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By the time you are reading this, Blacklist Watches will already have their Kickstarter campaign up and running for their new proposed model, the Streetmatic. Coming off a successful campaign last year for their Renegade and Phantom Swiss Quartz models, Justin of Blacklist has created a similar themed wristwatch, but this time in a much smaller size (44mm vs 48mm) and with a Swiss Automatic ETA 2824 automatic movement.
I was fortunate enough to have Justin send me a sample for a hands on review for you, our readers, to share my thoughts about it and give you, as usual a hands on video, and of course some real world photos.
Since this is a sample, I cannot really comment on the fit and finish, as there are a few things that are not up to par, but that is normal for a sample/prototype. I can discuss the new case, and other features of the watch, and also share what things will be changed/improved and a few things that I would want/wish for.
- 44mm stainless steel case
- 12.5mm thick
- 51mm lug to lug
- 22mm lugs
- 22mm solid stainless steel bracelet that tapers to 20mm
- Carbon Fiber dial
- Sapphire Crystal
- 100m water resistant
- Swiss ETA 2824 automatic movement
- Swiss Made
- Price: Super Early Bird Kickstarter $499, Early bird Kickstarter price $539. Retail around $1299 (That price is subject to change).
Keeping in line with Justin’s love of high performance sports cars, the Streetmatic has a carbon fiber dial, and with that has that racing look and feel about it, but in a case design that is a little more traditional than his first offering. And I am not saying that in a negative way, but rather I feel the case being more traditional is a positive thing. It’s less flashy/fashion orientated and being a 3 hand with date it has a very clean look and feel. The dial is not loaded with text either, as a matter of fact the model name is not on the dial, just the brand name and automatic. I think this was a conscious decision. He could have done both, but that would have looked redundant, and he wanted to make sure everyone knew this was an automatic, so a good way to go here.
One other bit of text on the dial, would be right below the 6 marker, which is Swiss Made. I do want to make sure that is pointed out, simply because outside of the Swatch Group and Steinhart in recent years, when have you seen a Swiss Made auto for under $1000? The fact he was able to get his hands on these movements is surprising enough. For those reading that may not be aware, The Swatch Group owns ETA and with that in recent years have put a stronghold on the movements, only supplying to those within their group. Since some manufacturers/suppliers stocked up on them at one point, there is some availability, but it is scarce. I don’t believe within the next year or two we will see many micro brands using these movements, unless in a small quantity.
Anyways, back to the Streetmatic. The carbon fiber dial is very well done, one of the best I have seen. The markers are applied and almost look like they are floating on the dial. You might notice the outer minute track does not line up perfectly with the dial. As I said this is sample, and that is one of the oddities.
When it comes to the case, it is all satin brushed, with a high polished fixed outer bezel. The screw down crown is nicely engraved (something Justin decided to after listening to myself and quite a few others how the last models crown looked bare). The crown is nicely placed on the case as well, as to not dig into your wrist.
The movement can be seen through the exhibition case back, and the rotor is etched with the brand name. The final movement finish may or may not be different. It may be gold with a black rotor, or possible silver with a black rotor. That is still up in the air, as it really comes down to what is available from the supplier at that time.
The solid link bracelet is a combo of brushed and high polish finishes and uses friction pins. The flip lock clasp sort of reminds me of an older style Rolex clasp, but not exactly. The clasp that is on this sample is a little thin/cheap feeling, but that should be improved for the production models.
On the wrist, because of the 44mm case and relatively short lug to lug distance, it wears very nicely and I like how it looks and feels on my 7 ½ inch wrist. I did not have to size this example, as it was sized already upon delivery to me, but since it is standard friction pins, I do not see any issues. Blacklist’s first model was easy to size and pretty secure as well.
This is usually the part where I would discuss lume. But the lume is one area that will be vastly improved in production, so this is where I will discuss some of the changes/upgrades from this to the final version.
- Lume on the markers ( which you can see is much weaker than the hands).
- The B on the crown is not exactly straight up and down. This will be fixed.
- Movement may be silver with a black rotor.
- Bracelet links might have screws as opposed to pins.
- Clasp will be upgraded.
Other than those few things, it is as it will come from production. And that is not a bad thing, as I think even as is, it’s pretty damn nice. Those changes should make it an excellent watch for the price of $499/$550. And with the movement choice, it could easily go for a few hundred more. I have personally reviewed watches with the Miyota 9015 for far more money than this. Some watch enthusiasts do not put a lot of thought or emphasis on what movement is used or where it is produced. But I know many, MANY that still want their watch to be using a Swiss Movement and be Swiss Made. And with the Blacklist Streetmatic they will get that , at a very affordable price.
I think this would look great on a nice quality leather strap as well, but not sure if Justin has thought about offering that. Possibly maybe that will be a stretch goal on Kickstarter or something offered at a later time. I would also like to see an all satin brushed version.
The Streetmatic will come in a few different color combinations, the blue accented one you see here, a green accent, gold,silver and red as well, and I think one more. Also there will be a PVD version.
If you like the look of the Blacklist Streetmatic and want to see more/read more, or are thinking about pledging for one, you can check out their live Kickstarter now here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/blacklist/streetmatic-the-ultimate-driving-watch-by-blacklis?ref=nav_search
Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy my look at this sample from Blacklist. Please leave your comments in the field below.