The sophisticated timepiece. Is there really a look that we can universally accept? Truth be told, to attain such a character in a watch, a certain degree of plainness is needed; otherwise an over generous serving of expensive stones and metals creates a gaudy fashion accessory. Daniel Wellington are steering clear of excessive flashiness and are betting on clean simplicity to create a dramatic and sophisticated effect that will tempt buyers to their range.
This is the Dapper St Mawes watch, which distinguishes itself within their own lineup of designs by featuring a watch face with roman numerals, blue hands and a higher price tag of £219 (use coupon code 'SlinkyStudio' for 15% off). Upon removing the watch out of its gorgeous cream box with leather trimming, we are able to see the core three attributes that Daniel Wellington have concentrated on whilst designing the Dapper St Mawes watch: flatness, thinness and proportion.
Resting between the 19mm brown Italian made leather wrist strap gels a seamless and timeless timepiece that just looks confident and interesting at every angle. The rounded 7mm thick rose gold (silver also available) case that accents the glass covered eggshell watch face offers a gorgeous balance of airy sophistication. Little touches in the design that we’ve studied, like the two curving golden arches that connect the strap to the face and the offset crown for adjusting the time and date, give this watch a flair of Italian glamour, and also show the thoughtfulness put into designing the product for the user. Furthermore it can be worn on just about any everyday occasion as well as more formal events, which we should note is our favourite balance with any fashion accessory that wants to become a staple piece.
Whilst we generally felt the leather strap was pleasant and light on the wrist, a few of us noticed that the watch face could dig into the wrist after a few hours if the strap is done up tightly; this is all due to its very flat design and definitive circular edging on the back plate. Releasing a notch on the strap relieves this and doesn't create a fit that’s too loose, but if you’re someone who likes your watch really tight on your wrist this one might not be for you.
Telling the Time
Keeping track of the date and time is a Japanese Quartz Movement; what more can we say than it has accurately kept it bang on time for 2 months. Worth noting is that the male and female variants of every watch in the lineup look near identical due to the men's watch faces measuring 38mm-40mm and most of the female range measuring 36mm. On all Dapper variations the face is wonderfully easy to read. That eggshell white watch face with black roman numerals and reflective metallic blue hands, which are exclusive to the Dapper line, make this an easily legible watch to glance at, even in dull lighting, for an accurate and highly visible time update. Also displayed at the bottom of the face is the date. This is a nice addition, but we felt it was not entirely clear within the design as the typeface could have been better spaced and a few points larger too; the double digits require attentive reading.
We’ve now lost count of the number of times we’ve accidentally scraped the Daniel Wellington Dapper St Mawes watch face against walls and bumped it into obstacles. After many shocks and considerable anxiety caused by such frequent eventualities, the glass watch face has proven to be a very strong component - there is not a single scratch or chip and likewise the wrist strap is still graze free. Granted, where the strap buckles it has lightened in colour due to tension, but this just looks more characterful rather than being a nuisance.
Practical as it is charming, the Daniel Wellington Dapper St Mawes watch is the opposite of gaudy. With a carefully thought out and proportioned design moulding a handsome everyday timepiece for those who want to strike a more preppy image, it has a truly timeless sophisticated elegance.