As mentioned in my previous review of the Mark I M3, wristwatch enthusiasts Christian Mygh and Jonathan Kamstrup founded REC Watches back in 2013. The concept behind REC Watches is based on three phases, which are Recover, Recycle and Reclaim. The process starts with the Recovery phase in which old, no longer used items are identified through various avenues such as; frequenting barns, scrap yards and flea markets. Next, during the Recycle phase, REC endeavors to maintain the essence of the recovered items during the transformation process to a wristwatch where the scrap metal from the old mini coopers are fashioned into watch dials while maintaining the appealing, raw look of the recycled metal parts.
The model covered in this review is the Cooper C5. The basic specifications of the C5 are: 42.5 mm case diameter, height: 11.5 mm, Gold Plated-5 Jewel Caliber 763 Ronda Swiss Movement, Mineral Glass Crystal, leather strap and a nylon strap all for $465 USD.
The packaging is very simple as the entire packing material is cardboard which is biodegradable. A sticker is applied to the lid of the watch box, which indicates the model, as well as, the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) from which the metal for the watch dial in the packaging is taken. The packaging is truly perfect because of its simplicity and it doesn’t have to clutter up the closet as it is easily disposed of with no environmental concerns. More companies should examine the benefits of utilizing the same type of packaging if a travel pouch or zipper case is not being provided.
The watch case is stainless steel with brushed and high polished finishes. The bezel and case back are both high polished, while the main portion of the case is brushed. The alternating finishes provide for a slightly dressier look overall to the case, which could allow for the watch to be dressed up a bit rather than just being used for casual occasions. The case measures close to 43mm and just under over 45mm including the crown. The case height is a touch over 11mm, combined with the case diameter and the lug tip to lug tip measurement of slightly over 50mm, will provide a substantial presence on the wrist. However, the watch will not feel overly cumbersome on the wrist as the model weighs a rather light 66 grams on the leather strap. An almost 5.5mm push/pull crown is positioned at the 3 o’clock position on the case. The button shaped crown is easy to grasp and engage with no play whatsoever. The non-crown side of the case in unremarkable but does allow for a good look at the alternating case finishes. I am pleased that REC did not brand the side of the case like so many others.