Boutique brand Ritmo Mundo was launched 22 years ago in Los Angeles by watch dealer, lawyer, and entrepreneur Ali Soltani. Over the last few years, the brand has been very quiet as Soltani and his team strove to determine how to make the watchmaker relevant for today. Over the years, Ritmo Mundo has been both a platform for unique designs, as well as familiar designs inspired by current trends and popular looks. Soltani will probably admit that much of the success came not from his more ambitious creations but rather from popular looks that fit into modern trends and buying tastes. With the Pegasus collection of watches for 2024, Ritmo Mundo attempts to be both original and trendy.

Ritmo Mundo also considers the Pegasus watch platform as a soft relaunch for the brand. The company is tacitly asking people to put aside any notions they had of what Ritmo Mundo may have been and to be open-minded for what is to come. Indeed, the Pegasus is nothing like the former Ritmo Mundo watches, but you can see that it comes from the same taste and aesthetic language. The watch, after all, is an extension of Soltani’s own taste and ideals.

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The main theme Ritmo Mundo chases with the Pegasus watch design is transparent watch cases made from sapphire crystal. The Pegasus case isn’t made from sapphire crystal but also isn’t priced that way. Instead, Ritmo Mundo opted to select a lab-grown crystal that has a similar surface hardness. Synthetic sapphire crystal has a surface hardness rating of 9 on the Mohs scale. That’s very tough, and second only to diamonds in terms of overall hardness. The material used for the Pegasus case rates 7 on the Mohs scale. Compare that to glass, which is about 5.5 on the Mohs scale. This hardness rating is important because scratch resistance is a huge part of why sapphire crystal cases are appealing. The promise is a watch that will resist wear and tear to remain perfectly clear in its appearance. Sapphire and other crystal cases can crack if you drop them hard enough, but provided you don’t subject them to major shock, they can look brand new in perpetuity.

Ritmo Mundo did not, however, clarify the exact mineral used for the construction of the Pegasus case. My guess is that it is a quartz mineral crystal case that has been grown to be perfectly clear and has a 7 rating on the Mohs scale. Quartz is grown like sapphire crystal but is rarely used for watch cases. Most of the quartz you find in a watch is tiny in size and located in the movement of quartz-based electronic timepieces. The Ritmo Mundo Pegasus is the only watch I know of that has a case produced with this material. For the most part, the Pegasus looks and feels like a sapphire crystal-cased watch, and it isn’t scratch-prone like a plastic might be. For the money, the Pegasus is probably safely considered a happy medium between performance and cost.

Ritmo Mundo is, at heart, a maker of sports watches but doesn’t like making watches that look too sporty. Instead, Ritmo Mundo likes flashy, interesting designs that you can easily wear daily. Accordingly, the Pegasus case is water resistant to 30 meters, offers a highly legible dial, and fits securely on the wrist with its sporty silicone strap. The crystal case is “cushion-shaped,” i.e., an angled-off square, and is 44mm wide and 11.3mm thick. The case uses mostly angled surfaces, which makes sense since curved surfaces are much more challenging (and thus expensive) to create for crystal case components. Ritmo Mundo did a reasonably good job making the case feel interesting, despite trying to avoid design features that would be too expensive to manufacture. It is also nice that the crown is crystal, which is often a part produced in metal even in many high-end sapphire crystal-cased watches.

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Ritmo Mundo launches the Pegasus with two dial styles, each of which is available in a few color variations. The dials are sporty and celebratory, respectively, but also have the same price and offer similar high levels of legibility. This dial style is the sportier version, which uses an anodized aluminum ring for the markers. The other version has colored crystal hour and minute markers. The expansive dial is skeletonized with a view of the movement but with bold hands and the readable hour and minute marker track. This particular version of the Ritmo Mundo Pegasus watch in blue is the reference 3201-002.

The biggest challenge Ritmo Mundo seemed to face with the Pegaus other than the case material was what movement to use. None of the standard off-the-shelf mechanical movements would do, mainly because they are either too small or far too expensive for this particular application. Ritmo Mundo not only needed a mechanical movement that would fit the wide space but one that would also look attractive and ideally offer a skeletonized viewing experience. What was the result?

I don’t know if this movement was developed especially for the Pegasus, or if it was an existing caliber that was minorly adjusted for this particular application. It is a Chinese-made automatic mechanical with a highly open-worked display and bridge design that is clearly inspired by Roger Dubuis (you can see the same “star” motif in the bridge work). The automatic movement is decently finished, for sure, though I am accustomed to slightly better metal surface polishes and treatments. The movement operates at 3Hz with 48 hours of power reserve and indicates the time with just minutes and hours. My main issue with the movement is the noise. The case doesn’t mask the sound of the rotor moving very well, and the noise that the movement makes when being manually wound isn’t exactly refined (though the “whiny” sound is standard and common in similar movements). Not huge issues, but certainly in the bucket of things to refine in the future given the not-entry-level price of the Pegasus.

Ritmo Mundo includes two silicone straps with each Pegasus watch. This model came with a white and blue silicone strap set, each of which looks pretty nice (though the blue strap has the masculine edge, for sure). It is also probably accurate to suggest that the Pegasus was designed with both men and women in mind. The size of the watch is certainly better for masculine tastes, but the crystal look and overall aesthetic easily overlap with feminine tastes, as well. The straps come on quick-release bars so they are easy to swap out without tools.

I really like wearing the Ritmo Mundo Pegasus as a statement watch. This is what Soltani and his team have always done best: original-looking statement watches for those with sympathetic tastes. The nature of statement watches is that not everyone wishes to make that statement, which is totally OK. Statement watches are particularly enjoyable to wear when the statement the watch is making aligns with your own personality or the particular mood you happen to be in that day. Classic sports watches (by comparison) rarely satisfy such a need. Price for the Ritmo Mundo Pegasus (Ref. 3201-002) watch in crystal and blue is $3,500 USD. Learn more at the Ritmo Mundo website.

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