Attra Classic Sport

Review and photos by Mike Razak

If you want to see what a fledgling luxury watch brand getting its footing looks like, look no further than Attra Watches. The Attra Classic Sport is the first step toward even greater things for the New York-based brand. The brand was born of necessity: the company’s founder, Lucas Bernstein, had been bitten by the watch bug, but had trouble finding a watch that checked all his boxes. So, he did what anyone who ignores their friends saying, “Are you sure that’s a good idea?” would do: he designed his own and started a watch brand. Fast forward a year and a half—through building a watch from scratch—and the Classic Sport is ready for primetime.

Let’s start, as ever, with the case. And what a stunning case! The case reminds me quite a bit of a rounder Piaget Polo, and sure enough, that watch was a source of inspiration in the design of the Classic Sport. There are so many flawless finishes on this case: straight brushed bezel, polished bezel bevel, circular brushed midcase top, polished sides and lug bevels…oh my! It all comes together in a 40mm case that sits only 10.2mm tall. At 47mm lug-to-lug, that equates to a watch that sits perfectly on my 7-inch wrist, and I imagine on most others. As hinted at above, the 20mm lugs first extend out from the case, and then angle down, which is accentuated by a change from circular brushing to polished finish. I love this feature of the case, as it adds a little extra pop. 

The crown is ample and has great action (I’d say only a notch below Rolex crowns), making it highly functional without being oversized—always welcome; it’s emblazoned with the Attra laurel wreath logo. Flipping the watch over (Careful! Don’t muck up the case finishing.) we encounter the laurel wreath beautifully rendered in relief on the screwdown caseback. Not to be left out, but not too in your face, the caseback of course features SpecsText™: stainless steel, Swiss made, sapphire crystal, and 10 ATM (100m) water resistance. Some of you may balk at only 100m of resistance, but in a watch of this style (It leans far more “Classic” than it does “Sport”), you’ll likely be switching to your purpose-built dive watch for those deeper desk dives.  I was quite taken with the case of the Classic sport, and it was mostly due to the exquisite finishing, which is something you’re more likely to see at a much higher price point.

Follow me through the crystal and on to the dial! Radiance! Beauty! Starshine! Sunshine! Moonshine! Drunk! No, not the last one. Everything but the last one, this dial has it. The version I reviewed was the silver dial, though it comes in similarly finished black, blue, and green options. They all shine bright due to their radiant sunburst finish and feature the same Super-LumiNova C3 lume on the applied inidices and obelisk hands, which shine bright even with minimal UV exposure (not quite Seiko or Omega bright, but certainly adequate). The hands and indices are all polished to a mirror finish, which against the brushed dial, echoes the surfaces of the case, further creating cohesion of design—and some great shininess! An unobtrusive date window sits at the bottom of the dial, featuring a beveled frame. While the white date wheel is not an issue for the silver dial, it’s become quite “the thing” to color match the date wheel, but Attra has opted not to do so. Looking at the photos for the other dial colors, I’m not too concerned: the white of the lume and dial text allows the white of the date wheel to feel more natural than it might otherwise. It’s also nigh on impossible to texture match a date wheel, so even color matching wouldn’t cut the mustard in this case. As for dial text, we have the Attra logo and name at 12 o’clock, “Automatic” at 6 o’clock, and “Swiss made” on either side of the 6 o’clock marker. Sparing and well proportioned, the only minus here—and one of few on the entire watch—is the lack of depth. It really would have punched the whole dial up to have at least the laurel wreath logo applied and three dimensional, if not the brand name as well (another option is to have the applied wreath as the 12 o’clock marker and move “Attra” up a bit). As it is, the dial falls a bit flat in the middle, holding the it back from perfection.

On down the cannon pinion we go to explore the brain of the watch—a Swiss made Sellita SW200-1 or “ETA 2824-2 clone.” To be fair, Sellita has really come a long way and deserves to be regarded as more than just a clone factory. This isn’t a Star Wars movie, Rebel scum. Relevant specs: automatic, 38 hour power reserve. Less relevant specs: 28,800 vibrations per hour, 26 jewels.

Let’s take a breather from the watch itself and talk about the straps. I was absolutely devastated not to get the chance to test out the optional bracelet. It looks stunning and my friend—who did get to try it out—was raving about it. It has a very Patek Philippe Nautilus vibe and I can’t wait to go hands on with it next weekend at District Time (shameless plug). However, I was a bit underwhelmed with the included leather and rubber straps. While the rubber strap was just run of the mill—comfortable, didn’t smell like vanilla, fit well—the leather option disappointed. 

This watch aims to be a luxury timepiece, and the strap did not feel it. It wasn’t bad per se, but just not as impressive as the rest of the watch. The deployant clasp mitigated this somewhat, but that’s more of a functional luxury than anything else. What did it for me was two things: first, the silver dial comes with a brown strap that I would describe as “Playmobil Brown.” It is one of the drabbest shades of brown in existence, being totally devoid of any semblance of richness. It is a color that should be banned from existence. The other part is that it just did not feel that great. It was leather, it was flexible, but it wasn’t high end in its finishing or feel. When you bring that together with a beautiful case, you get a mismatch. I didn’t even wear it. Fortunately, the watch is a bit of a strap monster, and as you can see, I had outstanding success pairing it with a braided leather strap (note the richness) and a blue Barton Bands Elite Silicone (the rubber strap to beat). The watch carried both with grace and aplomb. So, what’s my point? Get the bracelet (it’s only $50 more) and swap out the other straps for a few of higher quality. Or of any color other than Playmobil Brown.

I want to thank you for taking this exciting journey with me. Did you have fun? I sure did. And the Attra Classic Sport was there the whole time! If you still want it to be around, I’ve got some great news. They’ve just gone on sale on the brand’s site! The retail price is $999 (which, if I’m being honest, is a bit high), but you know how this works by now: the first hundred buyers can get the watch at $449, and thereafter the watches will be $549. Add on $50 for the bracelet (which you definitely should), and you’ll get yourself an absolutely stunning watch at a solid price. Attra has come out swinging, and with another watch already fully designed and ready for release soon, they’re going to be making some serious waves. I can’t wait.

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