O sancta simplicitas! These are the first words that come to mind when I see the new a.b.art MM series (refs. MM 101 & MM 102) from the Swiss-based watchmaking brand. The Swiss company is known for its very minimalist design language that is heavily influenced by the Bauhaus movement, yet their new MM series is the simplicity in its purest form. And I must admit that we here at WorldWatchReview.com are extremely delighted to see this beautiful timekeeper. While some may find its exterior oversimplified, I would argue that this is one of the most refined “simple” dressy watches currently available in this price range.
Although clearly being positioned as a dress watch, the new a.b.art MM 101 / 102 collection doesn’t really fall into the category due to its impressive (some may even call it immense) diameter of 46.5 millimeters. To me, it looks more like a dressier take on a classic aviator’s timekeeper that has the usual diamond hands swapped in favor of stick-shaped ones.
Also, being whole 13 millimeters thick, on a normal wrist it looks more like a compass than a dress timepiece that is supposed to radiate understated elegance and discreetness.
On the other hand, the watch may look good with casual dress: although you may deem it just too elegant and simple to be worn with a pair of jeans and a T-shirt, I would say that it will be just alright if you are the type of person who wears a carefully groomed beard and rides a cafe-racer in a vintage-style helmet. I am, by the way, not poking fun at the group: just trying to say that, while being a niche product, this watch is far from being silly. It simply needs to match a certain style and attitude.
Its pure and simple dial with 12 applied indexes is easily readable at broad daylight, although the lack of luminous hands and indexes will surely make it unusable in darkness.
The dial is covered with a domed and scratch-resistant sapphire glass, which is something that you may expect from a Swiss watch in this price range.
Its mechanical, hand-wound, rhodium-plated movement Unitas 6498-1 with the Incabloc shock-absorption is placed inside a three-piece stainless-steel case with screwed-in stainless steel back with see-through crystal inlay.
Initially designed to power pocket watches, the caliber is really huge with its 16.5 lignes (37.22 millimeters) design, but is very popular among watchmakers and collectors thanks to its reliability and robustness.
As usual, the movements come in different levels of finishes, but this one seems to be delivered in one of the top grades, since it features beautifully executed Cotes de Geneva stripes on its three-quarter plate and bridges.
It’s just perfect, if you are into simple, uncluttered design.
The watch will be available at a price of CHF 1090.00, €695.00 or $1095.00, respectively.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
See also: Alfex Big Adventure watch
a.b.art MM 101 & MM 102 watch specification:
Price range: around $1100
Movement: Manual, Unitas 6498-1 with the Incabloc shock-absorption. 18,000 vibrations per hour, 17 rubies, Accuracy of -10/+15 seconds, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds
Power reserve: 44-48 hours
Case material: Stainless steel
Case diameter: 46.50 mm
Case height: 13.00 mm
Dial: Black, White, Champagne
Water resistance: 50 meters
Crystal: Sapphire crystal, cambered, with antireflective coating
Strap: Black or brown solid leather strap with steel buckle