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Azimuth Mr. Roboto R2 Watch Review

Azimuth Mr. Roboto R2 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Wearing the Azimuth Mr. Roboto R2 watch allowed me to realize how much I love faces on watch dials. I’m not talking about just a “watch face,” but one with eyes and a mouth. Inspired by 1950s-era metal robot toys, the Azimuth Mr. Roboto R2 watch – rich with quirky personality – smiles at you each time you glance at it. How does this affect the experience of wearing an otherwise cold, hard machine?

The human mind is trained to see faces everywhere. In fact, we see other faces when there isn’t even one there – ranging from patterns in nature to blobs on the wall. It is easy to misinterpret this phenomenon as being more symbolic than it is, which is really just a side effect of natural evolutionary behavior that encourages people to notice when there are other people around – especially from a young age. How this relates to our enjoyment of non-human devices such as a watch can be interesting.

Azimuth Mr. Roboto R2 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Azimuth Mr. Roboto R2 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

I’m not trying to overthink the appeal of a “face” on a watch dial, but I do think it is important to ask the simple question of why a design such as this brings me so much joy. The entire purpose of the Mr. Roboto R2 is to have a robot-style face on a watch dial – that nevertheless is able to indicate the time. As a timepiece, all effort into the watch is designed to fulfill this purpose. Especially at this price point, arguably no one does it better than Azimuth.

Azimuth Mr. Roboto R2 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

In my opinion, Azimuth often doesn’t get the credit it deserves for many of the more interesting “avant garde” watches it releases such as the Mr. Roboto collection. Timepieces such as this are entirely about fun and personality. In a sense, the Mr. Roboto is the anti-tool watch. It isn’t about specific functionality or durability, but rather being fun, and also still being a watch. The Mr. Roboto R2 (as the name implies) is actually the second Mr. Roboto watch produced by the brand, with watches such as these being among the more rare models that are produced today.

Azimuth Mr. Roboto R2 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Azimuth Mr. Roboto R2 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Compared to the original Mr. Roboto watch, the R2 is in many ways an upgrade. The watches share similar tonneau-shaped cases and movements, but differ in the design of the dial, which in my opinion, is much more eye-pleasing on the R2. One of the major upgrades is the half-dome “eyes” which are used to indicate the hours as well as the second time zone. Very MB&F-esque (I am referring to the HM3 Frog of course), the domes have curved hands which move over them. Indicating the minutes is the purpose of the “mouth,” which uses a retrograde hand. The design reminds me of analog car radios and I’m sure the resemblance is anything but coincidental.

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Azimuth Mr. Roboto R2 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Azimuth Mr. Roboto R2 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

In the luxury watch world, most watches with such exotic dial layouts come with very high prices. The Mr. Roboto R2 isn’t what I could call a budget watch, but it does fall in line with part of Azimuth’s overall goal to offer cool/quirky watches like this for Omega versus Patek Philippe prices. Part of making the R2 and watches like it relatively affordable is how the movements are made. Rather than produce entirely new calibers, Azimuth prefers to take the wise approach of modifying base Swiss ETA automatic movements.

Azimuth Mr. Roboto R2 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Azimuth really begs the question of why similar style watches from fan-favorite brands like MB&F and Urwerk are so expensive. We aren’t talking three to four times as expensive, but like 20 or more times as expensive. Yes, those other watches are better examples of fine watchmaking and haute horology but clearly, not everyone can afford them. I’d like to think that Azimuth products are a happy medium for those seeking something interesting and fun, but who can’t imagine spending over $10,000 for the privilege.

Azimuth Mr. Roboto R2 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Azimuth Mr. Roboto R2 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Azimuth calls the movement inside of the Mr. Roboto R2 the caliber 1500.2 automatic. The most obvious modification to the movement is how the time is indicated. Two long stems are positioned for the hours in 12 and 24 hour format “eyes,” as well as the retrograde minute indicator “mouth.” I found that the movement works rather well given that the system is in some ways delicate. The right eye, which is the GMT indicator, is actually better used (in my opinion) as an AM/PM indicator. This is easy to do just by setting the 12 and 24 hour time to the same time.

Azimuth Mr. Roboto R2 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Azimuth Mr. Roboto R2 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

You may not believe me, but the reality is that I didn’t find legibility to be an issue. I found that after a day or so to adjust, I noticed that I located the orange/red hour hand and the minute hand with relative ease. That actually surprised me because my experience with “interesting” ways of telling the time usually has me longing for a pair of traditionally center-set hour and minute hands on a round dial. In this situation, I actually found the R2 watch to be just as easy to read as most other watches – and certainly more so than the original Mr. Roboto model.

Azimuth Mr. Roboto R2 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Azimuth Mr. Roboto R2 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

With that said, no one I showed the watch to was able to easily understand how to tell the time – literally no one. I’ve never had such a popular watch on my wrist that no one knew how to read. I’m not saying that Azimuth set out to confuse lay people, but I found it intellectually interesting that no one in my circle of friends and family (i.e. not watch people) could understand how to make sense of the dial without prior explanation. Do other people out there who wear watches with “non-standard” means of indicating the time have similar experiences with onlookers?

