PUBLISHED BY Joshua Clare-Flagg ON 16 Mar, 2018.
When you first set your sights on the D1 Milano Ultra Thin, you are more than likely able to see a nod to a number of Gérald Genta watches (a legendary watch designer) – such as the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, IWC Ingenieur, and the Patek Philippe Nautilus.
I’ve been on the lookout for a while for an affordable alternative to those style of watches, so my eyes lit up when I first saw what D1 Milano had to offer. Let’s take a closer look to see how it stacks up at the price of €365 / ~£320.
- Dimensions: 40mm diameter x 6.6mm height x 47mm lug to lug
- Weight: 99g (with links removed)
- Water resistance rating: 5ATM / 50m
- Lug width: 25mm, custom strap / bracelet
- Warranty: 2 years
- Price: €365 / ~£320
- Buy here: https://eu.d1milano.com/collections/ultra-thin/products/utb02
The case is a key part of why this watch looks so much like more luxurious timepieces. It is a delightful mix up of brushed and polished accents, chamfered edges, and angular lines. When I first opened the box, I got one of “those” moments – wow was I impressed with what I saw.
The finishing and machining is very good – the case is super slick thanks to the slender 6.6mm height of the case, which means it fits so easily under cuffs and jumpers etc. It also flows seamlessly into the bracelet from the sides. There’s so many angles – when you are looking at the watch in day-to-day life there’s a wide variety of reflections going on, it’s really interesting to look at.
On to the biggest negative of the watch – the fact that it comes fitted with a mineral crystal. It’s such a shame it’s not sapphire; but when you consider it from a visual perspective it’s a beauty – stunningly clear with an exquisite anti-reflective coating. That being said, I know this will be the end of the road for many of you. Such a shame, especially on a watch costing this much.
The small, unassuming push-pull crown has a black crystal fitted into the end. It’s easy to use, and hexagon shaped to match the rest of the case.
The octagon caseback is very simple – secured by 8 screws, vertically brushed, with some minor details engraved at the top and bottom.
When you look at the dial as a whole, it’s simple really, but remarkably splendid.
A key aspect of the appeal of the dial is the fact that it has a glossy base which catches the light well. Whilst this is tricky to show in photos, take a watch of my video review and you’ll see what I mean.
The hour markers are applied batons, which are polished gun metal to match the case. They’re all flawlessly manufactured and applied.
The hands are dauphine shape and gently pitched. Again, they have a cool gun metal finish – this does result in legibility being effected (it’s not the best having gun metal on black), but boy does it look good.
The printwork is minimal, but crisp and clean. It just consists of “D1 Milano” in the top half and Ultra Thin in the bottom, keeping the entire dial minimal.
The two main things to note regarding the bracelet are firstly, the fact that it is built into the lugs in a very specific way (so no standard leather straps are going to fit), and secondly how it tapers a surprising amount to 16mm wide at the buckle. Normally I prefer the wider strap / bracelet, but there’s something about this one that really catches my eye.
Each and every link is closely and precisely thought out; providing a splendidly smooth sweeping form from the case to the buckle. They also all have the same matching brushed gun metal finish to them as the case, which looks fantastic. The links are all rather angular too, which catches the light really well as you roll the wrist.
The butterfly clasp has the logo deeply and accurately engraved on the top bar, which slightly folds over the other side of the clasp creating a single top block. It secures just by pushing shut – which doesn’t sound the securest but it’s very tight when closed and I’ve not had any issues of it opening unexpectedly.
There’s no mention of what the movement is. D1 Milano just mention the fact that it has a 2 year battery life. If I was to hazard a guess, I’d say it’s most likely to be a Miyota quartz, in particular one of their slim line ranges.
It’s such a shame the D1 Milano only has a mineral crystal, especially considering the fantastic anti-reflective coating it has, and the price too.
It’s not very often nowadays that I’m genuinely wowed when I open the box, and this was the case with the D1 Milano. It really does look like it’s worth much more than it is, and at the end of the day, that’s pretty important when looking at the “affordable” range of watches.
The case and bracelet are simply delightful – there’s so many angles and facets which catch the light just right – and it is a lovely sight to behold. If you can overlook the face that it has a mineral crystal, then this will be an excellent choice.