Published by Joshua Clare-Flagg on 7 Jul, 2019.


I must admit, I see many watches that are so similar in appearance within the minimalist dress watch segment around the $200 mark, it’s difficult to make a choice; as most of the time, the differences are minimal.

Tordney is a brand aiming to make a name for themselves and get your hard-earned cash. Their name derives from (Tor)onto and Sy(dney), the two cities the founders hail from. Around this price point, it tends to be a game of fine margins (the small examples of attention to detail make the difference) – I must admit, I was expecting this to be rather uninspiring, let’s see how the Tordney Mono stacks up.

The specs

The video review

The case

I was fully expecting a very simple barrel type case with no character; expectations are rightfully rather low on any watch costing less than $200. However, I am pleasantly surprised by the quality of the case on the Tordney. In particular, I really like the rounded / bulbous edging rather than a straight edge. It provides a variety of reflections and just increases the overall appearance of the watch in general.

The general finishing is much better than expected too – the case is polished in its entirety and is mirror-like in appearance. The 41mm size is a sweet spot too, and the very thin bezel means that it’s pretty much entirely dial.

The casebook is fairly standard, just being a polished disc with the logo in the centre and details surrounding it. They are all very lightly engraved.

The crown is another thing that is nicely thought out and a little bit different from what I was expecting. The logo is deeply embossed on the end, which fits well. The grip doesn’t extend for the whole depth of the crown, leaving a thinner gap at the base. This is really handy for setting and unsetting as you can get your nails in to pull it out.

The watch has a single-domed sapphire crystal with a very impressive anti-reflective coating on the underside. Not only does it keep the majority of reflection at bay; it also provides eye-catching blue reflections at certain angles.

The dial

There’s not a lot to go on with the dial, due to its simplicity and cleanness. Of course, that’s a good thing for a classy dress watch.

The base of the dial is a matte white, keeping reflections to a minimum. At certain angles, it looks a little bit champagne-like in colour, which is rather distinguished.

The running seconds subdial within the bottom half of the dial is set within the main plate, at a lower level. It also has a concentric circular pattern providing a slice of depth and texture to the dial.

The main hour and minute hands are sword shape and pitched, whilst the second hand is more of a leaf. These shapes are a good choice, providing a refined appearance. You can tell they are all painted as they have a shiny lacquered look to them. Usually, this isn’t a problem, but sometimes when the light hits them you can see, and they can look a little on the cheap side.

The applied hour markers are either a baton or very narrow triangle (triangles are at 12, 3, 6, and 9). They have decent depth to them signifying quality.

Printwork is kept to a minimum: the logo in the top half, a crisp minute track around the outer edge and second track around the seconds subdial. It’s all very clean and precise.

The strap

Another aspect where you’d expect corners to be cut is the leather strap. On any watch under $200, they’re not always the best.

The polished tang buckle is plain and simple as one would expect, with the Tordney text logo lightly engraved on.

The leather strap itself, however, is lovely. I selected the blue colour option as it goes really well with the blue accents on the dial – plus it looks killer with a blue suit. It’s also a pleasant alternative, as black or brown straps can be a bit boring sometimes.

The texture of the strap is beautifully soft, it’s also thick and supple. The lighter blue stitching works well with the entirety of the watch, and the light alligator pattern stamp is just subtle enough to make it interesting. The dull finish is much nicer than a shiny patent too, keeping it classy and elegant.

The movement

The movement used is the Miyota 1L45. As far as movements go, it’s not particularly exciting – because at the end of the day it’s a reasonably cheap quartz. It has a 3-year battery life, an accuracy of ±20 sec per month, and the primary reason behind it being selected for the Tordney is for the subdial running seconds hand.

Final comments

As I mentioned in the intro, I wasn’t expecting too much from this watch. Sure, it looks clean and crisp, but I was thinking that there was going to perhaps be a few flaws, poor quality components or just no attention to detail.

However, I’ve been pleasantly impressed by the Tordney Mono. It’s definitely worth your consideration at the offer price of $139; however, at the RRP of $199, there are better mechanical alternatives out there.

The things I liked were the leather strap, the unexpected rounded case shape, the cute and easy to use crown, and finally the quality of the dial. It’s got a lot going for it, and I think in this game of fine margins Tordney have done enough to make the Mono a neat option.

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