Nine Four Watches Successor

I received the Nine Four Successor blind. Usually, I have seen a photo or rendering. At the very least, I have a general idea of what I have committed to review. This time, Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s Nine Four asked, and I agreed, end of story. All I knew is that it would be their first automatic watch. It wasn’t until I opened the box that realized it was a 1970s styled, three-hand dress watch and a rather cool one at that. The Successor pre-order campaign starts March 1 and based on my test run with the prototype, I think it is worth a look.

Nine Four Watches Successor
The Successor’s brushed stainless steel case is 40mm wide, 46mm long, and 10.5mm thick. The head's pancake proportions are followed in the bracelet and clasp too. As you might imagine, it was a perfect size for my 6.75" wrist. 


Nine Four Watches Successor wrist shot

If you think you are catching hints of Seiko Grand Quartz 9256-8010, Tudor North Flag, or Zenith Defy, you are correct and the resemblance is entirely intentional. Those sharp corners, crisp angles, and flat planes cut an unmistakably dapper profile that is highlighted by a slim chamfer running the length of the case. A polished accent on the outside of the bezel offers just the right about of reflection to contrast the north-south brushing on the other surfaces. The case on this sample was rose gold PVD and the mellow color and rough grain tempered it to the point that I initially thought it might be a fresh bronze case. It’s a smart look, and far less flashy than a fully polished gold case would have been. A silver stainless case is also in the works.

Nine Four Watches Successor

The case flows into a handsome H-link bracelet that tapers from 24mm at the case to a mere 15mm butterfly deployant clasp. Each link sports a beveled edge on its perimeter, adding another touch of refinement. It’s a good thing it works so well because it’s this or nothing. There is no way to fit a standard strap.

Nine Four Watches Successor

While not a tool watch, the Successor is sealed for 100m water resistance and topped with a sapphire crystal so it should handle the ups and downs of daily life without issue. C3 SuperLuminova adds another level of practicality. I always appreciate a touch of lume on a dress watch; I’ve never understood why designers seem to think dress watches are never worn after dark. This one has no such issue, popping with a bright green glow.

Nine Four Watches Successor lume

The dial features a layout that treads the line between tool watch practicality and dress watch formality. The applied, polished, and lumed rectangular markers and triangle at 12 o’clock would look right at home on a diver, while long, polished coffin-shaped hands lean more to the fancy side of the equation. Nonetheless, it’s a balance that works. The only qualm I have with the arrangement are the rather stingy channels of C3 in the hands that make them appear tiny in the dark.

Nine Four Watches Successor

One of the Successor’s key design elements is the teak dial. As much as I like the boat deck texture, I like the color even more. Navy, Royal, and Midnight blue dials are fairly common. In good light, the Nine Four’s blue is a touch greener, closer to cerulean, and far more distinctive.

Inside, you will find a stalwart Seiko NH35. No, you won’t get the 28.8k sweep of an ETA 2824 or Miyota 9015 (the Seiko moves at 21.6k bph), but you won’t have to pay as much for it either. Frankly, I’m impressed that Nine Four managed to squeeze the fatter NH35 into such a thin case and still maintain 100m water resistance.

The Nine Four Successor will sell for $199 when the pre-order period opens on March 1 and $300 after it ends. Check out ninefourwatches.com for more info. ⬩


Nine Four Watches Successor


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