Hands-On: The Peculiar Timeless HMS

One of the things I love seeing in young watch brands is a strong, original point of view. There is no shortage of great, simple tool and sport watches available from brands new and old, making the space quite difficult to stake a new claim within. Getting off that well trodden path offers the opportunity to explore and express new ideas and flesh out off-genre watches in a manner that grants a new brand some breathing room. This is exactly what the brand Timeless has done with their latest watch, the HMS. This is a watch that defies simple categorization, yet feels genuinely approachable. Timeless has taken a big swing with the HMS, and while it doesn’t connect on every level, there’s plenty to enjoy in the point of view being expressed. 

The concept of the HMS was revealed in late 2020, and would go on to take shape over the following year, catching our attention along the way. The HMS is an immediately striking watch that eschews typical genre codes we generally expect to see, and while it struggles to balance the somewhat disparate elements, there’s some genuine charm to the underlying concept that feels rather refreshing. In the short time since its release, the HMS has already taken evolutionary steps, and what we have here is the HMS ref. 003.


The HMS is a bit of an eyeful at a glance, with no clear focal point emerging between the ornate detailed structures that comprise the lugs, the case, and the dial, with each of those areas offering plenty of details to discover and appreciate. The most densely detailed area is the heart of the dial, which is open to reveal a bespoke center wheel that moves with the hour hand. This opening is surrounded by a guilloché section that dominates much of the dial real estate. The two sections are quite literally bridges with a horizontal bar that underpins the hand stack, lending further to the steam-punk vibes that emanate from the entire design. 

The dial is symmetrical with a plaque bearing the Timeless logo at 12 o’clock, and a peculiar date window occupying the bottom of the dial. This isn’t your average date aperture, however. There is what appears to be a second domed sapphire set into the bottom of the dial, with a polished frame, that contains a smaller window revealing the date, and a cut out containing the HMS label. This may be the strangest date execution I’ve come across in a watch like this, and while it’s interesting to some extent, feels entirely unnecessary, particularly amongst the myriad other small details built into the watch. 

At the dial’s perimeter we’re presented with the hour numerals, which get a unique typeface that split the figures at their center. Each of the numbers are sitting directly on, and in some cases, in, the baseline that circles this ring, which is separated from the center parts of the dial, and set at a shallow angle. As a result, there’s a lot of visual tension in this section, particularly where the baseline of the pair of ‘2’s intersects with the line. Above the numbers is a rail track that’s entirely enclosed, with small cavities for each 5 minute segment. 

A theme of the watch is ‘whirlwind’ and the dial doesn’t miss a chance to highlight that fact, but it even extends further to the case and crown. The steel case measures 41.5mm in diameter, and 46.1mm from lug to lug. This, paired with the 12.8mm thickness make for an overall pleasant experience on the wrist, but visually this a watch with a lot of weight. The slightly larger diameter feels befitting of the details packed into the frame. There are certainly plenty of details here, perhaps too many, but they’re all given enough space to breathe and nothing feels cramped anywhere, with the possible exception of the date situation. 

The case of the HMS isn’t content to take a back seat to the dial. There is a small concave bezel that gets 12 drilled shallow holes for something of a porthole look, further adding to the visual density of the top view of the watch. Further still, the tapering wire lug design gets a gold footing where it attaches to the case wall, creating a contrast visible at every angle. All of these decisions lean into steam-punk territory as adornments that are utilized for the sake of that visual density more than they are for any kind of practical utility. Taken as such, this watch begins to make a lot more sense.

With this in mind, the plaque along the 9 o’clock case wall (screwed in with contrasting gold screws), and the black crown with whirlwind design motif in the end cap, take on a different charm as opposed to a frustrating level of lagniappe. In our On-Wrist Reaction with this watch, Zach Weiss made a comment about this watch which sums it up perfectly. It was a reference to this Coco Chanel quote: “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take at least one thing off.” 

The HMS would certainly benefit from an edit, but there is something playful about this watch and its ‘everything and the kitchen sink’ approach to its design. It throws caution to the wind and jumps right into the deep end, and while it doesn’t connect on every level, there’s an experience here that goes beyond the practical, the tasteful, and the well-edited, and that’s, well, fun. It’s also polarizing, and I suspect there will be little in the way of middle ground on this one. 

The HMS uses the STP 1-11 from the Fossil group, similar to what we find in newer Zodiac watches. There are a variety of color combinations available, each built in limited edition batches, with prices that range from CHF 1,150 (for the ref. 001) to CHF 1,450 for the ref. 003 pictured here. Timeless

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Blake is a Wisconsin native who’s spent his professional life covering the people, products, and brands that make the watch world a little more interesting. Blake enjoys the practical elements that watches bring to everyday life, from modern Seiko to vintage Rolex. He is an avid writer and photographer with a penchant for cars, non-fiction literature, and home-built mechanical keyboards.