Introducing the MHD AGT, the Brand’s First Mechanical Watch Designed in Association With Alcraft Motor Company

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In 2017’s rapidly maturing micro-brand watch world, it’s safe to say there’s no shortage of automotive-inspired brands and designs. What’s still a rarity, though, are designers for these young brands with any real automotive experience. MHD sets itself apart in this respect, with founder and lead designer Matthew Humphries formerly lending his creative talents as a designer for boutique British automaker Morgan.

His first collection, the SQ1 and CR1, launched last year and showed some beautifully clean lines to build on. This new piece, the AGT, does just that, refining the basic MHD shape into something far more interesting and higher-end.The new MHD AGT is something of a commemorative piece for Humphries, released as a special edition alongside his newest automotive design, the Alcraft Motor Company GT. (Billed as Britain’s first high-performance electric car, the Alcraft itself is no slouch, wrapping a state of the art electric powertrain in a taut, modernist shooting brake skin.)

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The 42mm case of the AGT keeps the same rounded shape as MHD’s previous efforts, but from there this new version takes a very different direction. This new case is a four-part design, with an outer “exoskeleton” case and lugs surrounding a knurled inner case, brushed bezel, and sapphire display back. The outer exoskeleton, in particular, is a racy piece of kit, with cutouts along the case sides reminiscent of the grille and lower valance of a modern sports car. The knurling of the sides only enhances this effect and gives the whole piece a glittery, yet totally purpose-built look. While the sides of the main case are all diamond-patterned, when the watch is viewed top-down from the bezel you see the radial brushing of the main case and lugs. Around back, the Miyota 9015 power plant is on full display through the case back window, engraved with the MHD AGT branding.

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Like the case, the dial of the AGT takes many of the hallmarks of previous MHD pieces and raises them to greater detail. The immediate eye-catcher, of course, is the steel sunburst dial. Like we saw with the Autodromo Group B Evoluzione, it’s an immediate visual shorthand for a stripped-down, sharpened piece of racing equipment, and it’s one that works to stunning effect here.

After the initial gleam of the brushed stainless dial dies down, the other fine details start to surface. The lumed markers aren’t applied here; instead, they’re laser-etched, sandwich-dial cutouts (Panerai style), exposing a layer of Super-LumiNova beneath the main plane. The signature MHD “redline” sweep from eight to 12 o’clock is still present but rendered brilliantly minimal here by its inclusion in the dial marker cutout.

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The handset here is fascinating: the partially skeletonized syringes are just complex enough to be visually interesting, but the basic shapes are clean and minimal. The seconds hand is particularly well-executed, with a red tip that adds a punchy splash of color to the proceedings. Dial text is pleasingly sparse, too, with nothing but the MHD emblem at 12 balanced by the letters “GBD” at six. What could “GBD” stand for, you ask? Echoing one of Humphries’ own favorite phrases, this proudly all-English piece isn’t afraid to mention “Great British Design.”

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At the heart of the AGT is an old stalwart, the Miyota 9015. The 9015 has been in just about every micro brand in the business by now, and with good reason. The specs are solid, with a 42-hour power reserve, impressive accuracy, and hacking. Not to mention the value—the Miyota workhorse is relatively cheap, reliable, and servicing should be no issue. That said, there isn’t much mention of decoration here, which could be a minor letdown through the display back.Strap choice for the AGT is simple here. You can either have a black or brown leather strap with a polished buckle. All you need, and nothing you don’t. Overall, the AGT is shaping up to be an impressive step forward in quality for MHD. The design is more than impressive, especially at the preorder price of about $665 (as of this writing), which isn’t chump change, but the seemingly high level of execution here justifies the price. MHD

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Hailing from Redondo Beach, California, Sean’s passion for design and all things mechanical started at birth. Having grown up at race tracks, hot rod shops and car shows, he brings old-school motoring style and a lifestyle bent to his mostly vintage watch collection. He is also the Feature Editor and Videographer for Speed Revolutions.
seanpaullorentzen
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