Mitch Mason Chronicle Hands-on (p)Review
Let me introduce you to a new microbrand that caught my eyes on the Microbrand Watches Facebook Group, Mitch Mason. Like many fantastic brands, Mitch Mason is based in Singapore. There must be something in the air or in the water, but Singapore is home to so many excellent watch microbrands, anyway, there is an energy that inspires people like Benedict Ong to start a new brand and try to outdo its peers. If there would be an award for Microbrands, Ben and his Mitch Mason Chronicle should be nominated in the category of newcomers. For the first model from a new brand, the Chronicle is quite remarkable. Let’s take a closer look at a Chronicle prototype.
First of all, this is the smallest watch I ever reviewed. Most of the watches I write about are in the 40 to 42 mm range, it’s rare that I have the pleasure to wear a 38 mm, but with a diameter of 36.5 mm, the Chronicle opens up a whole new experience for me.
A small case with a fascinating architecture – brushed and polished surfaces highlighting the complex design of the case. I quite like the lugs with their many faces, playing with the light reminding me of a nicely cut diamond. When I first saw the Chronicle on Facebook, I noticed the unique surface of the crown and now after actually handling it, to wind the watch and set the time, it’s an absolute pleasure. It’s the perfect size and next to the small diameter of the case, it looks big, adding some testosterone to the overall design.
When it comes to the dial the Chronicle comes in four flavours: blue, khaki, grey and the one I have on hand, black. I tried really hard to find an angle to not get a reflection on the crystal, but keep in mind this is a prototype, the production model will have 5 layers of AR coating – it will be a whole new story. I absolutely love the layout of the dial, the sandwich construction gives depth to the generous amount of lume. I hope the production model will have as much lume as this prototype, there is nothing to be changed here, it’s perfect! And what gives sense to a dial, the hands are custom made, again, they too are filled with a generous layer of lume.
The solid caseback is decorated with a coat of arm designed by Danny Guzzi from Esch design. If you are curious to learn more about his design process, click here. Under this beautiful shield, the beating heart is an automatic Miyota 9039.
I have to mention the leather strap that came with the Chronicle, it’s a very nice quality Italian leather and it was made by Singapore-based strap maker, Yi Leather.
The proportions, the hands, the colours, the strap, they all play a role in creating a vintage vibe, but at the same time, this is a modern watch. I can only admire the way the Chronicle manages to blend together the old with the new and offer something unique and original. Well done Mitch Mason! When it will go live on Kickstarter, sometimes in September, I hope that the watch collector community will recognize and appreciate the value of this model.
For more information and to keep on with the latest from Mitch Mason, go to https://mitchmason.com/
Lug to lug: 43.5mm
Thickness: 12mm (excluding crystal +1.5mm)
Lug width: 20mm
Water resistance: 200m
Caseback: Screw-down with engraved artwork
Material: 316L stainless steel
Dial and Hands
Dial: Metallic brushing with sandwiched numerals at 3,6,9,12/ vintage matte with printed numerals
Hands: Unique Mitch Mason handset
Lume: Swiss Super-LumiNova
Double domed sapphire with 5 layers of anti-reflective coating on the underside.
Calibre: Miyota 9039 (24 jewels)
Mechanism: Automatic and hand-winding
Power reserve: 42 hours
Frequency: 28,800 bph (4Hz)
Material: Full-grain vegetable-tanned Italian leather/ Top grade suede leather with calf leather lining
Stitching: By hand
Buckle/ Spring bars: Signed/ Quick-release