When it comes to classically styled watches, I am not the target audience. Whether it is Nomos or a dress watch from countless brands, I find them beautiful, but they just don’t appeal to me. The Fromanteel Pendulum Small Second is definitely in the same genre of watches, but there are a few things that make this watch stand out among the others. First would be the size, as this watch is 42mm in diameter, which is on the larger size for a watch such as this, and honestly, these days is just on the large size in general. Then there is the yellow accent on the crown and the yellow backing to the leather strap and a few other things I will discuss in this article, but at $1200, is this a watch I would want for myself, or more importantly, is it one that you would want?
So, I do consider the Fromanteel Pendulum Small Second, and the entire Pendulum lineup (chronograph, 3-hand, and this Small Second) to be dress watches, but others may have a different classification. To me, it checks all the boxes-high polished case, low water resistance, simple yet elegant dial and a gorgeous leather strap. There is nothing rugged about it and to me this is a watch that one would wear either to the office each day if you happen to wear a suit or even just a nice button-down and slacks, or of course, for that classy event you are headed to. And that is one of the main reasons I do not gravitate towards these pieces; I just don’t get dressed up all that often to warrant a watch in the stable like this.
But it got me thinking, well, why don’t I have a watch in the stable like this? Even though it’s probably only a few times a year that I would wear this piece, shouldn’t I have a good special occasion watch such as this Fromanteel Pendulum Small Second? Normally I would wear one of my nicer dive watches, as other people do as well, and hell, many people these days are wearing their Apple Watches with their suits to work or all types of events, but as a watch guy, a watch enthusiast, and a watch reviewer, maybe its time I get a proper watch for such occasions.
Yes, the first thing that stands out to me with the Fromanteel Pendulum Small Second is the size. Even though I try often, and I will have a few review pieces coming in soon that hit the 39/40mm size, those sizes are still just too small for me. But this Fromanteel Pendulum Small Second sized at 42mm, it feels proper on my wrist. It doesn’t look too large at all, but I do have a 7 1/2-inch wrist, so I am aware this may be large for some folks out there. The case design with the flared round case and thin lugs also make this a very comfortable watch, though the leather strap plays an important role in that as well, more on that shortly.
The case, like the dial, is simple and clean. High polished, with no sharp lines or angles, and an easy-to-grip crown, with that signature yellow insert Fromanteel is known for.
The dial is elegant and has everything you need for functionality and nothing more. The date, the small second register to keep track of seconds, and the brand and model name of course. The leaf hands and indices are polished steel, but they do reflect a lot of light, so expect them to look black most of the time, but when the light hits it just so, it is a gorgeous example of a silver and white dial. Speaking of that white dial, it is a little more off-white than stark white, it’s a beautiful shade of white, it has a warmth to it, and the sunray pattern is very subtle, but again, when you catch in the light, quite attractive.
Around the back, you will find the Sellita SW-261 automatic movement, which really is just the small second variation of the SW200-1, but as you can see it has a gold rotor, and in my opinion, I would like to see some more decoration going on, but the back is simple and clean, but I would still prefer a nice solid case back, with a stamped or etched logo.
But we have to talk about wearability here, and this strap is a big part of why this watch is so comfortable. Like many straps these days, this is a quick-release strap, so taking it off is easy if you want to switch it out. But I would personally never switch this strap from this Fromanteel Pendulum Small Second. This beefy padded leather strap looks great with the deep crocodile pattern, smells great as they used real leather (they even tell you to smell it on the back of the strap), comes with two buckle options, the dual depolyant on it and in the box a tang buckle if you want something a little simpler. I can’t express it any better than this is just a fantastic strap front to back and I love it. The only negative is it is a little short, and I was hoping with the larger diameter case, that they would provide a longer strap for those bigger wrist gentlemen.
So, will I be adding this watch to my rotation or will I continue wearing whatever watch I find suitable for the moment when that next occasion pops up? I don’t know yet to be honest. This Fromanteel Pendulum Small Second is no doubt an elegant, modern, and refined dress watch, but at $1200, is this the one to drop the money on? In my case, there are a lot of other options out there that would be much less expensive. I could probably pick up a Hamilton or Tissot for half the price that would be beautiful and well made and do the job as well. So, I am still on the fence, but what about you? Is this a watch you would add to your collection? Does it have everything you are looking for? Let me know in the comment section below.
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.
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