Humism Dasein


You know the drill. You buy a new watch, breathlessly open the package to show it to your nearest and dearest, and they say, “That looks like all of your other watches.” I must admit that for the most part, they have a point. There is a certain commonality among watch designs and the minor shifts in the case or dial design that we fawn over, tend to go unnoticed by casual observers. To them, one black-on-white dress watch is as good as another and dive watches might as well be clones of each other (ok, often they are, but let’s move on). But every so often, a watchmaker will try something truly daring that will grab anyone’s attention. Humism has done exactly that, releasing three watches are that turn the traditional three hand dial into mesmerizing kinetic sculpture. They let me borrow a Dasein model for this review.

Humism Dasein
Humism watches are “mystery dial” designs in which disks replace hands. What makes this watch different is that all three have been cut away to create large sections of negative space that change shape as they move. The relatively rapid movement of the seconds disk gives it real dynamism. On the Dasein, it takes the form of an endlessly exploding 3D starburst radiating from the pinion, the shape changing ever so slightly as the minute and hour disks shift position. It looks amazing.


My only issue with the disks is that you can see tiny points of bare metal on their edges, but you really have to squint to find them. 

Humism Dasein

As cool as the kinetic illusion may be, it would be worthless if the watch did not also function effectively to tell time. Luckily, the design team did not overlook that point. Solid and hollow circles play the role of pointers, floating over a white dial on which hour markers have been scored into the surface. Unlike many novelty dials, the Humism does not require eyes like a falcon to read it or demand that you learn how to tell time all over again. The display is every bit as clear and intuitive here as it would be on a conventional watch face. The only thing lacking is a useful second hand, as that disk does not have a mark you can track. I suspect this was done for aesthetic reasons and given that the Dasein is more of a fashion statement than a tool, it is entirely forgivable. 

Humism Dasein

Considering that the Humism’s face is its canvas, I half expected them to make it as large as possible. Instead, they opted for a modest 39mm wide, 11.5mm thick case. I think this is more than sufficient, not only because it fits my 6.75” wrist so well, but also because the spinning design already calls enough attention to itself. The fact that it is a unisex size doesn’t hurt either as I suspect this is piece will appeal equally to both genders, 

Humism Dasein wrist shot

The case is brushed stainless steel with a fixed, steeply angled bezel, a flat AR-coated sapphire crystal, and a useful fingernail notch under the signed crown. Water resistance is 50m, more than enough for daily wear. Around back is another sapphire lens through which you can view the Seiko NH35A movement inside (24 jewels, 24.6k bph, Diashock protected). These sturdy automatics are common, reliable, and easily serviced. They are not particularly decorated, but Humism has given theirs a dose of character in the form of a lever-pushing man etched into the rotor, reminding us that we are wearing a human-powered machine.

Humism Dasein

The Dasein came on a 20mm black Italian vegetable-tanned leather strap fitted with quick release pins and a signed buckle. It is a quality piece that anchors the somewhat trippy face. Milanese mesh is a $40 option. 

Humism Dasein

I love what Humism has done with this watch, particularly considering its low $298 price tag. Still, I could not help but design the next model in my head. A higher beat 28.8k movement like a Miyota 9015 or ETA 2824 would smooth out the rotations a tad. The current Humism crop has no lume, and I think a full lume dial or lumed disks could be fantastic. I wonder how colors or metallics might play out. None of this takes away from what Humism is offering today; it’s just fun to speculate how much farther they can take it. 

If you find the Humism Dasein as captivating as I do, head over to Humism.com where you can get more info, check out the equally appealing Eudaimonia and Geist variants, and place an order.  ⬩



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