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If you are a watch collector, the appeal of 1970s racing chronographs is easy to appreciate. They have the charm of vintage watches and make the wearer feel like a race car driver during the coolest era. Despite this, they still look contemporary when worn today. However, if you’ve ever tried to purchase one, you probably know that it can be quite difficult. Reliability and service history can be questionable, and popular models can cost thousands of dollars. It’s for these reasons that modern watches styled after these pieces from the past have great appeal to watch collectors. As fans themselves of these kinds of timepieces, The new MT&W Watches collection of chronographs should be on the list for anyone considering a watch like this.
As the brand was started in 2021, it doesn’t have a back catalog to pull from. Because of this, the watches are not direct homages to any particular watches made by another legacy brand. This is rather appealing, however, as they use MT&W’s unique designs that employ styling elements that would make them fit in well at the Monaco Grand Prix in 1972 (or in 2022, for that matter). Domed K1 mineral crystals and 40mm case diameters give them the silhouette of a watch of 50 years ago. Combined with the 13.5mm thickness (including crystal) and 48mm lug-to-lug distance, the watches will be quite comfortable. Strongly styled lugs and tachymeter bezels ensure that there is no mistaking their conceptual genesis. Additionally, MT&W takes the vintage aesthetic one step further. Each of the dials is treated with a chemical process to create the appearance of the patina that develops on vintage watches as they age. Each of the dials is handcrafted in this fashion to ensure that no two are exactly alike.
Six dial color variations of the MT&W Chronograph will be produced. The Eclipse uses black subdials on a dial that is faded to an off-white color via the patination process. Red hash marks over a black ring at the edge of the dial add a splash of color to this racy combination. The W Panda takes a similar approach but offers a more subdued set of colors. Its white patina dial is broken up by gray subdials with black tracks, and a gray area at the circumference.
As the name implies, Racing Green variants have a deep green sunburst dial that conjures images of British racing cars of the era. White subdials are recessed in the middle with the same aging process applied to them. The Oceanic Vintage takes the same approach, but with a corresponding rich blue dial color for a boat racing theme.
The Panda colorway uses a black dial but has a large amount of patinated white surface area. The subdials and outer ring of the dial on this model have both had the process applied. Steel Grey takes a monochrome approach. The surrounds of the main dial and subdials are black, while the centers are grey. The patina is the most subtle in this darker dial.
All models have the same brand logo printed on the dial, polished hands, and applied hour markers. Black tachymeter bezel inserts are installed with legible white text, and the chronograph minute counter is marked with numerals at 10-minute intervals. The running 24-hour dial features markings every two hours, and numerals every six, and there is also a running seconds display with stick markers on the fives. The watches include two straps, with calf leather or nylon NATO straps as the options. Watches can then be stored in an included leather pouch or vintage-style leather watch box.
In the interest of improving robustness and accuracy, as well as reducing cost, MT&W uses a Seiko VK63 Meca-Quartz movement in its new chronographs. It provides the smooth sweep of the seconds hand and instantaneous reset that owners of vintage mechanical chronographs love, without the delicacy or need for costly servicing. The watches also feature 30m of water resistance. Unlike with a vintage chronograph, owners should have no worries about getting water splashed on their timepieces.
At a pre-order price of around $188, MT&W offers a chronograph with a reliable movement at a great value. With six attractive color options, and a comfortable 40mm size, there is likely to be a watch in the collection that appeals to any vintage chronograph lover. Final prototypes of the MT&W Eclipse collection have been completed and are available for pre-order now on Kickstarter. The brand expects production watches to begin shipping to customers in September of this year.
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