When it comes to watches being released on pre-order, it seems they fall into one of two ditches – you hear about them 6 months ahead of time and forget when they launch, or you hear about it the day before the pre-order closes and you don’t have time to decide. Well, today we’re right down the middle of the road with our review of the upcoming NineFour Successor.
You might be thinking that the NineFour Successor looks familiar. And sure, it is a simplified take on the Creux Diamondback we reviewed a bit back, but that’s because they draw inspiration from similar pools. Here, you’ve got a hint of Rolex (the dial) and a dash of IWC (case and bezel) – whether that’s good or bad, I’ll leave that up to you. At least it’s not another generic sub clone, right?
So, yeah, the style of the NineFour Successor is definitely up front and center, particularly finished in a rose gold tone as our loaner was. You’ve got the classic case shape with a sapphire crystal setup up over a vertically “grained” dial in blue with applied indices and a brand logo that, well, feels out of place here. I get it, you want to sign your work, but it just stands out to starkly. I’d like something that’s more of an applied badge, or perhaps a muted down shade that they silk screen it with. Over that, you’ve got a handset that’s nothing really to write home about, particularly with luminous strips that, while differentiated, feel like they could have been longer at least on the minute hand.
What do you have driving the handset of the NineFour Successor? The trusty NH35 automatic movement – so you know you’re getting a nice balance of accuracy, serviceability, and affordability with the watch (more on that in a moment). The watch itself is set onto a tapered bracelet (with deployant clasp) that – while full of angles – was actually quite comfortable once sized properly. And I found the watch to be eminently wearable, with the 10.5mm thick 40mm case fitting in and under just about any cuff.
At the end of the day, while I had some nits to pick with the dial logo and the handset, the design itself feels fairly ambitious for a second outing from a brand (and, again, whether you love or hate the homage cues, that’s your call), and fortunately they did not get ambitious on the price (like another watch we reviewed this week). While the MSRP is intended to be $300, when the pre-order opens up on March 1, 2020, you can pick up the NineFour Successor for $200 which seems a much more reasonable price point for the watch. So, you’ve got a few weeks to decide if you want to jump in, with the pre-order period intended to end on March 14. ninefourwatches.com
- Brand & Model: NineFour Successor
- Price: MSRP is $300, but pre-order has it at $200
- Who’s it for? You like your affordable, dressier piece with some high-end homages, but without the high-end price tag
- Would I wear it? No – that handset would end up bugging me
- What I’d change: The handset. And something with the I-94 logo badge as well
- The best thing about it: How it manages to deliver at a price point, but not necessarily feel like a budget knockoff
Specs from NineFour
- 40mm case
- 10.5mm thick (including glass)
- Teak Dial
- NH35 Movement
- 10ATM water resistant
- Sapphire Glass
- 316L Stainless Steel
- Applied Indices
- C3 Lume
- Pre-Order $199.99/ MSRP $300