We have been given the absolute pleasure in having our hands on the inaugural watches that have come out of David Mason Watches, Branded as David Mason London. This young British watch brand/watchmaker has hit the market running with their first soiree into the watch and timepiece world with two models the DM1a and DM1b a David Mason Oversized GMT Pilot Watch. The Models are only available online from David Mason Watches direct at www.davidmasonwatches.co.uk
Let’s begin this Hands on Watch Review in great tradition by thanking David Mason Watches and David himself for sending us both of the DM1 GMT Pilot Watches for review, for regular followers of The Watch Review Site on Facebook and Twitter you would have had a sneak peek at the DM1a and DM1b over the last couple of weeks, if your not following us on Twitter please do @WatchReviewSite and Facebook you can also follow David Mason Watches on Twitter @DMasonWatches
Sorry for dragging that out a little, Right now onto the actual review, So to start with This is suppose to be an Oversized Pilot Watch and usually that means I’m weary to place it on my scrawny 6 1/2 inch wrists, yes only 6 1/2 inches… So this 46mm case diameter and 56mm in length or height from point to point (this being the two furthest points of the lugs) you would think that this watch will look ginormous on my wrists, but it actually doesn’t it fits surprisingly well and is unobtrusive whether whilst wearing under the cuff or in casual wear even with its 12mm under cuff depth it still feels perfectly balanced. here is the customary wrist shot of the DM1B according to David Mason’s website.
It has a solid construction and the stainless steel case and engraved case back give this quartz watch a weighty substance on the wrist, but its not too heavy and you can easily forget its on your wrist even though its a large and substantial piece of outer wear. So as I would always say a watch should be comfortable and you should be able to forget that it’s on your wrist until you need it, and the DM1A and DM1B GMT Pilot Watch does just that.
Moving on we always talk about the names of watches and to be honest the DM1A and DM1B are not the most imaginative names for a watch, but it does what it says on the tin, DM for David Mason I presume and 1 well its the first in hopefully an ever increasing range of David Mason Watches, and the A and B for the model numbers. The DM1A being the white face brown Strap (pictured above) and DM1B the black face and black strap, So nothing too much to talk about there.
This is a typical Pilot Watch per-say, exactly what you would expect it has the classic Pilot Watch shaped case with the added benefits of GMT, an additional 24 hour ring and red hand with separate crown for being able to set a home town time whilst abroad, so you are always aware of the time in two timezones at once. The 24 Hour Ring works very well and is simple to adjust and set.
Of the two models we really do not have a preference, The DM1A is an all black number which portrays a modern twist to the David Mason Oversized Pilot Watch and comes with a Black Face, Off white Luminous Hands, Markers and Numerals for greater visibility in low light conditions and a separate red 24 hour hand for the GMT function. The Black against the stainless steel case and white thick stitching on the black strap all add to the watches visual prowess.
As for the DM1B, this is perfect with a summer suit and just has that little classic vintage feel to it with its off white edging toward cream face, with Black Numerals and Markers, unlike the DM1A the DM1B does not have Lumin on the markers and Numerals so low light usage is really limited even though the hour and minute hands are luminous. The Brown Leather strap really sets off the David Mason DM1B Pilot Watch very well.
Both Models have two crowns the lower crown at 4 o’clock is for the sole use of the 24 Hour outer ring which is bi-directional, with the standard screw in crown at 3 o’clock which controls the date, 24 Hour indication and hour & minute hands. The standard crown beares the DM logo on it. This David Mason Watches DM Logo is also present on the Case back and Buckle of both the DM1A and DM1B Oversized GMT Pilot Watches.
Along with the 24 hour second timezone function of the DM1A and DM1B there is also a date window at 4 o’clock on the face, whilst both watches have large thick markers and large Arabic numerals at 3, 6 and 9 in position of the 12 is the David Mason logo. I know I have mentioned the logo some four times in this last paragraph or two, and it portrays that it is in your face and a little bit overkill, in reality it is not in the slightest, due to the positioning of the logos its uncommon to have two logos in view at the same time. So its very well planned and executed.
