Whilst I’ve not reviewed a James McCabe before, I have looked at a lot of their sister brands (under Dartmouth Brands) – such as Avi-8, Thomas Earnshaw, and Dufa. They’re all reasonably similar in what they offer: well designed watches in the affordable price range, but each brand focuses their attention to a specific style.
James McCabe is very much a smart, classy brand – their timepieces all aim to go well with a suit. This watch, the Heritage II 24hr is fairly middle of the ground with a price tag of £280. Lets see how it fares for the price.
- Dimensions: 39.5mm diameter x 12mm height x 45mm lug to lug
- Weight: 72g
- Water resistance rating: 5ATM / 50m
- Movement: Miyota 8215
- Lug width: 20mm
- Accuracy: -0.2 s/d
- Warranty: 2 years
- Price: £280
I find the dial design to be classy and elegant. The silver champagne colour works well with the gold hands and applied elements.
It has some gentle depth thanks to the linear pattern on the base and also the surrounding disc on a higher level.
It also has some texture, due to the light concentric circular pattern located in the subdials and around the outside edge containing the minute track.
There’s a fair amount of applied elements which I like. There are pitched batons as hour markers, apart from 12 and 6 which have Roman numerals. There are also applied borders around the subdials which are a nice extra. They are all yellow gold, and very nicely constructed.
The hands are classy and antique themed, reminding me of a grandfather clock. Despite their thin nature they provide good legibility.
The dial has “Assembled in the U.K.” printed at the base – now I’m not entirely sure if this is true. I highly doubt it as the watch wasn’t sent from a UK address so it’s actually pretty risky to print this.
The case is a really good size at 39.5mm in diameter – it’s very easy to wear on my 7 1/4″ wrist. It’s not too large, whilst being decent enough to look classy and provide wrist presence at the same time. The weight of 72g is gentle on the wrist but provides you with the feeling of quality.
The case has a pleasant curvaceous, bulbous shape. Due to this, the bottom which makes contact with wrist is not as wide as top – so it actually feels smaller on the wrist when wearing it. This is a key point to why it’s a good wear.
The crystal has a nice dome to it to continue the fluid shape of the case. It’s a shame it’s mineral though and now sapphire.
The logo is deeply engraved along the opposite side of the case to the crown. The flat onion type crown has the logo laser etched on end which is disappointing – it’s a shame it’s not engraved.
The screw-in caseback has various watch specifics engraved around the exhibition window, which shows off the movement very well.
The leather strap is a dull shine black with matching stitching, which works well with the yellow gold.
It’s surprisingly supple – to be completely honest, I was expecting worse quality. But, it’s proved to be comfortable and breaks in quickly.
The strap also has the positive addition of quick release pins, making changing straps a doddle.
The butterfly clasp is well made and is also yellow gold, with the James McCabe logo deeply engraved on the top bar. I find it digs in a little if I wear the watch for a while though, but that’s the nature of a butterfly clasp.
The movement used is a Miyota 8215. It’s low beat (21.6k bph, 6 ticks per second) but as it has a small seconds hand you still get a smooth action.
The movement has a lovely custom rotor added. This is a very good thing as the stock rotor on this movement is really ugly and plain. It is gold to match the case and has the JM logo cut out, which is a pleasant touch. It also has pearlage to match the bridges of the movement.
Using my Lepsi Watch Scope to track the accuracy, this one in particular runs at a simply ridiculous -0.2 seconds a day out. That’s absolutely superb, no doubts about that.
I was dubious if I was going to like this watch when it was being sent. I’m never one to go for yellow gold so that was a concern, but also I had no experience with James McCabe so I didn’t know the level of quality to expect. As soon as I opened it, however, I was pleasantly surprised.
Bearing in mind the RRP of £280 is reasonable to start with (plus you can usually get offers and discounts on top of this), the general quality of the timepiece is much better than I anticipated. The finishing of the case, dial construction, movement accuracy and the custom rotor, are all very good indeed.
Really the only negatives to mention are the mineral crystal instead of sapphire, and the dubious claim of being assembled in the U.K. Other than that, it’s a solid watch that looks the part.