Paulin Commuter Automatic Watch

Paulin Commuter Automatic Watch

Paulin Commuter Automatic Watch Watch Releases

Unless you’re a Glaswegian, it’s unlikely that you've heard of Paulin. For the past few years the Scottish company has been quietly creating watches for an enthusiastic local audience, with most of their trade done face-to-face in their West End studio and shop. The company is made up of six designers from a broad variety of disciplines; architecture, type design, graphics, and fashion. The brand’s visual aesthetic is playful, expressing their love of design, appreciation for materials, and a belief in value-for-money. The Paulin Commuter Automatic is their first mechanical watch.

Paulin Commuter Automatic Watch Watch Releases

The majority of their customers are not watch experts or collectors with multiple watches, and this was something they addressed with the release of the original Commuter model. Rather than launching a dress or a diving watch, they designed a piece which would work in formal or casual situations—an everyday watch. The design has been incredibly popular, so when it came to working on their first automatic, the team members were keen on keeping the Commuter’s broad appeal.

Paulin Commuter Automatic Watch Watch Releases

The 3-piece exhibition case sandwiches a vertically brushed body between a satin PVD gunmetal bezel and screw-in caseback. The layering gives the case a slimmer profile and interesting aesthetic whilst the quality of vertical brushing on the case body is indicative of the level of craftsmanship which has gone into this watch. The watch measures 37mm in diameter by 10.5mm deep with a lug to lug length of 45mm. The lugs are also drilled.

Paulin Commuter Automatic Watch Watch Releases

Paulin Commuter Automatic Watch Watch Releases

The dial is a two-layer construction with radial grooves, skeleton hands, and a sweeping yellow second hand, giving the watch an aesthetic that is crisp and modern whilst referencing classic sector dials. The ‘Geo’ font was designed by Paulin specifically for its watch dials—with a typographer in the design team, the dial numerals were always going to be a pivotal feature of the watch. When designing the numbers they had to consider the range in size that they needed to function at, and the balance they had to strike between being decorative and legible. They decided to use this constraint as a starting point for the design by incorporating gaps into the numbers—when viewed up close they have an aesthetic function, but from further away the eye automatically fills them in. The forms of the letters are inspired by Art Deco era typography, which is reflected in their sharp points and geometric shapes.

Paulin Commuter Automatic Watch Watch Releases

Leather work is a big part of Paulin. Two of the designers are also trained leather-workers, so straps are something they take seriously. Their leather workshop occupies the back of their studio/shop, where they produce bespoke straps for customers and prototype new designs. The Commuter Automatic comes on an English bridle leather strap as standard. Sourced from Clayton & Sons Ltd. in England, Paulin believes the 177 year old tannery produces the best quality bovine leather in the world. Clayton's bridle leather has been Paulin’s standard strap for several years now as it ages beautifully and is incredibly hard wearing, having been created to endure the elements as horse tack whilst still looking good.

Paulin Commuter Automatic Watch Watch Releases

Paulin Commuter Automatic Watch Watch Releases

Paulin offers a wide range of straps in the shop and online, including German hypoallergenic suede, stingray, and Italian Shell Cordovan, all hand-made in Bavaria, Germany. They’ve also designed their own buckle to accompany their new models, which is available on the bridle straps. The design incorporates a keeper into the structure to simplify the aesthetic of the strap.

Paulin Commuter Automatic Watch Watch Releases

Paulin Commuter Automatic Watch Watch Releases

The glass in both the front and exhibition back is sapphire coated, making it tough and highly scratch-resistant. The brand’s use of bright colors and Art Deco inspired forms contrasts with the trend for minimalism amongst their peers. At $495 the Paulin Commuter Automatic represents incredibly good value for money and is available now through Paulin’s physical shop in Glasgow or from their site.

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What do you think?
  • I love it! (22)
  • Interesting (14)
  • I want it! (13)
  • Thumbs up (12)
  • Classy (11)
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  • Berndt Norten

    I think everyone should wait for Raymond to get the first word!

  • DanW94

    Overall not a bad effort. Two things though, get rid of whatever that is at 12 and just put a number that at least resembles a 12. As it stands, you’re trying to be too cute with the Art Deco font and it just looks like you’ve place a 10 in the 12 position. Also mention the movement in the narrative so I don’t have to strain my old eyes to see that it’s a 9015.

  • Don’t care what design language you use to rationalize or justify it, that 12 o’clock marker says “10”.

    • Berndt Norten

      Does the 12 that looks like 10 mean it earns a Phil leavell 6 ?

    • David Williams

      Agreed. I understand their intention, but it’s a bit too clever for its own good. The illusion isn’t easy to see from the photos – maybe it works better at the scale of the actual watch.

      I suggest that the answer is already there in front of our eyes – take the 3 and flip it vertically to its mirror image, so that it becomes a 2 with an open, rather than closed, loop – much better, I reckon!


    Way too glamorous for me… truly A-Paulin!

