I got a call a few months ago from Ellicott's CEO, he was anxious to speak with me about an article I had written about the brand. Let me back up a moment, here. I learned about Ellicott maybe or year or two ago. The brand is only in their second year of existence as of writing this article. From the beginning, I have enjoyed the look of most of their watches and was impressed by their in-house movement. It is a brand I had high esteem for.
On the phone with the CEO, I am hearing about how he is concerned about an article I wrote that he felt disparaged the new brand he was trying to build. The article actually praised the cool design of the Mach One Skymaster Aviator watch thought it ruthlessly poked fun at the press release and marketing information. He was being protective; I get that. It was nice to have to defend my sense of humor.
My reaction to the brand's outreach was quite positive. A good CEO takes responsibility for things like that. Both on my end, and on their end, for the press release that should never have been released. In all fairness, high-end watch press releases en masse are about as good as four-week old milk that has been left out on the kitchen counter.
My conversation with Ellicott ended well, I think. An invitation to view the watches was finally realized and I got to get some hands-on time with the pieces. By the way, the Mach One Skymaster Aviator is very nice with its carbon case and slick look.
My two favorite models, for now, are in the Majesty collection. I previously wrote about the Ellicott Majesty collection here. The cushion-shaped cases are sharply cut and have nice round dials. The faces are very unique with high-quality elements and a design that is uniquely spirited. The hands are very cool with a bulbous hour hand and a needle arrow minute hand.
At 42mm wide, the case feels like a good size. It comes in materials such as 18k white or rose gold, tantalum, titanium, and DLC black-coated steel. Here, the watches have black DLC coated steel cases with titanium or gold bezels. Just nice stuff over all - and that chronograph is a cherry little beauty of a sport watch.
Inside the pieces is a very special in-house movement called the MR-3. It seems as though the name is same for both the subsidiary seconds dial version and the chronograph model. The movement is made in-house by Ellicott and features a periphery (they like to call it a circumferential) rotor that is in 18k gold. The rotor goes around the side of the movement so that you can appreciate it with an unobscured view. Ellicott claims that their movement is the first of its kind (in gold...). It came out about the same time as the Carl. F. Bucherer A1000. To be honest, I have no idea whose movement came out first. I see a feud 'a comin.
The automatic movement is decorated in an interesting way: Much of it is black, while the rotor is in 18k rose gold. Power reserve is 70 hours (without the chrono running - that brings it down to 55 hours). While the dial is beautiful and legible for the chrono, I would like to see a model in the future with a 12 hour chronograph. Both watches have sapphire crystals and SuperLumiNova lume coated dials. Even at 13mm thick, the case feels thinner than it is. The high-end feeling alligator straps are comfortable and these are watches that will get noticed. Prices for the Ellicott Majesty line start at around $13,000 - I believe. For this design, quality, and the in-house made MR3 automatic movement, the price feels fair as well.