ReviewMovado’s Most Affordable Automatic Watch Is Here – The Movado 1881 Automatic Collection
An iconic Swiss Made Automatic watch - for a price that doesn't burn a hole in your pocket.
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Movado describes this collection as ‘the modern face of mechanical timekeeping’. The collection pays a modern tribute to the year Movado was founded and to its rich Swiss heritage. The 1881 Automatic collection combines familiar Movado design characteristics with elements of the brand’s revamped look – all with a celebrated automatic Swiss movement as its heart. The result is the production of one of the best (if not the best) automatic watches available today under Rs 1 lac. It has great engineering, stark yet striking design elements & great heritage attached to it.
Excellence in design. A dedication to Swiss craftsmanship. The Movado philosophy is as valid today as it was when entrepreneurial 19-year-old watchmaker Achille Ditesheim, founded the company that was to become Movado in 1881, in the village of La Chaux-de-Fonds, the birthplace and national center of fine Swiss watchmaking.
Automatic movement with shock protection, quick set date & 40-hour power reserve
Underneath this dial is an ETA 2824-2, a workhorse Swiss movement. This automatic calibre runs with 25 jewels and beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour. It has Incabloc shock protection, a quick-set date mechanism, and a power reserve of approximately 40 hours. The sapphire crystal case back reveals the movement and the working of the watch. The movement is beautifully finished for all to see. It’s quite clear that Movado is proud of its movements. The engraving and finishing of the movement, its blue screws, rotors and the intricate patterns on the steel make it as visually significant as the dial itself.
39.5mm case with see-through case back
The 1881 collection comes in a 39.5mm case and has a thickness of 9mm. It is cased in stainless steel and has a see through case back to reveal the movement and the stunning Movado rotor. The 1881 Automatic is water resistant to 30 meters. The watch is available in stainless steel with black, blue and silver dial variations. The crown is a screw down crown which is grooved.
The black dial version also comes with a steel case finished in rose-gold PVD and yellow-gold PVD, with similar toned, gold PVD hands and indexes.
The dial: sandblasted on the outside and sun-ray finished on the inside
The 1881 Automatic is a good example of a classic. It has a subdued minutes track, which has been stamped on the dial and applied hour indexes which fit neatly into the long grooves made to mark the hours. The dial is divided into an inner section and an outer ring. The interior has a sun-ray finish; outside of this is a “reflector ring” that has been sandblasted. Also noteworthy is the larger dot at the top of the dial. Movado has used larger versions of the signature dot over the last few years, making it eye-catching and more appealing. The signature dot of Movado signifies the sun which is at its strongest at noon. The dot and the date window seamlessly merge into the minute’s track in a beautiful manner at 12 and 6 o’clock respectively. The “Swiss Made” and “Automatic” labels grace the dial in subtle fonts at the very bottom. The dial is visually balanced with its three layers from the date disk to the applied hour markers.
The minutes and hour hands are quite a work of art themselves. They are sharply cut in the form of rhombuses with five facets to each hand. The seconds hand has two facets.
The signature concave dot
The legendary dot has the spare, stark appeal that has characterised Movado ever since the “Museum” watch became the centrepiece of the brand in the 1980s. That watch and those that followed it were defined by the prominent concave dot at 12 o’clock. In recent years, Movado has moved beyond this completely minimalist design to incorporate some other elements on the dial. The Movado 1881 Automatic has a stellar appeal given the signature concave dot.
Calfskin leather and a stunning steel bracelet on your wrist
The 1881 Automatic collection comes in three strap variations:
a) Black calfskin strap with a pin buckle
b) Steel bracelet with chevron-shaped links and a butterfly deployment clasp
c) Steel and gold PVD with chevron-shaped links and a butterfly deployment clasp
It is worth mentioning that the steel bracelets have v-shaped or chevron links that are connected to each other with beautifully contrasting vertical links that create a lasting visual impact. It is magnified greatly in the case of the steel and gold (yellow/rose) watches.