Nezumi Voiture Ref. VM1S.101 Manual Wound Chronograph
Don't you just love it when indies throw out gems? Their ingenuity, coupled with affordable price tags, brings for quite a value added combination for us watch lovers. Without much of a heritage or consistent design language to go on (I can image the angst of the designer who was asked to come up with Autavia three hander), indies cna also be more experimental in their time pieces.
I recently got to know about this German brand (thanks Instagram), just in time to be exposed to their 10th anniversary (I know I'm pretty late to the Nezumi game) offering - a manual wound, no date chronograph that's actually a mechanical offering from their best selling mechaquartz series.
Take my money.
The watch is available in three dial variations. all presenting the 'zorro' style design element for the registers in the 3 and 9 - white with black black accents, black with white accents, and blue with lighter blue accents.
The former two present vintage allure with the timeless dial color combination, while the blue one offers a modern twist with its matching blue bezel (the other two have black ones). All of them also come with a dressy jubilee bracelet. Drool.
On the dial are very nice details that are worth appreciating - from the stunted applied indices to the fat boy hands and the square-centered small seconds in all the sub-dials. Also note the Nezumi insignia skeletonized on the chronograph sweep seconds.
On closer inspection
But is the dream real? I slept on the decision to buy the watch (that's something that all us watch collectors need to do... and also not to buy under the influence of alcohol).
The next day I also showed the watch to another long-time collector of vintage watches, and to his approval at that. So far so good.
It was pretty much a love at first sight situation with him, appreciation for the white and black variants more apparent. The blue one, although nice, had a skipper appeal that is more modern than vintage - something that die hards like us will find it a little harder to accept.
While he was gawking at the close up (we had to pinch since there wasn't any macro shots on the site, I wondered about the surface texture and depth of the dial. It's become two important parts of a watch dial for me since I own so many watches.
I noticed that the sub-dials weren't really debossed as I have imagined, And while the hour indices were applied flush to the white outer minute track ring, it doesn't appear that the outer dial is on another level (also known as a step dial, for all your vintage collectors).
With the lack of close up photos (it's just launched so some publications might take some time to get the photos up), I took the doubt to existing reviews of the mechaquartz to see if my fears were true.
They seem to be, and my grip on my wallet is a little tighter.
And also, the thickness. 12.5mm with a manual wind movement can be a little hard to swallow.
The final verdict
The Nezumi Voiture Ref. VM1S.101 is a very attractive preposition for a neo-vintage manual wind chronograph. But for the price tag I've have liked to see a dial with a little depth.
It remains to be proven that the dial is as flat as I assumed it to be - hopefully I'll be proven wrong and this watch can really claw its way up my list of things to own.
Check out the watch yourself on the Nezumi site.