  • Ranchracer

    The numbers are absolutely terrible, as is the slab-sided case. Who is this supposed to appeal to? Millennials? Given that I’ve recently met some millennials in high paying jobs who don’t know how to read traditional analog time, it seems like a wasted effort if that’s who this piece is targeting.

    • Dr. Renato Lazarus

      Didn’t Ariel himself say that he didn’t learn to read a clock until later in his life? I think I am from the beginning part of the millennial generation but I can’t believe some of these guys. Maybe I just had a different upbringing. They can’t tell time. Can’t spell without spell-check. Can’t drive a car. Definitely can’t change a tire. Can’t tie shoelaces. Can’t go 8 hours without a smartphone. Can’t have a nice meal without taking pictures of it…

      • Ranchracer

        I know, it’s really quite amazing. When this person asked me for the time (apparently too lazy to take her phone out of her pocket), I showed her my watch and she stared at it for a good 10 seconds and then said she had no idea how to read it. I didn’t even know what to say! I gave her a quick lesson but she clearly wasn’t interested in learning. This was a 20+ year old working at one of the largest high techs in the world!

        • Surely you’re joking too!

          • Ranchracer

            Wish I were my friend.

        • Word Merchant

          “Oh. My. God. That’s like, literally, the oldest thing I’ve ever seen! What are the hands for? Is that, like, the weather?” and so on…

      • Phil leavell

        Can’t afford life without mommy and daddy paying for it

      • Can’t tie shoelaces? Surely you’re joking…

        • Dr. Renato Lazarus

          OK, I got seven out of eight. 🙂

  • Word Merchant

    It’s a nice clean design; I like it.

    It’d also work well with the numerical B colour scheme (but with differing shades of grey on the inner and outer sections of the dial) – in fact why not make an automatic movement version of numerical B (automerical B?). Additional points for not including a date. 37mm is a touch small for me – 40mm is the smallest I’d go, but presumably your customers have voted otherwise with their wallets.

    Finally, and seemingly alone here, I am more than happy with your ’12’ font. But, looking at your website typography page, I thought the ‘4’ would work far better if it used the same upstroke as the ‘1’ – you’ve already needed a ‘special’ angle for the diagonal stroke of the ‘7’ that doesn’t match the top stroke’s right hand edge, so I reckon an extended ‘4’ would be allowed.

  • egznyc

    I wish the hands were a little longer, and the case were a little thinner – particularly given the 37.5mm diameter. What’s with the weird numbering? Forget about the “12”; what about all the other numbers? Looks like someone took an eraser to parts of them.

  • IG

    Typical Scots, they sourced too short hands, probably £1 cheaper.

    • Phil leavell

      Short hands keeps your pint closer to your lips

  • Phil leavell

    Truly a funky chunky monkey. Kind of glitchy cool I think it’s a really good offering and a great starting point for young collector and even would be nice to have one as an old fart just to say look at this neat thing

  • John Stevens

    Wow, this is super interesting, beautifully designed and unique, haven’t seen too many like this before. Yes I’m joking.

  • MEddie90

    Not the worst offering I’ve seen (for the money at least). The design is simple and quite attractive, with enough design elements to set it apart from the million other “minimalist” mircro-brand releases and the specs seem roughly inline with the asking price.

    What I cant seem to get my head around is commuter… of all the thousands of names they picked commuter. I get that not every watch needs to have a name caked in machismo or pretentious self-importance but the term commuter brings to mind scenarios of sitting on a dull train for a hour while trying not to make eye contact and pretending to do work on a tiny plastic table.

  • Pete Pete

    it’s not a shitstarter and the comically small crown amuses me. that’s about everything positive I can come up with.

  • Buy and Sold

    It is quite a surprise to me that this company has a physical store sustained by to date selling its own quartz watches and straps. Can you really pay the rent with that?

    The number on this watch and the crown prevent me moving forwards.

    Reviewing their web site I like the straps they produce and will certainly visit the store should I be in Glasgow.

  • SuperStrapper

    As a Leith man this makes me want to fight someone. GGTTH!

  • otaking241

    I really like this. Good work with the creating an interesting and unique font for the numerals and staying consistent throughout. The whole package feels very coherent and well put together. Just goes to show you can put together a clean, Bauhaus-inspired watch without being a Nomos clone.

  • sfbaydawg221

    Looks a bit like the Stowa “Back to Bauhaus” line.

  • Yan Fin

    Nice dial and buckle. That’s it.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Well what do you know, i pass your shop often ( I live in the westend )
    I like what your doing, i like the minimalist approach you have to your design. I don’t however like filling gaps with my imagination and don’t like the stenciled look, it’s to arty farty and done already. Being Glaswegian i need a date or am all over the place.
    I wish you all the best.

    • IG

      Cruising in your Threewheeler in the Glaswegian night I’m sure you can get a date easily. Which lass could resist?

  • Coert Welman

    Nice watch, terrific size and a decent price. I wold have liked more details on the movement though.