Preview: Melbourne Watch Company Hawthorn

A couple of months ago, The Time Bum introduced you to Sujain Krishnan's Melbourne Watch Company and his debut model, the Flinders Automatic. The Flinders crowd funding campaign was a runaway success and production models have already begun to land in expectant owners' hands. (Stay tuned for a hands-on review here in the coming weeks.) With the Finders rolling along, Sujain turned his attention to the next automatic model, the Hawthorn, which is available on Kickstarter now. It is natural progression from the Flinders, building on the clean aesthetic he established with that model, and reimagining it to create a more casual, every day piece.

The Hawthorn uses the Miyota Cal. 8205 automatic movement, a proven reliable unit with a beat rate of 21,600bph and a power reserve of approximately 42 hours when fully wound. The Hawthorn is larger and more aggressive than the Finders, but not oversized or exaggerated. The brushed stainless steel case measures 42mm wide, 12mm thick, and 48mm tall so it should fit easily under a shirt cuff. The round case has flat sides, a brushed bezel, and curved lugs. The sides are vertical, accentuating the size. A screw down crown at 3 o'clock bears the Melbourne logo and provides 100m of water resistance. Note that the narrow crown pictured will not be used. Production models will have a broader and shorter crown that is in proper proportion with the case. Anti-reflective sapphire crystals grace both front and rear. 

Like the Flinders, the Hawthorn has a multi-layered dial, this time in black with carbon fiber pattern in the center. Applied stainless steel markers occupy a smooth outer ring surrounded by an angled black flange with a white printed chapter index. The pencil-style hands and markers are treated with C3 super-luminova. A black-on-white day/date complication sits at 3 o'clock. As on the Flinders, the dial is uncluttered by text, bearing only the attractive Melbourne logo and brand at the top, and the model name at the bottom. I really must commend Suj for paying such careful attention to the typeface, size, and placement, as I have found this is one area that many watch makers (micro and macro brands alike) tend to overdo. The face is finished off with a dash of color in the form of a blood red second hand with an "M" on its tail. Once again Sujian has displayed a remarkable talent for watch design. The Hawthorn is beautifully balanced, with several elements that stand out, but without any that overwhelm. The sporty touches like the red sweep hand and carbon fiber pattern, contribute to the character of the watch, but are not so bold that they would look out of place in a professional office environment. It is a delicate balance, and the Hawthorn treads it perfectly.
Strap options include a choice of tan or black leather, or a stainless steel bracelet. Only 100 units in  each strap variation will be produced. The bracelet features an "oyster" style flip-lock deployment clasp, screwed links, and solid ends. All straps and bracelets will feature the Melbourne Watch Company logo. The strap width is 22mm at the lugs and 20mm at the buckle. Stretch goals include an additional solid case back and additional straps. 

As with any crowd funded venture, there are risks, but considering the successful delivery of the Flinders, I would say those risks are significantly minimized. Preorder prices are $295 AUD for the leather option, and $325 AUD for the bracelet. Retail will be $100 AUD higher. Given the success of the Flinders, I have little doubt that the Hawthorn will meet its funding goals. At the current exchange rate, American buyers will pay $266 for a leather Hawthorn, which is a heck of a deal for these specs. If you are interested, head over to Kickstarter and have a look, but I wouldn't wait too long.

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