October 3, 2011
by Ariel Adams
The Itay Noy X-Ray watch collection as a concept continues to impress me – I last reviewed their ID watch here. The idea of this newer piece isn’t overly complex but it is satisfying and poetic. I am not sure of what inspired him, but Israeli Itay Noy (a man and a brand) decided to show you what was under the dial of these watches – in what ironically is an unorthodox manner.
If you know anything about the watch world, you know that skeletonized dials on timepieces are very popular. Such watches show an actual view into the movements. What Itay Noy wanted to do was offer a traditional dial that illustrated what the movement looked like in a monochromatic tone. It is an artful presentation on the skeletonization concept done in a unique way. At the same time. Itay Noy does actually offer skeletonized dial watches in their Netline collection. I offer some additional info and imagery on the Netline and X-Ray collection here.
As an art watch the X-Ray is attractive and unique looking. Depending on your mood and how you look at it, the watch goes from being beautiful to ‘watch nerdy.’ It also makes me happy that Itay Noy chose not to use a traditional round case. Rather, it bulges where case screws are used to keep the sandwiched sections together. While a bit odd at first the case proves nice to look at and wear. The steel case is 41.6mm wide but feels larger thanks to the thin bezel. Detailing and finish on the case is good. One issue however is the crown. On the piece I tested it was rough to turn, and the crown design is a bit sharp making it uncomfortable to wind given the roughness I mentioned. If other pieces offer smoother winding then there is no issue.
The X-Ray watch collection has four dial color variations and two dial designs. This piece is done in black with silvered imagery, while the converse view is always available. There are also two silver and gold style dials as well. The design of the dial has to do with the movement. Inside the X-Ray watch is either a Swiss ETA Unitas 6497-1 or 6498-1 manually wound movement. The difference between these two is just the orientation of the movement itself, which will effect what the x-ray image looks like.
One section of the dial is actually skeletonized, revealing one of the palette synthetic ruby jewels. Also on the dial are attractive hands that are properly sized as well as a sometimes hard to see subsidiary seconds hand that is off-centered. An Itay Noy logo plate is placed at the top of the dial while a similar but smaller plate is at the bottom signifying the number in the limited edition.
Attached to the watch is one of Itay Noy’s rather interesting and attractive hand-made leather straps. Here in black with a cream-colored stitching, it has has a stamped texture on the side of it while using a butterfly deployment clasp. The strap along with Itay Noy signed deployment clasp is nice, but the clasp itself needed to be worn in a bit to lock easily without a firm press.
Each of the four versions of the X-Ray watch are part of a limited edition of 99 pieces. With an interesting design and unique character, these are certainly of the mos interesting indy watches from 2011 that don’t cost a fortune. They are also a good way to get into the Itay Noy brand if nothing from them so far has moved you. Price is $3,640- $3,900 ($3,640 as shown). You can learn more or buy one from Bareti here.