Published by Joshua Clare-Flagg on 20 Sep, 2020.


D1 Milano is pretty great at nailing the Gerald Genta style at an affordable price. I reviewed the Ultra Thin and was suitably impressed.

When they reached out for me to check out the D1 Milano X-ray, I certainly was intrigued. I mean, just look at it – it still boasts that GG style, but with a very modern take.

The question is, is it worth it at €630? Let’s check it out.

The specs

The video review

The case

The case heavily features the curvaceous yet angular approach of Audemars Piguet, in a full black IP coating. It’s certainly eye-catching with its primary brushed finish and polished edges of the bezel.

The size is very wearable on my approx 7” wrist; I’m not usually happy to keep a watch on all day at work at my desk, but I’m happy to do so with this watch. An 11mm height is surprisingly slender taking into account the dial so it easily fits under a cuff or sleeve, and is right at home in a suit.

The sapphire crystal is very clear, offering a great view of the “X-ray” dial.

The hexagonal screw-in crown offers excellent grip and is easy to use. It has a neat bevelled edge which is impressively machined.

The caseback is all about the exhibition window; it’s secured in place with 8 screws with a radial brush from the centre.

There’s a neat engraved and painted message on the underside of one of the lugs; with the serial number and “Italian design” and “Japanese movement”.

One thing that intrigues me is the fact that it’s only 50m water resistance – with a screw-in crown and well-secured caseback you’d assume it could be better rated, but I guess it’s not the kind of watch that you’d swim in anyway.

The dial

Let’s face it, the watch it all about the dial. Utilising the skeletonisation of the movement, the open heart / balance wheel on show at 9 is your primary focus due to the intriguing applied overlay.

However, whilst it very much a talking point of the watch; it’s also its biggest flaw. The legibility is pretty terrible. The matte finish on the black pitched hands and similar hour markers are fantastic, but used on top of a busy and dark dial makes it exceedingly difficult to read at a glance. I have pretty good vision, and I struggle to read it without paying close attention. If you can live with that, then no worries – and the dial is still awesome – but it’s a key issue that needs to be raised.

I like the way the D1 Milano and “automatic” is printed on the underside of the crystal, creating a floating effect. This also adds to the insane depth of the entire viewing experience due to the wheel volume of different layers, levels and details on the dial.

The bracelet

Another star of the show is the bracelet. I was really impressed with it on the Ultra Thin, and this is the same. Thin and short links mean it fits well on the wrist – with excellent contouring properties.

There’s such a copious amount of facets and angles due to the number of links and their bevelling, it’s a real joy to behold in the light. Every single angle offers a different view.

The wearability of the bracelet is increased by the concealed butterfly clasp; the only visible representation of it is the flap on one side which sits over the other, with a very neat engraving of the logo.

The movement

The movement powering the D1 Milano Xray is the Seiko NH70. It’s not a movement I come across very often at all, mainly due to the fact it’s used for its skeletonisation properties and style.

Specs include a beat rate of 21.6k bph (6 ticks per second), 24 jewels, Côtes de Genève decorated rotor, hacking seconds, automatic and hand winding, and a 42-hour power reserve.

This one is coming in at +10.1 sec/day, which is just about acceptable for me.

Final comments

There’s no denying it, this watch oozes class and is a hard 10 on the scale of coolness (if that existed). The build quality is brilliant, and it’s such an easy wear.

However, its greatest flaw is legibility. Black hands on a dark and detailed dial make it difficult to read at a glance. So, it’s all down to whether you can live with that.

If you can, then it’s a lovely watch in a style that is difficult to find in the affordable watches circuit. The Gerald Genta / Audemars Piguet character alongside the skeleton vibe is one that’s sure to please.

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