I’ve kept a beady eye on the Tusenö First 42 from the moment I saw the watch on KickStarter in September 2015. They smashed their campaign goal, and have had such an incredible amount of interest I’ve only just been able to get one. I believe it’s possibly one of the nicest looking watches to ever come out of crowdfunding. The question is, does the quality stack up? Let’s take a closer look to see.
- Case dimensions: 42mm diameter x 11.5mm height x 49.5mm lug to lug
- Movement: Seiko VK64
- Lug width: 20mm
- Water resistance: 50m
- Weight: 90g
- Price: 3495 kr / £295
The case is available in stainless steel or rose gold plated. I decided on the rose gold version as I felt it looked a bit classier and worked well with the dial.
Size wise, it is on the larger side for a dress watch at 42mm in diameter, but it looks very impressive on the wrist and the subdials ensure the entire face is kept interesting and well laid out (I have a 7.25″ wrist).
The case has a mixture of contrasting finishing. Namely: a polished bezel, caseback and pushers / crown; and brushed sides to offset them.
The manufacturing and finishing of the case is very good, especially where the finishes meet. It’s a standard barrel shape, and feels weighty and very good quality in the hand. 90g is a pretty decent weight for a mecha-quartz on a leather strap so you get a sense of value.
The pushers are polished and are pleasant to use, providing decent feedback upon activation. The push-pull crown has the “T” from the Tusenö logo deeply engraved on the end, with suitable grip to allow easy adjustment.
The screw-in caseback is fully polished, with the main focus being the logo engraved in the centre. In addition to this it has pleasant detailing and information engraved around the outer edge.
As previously mentioned, this is one of the nicest designs I’ve ever seen coming out of KickStarter. Crowd Funding has a horrible tendency to churn out the same ol’ dross, but the Tusenö has something very different about it. It’s classy, perfectly thought out, and elegant. It’s also completely custom – no pre-made elements here, or “minimalist” design.
The dial has a black base, with a slight sunburst effect to it. I find the white print work on top is quite sophisticated.
I really like the inset subdials – the chronograph 60 minute indicator is located at 9, and the 24 hour indicator at 3. Within these subdials are a very gentle concentric circular pattern – so gentle it’s very hard to see unless you really look close. These have thin rose gold hands to match the main hands.
The main hour / minute hands are an elegant pitched alpha shape. The big seconds hand is the chronograph seconds indicator, and is a straight point. Visibility is excellent thanks to the high contrast between the matte black dial and polished rose gold hands.
The hour markers are also polished rose gold to match the hands, and are a slightly unusual semicircular shape rather than a flat baton. This demonstrates nice close attention to detail and provides a variety of reflections based on the angle.
The leather has a sophisticated dark rosewood colouring, with an alligator pattern stamp providing a variety of hues. The colour matches the rose gold case and black dial very well – it’s a very classy configuration.
The leather is good quality, thick and comfortable. Whilst it’s not top of it’s class, it’s perfectly suitable for a watch of this price.
The strap has a light cream underside, which is soft on the wrist that is well stamped with the logo and model number.
The strap comes fitted out with a smooth and responsive butterfly clasp, which is polished rose gold to match the case. It is very quick and easy to use and resize, whilst being secure on the wrist. It has the Tusenö logo deeply engraved on top bar which has a curved top.
The movement used within the Tusenö First 42 is one that can be found in a number of affordable chronographs: the Seiko VK64. Two watches I’ve recently reviewed with this movement are the Melbourne Watch Co Carlton and the G. Gerlach Enigma.
It’s best known for being a hybrid mecha-quartz movement – which means the main time operation is quartz, but the chronograph is handled by a mechanical module. This is why the chronograph seconds runs a 5 ticks per second, rather than the usual quartz 1 tick per second.
It’s well-regarded as being a tough and dependable movement.
Now available for under £300, the Tusenö First 42 proves to be a very tempting timepiece indeed.
The specs are great; sapphire crystal, Seiko mecha-quartz movement, and splendid design coupled with excellent build quality. Well done to the guys behind Tusenö, Johan and Alexander, for creating something different in a world choked by the same “minimalist” watch startup that’s taken “years in the making”. Every so often it’s refreshing to see a diamond in the rough – and the story and timepiece of Tusenö is one that hopefully will live on.