Since 2020, Swiss watch brand Timeless has expressed its desire to provide watches that combine avante-garde styling and classic designs through its HMS collection. The latest in the series is the HMS 003. Available in a number of dial configurations, the watches all utilize the same dial layout. They feature an attractive guilloché pattern, with an aperture at the center that reveals a stylized hour wheel and a few gears behind it.
The round date display is behind an additional crystal below the main sapphire domed piece at 6 o’clock, isolated from the rest of the dial design. I found it to be an attractive way to incorporate a date display as a feature, rather than an afterthought. It also displays the model name of the watch without adding extra clutter to the dial, and I have to award extra points for color-matching the date to the dial as well.
The large, intricate crown is sure to be divisive for some on an otherwise dressy-looking watch. Made of three pieces in different finishes including black PVD and pink gold, it features the brand’s whirlwind motif at the center. I found it easy to grip, but some traditionalists may be turned off by it.
Opposite the crown sits an engraved plate with the model name and number, secured by two small screws. It helps to break up the side of the case visually, and I found the finishing to be attractive. A thin, convex bezel uses a frosted finish, and features machined dimples at each hour marker.
The lugs on the HMS are a modernized version of the wire lugs you’d find on an early wristwatch. They offer an organic shape, with a polished 4N pink gold ring separating them from the case. The case itself features horizontal brushing, while the sides of the bezel and caseback are polished, adding some brightwork to the case profile.
The solid caseback features an engraved Timeless wheel logo at the center, corresponding to the hour wheel on the front. Specifications, as well as the serial number, are engraved at the perimeter. This screwdown caseback and the push-pull crown combine to provide 50 meters of water resistance.
A brown calf leather two-stitch strap secures the watch to the wrist, together with a polished, single-fold two-button deployant. Once strapped on, the HMS takes command of your wrist. At 41.5mm wide and 12.8mm thick, it’s not a huge watch, but the thin bezel makes the dial look large. In addition, the straight case sides make it visually thicker, while the thick white chapter ring also gives the dial area a visual punch.
Said chapter ring, combined with the aperture at the center of the dial, gives the watch a nice appearance of depth. Additionally, the dial pattern offers attractive variations in different types of light. If I had one minor complaint, it’s that the dark gray hands don’t stand out as well as they could against the dial. In lower lighting conditions, it often took me an extra beat to see what time it was, especially since they lacked lume.
Inside the HMS is a Swiss-made STP 1-11 movement. STP is owned by the Fossil group, and the 1-11 is designed as an alternative to the ETA 2824. Due to a modified mainspring, the power reserve of the 1-11 is increased to 44 hours, and it beats at 28,800 vph. On top of this base platform, Timeless adds the hour wheel to provide a bit of visual interest. While it moves too slowly to notice while wearing, it was fun to watch it rotate when setting the time.
After wearing it for a while, I spent some time deliberating on how to describe the style of this watch. Finally, it was the brand’s website helped me to put my finger on it. Timeless says that its watches are “inspired by the design codes of yesterday and tomorrow.” That description sounds similar to the definition of the steampunk aesthetic. While the HMS doesn’t have the in-your-face style that often comes to mind when thinking of steampunk, it looks like a subtle and everyday wearable version of steampunk themes that will appeal to a wider audience. I found it funny that a company that makes wristwatches is named “Timeless,” but I feel that if you like the style of the HMS 003 today, you’ll likely still find it to be in style in the future. Considering its Swiss movement, detailed dial, and rose gold accents, I found the price of the HMS 003 to be appropriate as well.
If you find its retrofuturistic look appealing, the Timeless HMS 003 WH-G-BL will be produced in a numbered limited edition of 40 units. The MSRP is 1,450 CHF (roughly $1610 USD as of press time). For more details, please visit the brand’s website.
>Model: HMS 003 WH-G-BL
>Price: 1,450 CHF
>Size: 41.5mm wide, 12.8mm thick
>When reviewer would personally wear it: To a dressy, but not a formal event with stylish attire.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Someone who appreciates style in their everyday wardrobe.
>Best characteristic of watch: Guilloché dial with exposed hour wheel.
>Worst characteristic of watch: In some lighting situations I found the darkened hands difficult to differentiate.