The Alkin Model Two is the second model from Alkin, a Britain based microbrand. Their fist model, named the Model One, was a field style watch, but this time they give it a go with a diver, and not just any style dive watch, but a dual crown super compressor style dive watch. Available in 3 dials colors and all equipped with a Miyota 9039 automatic movement, sandwich dial, 300 meters water resistance and of course and internal bezel. The Model Two will be available for preorder, tomorrow June 30th, 2020, at around $400 USD. The model I have in hand is a prototype, but only a few minor changes will be made to the production model, which should be ready before the end of the year, at least if there are no delays. With how this year is going, who knows, but that is the goal from Alkin.
Alkin Model Two Specifications:
Case: 316L stainless steel
Finish: Brushed stainless stee
Movement: Miyota 9039
Lume: Super-LumiNova BGW9
Lens: Sapphire with AR coating
Strap: 316L stainless steel bracelet with solid end links
Bezel: Internal bi-directional
Dimensions: 41mm x 48mm Lug width: 20mm Thickness: 12.8mm
I have always had a fondness for a dual crown dive watch, I just love the design. Part of it is a bezel that you can have a little more control over, and do not have to worry about it, getting scratched or knocked around and the other is the separation of the crowns allow the watch to be worn a little easier on the wrist, as opposed to a crown at the 3 o’clock position. As always, I am a little hesitant to review a prototype, because sometimes it is hard to envision what it could be or supposedly will be versus what I have in hand. Not all prototypes are created equal. Fortunately the Alkin Model II prototype is pretty close to what it will be, with the only changes being an improved resistance to the internal bezel crown, larger Alkin logo on clasp and better lume on the numbers and triangle of inner bezel.
I was aware of Alkin Watches before this review, and I liked the look of their Model One, a clean straightforward field watch. I never had the opportunity to review that one, just bad timing really, but when Charlie Fowler, furniture designer (and now watch designer) and owner of Alkin reached out saying the second model was nearing completion, I was excited to get this prototype in hand. I had a few email conversations with Charlie, and he never told me where the watches are made. The movement is Japanese and while designed in the UK, nowhere does it claim to be made in the UK, nor can I find where it is made on their website. I am going to assume somewhere in Asia, most likely Hong Kong, and if I am wrong, i will update this review with correct information. The only reason I bring this is up is their about section on the website. I like some background information, but I also think it is a good idea in these areas of your website that you are transparent about where the product is made. We know many microbrands are made in China these days, nothing wrong with that at all, it was just odd I could not find one reference to it on the website.
As far as the watch goes, the Alkin Model Two is a very nice example of a dual crown dive watch, with an all brushed case and bracelet, a slightly domed sapphire crystal, easy to read dial and just an all around attractive piece. Comparing to others at the $400 price point, I would say based on this prototype and the proposed changes, that the Model II is probably punching a little bit above its weight, as other brands with similar watches have charged at least $100 more, sometimes with a lesser movement such as the Seiko NH35. The hands are large and somewhat distinctive and while the dial numerals and layout are familiar to others, I like the way they did a combination of a sandwich dial, but only the markers are underneath the top layer, with the numerals being printed on the dial. All versions of the Model Two have matte dials, no sunray or textured dials, nothing fancy here. This watch is not flashy, nor was it meant to be. I am probably a little biased though as this watch ticks a lot of boxes for me being all brushed, no date, matte dial and a more manageable size at 41mm, all things I look for in a watch these days.
The case length of the Alkin Model II is 48mm, again, allowing it to be very wearable for those with smaller wrists, or for those like me, who just prefer something a little more sleek, especially for day to day wear. I have a 7 1/2 inch wrist, and I can pull off a lot of larger sizes, but these days I just prefer a smaller watch, especially one I plan to wear for a few days. Occasionally I will still grab a large and chunky diver to go on the wrist, but this is wear I am at when it comes to watch size these days. At 168 grams, this is not a heavy watch either. The case and bracelet feel solid throughout and in no way cheap, but I assume between the smaller dimensions, the exhibition case back and a relatively small clasp, the weight is kept down.
The bracelet again, pretty standard, but well made with solid links, screws securing those links for easy sizing and a six micro holes to help with obtaining that perfect fit. Even though rated to 300 Meters and no doubt the micro adjustments are always welcome, I would like to have seen a dive extension of some kind. While I do not dive, with all this watch has to offer, it would have made it a little bit more of a “true dive watch”, in many eyes. Now in fairness, the Alkin Model II is not ISO rated, nor do they claim to be, and in most use cases, this bracelet and clasp will not only suffice but be a pleasure to wear, so I may be really grasping at straws here.
As I mentioned earlier, the lume will be upgraded for the production model, but as you can see here, nothing wrong with it as is, though I can see what they mean about the numbers and bezel triangle not being as strong as the other lumed areas of the watch. The lume has a nice blue glow and will look the same on the blue dialed version, but the white dial is actually a full lume dial, for those that want as much lume as possible in their dive watch.
I am glad I was able to get this prototype of the Alkin Model II in hand and give it the review treatment, and I am pleasantly surprised with how nice this watch is for the price, and again, this is only the prototype. The size is right in the meat of where many brands are these days, and it also goes back to the vintage design of this style of watch, the super compressor. It even has a nod to the original ESPA watches with the internal bezel crown having the crosshatch engraving. All in all, I really do like this watch and look forward to seeing the production version later in the year. The only thing I would really change is the lack of the dive extension, and it is probably too late in the game for them to update that, but otherwise, this is a very nice example of a dual crowner (dual crownie?, double crown?-okay forget all that) and comes in at an attractive preorder price.
I've been an avid watch lover since the age of 7. Watches are not only my hobby but a passion. My favorite style used to be dive watches, but field or non bezel watches have been growing on me. When I'm not reviewing watches I am either cooking or with family and friends.