Manchester Watch Works Iconik 4

Manchester Watch Works has had a good run with its Iconik series. Covering such giants as the Panerai Luminor, Rolex Explorer, and Tornek-Rayville TR-900, Each model paid tribute to a classic watch, but with clever deviations from the formula that made them stand out as unique designs. Now, they close the loop with the Iconik 4, a tribute to Geral Genta’s Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore.
The Iconik 4 adopts the AP’s distinctive octogonal bezel and angular case but then takes it in a different direction, losing the screw heads that adorn the Royal Oak. Its 38mm wide, 46mm long, and 10mm thick case is closer to vintage AP’s than many of the modern iterations. The Iconik’s case is sharper around the edges and corners than the original, but retains its recognizable shape and strikes the right tone with its brushed surfaces and polished beveled edges. The final product will see that bevel continue right to the ends of the lugs.
The Iconik’s multi-link bracelet has a familiar look. It is less refined than the AP’s but quite handsome in its own right. It attaches with conventionally shaped 22mm fitted solid end links instead of the Royal Oak’s tiny twin center links, greatly facilitating future strap swaps. The production version will taperer to a signed 18mm clasp.
Face designs are similar in that they both utilize a textured dial, bar markers, and baton hands, but the Iconik takes a sportier approach. Its applied and polished markers are heavier and filled with Swiss BGW9 SuperLuminova, as are the hands. Buyers can opt for a date (Miyota 9015) or no date (Miyota 90S5) dials. Both underlying movements are 24 jewel, 28.8k bph automatics with a 42-hour power reserve.
I borrowed a black dial prototype for this review. The spider web engraved dial looks fantastic coupled with the sunray effect, and I applaud the decision to use lume as polished hands and markers as they would otherwise disappear against the shimmering surface. A blue dial is also available, and a third color is waiting in the wings as a stretch goal. The only variation from prototype to production under consideration is the date window placement. Backers will vote on whether to choose 3 o’clock or 6 o’clock positions. (Hey, backers. Choose 6!)
Manchester bills this as a “go anywhere, do anything” watch, and for once I can agree with that sweeping statement. The Iconik 4 is slim and elegant enough to be a dress watch, but 100m water resistance, sapphire crystals front and rear (inner AR coating on the top crystal), and that thoughtful application of lume give it real-world practicality.
The Iconik 4 Kickstarter campaign is well underway and already fully funded with two stretch goals reached. As of today, you can still get on board for $342. In typical Manchester fashion, they have produced a damn fine watch at a highly competitive price. The campaign ends on March 3, 2018, and Manchester is only producing watches to fulfill the pre-orders. For more information or snag one for yourself, see the Iconik 4 Kickstarter page. ⬩
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