Sometimes you just want a simple, straightforward watch, nothing overly flashy, but still well made. That’s where the Momentum Atlas comes in, this time in with a Miyota 9015 automatic movement. A 38mm bead-blasted titanium case, the Atlas is available with 4 different steak options-titanium bracelet, a Cordura strap, and a rubber or leather strap, and prices range from $485 to $535. The Atlas has always been a top seller for Momentum, but in quartz, and in different sizes, but with this being the first automatic for the series, is it worth it or should they have stuck to quartz?
Now it’s kind of silly to say a brand should not make an automatic watch right? Well, not exactly. A field watch is a watch that you would use in the field, and I have seen many try and say what the “field” is these days, but let me tell you, the field is not your daily trip to Starbucks, but one that works for the government, or law enforcement, military, in the jungle, etc. If you go camping and hiking, it could probably apply as well, but at its core, a field watch can handle a lot of different tasks while still being a watch that looks good with a uniform or tactical gear. But why would an automatic be a bad option? Well, automatic movements and shock resistance has come a long way, but in the case of this watch, this Momentum Atlas Automatic isn’t very shock-resistant, and the Miyota 9015 is pretty standard fare as far as budget automatic movements go.
So why make watches like this with automatic movements? That’s simple. Because many of the people who are buying watches are not buying for specific use cases, I mean, how many people are actually diving with their diving watch? Yeah, we ain’t flying planes either. And once we start to unravel why we buy these watches if we are not going to use them as intended, well, let’s not do that. The reality is, these days watches are mostly accessories, jewelry of sorts. Nothing wrong with that. And that is why Momentum made this Atlas with a budget automatic movement, so it can still be affordable, but appease those who prefer to have an automatic movement no matter what.
So what you get here is the same standard field case that Momentum uses for the rest of their Atlas lineup, which come in multiple case sizes, including larger and smaller than this 38mm. Watch brands these days are making a lot of small, or for those that are offended that I called 38mm small, let’s rephrase and say a lot of under 40mm watches, so it makes sense that’s the size they chose to put an automatic movement in. Will there be future versions in other case sizes? I don’t know, but I assume that’s dependent on how well these first versions move and what demand there is for other sizes.
Like the other Momentum Atlas watches, this automatic version is solid titanium, with a screw-down heavily knurled crown, and a no-glare bead-blasted finish. Titanium is very lightweight, so combined with the size of this field watch, it is extremely lightweight. I chose the Cordura strap with leather backing for this review, which I just refer to as canvas, but if this is not your favorite you can get it with a full titanium bracelet or a leather or rubber strap. The bracelet will add a little bit of weight, but probably not that much. Regardless of what strap you choose, this watch is going to be almost unnoticeable on your wrist. As far as size, well, 38mm can be worn by pretty much anyone, though I have to say it does look and feel small on my 7 1/2 inch wrist, that’s purely subjective.
Instead of just a plain matte black dial, the Momentum Atlas Automatic has a gradient black dial, which is grey in the center, and combined with the red accents on the second hand and the model text, it’s just enough to stand out without being distracting. The pencil-style hands are slim, and the Arabic numerals are smaller on this automatic version compared to the quartz models, everything is still easily readable at a glance. A black-on-white date window balances it all out.
On the back, you will find a look at the Miyota 9015, this one is a gilt version of the movement, which is kind of an odd choice but when I think about it, not really. As I said, a lot of field watches that are actually used in the field, are quartz, and this automatic version is geared towards a different demographic, one that loves to see the movements of their watches, and that’s probably why they chose to make the movement gold, to make it a little flashier, and a little prettier to look at, as this movement is rather plain and undecorated.
Readability in all conditions is something that a field watch should excel at, but those smaller numbers and hands used on this Momentum Atlas Automatic means less area to apply lume, and that means less readable in the dark. C3 Super-LumiNova is used, and it does the best it can, but the hands suffer the worst as they are thin and just do not have a lot of surface area for lume application, and they dim much quicker than the numerals and indices do. After an hour, the lume is a faint green glow, but still readable, but don’t expect this to be good in the dark 4-5 hours later.
As I said, this 38mm is just not for me, but many will be happy with this smaller size, especially those who like something completely unobtrusive or those with smaller wrists that want a properly sized watch. While I can’t comment on the bracelet or the other straps that come with the Momentum Atlas Automatic, I can say I love this green Cordura strap. The front has great weave and texture, it is smooth but seems like it will hold up well over time and the supple leather backing reduces friction and allows it to have almost 0 break-in time, meaning you can wear this out of the box very comfortably.
If you do have a wrist as large as mine though, or larger, know that 7 1/2 inches is probably the max size that it can fit, otherwise you ou might want to opt for a different strap or bracelet. It may look like there is more room on the strap as there are more holes left past where it is buckled, but there is just about an inch of strap left, and trust me when I say, it really wouldn’t fit a bigger wrist and still have enough strap left over for the keepers.
For many this 38mm, Titanium Field Watch is going to be a big win, as it is a good-looking and lightweight watch and relatively affordable, especially for a watch with a solid movement such as the Miyota 9015. For myself, it’s obvious that I would prefer it to be bigger, say 42mm, or even 40, and as I said, we may get that in the future, depending on demand. I think I would also like to see some different dial colors, a solid case back, and possibly wider hands that would allow for more lume, but overall, this is another solid offering from Momentum.
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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