Australians are having quite the roll with new, cool micro brands. Just within the last couple of years we’ve seen Melbourne Watch Co, Erroyl, and now Huckleberry & Co release great looking timepieces for decent prices, to name a few.
Huckleberry & Co are hoping to become as famous as the other two mentioned in the near future, with their Kickstarter campaign launching in November. You can get the Archibald for an early bird price of $380AUD / $250USD / £165, and then it will be available for an RRP of $490AUD / $345USD / £225. Let’s take a closer look to see how it fares.
The thing that immediately strikes you with the case is the shape – and just how simple it is. It’s really just a straight can with what look like wore lugs producing out the top and bottom. Very Bauhaus. Size-wise, it’s a reasonable 40mm in diameter, with a height of 11.5mm that may be a little too tall for some. The lugs are 20mm wide and the lug to lug length is 48mm. It’s weighs in at 74g – so you are getting a quality looking and feeling watch.
The case is fully polished, so you’ll have to be pretty careful not to knock it as it’s likely to be a scratch magnet. It looks great though, and the finishing and machining are both very good.
As mentioned before, the thin lugs look very much as if they’re wire lugs – which are rarely used nowadays apart from on Panerais and PAM homages. Wire lugs are quite traditional and “old fashioned”, so they fit the Bauhaus look of the Archibald nicely. But, the whilst they look like wire lugs, they are in fact standard lugs to fit standard spring pins. A great little thought, cleverly done.
The caseback is just as simple as the rest of the case. It’s slightly domed to aid comfort on the wrist, and only has the exhibition window in the centre and minimal light engraving of details.
The push / pull crown has the Huckleberry & Co “H” engraved in the end, and has a decent knurled grip which is great to use and look at.
The Archibald also features a sapphire crystal with decent anti-reflective coating, which you’d expect at a watch of this price point, and 50m water resistance which is perfectly suitable.
The case in general is very simple, but what it does do – it does it well, with a couple nice little unique factors about it.
The dial is influenced by thin Bauhaus styling. The colour is a crisp white on the steel version of the Archibald, and a lovely golden champagne colour is found on the rose gold version.
My eyes are immediately drawn to the power reserve indicator at 12 as they’re not found too often on affordable watches.
We also have the 24 hour indicator at 6, with a ring surrounding it to make it stand out. Surprisingly, this ring seems to be the same bronze colour on both models – I was expecting a stainless steel ring on the steel case, but there we go. This subdial also has a very gentle concentric circular pattern to it, providing a subtle bit of texture to the otherwise matt dial.
All the hands are very thin, simple and elegant. They’re polished steel in a colour to match the case as you’d expect. None of them are pitched, they’re all very flat and straight.
The logo is printed at 9, and all print is fairly clean and crisp. The date is located at 3 with a printed border – so although it’s a straight cut out of the dial, it appears a little more sophisticated.
The outer minute track is also completely printed, and encompasses the hour markers too – being subtle numbers.
The dial is simple, clear, and smart. I personally agree with Huckleberry and Co’s pronouncement that it’s a vintage and Bauhaus inspired design.
The strap is sized at 20mm wide at the lugs, reducing down to 18mm at the buckle. It’s available in black and brown leather, but unfortunately I don’t have a sample of the brown. The black colour is deep, and I feel it matches the stainless steel / white dialled version to a tee id probably say that the brown leather strap would be more suited toward the rose gold case.
The strap has no stitching, to keep it very simple. It has a matt finish to it rather than a shiny / patent one, which I think is the right choice. It’s reasonably supple, a little bit more stiff than the slightly higher quality watches out there, but the leather is still good for the price.
The simple tang buckle is polished and comes in a colour to match the case, with the Huckleberry & Co logo engraved nicely on the top bar.
The strap is comfortable, looks the part, and feels like it will last a fair amount of time… No complaints here.
The movement powering the Huckleberry is a Miyota 9132. You don’t see power reserve indicators that frequently in the affordable watch bracket, so this is a movement I’ve not come across before. The specs are good – it’s fully loaded. It runs at a high beat of 28.8k bph (8 ticks per second), is automatic, has hacking seconds, date, power reserve, and a 24hr indicator. The rotor only winds the movement when it’s spinning clockwise.
It has that classic Miyota look to it – pretty plain and industrial (check out the 9015 in the Melbourne Watch Co Flinders). They’re usually pretty accurate straight out of the factory too.
So you know that you’re getting a decent, solid, dependable automatic movement.
I personally really like the Huckleberry & Co Archibald. It’s Kickstarter price is very good indeed at £165, but even after that I feel it still offers a fair amount of watch for the money. I like the simple yet elegant Bauhaus design, decent specs, and the addition of a power reserve indicator that you don’t see too often on affordable watches – which I find to be extremely helpful. So if this watch catches your eye, then I would be happy to recommend it.