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Something new will soon be launching on Kickstarter, something with a fresh face and its own identity. Kickstarter campaigns to fund watches sometimes feel like a-dime-a-dozen and it is tricky to sort through all that is on offer. As you might know, team-MONOCHROME is rather critical of what we cover from crowdfunded watch projects as many fail to tick enough boxes for us to share them with you. However, a new Singapore-based brand named Mitch Mason convinced us to do so, and here’s the hands-on review of their Chronicle collection.
Usually, designs we see on crowdfunding platforms have not so subtle hints to other timepieces, or claim do disrupt the luxury watch market or offer something rather unnecessary. And yes, I do realise not all watch buyers as are as critical as the watch collectors and enthusiast. Hence the reason we cover only projects that spark our interest, for various reasons, usually offering an interesting and affordable package.
The Mitch Mason Chronicle collection is part of them. The Chronicle is the very first collection to be launched by this new Singaporean brand, and one that deserves a bit of attention, even from seasoned collectors. The design is inspired by military field watches from the WWII era. It shares only a few traits with other watches, something that is an increasing rarity amongst crowdfunded projects. Don’t get me wrong here, it is very difficult to create something fresh and new from the ground so it is refreshing to see people still attempt to stand out from the masses, and succeed in doing so.
The Mitch Mason Chronicle features an angular stainless steel case with a relatively large opening for the dial, all in very modest dimensions. It measures 36,5mm wide, not including the crown, and 43,5mm from lug to lug. The case is angular and facetted, with alternating brushed and polished surfaces. The Chronicle is fitted with a stamped, solid steel caseback which covers the automatic movement inside. Normally you would expect a brand to feel the need to reveal the movement they’ve opted, even if it is of lesser visual appeal. Therefore, I fully salute the choice of Mitch Mason to resist this urge and give us an attractive coat of arms accompanied by the usual engravings like brand, model and serial numbers.
The choice for the movement was changed midway during developing the Chronicle Collection. At first, it was to be equipped with a Swiss Made movement but instead an automatic Miyota movement was selected. It offers equivalent mechanical specifications to a Swiss counterpart but at a more moderate cost. As such, the Mitch Mason is very competitively priced, but more on that later. The movement is a Miyota 9039, part of the premium line by the Japanese movement manufacturer, which is a subsidiary of the Citizen Group. It is a time only movement, with hours, minutes and seconds. This keeps the dial free of an often intrusive date window. Fully wound, it boasts 42 hours of power and it runs at a 4Hz frequency (28,800vph).
A total of four variants will be available, all with a certain appeal. The four variants can be split in a duo of a more contemporary look, and the other two with a vintage look. Possibly the strongest design of the four is also the most basic, the Jet Black. Black sandwich dial, the bottom layer being a nice creamy beige, matching cream finishing on the remaining hour markers, polished steel hands with cream lacquer and a red-tipped seconds hand. On the edge of the dial, a minute track finishes it off. Secondly, the Steel Blue version also comes with a sandwich dial but this time it features vertical brushing to set it off just a little bit more from the Jet Black. Other details remain the same but this time the seconds hand is done in red entirely.
The other two models in the Mitch Mason Chronicle collection feature printed numerals instead of the sandwich dial construction. The markings and fonts on the Desert Sand and Field Grey versions are different too, which results in a slightly dressier style and a bit more vintage perhaps. The hour hand is a special Mitch Mason design, nice and large for easy reading of the time. On all four variants the hour markers, hands and the large stripes at 3/6/9/12 have received a generous coating of luminous material.
If I had to give a verdict on the Mitch Mason Chronicle collection, I would have to say only one thing; job well done! It is an original design, bold in the right areas while conservative in others and the most important thing, it is a very well-priced package. The Chronicle would cost considerably more if equipped with a Swiss Made movement so I feel to opt for a Miyota is a smart decision. This keeps the watch as competitive as possible in terms of what you get for your money.
The Mitch Mason Chronicle will come on a leather strap, either a smooth calf leather strap in brown or blue or a brown suede one. Colour for the strap depends on which version you opt for. All straps have a branded pin-buckle and come with quick-release spring bars. Accompanying the watches is a nice leather watch roll to keep your Chronicle safe when not on the wrist.
The campaign will offer a super early-bird price of USD 379 for one Chronicle. You can follow the campaign, or pledge even if it sparked your interest, on Kickstarter here, with the launch date set for September 1st and running for three weeks. More information can also be found on Mitch Mason.