ManchesterWatchWorks is one of those brands that we have gotten to watch grow over the past year or so, and we have sampled quite a few of their watches. Â We have of course taken a look at both their TatoskoQ and TatoskoK, as well as the more recent Westminster and Vergennes. Â While the more recent watches were trench watches, for this new release, MWW is getting back to where they started – a dive watch. Â So, let’s have a look at what the newest ManchesterWatchWorks Armada has on offer.
When I was looking through the photos of theÂ ManchesterWatchWorks Armada, there were two things that really struck me. Â The first is the case design. Â At first, Â I thought that the lugs were angling up from the bezel, but that was just a combination of angles. Â They actually come out in a flat plane (parallel to the bottom of the bezel) and then angle down. Â There are additional angled surfaces on the sides of the lugs, which is what gives this optical illusion. Â On the sides of the case, there are unexpected recesses, which seems to me to indicate they’re spreading their wings a bit. Â The simple (and less expensive) design would not have these recesses, and it’s an interesting cue. Â As is the anodized crown tube (in red or blue).
I should note that in some of the pictures, this tube seems rather long, but that is because the crown was pulled out to stop the seconds hand for the photo. Â That said, they do note in the project page that they will be shortening the tube a bit, so you should just have a small splash of color by the crown.
The other part of the design of theÂ ManchesterWatchWorks Armada that caught my eye was the dial. Â There are some subtle layers to it, with the the outer chapter ring actually setting on top of the main dial surface. Â On top of that ring, we have raised (and lumed) indices. Â So, not anything crazy in terms of stepping, but it does give some variation and dimensionality to the design, which is nice. Â Another item they call out as being changed is the date wheel. Â While the prototypes have just a white disc with black numerals, they will have an inverted one for the production models (I assume just on the black dial). Â Always good to see the color-matching occurring, especially with the smaller brands who may otherwise may want to avoid that cost.
On the whole, theÂ ManchesterWatchWorks Armada is a clean interpretation of a dive watch from the 60s or 70s. Â Albeit, with modern materials and movement (in this case, the Seiko NH35). Â This is not as common (at least, these days) from the indie brands, which seem to skew towards Miyota, so again, it’s great to see some variety in the mix. Â And of course, the Seiko is still a known (and reliable) quantity. Â For those looking to get in on the project for theÂ ManchesterWatchWorks Armada, pricing seems very attractive. Â It starts off at a reasonable $240Â on a strap, goes to $270Â on an H-link bracelet (which is intriguing as well), and tops out at $290Â for the bracelet, strap, and an additional rubber strap. Â There is also a slightly more curious tier, which gets you two examples of theÂ ManchesterWatchWorks Armada (with the straps and bracelet) for $540Â – so, consider that tier a sort of mini group buy. Â Regardless of the level, theÂ ManchesterWatchWorks Armada looks to be a tidy vintage-inspired diver, and based on what we have seen of MWW’s previous watches, this should be another success. Â The Kickstarter project pageÂ just went live, with funding closing out on April 2nd. Â ManchesterWatchWorks.com
- Brand & Model:Â ManchesterWatchWorks Armada
- Price: Starting at $270
- Who we think it might be for: You like your divers vintage, but your materials and reliability modern
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: Likely not – while I appreciate the design, I am fairly set when it comes to divers (especially for not actually being a diver)
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: Â The case design, further enhanced by the bracelet
Tech Specs from ManchesterWatchWorks
- Seiko NH35 automatic movement
- 41mm 316L stainless steel case; brushed and polished surfaces; 12mm thick
- 200m WR Rating
- 20mm lugs
- Double-domed sapphire crystal with AR coating
- 120-click uni-directional bezel (lumed at 12 o’clock position)