Carrnegie Classic

Carrnegie Watches is the product of two young Canadians who bonded over their shared love of watches, and apparently, steel baron Andrew Carnegie, whose name they admittedly borrowed for their venture and altered with an additional "R" that makes me want to read it as if I were I pirate. That aside, they have a line of watches that offer a distinctive look for a very affordable price. There are dozens of color and strap variations available. In exchange for this review, they gave me a rose gold "Classic" model with a white dial and brown calf strap.

Carrnegie Classic wrist

The Carrnegie’s most striking feature is its case, a slim, round body bracketed by steeply angled, hooded lugs. I must confess that I was not a fan when I first saw it. While the watch measures 41mm wide and 11.5mm from the case back to crystal, it is 49.5mm long, a fact highlighted by the shrouds at either end. My first thought was that those broad metal plates should flow into a matching bracelet. Instead, the abrupt transition to a strap accentuates their size, stealing attention from the dial.

Carrnegie Classic

That said, I appreciated the case design more after I had it in hand as its execution is really quite lovely. I like the contrast of the polished bezel against the north-south brushing on the lugs, the polished chamfer that surrounds its outermost edge, and the short vertical strokes on the case sides. It is a combination that creates an attractive layered effect in profile that makes the already thin case appear even slimmer. The polished crown bears an embossed double R logo and a toothy edge. A domed sapphire crystal tops it off, the arc and edge distortion further accentuating the roundness of the center section against the hard angles on the ends. Water resistance is a useful 50m, more than sufficient for a dress watch.

Carrnegie Classic

I had feared the boxy ends would be sharp, but while all the edges are crisp, they are also properly finished. The only element that seems slightly out of place is the exposed spring bar perches. The Carrnegie seems to be more of a dress watch than a sport watch, and while I have no issue with drilled lugs on a formal watch, in this case, they stand out against the flat surface, making the boxed ends appear more industrial. I would have preferred it if they had notched them underneath for spring bar access and left the sides clean.

Carrnegie Classic

The satin finished dial is listed as white but comes off as more of silvery pearl in person, which was a pleasant surprise. The applied markers are impressively tall, chiseled wedges that match the case finish as do the diamond-cut dauphine hands. Carrnegie went with a Seiko VK63 quartz movement that has a 1/5th-second sweep and day, date, and 24-hour registers. If you are going quartz, these smooth Seikos are an excellent choice. I find calendar dials challenging to read on any watch, so I am not too fussed about their function, but they do look quite lovely with their textured centers and long-tailed, rose gold hands.

Carrnegie Classic

As mentioned above, Carrnegie offers several straps in leather or rubber, fitted with buckles or deployant clasps. The Classic comes on a smooth calf leather strap with a signed pin buckle. It is perfectly nice and ... 19mm wide. I know a millimeter more or less can make or break a watch design, but I also think odd size strap widths are a crime against humanity. Oh, alright. Maybe not that bad, but it bugs me.

Carrnegie Classic strap

On the wrist, the Carrniegie’s unorthodox lug arrangement was quite comfortable. Its long case just about filled my 6.75” wrist but not in a way that appeared oversized. The proved to be a natural fit with a suit and an easy grab-and-go choice on those mornings when I was rushing to get myself to the office.

Carrnegie Classic

In the end, I found the Carrnegie to be an easy watch to recommend, even if it is not the watch for me. I never did warm up to look of boxed lugs and a strap, but I can see where others would like it, and I’m glad that Carrnegie took the risk and did something different. The execution is top notch, you can see their attention to detail. Best of all, the price is low — the Classic model reviewed here is just $179 USD and you can get 15% off with the code TIMEBUM.

If you are looking for an everyday dress watch and this unique look grabs you, head over to CarrnegieWatches.com. ⬩

Carrnegie Classic crown

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