The Thomas Earnshaw brand has created another affordable watch with a partially skeletonized automatic movement that offers an every-man-sophistication worth considering. The Hong Kong-based manufacturer gets its name from the famous horologist who made modifications to the marine chronometer in the 1700s. The Earnshaw Beagle is not Thomas’s dog, but the name of the ship that famously carried Charles Darwin in his scientific research.
My impression of the Beagle evolved as I wore it. It looked like a high-end watch that I didn’t need to be handle without my gloves. But then again, I usually don’t handle that kind of watch. This model has a round 42mm stainless steel case with ionic, gold plating. It stands 13mm high.
The most striking feature on the dial is the blue, Breguet-styled hands. The end of each holds a small, off-centered dot of luminescence. This off-centered placement bothered me at first until I read the Breguet’s intention with the design in the 1780s was to mimic a crescent moon.
The second hand is also blue, but it has the Earnshaw “double E” logo on its end. This standard back-to-back “E” is a common feature on Earnshaw’s watches.
The dial is silver and white and is a busy array of information. Its Roman numerals stand large against the dial taking about 20 percent of the dial’s outer ring. If I liked Roman numerals, this would be great. Instead, it’s a big reminder of why I took Greek and not Latin. Seriously, this is more of a visual imbalance, and the numerals dominate the subtle elegance of the hour and minute hands.
The dial takes a step down to a semitransparent base that holds the Earnshaw name at 12 o’clock. The visual domination continues in what looks like a register or tourbillion between 7 and 8 o’clock. It is neither, but another place to put the back-to-back “Es”.
This semi-transparent dial is a great idea if it shows some part of the movement that’s interesting. Miss this point and it’s like a hood on a 1965 Shelby Mustang over the wiper fluid container. Is that really what I want to see right there? You be the judge on this dial.
Regardless, the movement is a Swiss automatic, although I could not find the manufacturer’s identity. The movement has a curious pattern of silver specks on some areas. I don’t know how this finish was created or if it will hold up over time, but it does add a punch of sparkle.
The display case back offers an unobstructed view into the heart of the Beagle. There, you can see they have taken some effort in engraving the rotor. These details matter or indicate a level of care that I appreciate on watches in this price range. I still marvel at the fact that this mechanism was first invented nearly 250 years ago.
The water resistance is pretty basic, as you might expect, and offers a 5ATM or about 100 feet of resistance. You can watch your hands at the ballet with this and be ok.
There’s a 20mm black leather strap with this watch and a similarly colored deployment buckle. I don’t wear many watches with this type of clasp and had to fidget with it to fit correctly. Once I had it fitted, I liked how fast it was to use.
This watch comes with a 2-year international warranty and retails at $940. http://www.thomasearnshaw1805.com/
- Brand & Model: Thomas Earnshaw Beagle ES-0028-02
- Price: $940
- Who we think it might be for: This is for someone who wants more than three handed dress watch to look at.
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: I don’t wear gold.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Roman numerals are overrated.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: I appreciated the heft of the case.
- Brand Model: Thomas Earnshaw Beagle ES-0028-02
- Movement (technology): Swiss Made Automatic Skeleton 3 Hands
- Size of case diameter (mm): 42mm
- Height of case:13mm
- Case material: 316L stainless steel ionic gold plating
- Case Back: Screw down, stainless steel display back.
- Crystal/Glass material: NA
- Water resistance (m/ft/atm): 5ATM or 100 feet
- Strap/Bracelet material: 22-20 genuine leather
- Illumination: Yes