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Movado Red Label Automatic “Museum Dial” Watch Review

Movado Red Label Automatic "Museum Dial" Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The 1990s came and went without my ever being able to experience a Movado Museum Dial timepiece on my wrist during the height of its popularity. Granted, I was a bit young to be wearing “adult” watches, but I have many distinct memories of relatives and other legions of adults who wore the extremely popular Movado Museum Dial watch that seemed to help define the era’s style landscape. Today, nearly 20 years after the end of the 1990s, the Movado Museum Dial watch is still produced in various forms, including this ritzier “Red Label” version that is Swiss-made and has an automatic mechanical movement inside of it. Let’s take a look at this modern take on the Museum Dial in the Movado Red Label reference 0607008 model in this aBlogtoWatch review.

What surprised me about the Museum Dial design today is how polarizing it is. Regardless of past popularity, many contemporary watch collectors aren’t interested in this aesthetic or flat-out don’t like it. I asked myself why this might be and appreciated the idea that familiarity breeds acceptance… and because not too as many people today have a Museum Dial on their wrist, collectors simply aren’t thinking about the design. The core Museum Dial design originated in 1947 and was created the by American designer Nathan George Horwitt. I discussed the interesting history of the Museum Dial watch on aBlogtoWatch.

Horwitt’s design was actually for a wall clock, but he did produce some wristwatch versions of the aesthetic. Born of a Bauhaus age in which design and aesthetics were being rendered for mainstream production, the simple dial was nevertheless full of meaning. For Horwitt, the single dot at the 12 o’clock position was meant to represent the sun. The hands show the time with the 12 o’clock hour indicator always being there to help orient the dial. Granted the Museum Dial is NOT a watch for those who need to know the time precise to the minute. You can more or less guesstimate the right time to within a few minutes of accuracy. Then again, your mobile phone is probably not too far away. I actually recall in the 1990s, as a child, admiring the attractive look of the watch by really wondering if adults were able to read the dial with more precision than I could. Turns out they couldn’t, and it was unfair to compare the analog Museum Dial watch to the digital G-Shock on my wrist at the time.

Movado Red Label Automatic "Museum Dial" Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

What the Museum Dial lacks in precision, it makes up for with aesthetics, in my opinion. This Red Label watch is like a larger mechanical version of many of the Museum Dial watches I liked in the 1990s. Movado adds some red-colored text at the bottom of the dial, which is how to identify these higher-end “Red Label” models. In person, the text is a bit less prominent than it appears in Movado’s product marketing shots.

Dauphine style hands in a yellow-gold tone are paired with a slightly concave polished 12 o’clock hour marker that adds a welcome sense of depth to the dial. Otherwise, we have an elegant black face and the relaxed minimalism the Museum Dial is known for.


Movado Red Label Automatic "Museum Dial" Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

At 42mm-wide in steel with a Swiss-made ETA 2824-2 automatic movement, this is the Museum Dial watch for today’s tastes. I especially like this two-tone reference 0607008, but Movado also produces an all-steel-tone version of the same watch as the reference 0606115. What I like about the two-tone model (PVD-coated steel for the yellow gold-tone) is the dial and bezel because I have always felt the Movado Museum Dial always looked better in gold-tone versus steel-tone (though that is just a personal preference).

No matter how you feel about the design of the Museum Dial, the Movado Red Label is a well-made and comfortable watch. Movado, as a company, has struggled a bit to keep up with the changing face of wristwatch distribution and sales, but they still know how to make a really nice watch when they want to. The Red Label is also surprisingly comfortable and is made very much in the vein of men’s functional jewelry, as opposed to a tool watch. Perhaps that is the best way to approach and appreciate something like a Movado Museum Dial watch: to consider it as men’s functional jewelry.

Movado Red Label Automatic "Museum Dial" Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The 42mm-wide case (water-resistant to 30 meters and capped with a flat sapphire crystal) is only about 9mm-thick with a roughly 48mm lug-to-lug distance. The lugs really wrap around your wrist, making for a really comfortable wearing experience. Many of the historic Movado Museum watches I recall were put on simple leather straps, but my favorite ones came on bracelets. Here we have the Red Label paired with a substantial feeling 22mm-wide seven-link steel bracelet with matching two-tone links. The bracelet closes with a nicely made butterfly-style clasp and, through the rear of the case, you can see a view of the automatic movement. The bracelet itself is made of high-quality polished steel, and I really like how it feels (and looks) on the wrist. The small curved links mimic the look of the lugs and offer a soft, non-sharp surface for your skin to move up against.

