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anningbluer150Rondawinton

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Winton is a small watchmaker that’s based in the UK – North Yorkshire and London, to be more precise. Named after the small village of Winton in North Yorkshire, Winton was created by two watch fans – Simon Hebb and Chris Holder. Their small dedicated team designs all their watches in the UK, and outsources their manufacturing to the best in the business – the Swiss. But does this watch tick all the right boxes to justify its price tag? 

Specifications

The first eye-grabbing feature of the Anning has to be the large and rather beautiful sunburst blue dial that in the right light shifts from a very deep shade of blue to a shade a little brighter. It is exceedingly nice to admire. Around the outer perimeter, you’ll spot the simply marked minute track that is printed in a clean white that makes it very legible – even at a glance. Sat below that is the main arabics and Winton have chosen a very nice modern font which works perfectly with the design. The numerals are fully marked all the way around; this is great to see. Sat just beside the 3 o’clock position is a small date window with a subtly chamfered edge, the date window is white which matches the indices nicely, though a colour matching one would have been preferred at this price point. Sat right below the 12 o’clock position you’ll see the printed logo and branding. Above the 6 o’clock you can see the words “Anning” and “Automatic” printed in a very cleanly done manner – no smudges here. Finally below the 6 o’clock, it says “Swiss made” letting you know that it is made in Switzerland.

The handset on the Anning is very slimline and has a strong fence post style. The hour and minute have a tiny slither of Swiss-lume that is bordered by a thick high-polished area of steel. Not only are they legible but very classy too. The second’s hand has a lovely flared end and is red-tipped to add a pop of contrast to the dial. All in all, it’s a simple affair but very well executed.

Moving away from the dial, you’ll also be happy to know that the Anning comes with a very nice flat-topped Sapphire crystal which is warranted at this price point. The crystal sits a hair above the brushed stainless steel bezel. Speaking of, the bezel is completely sterile and is very cleanly brushed. The brushing quality is top-notch and very smooth to the touch. The top portion of the lugs is also brushed and done to the same high standard as the bezel. The lugs have a beautifully elegant profile that subtly curves inwards from the case. At the 3 o’clock position, there are two crown guards that do an adequate job of protecting the crown.

The left-hand side of the Anning is completely clean and finished in a horizontal brushing which again is very good quality. On the edge of the bezel, you’ll notice a little glimmer of high polish to help break up the brushing and creates a bit of contrast. This works very well. The profile of the case is a swoopy curve that is graceful and refined adding to its overall aesthetic. The right-hand side is broken up by a mid-mounted signed crown. The crown is brushed which is a perfect match to the case and creates a lovely cohesion. The crown is a standard push-pull and is easy to manipulate thanks to a small notch on the backside. In action the crown is good, it might be a simple push-pull, but it feels solid and smooth, plus there’s plenty of grip too making it a real joy to use.

Turning the Anning over and you’re greeted with a large viewing window to gaze at the Ronda movement inside. In there, you’ll spot the custom Winton rotor and a surprising lack of any detail work. I was honestly expecting the Ronda to be a little more exciting, but it honestly looks a little plain and uninteresting. On the plus side, it is high-beat, but that doesn’t make up for the lack of any real design work. I’m sure if Winton has any control over the finishing, but with the movement, as is, I’d have preferred a nicely decorated solid case back instead. Surrounding the window is a large area of steel that is again brushed; this is great and so much better than high-polish. In this area, you can see the subtly etched specifications of the watch. So here it’s a bit of a mixed bag as the movement isn’t exactly the prettiest in the Ronda range, but the rest of the case back is quite nice.

As is the Anning comes with a choice of four leather straps. We have the tan, but you can also opt for grey, red, and green. Honestly, the tan is our choice of the bunch as it contrasts nicely against the dial. The included strap is made from a nice grade of genuine leather and has some subtly contrasting brown stitching to create a hint of character to the design. The stitching is nice and uniform, and clean throughout the entire strap. The seven adjustment holes are cleanly cut and have kept their shape even despite over a week’s worth of continuous wear. This is a good sign of longevity. The long side of the strap has a classy taper of 2.5mm and adds to the charm of the watch. Unfortunately, there is no quick-release feature to be found which is a minor letdown in my book.

The short side has two leather keepers – one is fixed, and the other is free-floating. Both are made from the same quality leather and feel robust. The buckle and tang are made from solid stainless steel, and again like the watch is brushed to keep that consistency. The design is a little cookie-cutter, but it suits the watch well. It’s drilled at the sides to making changing it a breeze.

The inner of the strap is the same quality leather as the outer and feels great. You’ll also notice the slightly paler stitch work to again create a little bit of contrast. The build quality is top-notch too, the strap is supple and soft meaning it wears very well.

On my slender six-inch wrist the Anning does wear a little big meaning this is more ideal for gentlemen with a wrist size of six and a half inches and above. The 52.4mm lug to lug does lead to some overhang which is a little unsightly, and not a good look on a slim wrist. The diameter is a little on the large side too, in the future, I would like to see a smaller 40mm or even 38mm with shorter lugs to fit those of us with slim wrists. The lugs and profile do help the watch overhang slightly as the curvy nature makes it wear a touch smaller than the size suggests, though again certainly not enough to fit correctly on small wrists. The profile does however help the watch hug your wrist and it conforms very nicely to the shape. The lugs also drape the strap over your wrist nicely which improves the comfort. Speaking of the strap it’s very nice against your skin. The inner leather is soft and smooth causing no fatigue at all and can be easily worn all day. Unfortunately for me, there aren’t enough adjustment holes as it wears a touch loose, but again this watch isn’t intended for the slender wristed folks.

The Anning does have some lume, and it is pretty solid, of course, it’ll not be up to diver, field, or pilot watch standards, but it is good enough to aid legibility in low-light situations. I’m not sure on the exact compound, but it’s not quite as strong a BGW9 or even C3, so maybe it’s a less potent variant that doesn’t pack the same punch. The lume is located on the numerals, baton markers, and the hands. The application is cleanly done, and the lume does get reasonably bright and lasts a good amount of time. It won’t win any awards or knock your socks off, but it’s certainly good enough for this style of watch.

As mentioned previously the Anning uses a Ronda movement that is high-beat and automatic. The Ronda feels great in action and is very smooth to use with the solid feeling crown and stem arrangement. The winding of the movement is buttery and contains no horrible grating feedback through the crown. Accuracy is decent but not great coming in at approximately -15 seconds per day. Not amazing by any stretch of the imagination, and we wish that it would be slightly faster than slower. Of course, this wasn’t calculated by a proper time-grapher so take that result with a pinch of salt. Other samples of this same movement have been measured at +2 seconds per day, so it’s likely that this app is pretty awful, and I probably shouldn’t use it.

It’s nice to see a watch with something other than an NH35, and although that does push the price of the final product up, it’s worth it. The 40-hour reserve is nothing really to write home about either as that is pretty standard though it’s adequate for general use.

My final thoughts of the Anning are mostly very positive, the watch is very beautiful, classy, and understated. It doesn’t shout about anything in particular, and we like its subtlety and refinement. And that is what this watch is, refined. The finishing is great, the dial is attractive and well done, and the strap matches it perfectly. There are little flourishes of character here and there to give it charm, and all in all it’s a great watch that is worth its price tag. Speaking of it is £475 which is respectable for a Swiss-made watch that features a Ronda movement.

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