03/12/2020 3:00 pm
Extra Time with the Paulin Neo B
In terms of performance, this is a solid time machine. The finish of the case, crown and buckle are smooth and pleasant not just to look at, but gentle to the touch.
While the hands might not be a universally appealing feature, I dig ’em. I am a real fan of the font, and the subtle (yet noticeable) interplay of color (or as they might say – colour). Is the dial finish work perfect? Well as the upper part of the date window will tell you, no, not perfect.
Are you a BIG watch fan (that referring to the size of the watch vs. the size of your passion)? If so, you will find this too small. Go buy yourself a big diver and get it over with ; )
One last thing in terms of performance – I managed to drop my Neo B from a height of approximately 4 feet (metric fans, you’ll have to do your own conversion) and it landed smack on the crystal. And my whole life flashed before my eyes and I was transported back to those not-so-happy days of childhood where I would manage to break or damage just about any nice thing I had. But as fortune would have it, not a mark on the crystal, and I am assuming (happily) that no damage was done, as this was nearly a week ago and it has kept perfect time since then.
My only two complaints –
- The crown absolutely sucks. I am sorry, but I have to be honest here. I appreciate the desire to keep to certain aesthetic standard, but it is way too small and not terribly tactile.
- The use of universal “double digits” on the date wheel. I realize that younger eyes might do better with it, but it is actually a bit challenging when you see 02 in such a small space. I also suspect that it is something you get used to over time.
My big – I LOVE YOU points?
- The color! Enough said.
- The watch face itself – I absolutely love the interplay of the numbers and indices, as well as the subtle, yet pleasantly noticeable use of different colors.
- The hands – just quirky enough.
- The size – this one is definitely a Goldilocks size watch – “Just Right”.
- Price – More than fair, even for those who have to stump up the VAT.
Now as a reminder, I am not writing this review as someone who was sent a sample, but rather someone who dug into their wallet and paid their own money to buy this. At £395.00 – that’s $532 in US funds, it is a fair price for a fun mechanical watch. And the price for those of us outside of the European zone is even better once the VAT is removed. I did opt for a strap upgrade and will say that the cordovan strap which represented a slightly higher price was well worth the extra cost.
As I had mentioned, I immediately fell in love with the Neo B at first sight. It was as if someone grabbed that SWATCH Yamaha Racer that I had missed out on as Northern Youth and built it into a grown-up watch. And that love is still strong after the past month or so. There were a few things that were disappointing, and those would really connect to the human-touch points:
- The communication from Paulin was simply not good. Now the one argument you could make is: “Hey, don’t know if you noticed, but we’re in the middle of a pandemic, pal!” And were I going into a High Street shop I would absolutely agree with you. But the truth of the matter is that when you are a web-based business, you have to communicate a bit better.
- Order fulfillment and receipt – I am again of 2 minds here. On the one hand, I did get my watch in the end. On the other hand, I had to reach out to Paulin more than once to find out if/when the watch was going to ship as the “start ship” date had already come and gone with no information from Glasgow in my in-box. I never got a definitive answer, more of a “it will probably ship…”
- Priority of “who got what when” – As I was waiting to hear if/when my watch would ship as the ship date start had passed with no word, I saw a review from Robert-Jan at Fratello Watches on, you guessed it, the Paulin Neo B. And to be clear, this irritated me. Not as someone who writes about watches and potential reviewer, but rather as a customer. On a side note, I have a lot of respect for Robert-Jan and I don’t begrudge him Paulin’s decision making paradigm. But as a customer who was receiving no information from the brand about his purchase, this took a little bloom off of the bud.
So probably the only question that really matters – “Would you buy this watch again?”