There have been many simple, minimalist watches made, all claiming to be the quintessence of a beautiful, reductionist watch. Greyhours Vision Moon is one such watch, with a completely different approach.
Most minimalist watches follow a very simple formula. Three hands, minute markers around the periphery, which the minute hand touches, hour markers and potentially hour numerals just inside of them so that the hour hand indicates which hour it’s on with absolute clarity. It’s a solid formula, one in use for easily 65 years. But what if there were another way?
Here, Greyhours has made a collection of watches that take a different approach. The Vision Moon has a dial with the hour markers stamped down from the top level, as well as two subdials that extend out of the 3 and 9 markers. Those subdials are ringed with silver and their indicators written in thin black text. The whole thing comes together nicely, but it’s important to distinguish between the different approaches. There’s simple-and-precise and simple-for-beauty’s-sake. This is the latter. There is no minute track. If you need to know the difference between 10:02 and 10:03, this isn’t your watch. If it doesn’t make that much difference, then this is fine.
The Vision Moon comes in a round polished case with a crown and a single pusher. The crown, as you expect, sets the time, and is also used to set the day of week indicator. The pusher sets the day of month. Honestly, it’s rather slow to have to wind the crown repeatedly to set the day of week correctly, but they wanted to avoid adding another pusher and making it more complex. The only real difficulty is that the crown is short and slippery, so it takes a bit to set it the first time.
The straps are French calfskin, lambskin, or alligator. We received the watch with the French calfskin in black. It’s soft, and smartly comes with quick-release spring bars so that strap changes are easy. The Vision Moon uses 20mm lugs, so many straps are compatible. Nicely, it uses the lugless look, where the lugs are recessed underneath the main circle of the watch body. The calfskin comes from the Centre-Val de Loire region and is done by immersion dying, and only the best hides are used. I’d have to agree based on the fine grain and softness to the touch.
The engine running the show is the IsaSwiss Calibre 9231/1890 movement. Battery life is estimated by IsaSwiss to be approximately 32 months, which is 2.665 years, or one and a half times the length of the gestation period of an elephant. I bet you didn’t know that before. The case is a stainless steel, polished affair, topped by sapphire.
It’s nice to look at. It’s a beautiful first impression sitting in its presentation box. The warranty card comes in a lovely, soft leather card holder. The manual is printed in a hardbound book. At every decision point, the question was, “what will look better” and not “what would be cheaper to ship?” And that makes a difference. If you’d like a watch from people who give this sort of consideration to a quartz watch, be prepared to part with $290 of your US dollars. It’s got a lifetime warranty, and you can find it at greyhours.com
- Brand & Model: Greyhours Vision Moon
- Price: pricing starts at $290
- Who we think it might be for: You’re minimalist sensibilities are strong, but you’re a unique individual, and need something a little different.
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: This one tugs at my heartstrings. I should have liked to have had the blue hands from their Silver model on the polished case of this Moon model.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Anything that can be done to slim it down. I was also initially put off by the setting of the day of week with the slippery crown.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: It’s subtle, but has more than a usual 3-hander.
Tech Specs from Greyhours
- Case size: 40mm round, 9.35mm thickness
- Case material: steel (available in polished, brushed, PVD black, PVD gold, PVD rose gold (champagne)
- Crystal: flat, sapphire with antiglare treatment on both sides of the crystal
- Strap: leather, alligator or fabric, polished pin buckle clasp
- Movement: Swiss-made IsaSwiss quartz calibre 9231/1890
- WR: 5 ATM or 50 meters