Eoniq Alster

One of my favorite aspects of this new, e-commerce world in which we live is the variety. No longer are we limited to the options at our local retailers. We have even surpassed the bounty that could be had through mail-order catalogs (remember them?). Now, you can practically access all of the goods the world with the right search terms and an “add to cart.” For some people, even that is not enough and only personalized, made to order products will do. Well, we demanded and the internet obliged with companies offering custom clothing, shoes, and most relevant to this blog, watches. I’ve already covered bespoke watches from Undone and Brüggler, and today, I’ll introduce you to Eoniq.

Eoniq Alster custom automatic

Based in Hong Kong, Eoniq provides several models ranging from the $168 quartz Alster Lite to the $468 Navigator-S automatic. Once you select your base, you will use their configurator to select every option: case finish, dial design, handset, strap, text, and rotor decoration. For this review they let me order up a complimentary mid-range Alster Custom.

Eoniq Alster custom automatic wrist shot

The base watch has a 40mm stainless steel case, a double domed and anti-reflective coated sapphire crystal, and a Miyota 82OS or 821A-21D automatic movement (21 jewels, 21.6k bph, 42+ hour power reserve, Côtes de Genève decoration). There is a small seconds at 6:00 and a flat push-pull crown at 4:30. The 3-piece case features a combination of brushed and polished surfaces and angular lugs set 20mm apart. It’s a solid platform from which to start and pleasantly slim for an automatic. Now the fun begins.

Choice 1, case finish: silver, PVD gunmetal, or PVD rose gold. Having more than enough silver cases already and not being much of a gold guy, I chose the gunmetal, a deep graphite color that looks particularly fetching on the brushed case with just a sliver of polish on the outer edge of the bezel for accent.

Eoniq Alster custom automatic cognac strap

Choice 2, strap: too many to list here. You have several varieties of leather, as well as Milanese mesh and Perlon. To be honest, I did this one last, after the rest of the design was finalized, but I came back to the one that initially caught my eye, the tapered Sfumato red-brown leather with minimal stitching. I also added a lighter colored Cognac Brown Vintage for good measure. Both straps come with quick-release pins and signed buckles that match the case. They are thin and unpadded, which fits the proportions of this watch. I’ve been pleased with the quality of the leather, especially the pull-up effect on the Sfumato.

Choices 3 and 4, hands and small second hands. Ok, I have no idea why they chose this sequence. How do you pick anything before the dial? Regardless, your choices are limited baton hands so it's really just color. I went with silver batons for the hour and minute hands because they are slightly thinner than the lumed ones and a pop of lime green for the seconds, just because.

Eoniq Alster custom automatic macro

Choices 4, 5, and 6 dial, outer markings, and subdial markings. At last! This one took me some time because there are quite a few options. You have a Pac Man style cutaway in four colors, four with applied baton markers, and four solid dials with over a dozen designs for the outer ring and small seconds dial. They run the gamut from Bauhaus to field style to minimalist. I chose a solid dark gray with printed batons and a fat silver index. It looks great with the somber case and the pop of lime green in the small seconds.

Eoniq Alster custom automatic

Choices 7 and 8, dial text and image. Now, you can always choose a dial with the Eoniq logo (actually, even this route gives you a choice of two), but there is something fun about putting your own mark on your creation. Not having a logo (I need to work on that) and not trusting my line drawing skills, I made up a brand name and chose a scrawled, hand drawn looking typeface with a simple “Automatic” below for balance. The configurator allows you to size and place the text but also to tweak the typeface by stretching or compressing it. I rather like the balance I achieved here. So, what the heck is “Tempus Mendicus” you may ask? It is my bastardized Latin approximation of “Time Bum.” I tried writing “The Time Bum” across the dial and it looked ridiculous. It is a catchy enough name for a blog, but I’m well aware of how goofy it is and I didn’t want it on my watch.

Eoniq Alster custom automatic macro Tempus Mendicus

Choices 9, 10, and 11. Rotor time! I went with the 82OS open rotor, but if I had an image and inscription to display, I could have chosen the 821A-21D with the silver, engravable rotor for an extra $30.

Eoniq Alster custom automatic movement

The watch arrived in a zippered leather travel case with elastic to hold the spare strap, snap tabs for the watch, and a pocket for the warranty card. For someone like me who detests bulky display boxes, this tidy package was just about perfect.

Eoniq Alster custom automatic full kit

In the end, my watch was $398, excluding the extra strap. I did not select any of the extra cost options, but they are few and not terribly pricey. Considering that this was a custom order, I’d say the price was right on the button. The customization options are certainly not limitless as certain aspects are constrained by the model, like the Alster’s handsets, but there is more than enough to play with and the product os well finished and cleanly executed. Moreover, Eoniq’s range of base models should provide something for everyone. Not feeling creative? They have several suggested designs, but really, what fun is that?

If you are ready to try your hand at watch design, head over to Eoniq.co and give it a whirl. Then, when you are ready to order, use code THETIMEBUM for $20 off your creation. ⬩
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