Hands-on with Alkin's new super-compressor style dive watch
The world of watch microbrands is one that I enjoy getting lost in. I admire the creativity you get from some of the smaller, independent brands that you don't often see from more established horological powerhouses. They don't have centuries of fame or bottomless resources behind every new release, so they have to produce new and exciting designs to fight their corner - they can't just rehash the same model every couple of years like we often see with brands like Rolex. So, for this week's exciting microbrand watch, we'll be looking at the new Alkin Model Two.
The Alkin Model Two
The Alkin Model Two is a take on the traditional super-compressor of the 1960s and 1970s, hauled into the 21st Century with a no-nonsense, clean, functional aesthetic that stands out from the pack.The Model Two is the second collection released by Alkin, a British watch brand from Bristol run by watch collector and furniture designer Charlie Fowler. The Model Two expands on the popular design of the Model One, strengthened by clear legibility and durability and adds a super-compressor style bezel with dual crowns to its offering.
The 316L stainless-steel case has a brushed finish, with a no-frills design that looks purposeful as a tool watch and evocative of vintage super-compressors. With a diameter of 41mm and a height of 12.8mm, the case feels well-proportioned on the wrist with no excess bulk.
The case's showstoppers are of course the screw-down dual crowns, the top crown moving the inner bi-directional bezel, the bottom setting the time. Alkin has opted for laser etching a 'hatching' motif on the top crown (a pattern that's synonymous with super-compressor style watches) and its aesthetically clean 'A' logo on the bottom crown. Both crowns have a nice textured grip and screw in smoothly to protect the movement from any moisture.
As a dive watch, the Model Two comes with a water resistance rating of up to 300 meters, more than capable of withstanding casual use in the water. From showering and swimming to scuba diving, rest assured that the Alkin Model Two's water rating will be more than enough for what most people will throw at it.
The Alkin Model Two uses a sandwich dial to create a sense of depth, with the hour indices cut to sink below the dial face, combined with a raised rotating bezel that seems to float above the surface. The dial design is kept clean and clutter-free, replacing the full Arabic numeral dial of the Model One with only the 3,9,6,12 numerals, producing a highly legible design with a lot of breathing room.
The crisp arrow-shaped hour hand is contrasted well by the sword-shaped minute hand and an equally clean and defined second's hand. On this white dial model, Super-LumiNova ® BGW9 is used to lume the dial face, hands, and bezel markers, - whereas the blue and black versions use lumed indices, hands, and bezel markers. It's one of the brighter shades by Super-LumiNova ®, which you can tell when looking at the Model Two, providing excellent legibility with a decent lume duration.
Inside the Alkin Model Two beats a Miyota 9039. This 24-jewel automatic movement is a favourite amongst no-date mechanical watches under the £500 benchmark for its reliability and easy servicing. This solid movement offers a power reserve of 42 hours and comes engraved with the 'alkin' name visible through the open sapphire caseback.
The strap is a solid stainless-steel bracelet with an Oyster style design, with excellent finishing that punches above its price point. The bracelet uses fully brushed solid end links throughout and comes fitted with a standard milled clasp signed 'alkin'. The clasp has six micro-adjustments which should be plenty for most wrist sizes while the 20mm lug width gives you plenty of options for replacement straps. The inclusion of drilled lugs also makes swapping straps easy.
Everything considered I can say I'm a big fan of the Alkin Model Two. You get a lot of value for money for this 300m dive watch, with a lot of great specs often reserved for pricier counterparts. The notion of the 'minimalistic look' will inevitably divide some, but I believe Alkin has a well-balanced design language that really works for the Model Two, one that's easy on the eye with crisp and clear finishes, functional and highly legible.
The Alkin Model Two is now available to purchase from WatchGecko for £415. Head over to our Alkin page to see all Model Two colour options.
For more information on the Model Two, head over to Alkin.