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  • Pete Pete

    wow, that thing has the world’s smallest target group:7 year old boys with schwarzenegger sized arms and overflowing bank accounts.

    • TrevorXM

      And watch bloggers.

    • Berndt Norten

      Is that Louis de Funès? Brilliant man he was….

  • Raymond Wilkie
    • PollyO

      I kind of like it, but i don’t CHF 6,000 like it. I more USD 150 ”here son, here’s your first watch my boy” like it.

    • Now a Bender watch I might be more interested in. Good idea Raymond.

      • #The Deplorable Boogur T. Wang

        Makes infinitely more sense than this attempt.

      • Raymond Wilkie

        Now THAT I would buy

      • Berndt Norten

        Realistically a watch could contain a piece of blotter paper

        • Leaking a bit of “oil” when Bender is blotto (and in need of blotter paper)?

  • Julian Chan

    I didn’t buy this watch because I’m not a child anymore. What a ridiculous looking toy. Of course ymmv.

  • Tõnis Leissoo

    Are you sure that this movement is automatic? Where’s the pendulum?

    • That thing that looks like a 3/4 plate is part of the rotor as is the outer brass ring if we are to believe the post. But honestly, the weight difference between the top and bottom may not be that much in which case the winding efficiency may be poor. And it makes the watch heavier than it needs to be too.

  • Martin

    I disagree with comments. its (or his) name is Mr Roboto, that does tell a lot when you think about it….intention is to be fun, joyfull, weird, unique, … either you ll like it or not, this is a unique timepiece (for certain individual who can afford it and like it). I like it, so what it is childish? Yes, I would happily wear it

  • IanE

    All it lacks is a tackymeter.

  • Brian

    to robotty

  • Brian

    never mind, new grail !

  • SuperStrapper

    Azimuth releases a lot of young-at-heart type watches that I wouldn’t mind trying on, but they always seem priced into a category above their weight class. They seem well built enough and are certainly unique, but the aesthetic just wants to be more accessible, economically.

  • Dan Baxter
  • Mark1884

    Just dumb.
    High speed pass.

  • Berndt Norten

    …with parts made in Japan…

  • BNABOD

    I like the box…..

  • Terance Hill

    LOSER !
    ?

  • Framlucasse

    Too expensive, too big, too thick, but really funny.

  • Domo Arigato, Mr. Adams.

  • TrevorXM

    Six grand is still an awful expensive completely impractical novelty watch.

    • SuperStrapper

      Tell that to MB&F.

  • Berndt Norten

    I’ve got a secret
    I’ve been hiding
    under my skin

    my heart is human
    my blood is boiling
    my brain silicon spring…

    the problem’s plain to see
    too much sycophancy

    ‘reviews’ to drive us mad
    ‘reviews’ sugar coat clad
    in SY-CO. PHAN-CY.

    I’m SYCO. PHANCY.

    • DanW94

      Is that you Kilroy?

      • Berndt Norten

        Yes, it’s Kilroy de Syco Phancé

    • egznyc

      Would you “phancy” that … on a watch blog.

      Nonetheless, I think Ariel is genuinely (p)sc(h)ed about this wrist toy, and compared with some other brands, this might seem like a bargain – and it isn’t even made in Japan (Domo Arigato very much).

      But to be (not Liz) Phair, I’m betting you’re not a (p)syc(h)o killer, either. That would be for David Byrne & co.

      • Berndt Norten

        Psycho killer?!

        Qu’est-ce que c’est?

        • egznyc

          Jeg ved ikke. 😉

          Fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-far better
          Run run run run run run run away oh oh oh …

  • Yan Fin

    There are things ‘ cute but stupid’. This isn’t cute.

  • precious metal

    From the preschool to the playground.

  • Tempvs Mortvvs

    I like it!!! But they should cover with black DLC the middle portion of the case. I think that would emphasize even more the dial dial portion.

  • egznyc

    I find this pretty amusing. Would I wear it? Well it’s kind of large, so that’s a strike against it. But I’d probably wear it to the right occasion. Not many that come to mind but it would certainly be a conversation piece!

  • Ross Diljohn

    Parts made in Japan?

  • Lurch

    Looks better than their Roulette watch but I still don’t want it. Can we get a poll choice of I DON’T WANT IT? https://www.azimuthwatch.com/product/roulette/

  • Timestandsstill

    Probably 10 years ago when I was first starting to really get into watches and my taste for refinement was not what it is today, I was totally in love with an Azimuth watch.
    I was crazy for this watch; even went to find a dealer that carried them one time in Las Vegas and made some serious inquiries. I think it was around four or $5000 retail at the time. Still overpriced back then, but really interesting. They have made some very unusual pieces.

  • Mikita

    I could understand the appeal until I read the price.. For 6000CHF you can get a minty Moser or Arnold & Son. Yes, these won’t give you a robot face.
    http://www.chrono24.com/arnoldson/royal-collection-hm-perpetual-moon–id7195052.htm

  • Ulysses31

    It has the psychotic, frenzied stare of a robot that just plunged a serrated dagger between your ribs. I like the apparent build quality though. Just not the silly appearance.