding - hacking - and can hold up too 40 Hours of power reserve. They also are relatively accurate even when not regulated in the factory. My example is gaining around 4 seconds a day which is really good for a watch at this price point. The XRAY features a customized rotor and the rare Seiko NH70 movement. This is a time only movement and beats at the same 3 HZ ( 21,600 BPH ) as the P701. The power reserve is also a bit longer at around 44 hours which is pretty sweet for the end user. I do appreciate that they did go the extra mile and include some
nice striping decoration on the NH70 as well as a nice exhibition caseback for a glimpse into the mechanics of the NH70.
Both of these models utilize the same exact integrated solid stainless steel bands. They are indeed comfortable and do not seem to pull hair from my arms which is good to see. I have not had an issue adjusting the links via standard push pins. The finishing is decent in a nice brushed finish while the clasp really stands out as well for me. The clasp is just really firm and snaps down with a nice feeling. This one definitely wont be coming loose while on wrist from what I can tell. The clasp also conforms perfectly without adding extra bulk which I do appreciate in terms of comfort. Overall, they are good bracelets for the pricepoint of the watch, and I do not see a problem here.
Furthermore, I believe D1 produced two quality timepieces with useable and reliable movements. It really checks all the boxes for me in terms of case cut and finish, solidness, and also a very robust feeling while still maintaining a rather classy yet sporty look which can be used in a number of dress situations.
Sternglas Zeitmesser based out of Hamburg, Germany has released their latest offering the Kanton - a nice take on a casual/dressy bauhaus designed swiss made marked automatic watch. I have taken a look at a few of their other releases in the past, and they are pretty much on point in terms of design and materials used for this sector of watches. The Kanton features nice and modern wearable dimensions of 39MM x 10MM thick with a nice highly polished solid 316L Stainless Steel case. The finishing is smooth and the lugs transition nicely to curve to the wrist which I found helped with comfort on my 6.5" wrist. If we flip over to the caseback we get a traditional screw in caseback with a nice exhibition window displaying the customized Swiss automatic caliber they chose to utilize in the Kanton. Overall, the case is very circular and plants flat on the wrist but bubbles up a bit which makes it easy to read the time at a flick of the wrist. Now, this is not a dive watch nor a field watch so 30M of water resistant with a pull/push crown is typical for this style of timepiece.
The dial is where we really see the German Bauhaus design come to life with its neatly small printed numerals and evenly placed lumed markers at 12-3-6-9 for legibility at night. The dial itself is a nice curved Satin silver finished colour. It really gives the watch a bit of a vintage bauhaus and classical look in my opinion, which personally I think fits the persona of the brand itself. Long evenly sized hands filled with green lume at the tips are a nice touch as well as the date window placed at the 6:00 position. I think a date was really needed here, and the watch would of been almost too plain without substance if they had not implicated a date window in white. Legibility is insanely good with a nice domed sapphire crystal featuring anti reflective coating...outside on a sunny day it almost seems the dial becomes even more legible. This watch does feature the "Swiss Made" marking so we can assume the movement was installed in Switzerland with Swiss hands and tuned for the least. Overall, it looks nice on the wrist and definitely can be worn with a suit or casually.
The movement is quite a stunning one, with its' custom Sternglas rotor and blued screws. This is the fossil group STP 1-11 which is becoming popular lately due to ETA production restrictions that are taking place. In my opinion, just as a Selitta SW200 - these are also swiss made and run just as good or equal as an ETA 2824. This one features 26 Jewels, 44 Hours of Power Reserve,Hacking and Hand Wind, as well as beautiful perlage work on the plates/geneva striping on the rotor. In terms of accuracy from this sample model I have gained an average of 3 seconds per day which is extremely good! These movements are robust, tough, and can last a lifetime if properly serviced every 5 years or so.
Genuine Italian leather was the choice here on this configuration supplied, and I am quite content with the comfort level and Quick-Release ends. The strap conforms nicely after a couple of wears and even features a nice slim and polished custom buckle. The brown really does match nicely with the silver dial and I honestly would not change it out, as it is indeed a good quality band.
Furthermore, this watch is definitely a step up from previous models produced by the Hamburg company and it does show they are willing to take things to the next level. It is a German designed Swiss Powered watch which kind of combines the best of both worlds in a little package. These watches are available immediately through the Sternglas webshop linked above and ship free with DHL worldwide, which is pretty sweet. RRP $904.