Let me introduce you to the black-dial Sea-Spirit, part of the debut collection of Reverie, a new microbrand based in Singapore. Samuel Tay, the founder of Reverie — a self-confessed watch geek — was looking for the perfect wristwatch, and like many other entrepreneurs, he stopped searching and sat down to design his dream watch. He wants to build up Reverie as a brand with a strong design identity, and a big part of this DNA is the use of guilloche dials combined with timeless designs.
The watch arrived in a very elegant black leather box, presented with a red and white ribbon with a hand-written note from Samuel. A nice way to convey, this watch comes from Singapore and that there is a human behind the logo. As soon I as lifted the cover of the box, the light caught in the sophisticated guilloche pattern of the dial started dancing and revealing all the features of this Sea-Spirit. From my experience, there are two type of watches: those that look great in pictures, and when you get your hands on them, they are a bit of let down, in the second category I would place those pieces that look way better in reality than what the photographer managed to capture. The Sea-Spirit definitely falls in the later, and when I prepared the pictures for this review, I was quite frustrated with the results. It is very hard to properly seize the essence of this piece.
Samuel wanted to make the Sea-Spirit a nautical themed watch, the wave patterns appearing on the guilloche dial are a reminder of the ocean. The first time I saw the dial, I could not help but seeing the dress of princess or a queen dressed in black, like we would find in a Spanish baroque painting. This image stuck with me and it reinforces the dressy allure of the watch.
The white sans-serif numerals are bold and highly visible, just as the thick hours and minutes hands that look they were borrowed from a tool watch. I quite like this interesting balance between elegance of the guilloche and the more functional and masculine approach of the hands and numerals. This was a wise choice, because anything more slender would have been lost in the waves of dial.
The Sea-Spirit is powered by a Miyota 8218 automatic calibre that offers a date and a small-second complication. The two are very close to each other, the date at three o’clock and the small second sub-dial, between four and five. I could see this as a challenging movement from a designer’s perspective, how to balance all that action between 3 and 6, with the rest of the dial. The waves come in handy here, washing away any trace of boredom.
The cushion shaped case might make you think that this is a chunky watch, but the specs are clear: diameter of 41 mm, lug-to-lug 47 mm. The size of a classic watch but with strong, heavy proportions thanks to the 12.5 mm height. My favourite feature of the case is the sunray brushed finish on the top of the case, around the bezel, as it focuses the attention on the dial. I would have preferred that more of the many sides of this beautifully sculpted case to be brushed instead of being polished.
The crown is large enough to be easy to handle, it’s easy to pull out, it has a good grip, adjusting and winding the Sea-Spirit is overall a nice experience.
The see-through back reveals the Miyota 8218 — 40 hours of power reserve — with a skeletonized rotor to show more of the movement. The engraving around the watch is well balanced and I was quite surprised to discover a Latin inscription, next to the serial number and the logo: Soli Deo Gloria — glory to the only God.
The Sea-Spirit is delivered with a black leather strap with branded butterfly clasp and a very cool black sailcloth inspired strap that will reinforce the nautical theme of the watch. Both straps are equipped with convenient quick release spring bars, you won’t have to fiddle with a spring bar removing tool when you want to switch them.
The Sea-Spirit was born from a reverie, Samuel Tay’s daydream to create the perfect wristwatch. When it comes to watches, perfection is a very personal standard, and in my case, the Sea-Spirit ticks off many boxes on my list. I like the proportion and the size of the case, no matter how I turn this watch, everywhere I find something to like, the dial is well balanced and that guilloche is hypnotizing, the back, the straps, every little detail of the watch express the passion and energy put into this watch by Samuel and his team.
Besides the black dial Sea-Spirit, there is also a version with a beautiful deep blue dial. They are limited to 125 pieces each, with a price tag of $420 that includes free worldwide delivery and one year of repair warranty.
For more, go to www.reveriewatches.com