Richard & Mejer Signature
Over the past few months I have had the opportunity to review quite a few minimalist style watches. The one thing that continually shined through were very simple designs and outside of a few gimmicks whether a splash of color or some sort of aesthetic modification to dial print, in the end all have been simple round case watches. Now please don’t get me wrong as that does not mean I found any of them to be less than very solid timepieces for the most part. However, along came Richardt & Mejer with another spin on a minimalist watch design that even the most devote Bauhaus style aficionados can appreciate. Besides those that are strictly bound to minimalist watch designs, how many of you reading desire something that just flat out looks different? I know I do so keep on reading and check out the Signature Watch from Richardt & Mejer.
Richardt & Mejer Signature Specifications:
- High Grade 316L Stainless Steel
- 38mm diameter
- 47mm lug to lug
- 20mm lug width
- Sapphire Crystal
- 5 ATM
- Ronda Powertech 515 Quartz Movement
- Calfskin Leather Strap w/ buckle
Price $336.17 tax excl.
The Signature Watch comes in several different variations but in this review I will focus on the “Gun” which retails for $336.17 tax excluded outside of Europe. Gun refers to the gunmetal color of the dial for those of you that may not have known where that was headed. If you would like to take a closer look at Richardt & Mejer before reading onward visit their website at: http://www.richardtmejer.dk/.
The very first aspect of the Signature Watch that will catch any eye is the very unusual almost blockish style case design. I know when I first saw the Signature my inclination was that there is no way that would look good on my wrist and that it has to be extremely uncomfortable. I also thought that it just looked like someone stamped out a case out of a block of steel and that it was a bit ugly. Guess what? I shouldn’t jump to conclusions ever and have to admit my first impressions prior to receiving the watch were quite simply wrong.
The case design even though it appears different from many common minimalist watch designs still fits the mold as it actually just consists of simple curves and angles. The watch isn’t quite as blockish as I had originally perceived either. Yes, I was wrong about the level of comfort as well. The case and case back are both flat so the watch sits very comfortably and evenly across the wrist. I have to compliment Richardt & Mejer on the excellent quality control as the case has an extremely fine brushed finish that isn’t always present on watches in this price range. The 9mm thin case will also slide nicely under a dress shirt cuff. In case anyone is wondering the crown is push/pull which is typical for this style of watch and is unremarkable so I really do not have much to say other than it functions as it should and is quite firm.
Okay, so the case is a really interesting take on a Bauhaus style/Minimalist style design as well as being well constructed so Richardt & Mejer had to take some shortcuts elsewhere to keep Signature Watch at a reasonable price, right? Wrong. Sitting atop the Signature Watch is a flat sapphire crystal that is 1.8mm in overall thickness. Sapphire isn’t always a guarantee on a watch at this price. Everyone that has read my reviews over the years also knows that I have to mention an aspect that could be improved upon and the Signature Watch isn’t going to get away unscathed. Even though the watch comes with a sapphire crystal it doesn’t appear to have an anti-reflective coating on the underside of the crystal. I noticed a bit a difficulty at times reading the watch in the sunlight and also had to work extremely hard with lighting to get some decent photographs for the review. I doubt the addition of an AR coating would have jumped the price significantly so hopefully the company will consider this improvement for future releases.
Beneath the crystal is a gorgeous sunray gunmetal colored dial. If gunmetal isn’t too you liking check out the other dial color options on the company’s website. I would like to applaud Richardt & Mejer for using applied markers for an added level of detail, as well as, providing a touch of lume on the primary markers and the handset. The level of lume isn’t going to set the world on fire but is more than adequate for the style of watch.
I’m not a huge fan of quartz movements as many of you may know. I prefer a nice Miyota 9015 or some version of a nice Swiss automatic for the most part. Now that doesn’t mean I don’t like quartz movements altogether but a quartz movement needs to be what I consider quality or at least solid or I won’t own it. The Seiko VK Mecha-quartz movements are super and I also like Ronda for the most part. The Ronda Powertech 515 is a good example of solid quartz movement at least in my humble opinion. The 515 is a simple 3 hand movement but is more than adequate for Signature Watch and should be reliable for a long time. Would I like to see the Signature Watch house an automatic movement? Definitely! If it would fit or if the case could be designed to allow for the Miyota 9015, the Signature Watch would be a Grand Slam in my opinion but the upgrade in movement would also mean an increase in overall price most likely.
Finishing off the Signature Watch is a very nice calfskin leather strap. There are two color choices that I am aware of which are black or tan. Richardt & Mejer sent a sample of each color strap and I have to admit I am quite partial to the tan as it adds a little contrast against the gunmetal dial, however, the black looks nice too and is a bit dressier. The strap quality was surprisingly superb. The stock pictures made the strap appear a bit plain but in hand they are very nice overall. The strap is finished off perfectly with a solid square stainless steel buckle. The buckle is fairly heavy duty compared to most buckles found on thinner straps.
7 3/4 inch wrist for reference
In closing, is the Signature Watch for me? Probably not for me personally as I have a strong affection for aviator and dive style watch primarily. However, I have a great appreciation for the design of this watch. Do I think consumers will be dissatisfied with the Signature Watch? Not one bit unless you just flat out will not own a quartz watch or dislike minimalist style watches in general. If something different and a simple design is appealing, the Signature Watch from Richardt & Mejer is going to be right up your alley. Besides the unique spin on a classic design, you will be receiving a watch with some quality features from the sapphire crystal, applied markers, Swiss quartz movement down to the calfskin strap. Overall, the Signature Watch is a refreshing take on the minimalist concept and a solid overall timepiece in its price range.
Thank you for reading.