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The D1Milano Atlas is one of only a few automatic watches available from the Italian based company, known for this specific style of watch case in many different variations. I was not overly familiar with the D1Milano brand, and after checking out their site, I saw that they have a lot of quartz models, but the few mechanicals they do have, which come in a few different colors and case finishes as well as skeleton dials, and I was intrigued. The case design is very familiar and as most can tell just by looking at it, it is inspired by two different Gerald Genta designs, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and the Patek Philippe Nautilus. The Atlas does a good job at fusing both designs into one, without completely ripping off both brands either. At $625, it is a bargain compared to the aforementioned luxury watches, but compared to other brands on the market, it may be a little overpriced.
D1Milano Atlas Specifications:
- 41.5mm Stainless Steel Case
- 49mm Lug to Lug
- 27mm Lug Width
- 11mm Thick
- 170 Grams Weight
- Sapphire Crystal
- Seiko NH35 Movement
- Screw Down Crown
- 50m Water Resistant
First though, allow me to tell you about the Atlas, and why I chose to have this specific model sent. I did not realize that the Atlas is not a model name, but more I guess of a designation for the colors, and while that is confusing, if you look on their website, you can see what I mean. I do notice they have collections such as mechanical or ultra-thin, etc, but, no real model names, which is somewhat strange. I did like that this version had the blue and orange colors and stood out among the more traditional versions. Moving on from that though, as I said, the Genta design is front and center here and with that, you get that familiar case shape and a bezel reminiscent of the Royal Oak, sans bezel screws. Both the case, bezel, and bracelet are pretty well finished, even if the grain is a little on the large side, it is pretty even and consistent and I appreciate that there is only a small amount of high polish on the bezel area. The screw-down crown is also very similar to the APROO, though it is unsigned, and I feel this is a mistake, and that D1Milano could have put the same logo from the clasp on the crown.
Taking a walk around the watch, the D1Milano Atlas looks good at all angles, case, bracelet, and the case back. The bracelet is integrated like the watches it homages, but while the links look more like the Nautilus, I still feel overall it is more of a Royal Oak style bracelet. I rather like the bracelet, it hangs down a good amount from the lugs as the links are very articulate, and the entire watch does wrap well around my 7 1/2 inch wrist. Unfortunately, the deployant clasp could use some refining, as it does not have any push button or slowed release, meaning you just have to pull on it to get it open. This is not a big deal when you are putting it on, because you have leverage, but when taking the watch off your wrist, you have to pull pretty hard, and I can not imagine that is a good thing for the longevity of the clasp and bracelet.
That brings me to the dial, which is where I have the biggest issues. Now to be fair, the dial I guess is ok, but I feel looking at the watches it takes inspiration from, doing such a plain and generic looking dial does a disservice to the watch. The D1Milano Atlas dial is dull and matte finished and the nickel hands are very thin, and as you can see, neither the hands nor markers have any lume. Now, I am ok with a watch not having lume, and have a feeling if it did, it wouldn’t be that great anyway. But overall, I feel this dial is just plain and rather unappealing, and better hands along with a textured or even a sunray dial would have made this stand out a lot more.
Now, let’s talk about price. The D1Milano Atlas comes in at $625. Keep in mind, this is not a microbrand per se, but more in line with fashion watch brands. Just take a look at the website, and you can see these watches are geared more towards the casual buyer. My biggest issue with the price beyond the lackluster dial is the movement. Yes, it is an automatic, but it is yet again another Seiko NH35. I have spoken ad nauseam about this movement and while it is considered a workhorse (it does its job and will most likely do it a long time, but not very well) movement, it is a very cheap movement, and again, not the best movement when it comes to accuracy, second-hand sweep, etc. Because this watch is $625 and with the dial used, it is hard to overlook.
I know some might think I am being a little too harsh on this watch, and everyone is entitled to their opinion. I think the case and bracelet are very nice, but if D1Milano wants to reach the watch enthusiasts of the world, they need to upgrade the movement, the dial, and the hands, or at the very least, the dial and hands but drop the price. When you look at the current market and what is available for this price, the D1Milano Atlas is not exactly a bargain compared to microbrands, grey market pieces. It is very wearable and maybe from a distance or to those that like a minimalist dial, it is attractive, I just feel this watch could have been more.