When properly executed, the look of worn patina can be every bit as aesthetically appealing to some as a fresh new finish. From distressed denim to barn find classic cars, this broken-in style has found fans in nearly every enthusiast pursuit, and the world of watchmaking is no exception. Italian microbrand Out of Order has made a name for itself in collector circles over the past several years for its playfully funky pre-distressed diver homages, offering the look of decades of patina fresh from the factory without the costs and reliability worries surrounding a real vintage watch. For 2021, the brand has refreshed its core automatic collection, introducing new colorways and a more robust construction. The new Out of Order Auto 2.0 collection is a sizeable step forward for the brand’s automatic offerings, with detailed new distressed treatments, updated bezels, and the same playfully defiant ethos that has come to define its lineup.
Like previous entries in the brand’s stable, the Out of Order Auto 2.0’s stainless steel case design takes familiar dive watch design cues and remixes them with a distressed twist. The Auto 2.0 series should likely carry an imposing wrist presence at 44mm wide and 14mm thick, but given the design’s decidedly casual bent this isn’t likely to be sliding under many tuxedo cuffs in any case. In terms of overall layout, the case of the Auto 2.0 follows the classic dive watch formula, with vertical case sides, long athletic tapering lugs, an oversized signed unguarded crown, and a coin edged unidirectional dive bezel. While the design should be familiar to both fans of the brand and general watch enthusiasts, Out of Order has made substantial changes to the case in both the fine details and its overall architecture. Although the brand does not give specific measurements, it does claim the Auto 2.0 boasts a major increase in shock resistance over its previous cases, allowing this sporty design to perform more reliably in difficult conditions. Given the dive watch connotations of the design however, the Auto 2.0’s 100 meter water resistance rating remains somewhat underwhelming. With that said, it’s the Auto 2.0’s finishing that sets it apart both from its predecessors and the rest of the watch industry. While the main case starts with a familiar mix of brushed and polished surfaces, Out of Order adds a random assortment of hand-applied scuffs, scratches, simulated rust patches, and spots of discoloration that serve to make every example of the Auto 2.0 visually unique. The Auto 2.0’s anodized aluminum bezel insert, available in black, medium sea blue, or bare aluminum, continues this hand-applied patina look. Each bezel is given its own unique patina treatment and engraved with a fully lume-filled dive scale.
While patina is the name of the game for Out of Order, each of the four models in the Auto 2.0 collection approaches the aged dial look in its own way. All four follow a recognizable dive watch template, with Mercedes-style hands above a set of applied diver indices. The tall brushed rehaut will likely remain a divisive element for the Auto 2.0 series, with a repeating “Out of Order” engraving that calls to mind modern Rolex references. From here, the four models diverge, with each iteration taking on a different patinated style. The most straightforward of these is the simple black dial model, with a matte black main dial surface showcasing just a hint of tropical brown aging in initial images. Out of Order takes a similarly light touch with the lume of the black dial model, using a pale off-white lume fill with a subtler effect than most fauxtina lume designs in initial images. The pale olive green dial variant takes a similarly light touch to its aging, with a uniform matte surface and an unorthodox gray tone for its Super-LumiNova fill that reinforces the color’s military undertones. The medium matte putty gray dial model takes a more conventional approach to fauxtina in images, with a warm yellowish lume tone in photos and a blacked-out treatment for its hands and indices to reduce visual flash. By contrast, the navy blue dial model takes the most aggressive approach to its distressed look, with a deeper yellow lume fill and a subtle mottled discoloration pattern for the main dial surface.
Out of Order powers the Auto 2.0 collection with the Seiko NH35 automatic movement. While not as commonly seen as its competitors from Japanese rival Miyota, the NH35 is a reliable and affordable entry-level automatic powerplant that should promise durability and ease of service for years to come. In terms of performance, the NH35 offers a decent 41 hour power reserve at a slightly slow 21,600 bph beat rate.
All four models in the Out of Order Auto 2.0 collection are fitted with the brand’s take on the classic stainless steel three-link oyster bracelet. Out of Order’s distressing efforts here are more aggressive in images than those on its cases, with broadly discolored patches between the links that evoke the look of worn plating over brass. Despite this heavily tarnished look, the bracelet should offer a secure feel with solid links and a solid milled clasp.
With newly reinforced construction, a broad variety of colorways, and a laid-back patinated ethos, the Out of Order Auto 2.0 collection moves the brand’s offerings forward substantially without losing sight of its irreverent distressed spirit. All four models in the Out of Order Auto 2.0 collection are available now through authorized dealers at an MSRP of $425 each. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.