When brands reach out, particularly new ones, I am generally more focused on what the watch looks like, and what itâ€™s built of, more so than the name of the brand. Â These tables got turned a bit when a fellow named Guy Roebuck reached out about his new brand, Roebuck Watches. Â While the Roebuck name certainly has some watch history (just ask Victor), and of course Sears & Roebuck retailed any number of watches, this particular Roebuck family line hails from England, and lays no claim to the more famous (at least, in America) association. Â So, then, what does the Roebuck Alpha have in store for you and I?
What struck me about the Roebuck Alpha, right from the get-go, was the dial. Â While I do like classic designs and clean lines, I’m also a bit of a sucker when you start getting layers, textures, and dimensionality in there. Â And that’s something this watch certainly has. Â At the lowest level, you’ve got a grooved disc, reminiscent of a record or the turned end of a piece of lumber (depends on your frame of reference). Â Over the top of that, you’ve got a flat, almost steering wheel, piece, onto which the applied numerals and indices are laid on. Â Remarkably, this is all accomplished without feeling overly busy.
This is due to the amount of real estate the 40mm x 40mm cushion case of theÂ Roebuck Alpha affords – and there’s not a lot of case visible around the domed sapphire crystal, either. Â You want to see case, though, all you have to do is turn the watch on it’s side, and you see it. Â There’s no two ways about it – this case is thick. Â This, it turns out, was due to a design detail that wasn’t realized. Â Roebuck had wanted to do a double-V groove around the case, but that presented manufacturing challenges. Â So, instead, we’ve got the center stripe. Â Roebuck opted to keep the case at the originally-intended thickness, as he likes things chunkier.
Tucked into the monster case of theÂ Roebuck Alpha we’ve got the ever-reliable Seiko NH35 movement. Â You can see a small bit of it through an observation window on the caseback which, I suppose, gets the job done. Â For me, unless you’re showing me the balance wheel, go full exhibition or solid caseback, in my book. Â That all said, the movement performed just fine in the time I had the watch, and should live up to it’s reputation.
The included strap on theÂ Roebuck Alpha is leather, and of a decent quality. Â Lume is also pretty good on the watch, though I do wish the hands were a bit more filled in with it. Â Still, though, no problems reading the time in the dark. Â This was an interesting watch to wear around for a bit, even if it did prove tricky with some of my shirt cuffs. Â Bear in mind, this is a prototype we saw, so there will likely be changes (for instance, we’re told the crown will be bigger on the production version). Â If you’re looking to pick up your own, theÂ Roebuck Alpha has pricing ranging fromÂ $529 (for a steel finish) toÂ $539Â (for PVD), with the Kickstarter projectÂ launching on May 15th. Â roebuckwatchco.com
- Brand & Model: Roebuck Alpha
- Price: $529 – $539
- Whoâ€™s it for? Â You like cushion cases, but want a dial that’s a bit different
- Would I wear it? Ultimately, no – it’s just too tall for my tastes
- What I would change: Â A slimmed down case would be welcomed
- The best thing about it: Â Got to dig that dial
Tech Specs from Roebuck
- 316L stainless steel case, 40mm x 40mm, mixed brushed & polished finishing
- PVD case, buckle & bracelet plated to 0.8mic dark IP gun
- Double domed European sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating to the underside
- European sapphire crystal to case back
- Sandwich dial
- Applied numerals & indices
- Skeleton hands
- Super-Luminova C1 lume
- Seiko NH35 movement
- Custom monogrammed crown
- 20mm Italian leather band with monogrammed buckle