I don’t envy anyone who decides to start their own watch brand. Watches have a number of strict design constraints, especially if one intends for them to be affordable and wearable. It’s a difficult line to walk between making a watch that looks unoriginal and one that is silly-looking, uncomfortable, or difficult to read. Since its inception in 2020, Richard-Harvey Watch Company has intended to do just that. The brand’s first watch, the Attitude is designed to be a tribute to military veterans (including founder Mathew White’s grandfathers) without looking like every other field watch we’ve seen before.

The watch gets its name from the attitude gauge in an airplane (not to be confused with altitude), indicating the craft’s orientation with respect to the horizon. While the inspiration is recognizable, it is subtle and doesn’t smack you in the face, without feeling like a Bell & Ross homage. A sapphire crystal with blue-hued AR coating allows for clear visibility of said dial.

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The intricate chapter ring (secured by three visible screws) houses military-inspired numerals at the quarters while a triangle at 12 o’clock nods to more traditional pilot watches. A rehaut above it features additional markings, including numerals at five-minute intervals and small lume plots at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock. The date at 4:30 will certainly polarize people, but there simply isn’t space for it at 3 o’clock or 6 o’clock. I’m okay with it, as I prefer tool watches to have dates, but it would have been a nice touch to rotate the numerals to be horizontal. The dial has a lot going on, so it doesn’t stand out like it would on a dress watch or a watch with a lighter-colored dial.

One thing I find important in a tool watch is not only its actual resistance to abuse but the amount of worry that I feel about scratching it when I wear it. I’m not typically subjecting my watches to anything severe, but I do appreciate a worry-free wearing experience. Mirror-polished finishes make me hesitate when grabbing a watch to wear. The titanium carbide PVD coating over a bead-blasted finish meant that I felt carefree wearing this watch all day. There is little risk of swirl marks or small scratches on the Attitude’s case. While I didn’t put this borrowed press watch to the test, it looks and feels like it would stand up well.

If one does actually plan to use a Richard-Harvey Attitute in extremes, the watch provides 100 meters of water resistance via a screw-down crown and serial-numbered caseback. This is totally adequate for a field-style watch without a dive bezel. A beefy crown guard protects said crown from impacts but makes it more difficult to grip. I found it large enough to grab without too much trouble, however, and adjusted to it quickly (no pun intended).

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However, that crown guard makes the watch wear bigger than its 42.5mm-wide dimensions would make you believe. The case is also nearly square, which gives it a bigger footprint than a round watch (think diagonal measurements, like a computer monitor). Despite this, its lugless design makes it wearable for smaller wrists as it is only 47mm lug-to-lug. Most people will also find its 13.1mm overall thickness wearable, as well, and a 20mm lug width means that all of your favorite straps will fit on it.

And Richard-Harvey will give you a head start in the strap department with the Attitude, which comes fitted with a brown leather strap, but the brand also provides a matching-color striped NATO-style nylon strap. Both straps include matching PVD hardware, and a spring-bar removal tool is supplied to allow for quick swaps.

Once you’ve strapped it on, the time is easy to read on the Attitude despite the amount of stuff going on with the dial. The large skeletonized hands are easy to differentiate, and I find that the black centers give them a clean look. The yellow horizon indicator also makes it easy to quickly orient yourself when looking at the watch.

At night, a variety of lume colors show up to make the time easy (and fun) to see. The blue lume of the minute markers fades more quickly, but the hour markers and hands glow brightly in green and are easy to read through the night.

The Attitude is powered by a Swiss-made Ronda R150 automatic movement with 25 jewels and a 40-hour power reserve. While not an exact clone of an ETA 2824, the R150 is designed as an affordable alternative to that movement. It has very similar specifications and dimensions while offering hacking and hand winding.

In recent years, watch collectors have faced a barrage of choices when shopping for a tool watch from a microbrand. These watches often appear to be overly inspired by watches from other brands, or simply a combination of overused styling elements. With the Attitude, Richard-Harvey has developed a watch that looks distinctly different. If its style and story speak to you, it’s an intriguing option for the price. The Richard-Harvey Attitude retails for $699 USD, for both the Patriot Edition pictured here and the aptly named Blackout Edition. You can purchase one or learn more at the brand’s website.

Necessary Data
>Brand: Richard-Harvey Watch Company
>Model: Attitude Patriot Edition
>Price$699 USD
>Size: 42.5mm wide, 47mm lug-to-lug, 13.1mm thick
>When reviewer would personally wear it: When doing something outdoors such as hiking or exploring.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Someone who has too many dive watches or field watches and wants something rugged but different.
>Best characteristic of watch: The dial with its funky chapter ring and lume application.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Some will find the case too wide due to its large crown guard.


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