For all the focus we have on affordable watches here at WWR, digital watches are something we do not commonly see on our pages. Some of this is due to the fact that we (watch lovers) tend to be drawn more to analog pieces, and some of it is due to the fact that most digital watches are fairly bland or utilitarian. Then we come across something like the Void V01MKII, and we have something that is visually appealing.
One the surface of things, a digital watch (especially one that simply does time and the date, as we have on the Void V01MKII) are relatively tame from a design perspective – you have your rectangular, segmented display, on which the polarizing filter is sometimes flipped (that is how you can have light digits on a black background). The case around that display is pretty basic (perhaps following the shape of the LCD) and the strap more often than not is plastic.
That, of course, is not the case with the Void V01MKII. The steel case is an elongated square at 36mm x 42mm (technically a rectangle, sure, but that puts you in a different frame of reference) with the time display taking up less than half of the watch face you are presented with. This means you have a large blank space on the top of the watch. At first, I thought that this would bother me, but I quickly grew used to it. It does not present much in terms of function, and is primarily a design decision to have. It makes the watch stand out, that is for sure. If I owned one (rather than being loaned a review unit), I would be tempted to find an engraver or pinstriper and do some customization of that space.
The stainless steel case is also fairly thin (8.4mm) on the Void V01MKII, which helps the taller case to slip under a cuff. Sure, 42mm tall does not seem all that big, as 42mm is a common diameter. Squaring that circle takes up a lot more real-estate, however, and the watch wears larger than you might expect. The caseback is a simple affair, four screws holding it in place, with some details engraved in. The caseback is flat (in keeping with the angular look and feel of the watch), but I could not help wondering if a slight curve from top to bottom would not help with fit a little bit. Do not get me wrong, the Void V01MKII was comfortable as it is, and I did not have problems with it shifting around on my wrist. It’s just looking for tweaks to watches is something we reviewers tend to end up looking for.
Keeping on a plane with that caseback is the 22mm leather strap. As you know, I tend to be a bit critical on the quality of the leather used in a strap, and I would say the Void V01MKII sort of hits the middle of the road. It does not have a cheap, plasticky feel (or smell), and is well-finished and quite pliable. I did start to see some graining, especially near the buckle, so it would be interesting to see how it holds up over time. Then again, at a 22mm lug width, swapping out the strap for something else is easy to do. Just be prepared to be patient. Not that I changed the strap out, but here, you do not have drilled lugs, and the strap is set into a recess, so you will need to be careful with your strap change tool. Given the focus on aesthetics that the Void V01MKII, I am a little surprised that they did not go the route of quick-change spring bars.
In the end, I would say I enjoyed my time with the 66g Void V01MKII. It definitely gathered attention and remarks, and it works along throughout the day in its quiet, digital way. It is available in three different color schemes, all coming in at a price of $340. Sure, that’s a bit more expensive than the Casio you can pick up at the department store, but that is not what the Void V01MKII is all about. Yes, it’s a quartz digital, but the materials used are a big step up from the bargain bin, as is the focus on the overall aesthetics of the piece. Not, the Void V01MKII is not the watch for everyone – but for a design-oriented mind, I think it would find a welcome home. voidwatches.com
- Brand & Model: Void V01MKII
- Price: $340
- Who’s it for?: You find yourself favoring form over function, and you adhere to a clean aesthetic in your life
- Would I wear it?: Not regularly, no. It was an interesting change of pace, but it would not unseat the analog watches I more commonly wear
- What I’d change: I think the best (and easiest) change Void could make would be to make changing the straps out easier with quick-change spring bars
- The best thing about it: The clean and minimalistic look