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Lytt Labs Inception Prodigy Watch Review

Lytt Labs Inception Prodigy Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Lytt Labs is a fairly new, smaller watchmaking company that was started by a seasoned and very serious watch collector in timepiece-crazy Singapore. Its latest model is the Lytt Labs Inception Prodigy, and I happen to think it is quite fun to wear. It helps that Lytt Labs radically revised its previous “no hands” dials that use discs and had issues with legibility even if they were neat-looking. The Inception Prodigy doesn’t re-think what a wristwatch can be, but it does offer an aesthetic unlike most of what else is out there — and with a price that is highly accessible.

Edwin Seah, who started Lytt Labs, is a collector I’ve met before and who doesn’t hold back on showing that he can afford the most exclusive timepieces going all the way up to Richard Mille. What makes him different as a collector isn’t just that he wanted to start his own brand, but that he is doing so for a more mass appeal than to truly top wristwatch buyers such as himself. This is identified by the price of the Lytt Lab watches. Depending on the version the Inception Prodigy costs about $500 USD.

Lytt Labs Inception Prodigy Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Seah’s goal for Lytt Labs was to create something different. What happens to really accomplished watch collectors (and I’ve seen this numerous times) is that they start to get jaded about “watches all looking like each another.” I don’t really agree that they do, but what they are trying to actually say is that they are tired of seeing the same designs over and over again since many of them have exhausted the options from the usual suspects (the most popular luxury watch brands).

Some of the seasoned collectors seeking new watches and new emotions from those watches delve deeper and deeper into the world of independent watches because that is where they can find more original designs. Others, as is the case here, decide to start their own brand (if they can stomach the cost and headaches). I hope that helps explain a bit about what is behind Lytt Labs and the ethos a little bit.

Lytt Labs Inception Prodigy Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

What the Inception Prodigy pulls from in previous Lytt Labs watches is the distinctive cushion-style case shape that it introduced with its Inception V1 watch. This 45mm-wide square (14mm thick) takes some getting used to, as there really aren’t too many cases like this out there. A while back, Roger Dubuis has some thematically similar cases but nothing like that in their current collections. The cushion-style case has a round dial, which is smart because a cushion-style dial would have been much more challenging to design a dial around.


Lytt Labs Inception Prodigy Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The dial itself is really cool, in my opinion, and I applaud the design. First and foremost, the proportions are good and the dial is very legible, despite the various design elements. Luminant is also pretty grand, and seeing the watch in the dark with “full glow” can easily put a smile on most timepiece fans’ faces. The hands are standard in their operation, but they look different thanks to a few visual tricks.

One nice trick is the disc-style seconds hand, which has both an arrow indicator and a small window that opens to a 60-second scale underneath it. I like how you can see the numerals under it, a nice effect. The seconds disc is mounted on top of the hour and minute hands, which hides the axis points and helps create the look of even more concentric circles on the dial. The designer of the Inception Prodigy watch said that they were inspired by decorative public gathering fountains.

Lytt Labs Inception Prodigy Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The case itself is in steel and water resistant to 50 meters. Lytt Labs currently offers the Inception Prodigy with a brushed steel case, PVD-coated black case, or in a rose gold tone. The large crown is also a design element and more or less has the same cushion-style shape, a fun detail.

Going back to legibility, in addition to the correct use of mostly non-reflective surfaces on the dial, as well as the handsome use of depth, the Inception Prodigy watch has a flat sapphire crystal with, apparently, four anti-reflective (AR) coating layers. The lack of glare when viewing the dial gives the watch a more high-end feel and helps keep legibility very high.

Lytt Labs Inception Prodigy Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Attached to the case is a fitted silicone strap on a bespoke Lytt Labs buckle. Another praise point for the Lytt Labs Inception Prodigy is that, aside from the movement, pretty much everything on the watch needed to be made for Lytt Labs. This shows a lot of investment in the brand, which is somewhat different fmor a lot of microbrands out there that heavily rely on “parts-bin hunting” for cases, hands, bracelets, etc… The more originality and unique parts a watch has, the more interesting it will be, in my personal opinion.

Lytt Labs Inception Prodigy Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The silicone strap is nice enough and uses real stitching (which is more or less only cosmetic) but still comes across as a bit bland. Don’t get me wrong, it is comfortable and silicone is less expensive than natural rubber so it helps keeps costs down with these original parts. That said, I think the Inception Prodigy would look much more splendid on a sumptuous reptile or leather strap. I’m not sure how one might be attached since the watch uses a unique attachment system — the silicone strap is bolted to the case. An enterprising collector might have some custom strap made that will look awesome and probably cost more than the watch. The outcome could be cool, though!

Lytt Labs Inception Prodigy Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Inside the Inception Prodigy is a Japanese Seiko Instruments (SII) caliber NH35. This is a 3Hz, 42-hour power reserve automatic mechanical movement. It is pretty robust but not the fanciest or best-performing movement in the world. It is heavily used for applications such as this when a watch brand wants a reliable automatic movement but also wants to keep retail costs down. Often, when these decisions are made, the ability to have the watch be attractive to more consumers is what wins, and that makes sense.

Lytt Labs Inception Prodigy Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

In our conservative times, when people are more excited about the past then the unknown future, original designs and fresh-thinking watchmakers like Lytt Labs can be overlooked by consumers who want “familiar designs.” I sympathize with the sentiment, but I also encourage watch collectors to experiment with new stuff and ignore the masses of people on social media who criticize anything that seems out of the ordinary to them. In that sense, people who choose watches by Lytt Labs (and companies like it) have to be brave and confident. Designs like this don’t start to sink in as “acceptable” until at least several years have gone by and the design has been “proven.” That’s common, but I encourage watch consumers to be especially open-minded these days because, otherwise, the industry that produces watches won’t be like the collector-driven Lytt Labs and will continue to produce a whole lot more of the same.

