Many people when discussing microbrands talk about how there is no originality sometimes, with the countless Rolex homages, Panerai homages and many more that are available out there and continue to pop up daily. The Ayers Metropolitan, while not being completely uninspired by other brands is a nice breath of fresh air if you will, as they decided to something very different compared to their competition. The highlight of this cushion case wristwatch is the full lume dial that has a two-layer sectioned dial that really stands out, especially in the dark.
Ayers Metropolitan Specifications:
- MOVEMENT Miyota 9015 Premium Slim Automatic Movement
- DIAL & LUME Full Swiss Super-LumiNova® dial, Swiss Super-LumiNova® hour & minute hands and indices.
- CASE 44mm Stainless Steel 316L Cushion Case with Exhibition Case Back
- CRYSTAL (Top) Sapphire crystal with Anti-reflective coating and (bottom) sapphire crystal
- BRACELET Stainless Steel 316L Bracelet with butterfly clasp
- WATER RESISTANT 10ATM (100m)
- DIMENSIONS 44 x 52mm (49mm diagonal)
- THICKNESS 10.50mm
- LUG TO LUG 51.20mm
- LUG WIDTH Internal width 14.00mm and external width 26.00mm
- CROWN Screw-down
- FEATURES Date window at 3 o’clock, Limited Edition engraving
- WARRANTY 2 Years
Price $790 USD
Most of the time I really do not mention the packaging of a watch because usually, it is just cardboard or leather-like box and nothing really special. The Ayers Metropolitan, on the other hand, comes in a gorgeous lacquered wood box that you just don’t usually see with a $790 price tag. It really is a nice wood box, it not only looks great but is solid and hefty and is well made. Also included is a metal warranty card.
While cushion case watches are nothing new, and you can see some inspiration from some luxury watches with the Ayers Metropolitan case and bracelet, the case and bracelet are very well machined and finished, with horizontal, vertical and circular brushing throughout. This is not an off the shelf case or bracelet and Ayers definitely wanted to make a serious watch and paid attention to the small details.
The case and bracelet are mostly done in a brushed finish and you will find just a little bit of high polish under the fixed bezel area and the crown. Normally an all brushed finish is reserved for tool style watches or divers, but the use of brushing patterns gives a nice contrast, especially on the sides of the case and the H-Link bracelet.
Not to disregard the case finishing I just highlighted but the main attraction of the Ayers Metropolitan is definitely the sectioned dial. Full lume dials are nothing new and sectioned dials are not either, though they are not the norm. In different lighting, the dial can come across as bright white, slightly green or slightly blue and that is due to the dial being coated in Superluminova. For this variation, orange Superluminova is used for the hands and markers and I love the white and orange contrast, as usually it is black and orange that is used for dial colors and this is a nice change. Also, note how the brand name is written on a little nameplate if you will and not actually on the lower dial. Ayers kept the dial text to an absolute minimum and beyond the sections, the only other item added to the dial is the date cutout at 3 o’clock.
Getting close up to dial while in full darkness, you can see evenly the lume application is applied to both the dial, hands, and markers. If you want lots of lume and are looking for something different, look no further.
Moving around to the case back, you find another sapphire crystal which exposes the Miyota 9015 automatic movement which has an Ayers engraved rotor. Being a 9015, the rotor is loud and having the exhibition case back makes it even louder, but that is just a quirk of this movement that is otherwise fantastic.
On my 7 1/2 inch wrist the Ayers Metropolitan fits perfectly and that is not something that I expected when I first looked at it, as it has a dual deployant clasp and those type of bracelets I usually struggle to get the perfect fit. Fortunately, Ayers was smart and included two half links on the bracelet and sizing was a breeze due to one piece screws that are easily removed. I removed 3 and a half links to fit my wrist, and the fit was perfect and overall the watch is very comfortable. One thing of note though, because of the crown guards and small crown, trying to unscrew the crown and change the time or the date on the wrist is really not doable, at least for me. I have a slightly difficult time with it off the wrist too.
I honestly did not expect the Ayers Metropolitan to be as nice as it is. I am truly impressed. From the packaging to the case finishing, gorgeous lume dial and the well thought out bracelet, this is a watch that really does punch above its weight. My only real gripe would be that for a 44mm watch, the crown is on the small side and is hard to grasp, at least with my fingers. Other than that, I think they have a real winner here. The overall style is not something I would personally choose to wear every day, but I can definitely see the appeal and it would be something I would grab out of the watch box every so often to change things up a bit. I am looking forward to seeing their second model, which I hope is in the works.