We’ve written about a number of homebrew projects in the past and yes, some have certainly been better than others. The biggest issue with the majority of watch projects started by enthusiasts is that the idea and heart are often there, but the execution doesn’t always quite hit the mark. Whether it’s a few poor design choices or an issue with QC, you’re often left with watches that, simply put, come up short. Today, we’re happy to introduce a new watch that seems to have avoided such hurdles, at least on the design end of things–the Mito by SURI.
The Mito is the child of Rahul Suri, also known as @dapperscientist on IG, a fitting handle because he is, in fact, on his way to finishing his Master of Science in a lab that specializes in mitochondrial disease (I cannot comment on the dapper part). Why does this matter? Because the Mito pulls its inspiration from, you guessed it, mitochondria–a subunit in our cells responsible for producing energy that’s essential to our survival. Don’t leave scratching your head just yet.
The inner bezel of the watch actually draws from the mitochondrial DNA map–the blueprint for the mitochondria in our bodies–and is shown via small dashes positioned around the perimeter of the dial along a black or white ring (depending on the dial color). It’s a subtle detail for sure, but definitely kind of cool and interesting once you notice it (and it’s certainly a conversation starter if you’re trying to break the ice with the cute lady scientist in your lab). This theme continues along the caseback, which features an etched mitochondrion with the DNA map surrounding it, a detail that I’m not particularly in love with but one that wouldn’t decrease my enjoyment of wearing the watch.
Quirky details aside, the Mito does boast an attractive design with some solid specs. The styling leans more classic, and the overall look and feel of the watch definitely has a vintage quality to it, but it’s certainly not a boring watch to look at. What sets the Mito apart is the standout layered dial, which gives the face some welcome depth, especially since many modern dress watches in the affordable range tend to come off looking a bit…bland, to say the least. I am especially fond of the two-tone black/grey dial, which gives the Mito a slightly sporty look without diluting the core identity of the piece.
In terms of dimensions, at 40mm wide, with a thickness of 11mm and a lug-to-lug length of 47mm, the Mito is moderately sized by today’s standards, though perhaps a smidgen larger than ideal for a dressier piece. The size, however, is nicely tempered by the multi-faceted dial, so it shouldn’t wear larger the way other all-dial watches often do (though this is likely more true for the black dialed variant and not so much for the white dial). The rounded case shape is actually my favorite aspect of the watch and can only be described as turtle-like, especially when viewed at an angle. The angled lugs tie in well with the rotund case, and the drilled-through lug holes are an unexpected, but much appreciated, touch.
One of the best things about the Mito is its price-to-value ratio. At the estimated MSRP, you’re getting quite a lot–a screw down crown and an impressive 150m water resistance, a domed sapphire crystal with AR coating (something often missing in this price bracket), and a well-respected movement, the Miyota 9015, which by now has proven itself to be a reliable workhorse. Granted, I haven’t handled a prototype yet, but from the given specs and the product shots the Mito looks like a solid timepiece.
The Mito isn’t available just quite yet, but Mr. Suri is planning a Kickstarter campaign for some time in November or early December, and will offer the watch at a discounted price expected to come in under $400. There will be three variants: a white dial, a two-tone black dial, and a gorgeous stainless steel sandwich dial, which may very well be the crème de la crème of the collection. For more information on the project, hit up @dapperscientist on Instagram.