The one thing I must take David to task on, and that is his choice of straps for both watches, not the fit but simply the feel, yes they are real leather and the added feature of the Contrasting white stitching is great, but the leather is too crisp, too shiny and too rigid for my liking, something a little softer a bit more worn feel and a little more malleable would be more to my liking. Maybe even an RAF/NATO Braided Strap could work well. The strap on the DM1B or Brown Leather strap is actually a nicer strap but still a little too fresh for me. But that’s all down to taste.
As for the buckle is a straight forward buckle and using it is obviously simple, it is made of stainless steel with a small David Mason DM logo to the right and feels well constructed and solid, no spindly little hook here.
The Case back is stainless steel and is engraved with the Logo, Watch Model Number i.e. DM1A, the customary water resistance rating, in this instance 10 atm or 100 meters and the unique numbered serial number.
The last thing we need to look at is at the heart of the David Mason Over-sized GMT Pilot Watch, it’s movement, well it is a Quartz movement made by Ronda a Swiss Quartz Wristwatch Movement Manufacturer, David Mason opted to use the Swiss Parts Ronda 515 movement with GMT abilities, As this is a Swiss Parts movement David Mason Watches cannot say that the DM1A and DM1B are Swiss Made, but all the parts are the same parts as used in the Swiss Made Ronda 515 Movement but the movement is constructed by Ronda outside of Switzerland, actually Ronda Swiss Parts movements are constructed in Thailand. I would have liked to see a Swiss Made movement maybe giving David the ability to market the watches as Swiss Made, but there may be a very good reason for this and we will follow that up in our interview with David in the next week or so…
The Ronda 515 is a True GMT movement and is a very good quartz movement which is utilized in many a number of more expensive and mainstream timepieces, it consists of 1 jewel (for anyone that is interested) and has a battery life of 45 months, that’s a good 3 1/2 years before you have to consider getting the battery replaced, which is a simple job for any jeweller.
As we have mentioned we will be undertaking an interview with the man behind David Mason Watches, so if you have any questions you would like to put to him please let us know through the comments below. We are hoping to get the interview write up online on The Watch Review Site within the next two weeks, both parties schedules allowing us to. I will also be asking him which watch is the DM1A and which is the DM1B as there seems to be some confusion, in this hands on watch review we have used the classification as per the website, but on the watches we had for review the caseback implies that they should be the other way around. This is a tiny niggle which can be easily rectified if need be by amending the website to match the caseback engravings.
The overall feel of the David Mason DM1A & DM1B GMT Pilot Watch is great, its well balanced, comfortable and fits very well on the wrist, anyone who has had the pleasure of purchasing one has got themselves a very nice watch that can be worn daily and for different occasions. When you add the fact that these watches are currently retailing via www.davidmasonwatches.co.uk at a mere £120.00, yes you got it right only £120.00 and at that level I’ll be keeping one of these for myself I think…
And one Last thing that makes owning either of the DM1A or DM1B David Mason Oversized GMT Pilot Watches is the fact that they are manufactured in a numbered limited edition of 100 pieces each. Yes a limited edition, weighty, nice, well built timepiece for only £120.00 at the price I really think you will be hard pushed to find anything better out there. I have looked around and also racked my brain for a better offering out there at this price range. Yes you can get better automatic mechanical movement pieces, but they came in at a lot more than the David Mason DM1a & DM1b Oversized GMT Pilot Watch.
David Mason DM1A & DM1B Oversized GMT Pilot Watch – Technical Details
Ronda 515 Swiss parts movement, True GMT Movement
24 hour indication GMT hand , 3 hands (Hours, Minutes & Seconds), Date at 4 o’clock
24 hour ring activated by separate crown
Water resistance – 10 atm, 100m
Stainless steel case
Case Diameter – 46mm
Case Height – 56mm from two furthest lug points
Inner Lug to Lug width- 22mm
Case Back Stainless Steel, Unique engraved with DM Logo and individual serial numbers
Screw-in crown and separate 24 hour GMT crown
Strap – DM1A – Black leather strap with nu-buck lining and thick stitching
Strap – DM1B – Light brown oil leather strap with nu-buck lining and thick stitching
Steel buckle with DM (David Mason) etched logo
Limited Edition of 100 numbered pieces of each DM1a and DM1b