O Sancta simplicitas (but in a good way!) These are the first words that come to mind when I see the new MM series (refs. MM 101 & MM 102) from a.b.art. The Swiss company built its reputation on creating minimalist, easy-to-read timekeepers with the Bauhaus movement being their most important source of inspiration. The new MM series, however, is 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 being positioned as a “dress” watch, the new a.b.art MM 101 / 102 collection doesn’t 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 MM may look good with a casual dress: although you may deem it just too elegant and simple to wear it 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 one 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 in broad daylight, although the lack of luminous hands and indexes will surely make it unusable in darkness.
A domed-resistant sapphire glass gives the dial an even dressier appearance, which is something that you may expect from a Swiss-made timekeeper that costs around $1000.
Its mechanical, hand-wound, rhodium-plated movement Unitas 6498-1 with the Incabloc shock-absorption rests peacefully 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 huge with its 16.5 lines (37.22 millimeters) design but is popular among watchmakers and collectors alike thanks to its bulletproof reliability and robustness.
As usual, the movements come in different levels of finishes, but this particular variation is probably one of the high-grade ones with its 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 Collection
a.b.art MM 101 & MM 102 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