Price for the Lytt Labs Inception Prodigy watch is $479 – $529 USD depending on the model. This particular Inception Prodigy Gunmetal reference P03-02 has a retail price of $499 USD. Learn more at the Lytt Labs website here.

Necessary Data
>Brand: Lytt Labs
>Model: Inception Prodigy (Inception Prodigy Gunmetal P03-02 as tested)
>Price: $499 USD
>Size: 45 mm-wide square, and 14mm-thick.
>When reviewer would personally wear it: At a gathering of young technology- minded people or at something like an e-sports event.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Someone who is compelled by the cushion-style case design and who likes the futuristic yet legible dial.
>Best characteristic of watch: Lytt Labs did an excellent job with the dial, which is legible and really cool to look at. Overall affordable price for such an original object.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Cushion-style case isn’t for everyone and does take some time to get used to, visually. Strap feels simple compared to the rest of the watch, and swapping it out for something else seems like a bit of a challenge.

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  • Craig A Clark

    I really can’t warm to that case design. Maybe if it wasn’t lug-less it would be a different case, and the overall appeal isn’t helped by the disc seconds hand. I find it hard to beat having …. just hands.

    I will say though that the price point is pretty fair for the quality on show, even if I don’t warm to the over all package.

  • Swiss_Cheese

    A huge turn off in my books are proprietary straps. They’re a surefire way to make sure (if the company goes *ahem* ‘mammary glands up’) you either have to (A) baby the strap so it doesn’t break/wear, (B) pay a small fortune for a custom made spare, or (C) find someone willing to sell you an increasingly finite part.

    Considering one of my favourite Vacheron models has a proprietary bracelet and I’ve steered away from it every time I’ve been in a position to buy it doesn’t exactly bode well for a microbrand with, what I can only politely refer to as ‘that’ name.

    I hate to think how large a 45mm cushion case would sit but more power to those who can wear them.

  • DanW94

    Sorry, this watch from the case to the strap and everything in between is really unappealing.

  • Nicholas Barkly

    As usual, most of you are terrible critics.
    I got this watch several months ago.
    The Price is easy …The design is excellent.
    Only complaint Is that the 45 mm wears much smaller than say a
    45 mm Bell and Ross square case. I’d prefer a bit larger.
    But everything is as Ariel describes and just a fun watch.
    Not a collectible ridiculous 10-50K model.
    I’ve had plenty of those and they are soooo boring after awhile.

    Most of you morons just like to see what you write. And it’s usually negative.
    You obviously haven’t a clue. About many many watches reviewed here.

    • Hi Nicholas ?
      Hey, don’t get too upset about the other readers’ comments, Nicholas.You just need to be thick skinned, buy what you like and only your opinion about your watch matters, right? I once posted a photo of my non mainstream microbrand watch on major forum and received nothing but brickbats and nasty comments from readers.
      I like the fresh new look, new dial and new hands in the Inception collection and know the watch looks much better in the flesh than the photos suggest.No questions on the Singapore quality control!! Personally I think Lytt Labs just needs to upgrade the strap options though.Get some Hollywood, Malaysians, Singaporean celebrities to wear the Lytt Labs watches and the brand will surely take off

      p/s So you’re a sneakerhead eh? Sweet.My brother has in his collection a rare Unworn New Balance M1300 JP sneakers from 1995 (I think !) and another unworn Nike Air Jordan XI Retro Concord from 2000 ?

      • Nicholas Barkly

        The sneakerhead is a whole other disease. Started as a frequent Bulls fan in Chicago. MJ came in when I was 17. They practiced at our health club for 9 years . All access. Season tickets also…etc. …a great era.
        Never to be again. Most people now don’t know how basketball at the pro level as devolved. Love the old school NB and AJ’s.

  • SuperStrapper

    This is a hands-on. That’s Ariel’s wrist.

  • Nicholas Barkly

    You have no idea what’s in my watch collection. Way too many .
    Audemars to Zenith. Even at 30% off from AD’s , still a rip off in the long run.
    IMHO. I realize this more and more and wish I wasn’t so impulsive in my past. Wasted so much money. Got some back. Kept some watches. Have read all watch publications since early 90’s.

  • David Bredan

    I wonder what point there is to doing critical reviews (not negative ones, as the point of any review at any “place” can never be sheer negativity — just fair criticism) when you fail to acknowledge their existence.
    Lambert / watch industry:
    (Speaking of watch industry, show me another English speaking watch media with as long and heavy track record of criticizing the industry — I don’t take it personally that you have zero idea how many battles and nightmare situations we had to endure with groups, brands, CEOs, PR people, event organizers etc, freaking out)

    And the list goes on. That said, when writing about stuff I (or anyone else on the team) dislike, I still have to be balanced and be considerate of those who may like / be interested in the reviewed watch. What we do can’t just be a moan-fest, where we bash everything for the sake of bashing it. Plus, we try and split up the discussed watches in a way so that whoever likes something gets to share his love (in a balanced, fair and critical way), as opposed to another writer picking a watch up just for the sake of bashing it.

    So to you I do object to “this place” not doing negative reviews — and to myself I ask what’s the point, if not even regular readers bother to see them.

  • Nicholas Barkly

    BTW…Is that John Conyers ?? I’m a fan .

    • Playboy Johnny – Team Mariu$

      Yes, and I am now a fan since he passed.

      • Nicholas Barkly

        So you don’t ( didn’t ) like him ?

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