Huckleberry & Co. Bakewell

Australia’s Huckleberry & Co. is now selling their second model, the Bakewell. This mid-sized dress/dress-casual watch features a Miyota automatic movement with calendar functions and comes in three varieties: silver, blue, and the vintage-inspired Black Edition. They let me try the blue and black for this review.

Huckleberry & Co. Bakewell

The watches aim for traditional aesthetic. Mid-century design is all the rage now, but these watches seem to reach back a little farther. Even the name “Huckleberry Bakewell” sounds comfortingly old-fashioned, like a Depression-era radio personality.

Huckleberry & Co. Bakewell bue

The Bakewell’s stainless steel case is bowl-shaped, the curve of the case back rising steeply to meet the flat sapphire crystal. It measures 41mm, 47mm long, and 12mm thick. A slim bezel and broad dial increase its wrist presence while wire style lugs (fitted with conventional spring bars) mask its overall length. The crown is appropriately sized and surprisingly detailed. Its bun shape is fluted and topped with a polished logo inside a matte blasted recess, surrounded by a raised, polished ring. The Bakewell is rated for 50m water resistance, which is more than adequate for a watch of this type.

Huckleberry & Co. Bakewell

The blue and silver versions wear a bright mirror polish. The Black Edition takes a stealthy approach with black DLC over a matte finish. It is a sound design save for one glaring flaw in its execution. If you examine the lugs on the polished case, you will see visible attachment tabs. On the black case, poor brushing around the lugs has left ghostly patches that travel from the outer edges of the lugs to the bezel. I can’t get past this. It looks sloppy and unfinished.

Huckleberry & Co. Bakewell lug detail

On my 6.5” wrist, the Bakewell maintains contemporary proportions without appearing too large or sporty for a dress watch. Their 20mm leather straps are only lightly padded and taper to signed, 18mm buckles. The watch fits easily under a buttoned shirt cuff and with its stately layout and glinting brightwork, the blue dial version looked right at home with a suit and tie.


Huckleberry & Co. Bakewell Black Edition wrist shot

Behind the display caseback is a Miyota 9122, 26 jewel automatic with month and day subdials and a 6 o’clock date window. It is a high-quality movement that shares most features with the rest of the 9xxx series, including hacking and hand winding, 40+ hour power reserve, and a silky 28.8k bph sweep, as well as its somewhat noisy bidirectional rotor. Calendar functions include day and month registers and a white 6 o’clock date. The date is quickset, the day must be advanced with a full rotation of the hands, and the month is set with a rectangular button at 2 o’clock.

Huckleberry & Co. Bakewell Black Edition

While the two versions share the same specs, they differ greatly in dial design and character. The blue dial is a dark and shimmering sunray with gold Roman numerals in a radial layout. The railroad track index, branding, and remaining markings are white except for the weekend which is red. Polished feuille hands and textured subdials add additional shimmer. There is no lume at all. Like all watches that have polished hands on a dark dial, it is easy to lose them in the wrong light, but this is nothing new. The blue Bakewell has exactly the look one expects from a dress watch.

Huckleberry & Co. Bakewell Blue

As nice as the blue dial may be, I greatly prefer the Black Edition. It is more casual than the blue, but both its Art Deco Arabic numbers and railroad track index are tan SuperLuminova, as are all four of its leaf hands, and the date wheel is black, creating a more cohesive look. The result is charmingly vintage and far more legible than the blue model. It also looks mighty cool at night, although the markers fade quickly. The hands hold out much longer.

Huckleberry & Co. Bakewell Black Edition wrist shot lume

I like these dials. My only issue lies in the very concept of a triple calendar movement. As is typical of calendar registers, the subdial text is far too small to be legible, and I honestly don’t know when a month complication would come in handy. I can be pretty scatterbrained. I’ll often forget the date or even the day of the week, but the month? Never. As far as I’m concerned the best justification for this sort of complication is to mimic a chronograph layout. In that regard, it works. Those twin subdials lend it a bit of a sporty look and the top button reminds me that on a monopusher chronograph, which further enhances the Bakewell’s retro vibe. That said, I’d rather have a three-hand 9015. The day and month indicators don’t contribute enough to the design to justify their inclusion.

Huckleberry & Co. Bakewell Black Edition

The Bakewell blue and silver sell for $800 AUD, or about $569 USD. The Black Edition is $850 AUD or about $604 USD. This is in the same range as the similarly configured, $875 AUD Melbourne Portsea Calendar I reviewed here; however, the Melbourne's impeccable finishing and multi-layer ceramic dial make it easy to justify its cost in a way the Bakewell's poor lug attachment cannot. Huckleberry & Co. has cooked up an appealing design with this watch, especially the Black Edition, but for that money, they really need to raise their game.  For more information visit huckleberryandco.com.

Huckleberry & Co. Bakewell Black Edition straps

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