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Starting a New Tradition With Michelsen

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Pop quiz, hotshot – who is my favorite Icelandic watch brand? That’s right, it’s Michelsen Watchmakers. While some of our prior writeups have focused on their back catalog, today, we are going to talk about something new that recently was released, the Michelsen Tradition, in both his and hers sizing.

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While I cannot speak as to what makes the watches intrinsically Icelandic (as their copy puts forth), I can say that there is definitely a timeless appeal to the watches. You have fine-tipped dagger hands (with the shape mimicked in the hour indices) spinning over a sunray brushed dial. This alone gives things the classic looks; the addition of a contrasting color track around the outer edge of the dial mixes up the standard formula a bit, giving things a bit of a splash of color.

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Given that all of the Michelsen watches I have featured before have had automatic movements inside, you might be tempted to think the same for the Tradition line. Instead, they have gone with Ronda Swiss Made quartz movements. Aside from allowing for a lower price point, this also sets things up for a very thin case (8mm). Which, for a not-quite-dressy every sort of a watch, well, that is not a bad way to go, especially for the folks who are not into all of the minutiae of watches and movements. The Tradition is going to be a watch that just plain works.

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The thinner case also makes sense from a standpoint of proportions. The larger model comes in at a diameter of 38mm (which should fit a variety of wrists, male or female), while the smaller (ostensibly aimed at women) one comes in at 29mm. Regardless of the case size, the styling and specs are identical – stainless steel, sapphire crystal, and 50m WR rating, for starters. I do also like the fact that they are styled identically to each other. Often times, it seems brands will create the main (larger) watch, and then create the smaller version with a look that is close, but not quite the same. Here, with the Michelsen Tradition, you truly can get a matching (or at least coordinated) his-and-hers combo.

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Regardless of if you other half wants the smaller or larger diameter model, pricing is the same – around $440 (depending on currency conversions). While I would not see one of these replacing the Arctic Explorer on my wrist, I can see the appeal of a watch like this. Whether or not you pick one up yourself, let us know in the comments what you think about this route that Michelsen has gone, with identical watches in two drastically different case sizes. I am curious to see if our readers have a similar opinion to ours. michelsen.is

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Watch Overview

  • Brand & Model: Michelsen Tradition
  • Price: $440 plus $55 for shipping (and 24% VAT if that applies to you)
  • Who we think it might be for: While stand-alone works well, I think this is best suited for someone looking for a matched set of watches
  • Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: Perhaps, if it was a style that my wife was interested in
  • If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Get a darker color for the date wheel on the dark dials
  • What spoke to me the most about this watch: Aside from the coordination, I like how the indices match the shape of the hands

Tech Specs from Michselsen Watchmakers

  • ⌀ 38mm / 29mm watch case
  • Strap width: 20mm / 15mm
  • 5ATM water resistance
  • High quality 316L stainless steel
  • Sapphire crystal
  • Case back is ideal for engraving
  • Applied hour markers
  • Legible dial

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