Movado Red Label Automatic "Museum Dial" Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Movado usess the fancier elaboré-grade movements, which are nicely decorated and have a customized Movado “red M” automatic rotor. The movement operates at 4Hz with about two days of power reserve. Use of an automatic movement is really about appealing to watch enthusiasts like me. Given than the dial only has an hour and minute hand, you don’t even see a running seconds indicator. So the value of having an automatic movement is very much with the wearer — but that is, by no means, uncommon when it comes to timepiece-enthusiast-grade products.

Movado Red Label Automatic "Museum Dial" Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Wearing this automatic movement-based 42mm-wide two-tone Movado Red Label watch very much feels like the Museum Dial of yesterday in a package that I want to wear today. If I try to compare it with the tool watches I  typically prefer, then I will have an awkward time evaluating the value of a watch like this. What I do is consider the timeless aesthetic value of the Museum Dial, whose visual appeal continues to intrigue me (and probably others). As a sophisticated fashion watch, expressive formal watch, or as a men’s jewelry watch, the Movado Museum Dial satisfies in a way unlike pretty much anything else. In a time when “minimalist” watches are still very much in vogue, it might be time to consider one of the “originals.” Retail price for the Movado Red Label 0607008 watch is $1,895 USD. Learn more or order at the Movado website here.

Necessary Data
>Brand: Movado
>Model: Red Label “Museum Dial” (reference 0607008 as tested)
>Price: $1,895 USD
>Size: 42mm-wide, about 9mm-thick, and about 48mm lug-to-lug distance.
>When reviewer would personally wear it: When wanting to attract a bit of attention to my wrist with a generalized audience as a formal or dressier watch.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: A man who likes the idea of wearing a well-made piece of horological art on the wrist as a piece of functional men’s jewelry.
>Best characteristic of watch: Excellent mixture of quality and components for the price. Feels very much like a modern version of a classic for today’s tastes and expectations. Comfortable to wear on the wrist all day long.
>Worst characteristic of watch: A might more AR-coated on the inside of the sapphire crystal would have reduced some glare. Core Museum Dial look is less common today and doesn’t have the consumer acceptance it once had as a design icon.

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  • James Honour

    Just guessing, but I bet the watch will illicit no positive comments. Would look much better without the gold trim, too 80’s chinz.

    • Larry Holmack

      Exactly. I guess Ariel is quite bit younger than I am…because the first thing that I thought was…” Movado, the 1980’s want their watch back!” It went out of style the same way that the Don Johnson, Miami Vice look did!!! But whatever…if you’re so inclined…get that old linen suit, aqua t-shirt and boat shoes out of storage….and head to the nearest disco!!

      • SuperStrapper

        Me and an old buddy used to have a joke about wicker deck shoes for when we see a don Johnson wannabe. Funny stuff.

  • Ugo

    kudos to Ariel who was able to write an entire piece about a watch such boring and out of fashion…

  • Guy B

    Purchased one of these during the late 80’s early 90’s, all stainless steel. It was sleek on the wrist and kept impecible time. I was so impressed I purchased the two tone for my spouse and a few years later the all gold for my father. When anyone would ask what time it was we would always say, it is “exactly” XX:XX. Since then they have all been recirculated but what a nice watch. In hindsight, we should of held on to them as they have appreciated significantly. Thanks for the memories Movado.

  • I might not have many opportunities to wear it, but it is an iconic (though polarizing) design.

    The finishing appear to be top notch and (from the photos) I would put that bracelet up against any two-tone Breitling pilot bracelet. And those two-tone bracelets cost more than this watch.

  • Mikita

    Movado is the most stable company in the world. Making same watch for 62 years already.

  • Simonh

    I cannot help thinking this is ugly and dated. Perhaps that is the point!

  • Andre Braz

    Classic but a little dated.

  • H.S.M.

    It’s two hands and a one spot away from being mistaken as a smartwatch.

  • PR

    I have this exact watch in SS (shocking!) While it doesn’t really hold a special place in the collection as such it does wear quite well and has a certain appeal.

    The really interesting thing I’ve noticed is that above most of the collection it gets noticed and commented on often. It is impractical, contradictory (large case with angular thick lugs on a pure dress watch dial) and really silly difficult to set the time on unless it’s at a quarter hour. But there is something to it and I still have it and wear it occasionally. The two tone is what makes it look dated, the bracelet is actually very well made and the watch works on dressed down straps as well

  • Zane Domke

    I have had a “love/hate” relationship with this type of watch for a long time; rather, I more often hate it than love it. However, this review has changed my mind a bit, this watch is much more attractive up close and personal. Still, I would go to a limit of maybe $700 dollars for this one and no further; almost $2000 for this is simply too much. I am personally someone who is interested primarily in tool watches, so take my view with a grain of salt.

  • leo tam

    I respect it as the watch that kept Movado around, but it also signified the end of the older Movado watches that were more my speed

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