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Launching in early 2021 is the Adventure series from Atticus – a new brand, but one with a background in watch design. The man behind Atticus is Rusty Mahoney who, for several years now, has been helping design watches for NTH. The first set of five Atticus designs, each available with or without date, occupy a space between dress and tool watches and reference several classic watches along the way.

Some of the dials are too pretty to be tool watches, with just enough polish on the chamfered edges to push them towards dress watch territory. However, the solid cases and brushed bracelets steer them in the opposite direction. I’ve got my hands on two of these watches, the Icarus and Téleios, and although the dials give the watches very different vibes they do share the same case – so let’s start there.

My first feeling strapping one of these on my wrist is of solidity. That doesn’t mean they are especially heavy or toolish, but they all exude that feeling of a nice, compact package. The brushing is light and the polished areas fairly restrained. The 38mm case diameter is slightly on the small side compared to many of today’s watches, but not noticeably so. The narrow fixed bezel means the dial occupies most of that diameter, and none of the watches feel small when worn on the bracelet.

On leather or nato straps however, the short lug to lug length of 46mm comes into play a little more. This can either make the dressier Téleios model wear a little smaller (maybe appropriately so) or simply make any of the watches more accessible if you have a smaller wrist.

Despite the glamour and dressiness of the Téleios dial, I still find that both watches are at their best on the bracelet. Much like the watch head, the bracelet is well finished with the same light brushing. The bracelet link pattern isn’t something I particularly noticed until I was poised to write the words “oyster style” that the bracelet links really emerged as something of an oddity. Yes, there are the same three links across as you would find in an oyster bracelet, but they are accompanied by an alternating pattern of shorter and longer links through the first sections of the bracelet closest to the lugs. I’m not sure if this is primarily to aid comfort and fit—shorter links can give a closer fit to your wrist shape—or as an interesting design. Either way, I’m not sure I either like or dislike it greatly. The bracelet tapers down from 20mm at the lugs to 16mm at the flip lock clasp.

When I first saw the Atticus renders my favourite of the dials was the Téleios. That hasn’t changed. The most obvious inspiration for this design may be the Universal Geneve Polerouter, but the dial textures and polished indices bring to my mind the Oris Arterlier Small Seconds that I owned and loved years ago. The date window is incorporated into the design nicely, located at the six o’clock position and featuring a black date wheel. The dial is incredibly clean and refined, though the lack of even the faintest minute track makes setting the time a little tricky – or means waiting until the time coincides with one of the polished hour indices.

The Icarus is Atticus’ take on the pilot’s watch, and although there isn’t a lot of room for individual interpretation with this style, the watch does closely resemble the Sinn 556i. Legibility is excellent as you would expect and the blue second hand brings a nice touch of flair. Again, the date window is placed at six o’clock and again is printed white on a black background. The transition from matte black dial to date window is almost seamless. Both the Téleios and Icarus are also available in no-date form.

Inside all of the Atticus Adventure series are Miyota 9000 series calibres. These are often used by microbrands in this price range and well liked, offering good accuracy and power reserve. My only gripe is the noise and feel of the rotor, but I’m still a fan of this automatic movement. The no-date versions of each model will use a no-date movement so there is no ‘phantom’ crown position or date wheel hiding beneath the dial.

Overall I think there’s a lot of character in this series of watches, even beyond the two models I’m looking at here. Some of the dials are perhaps a little too derivative for my own taste, but all do offer small touches to improve on those designs or set these watches apart. Regardless, I’m impressed with the quality and comfort on the wrist. Pre-order begin on 18 January with prices starting at $400.

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