Preview: Solar Lab Co. Gnomon

Now, this is something you don't see every day. The Gnomon by Solar Lab is a one-handed watch inspired by Roman sundials. Before you ask, the answer is no. The watch does not use a shadow to indicate the time. A gnomon is a pointer on a sundial that casts a shadow. The Gnomon Watch uses its single hand to the same effect. 
The case is 43mm wide and 11mm thick. It is made of polished stainless steel with a domed sapphire coated crystal and a display case back to show off the 21 jewel Miyota 8215 automatic within. It is water resistant to 50m, which is not tool-watch tough, but more than you might normally expect on a dress to dress/casual watch. The back side is engraved with the Roman Zodiac.
The sundial concept is offbeat but no more so than any other one-handed watch. I like the way they have integrated it into the dial design without making it look like a novelty item. There are two indexes on the Gnomon's dial. The most prominent one features Roman numerals arranged to mark each an hour zone, rather than the top of the hour. The effect is attractive and a little disconcerting at first as it appears the dial is off-center, but the layout actually makes good sense. For those who crave a more conventional layout, Solar Labs has provided it in the main dial layered beneath the Roman numeral ring. This dial is set up with applied baton markers and conventional Arabic numbers. 
Playing off of the antique theme, the dials are crafted from well-used sheet metal, heavily scratched so each is unique. It is an attractive look, available in black, gold, and tan. All convey a pleasant sense of depth, but to my eye, the pale tan with blue markers is the clear winner. 
The strap is Italian calfskin, measuring 215/165mm long and 20mm wide tapering to a rather oddly sized 17mm buckle. 

The Gnomon will retail for $399, but it is available for preorder for as low as $245. For more information or to order your own see the Gnomon Kickstarter page. ⬩

Photos courtesy of Solar Lab Co..

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