24 hour time readings, nowadays, almost exclusively exist in digital form. The Swiss Made Slow Jo watch is a strange one as its unique selling point is an analogue 24 hour watch-face with just one hand, and this certainly seems like a new and cool concept. Yet, the Canadian military were using 24 hour full sized clocks in 1917. So this begs the question, how well does it actually work when implemented into this smaller timepiece with just a single hand to tell the time?
The Slow Jo comes in a variety of assorted designs. All wrist bands can be interchanged and there are many styles to choose from, with metal, leather, nylon and canvas as core materials. We picked what’s referred to as the Slow Jo 04, which is an all gold steel construction watch face and wrist band. The gold colour is stylish and not gaudy, being a few shades whiter than the Italian designed Detomaso Milano watch we’ve previously reviewed.
To accommodate different sized wrists, 34mm and 38mm faces are offered. We have the 38mm watch face and the design is ravishing: ideas from the past mixed with modern conceptions of shape that appears a tad hipster. We adored the layer of glass which protrudes above the stainless steel body, giving the eight sided shape with three extending layers even more dimension. The design is quality through and through. We haven’t had a single chip on the band or crack on the glass face; the build is literally solid. Interestingly it’s a timepiece that’s serious about water resistance too, withstanding up to 100 metres depth.
Comfort in this case is considerably down to which material the wrist strap is made of. Metal is probably the material that could bring fourth the most discomfort, if it’s sharp edged and the patterned strap were to dig into the skin. Thankfully these aren't the characteristics that this metal wrist band has; it’s pleasantly smooth against the skin. However, after being worn for several full days, we did notice that the buckle began to irritate in the evenings. We’d possibly consider a canvas strap for everyday use and apply the steel one on more dressy occasions.
Telling the Time
At first the 24 numbers circulated around a 38mm plain logo-free face, with just one hand, took more than a quick glance for us to tell the time from. We needed to have a close inspection of where the hand was and, after roughly 10 seconds, we’d know where our perception of the current time stood. This did take some familiarising with and was purely frustrating in the first place to be honest. However, perseverance has now enabled us to be able to glance at the Slow Jo watch and read the time in 2-3 seconds. Once we were habitually using the Slow Jo, it altered the way we interpreted time. Seeing the whole day mapped out in numbers like this has a strange calming effect, that slows you down as you perceive the day longer. Whether this will continue to reap these characteristics is yet to be seen.
The watch face displays every quarter hour reading with lines dividing each of the circulating 24 numbers. The time between these lines can be guessed quite accurately and we could make it through the day happily relying on it for our orientation within 2-3 minutes' accuracy. Obviously this is one of the Slow Jo’s biggest downfalls (or some may say strengths) as it can’t offer minute by minute or second by second accuracy. For us this isn’t too much of a concern as we have so much technology constantly surrounding us for this, but those who take their time pieces very seriously may find it too clever for its own good. A Swiss GMT Quartz movement has reliably kept the time and, by pulling out the crown to the second position, the hand can be adjusted in any direction.
If you’re unaccustomed to 24 hour one hand watch faces, the modernist Slow Jo will need to be worn for a good two weeks before you begin to tell the time without thinking. Assuredly the enormous choice of colours that both the watch face and the interchangeable wrist strap are offered in, will please particular tastes for almost any desired image; nearly always striking the perfect balance of cool and interesting. Nevertheless, this level of choice comes at a reasonable cost of anywhere between £190-£230 in the UK or $250-$300 in the USA dependent on the style.