New from the UK-based Marloe Watch Company is the Coniston Bluebird. Inspired by the water speed records set by Donald Campbell and his son in Coniston Water, a large body of water in the Lake District of the United Kingdom. Their sleek watercraft achieved a top speed of 320 miles per hour, just before losing control of the craft and with it, his life. While the back story is a bit tragic, the Coniston Bluebird pays tribute to the spirit of adventure and British engineering. There are several subtle nods to the record-setting duo throughout the watch, from the color down to a quote engraved in the case back. This hand wound watch features a mid tone blue dial, pulling inspiration from both modern and vintage watches, but remains wholly its own. Let’s take a closer look.
The Coniston is the line of watches, while “Bluebird” refers to this specific blue dialed version. Measuring in at 40mm wide and 10.5mm thick, the case is an ideal size for most wrists. When looking at the watch, you’ll notice that it’s all dial. The case is very slim around the outer edge of the watch, making the dial (and the domed sapphire crystal that protects it) the star of the show. The entirety of the case and lugs are polished to a high shine. On the right side of the case, you’ll notice a textured crown with angular cuts in the surface that make it easy to wind and set. Flip the watch over, and you’re treated to a view of the gold toned Miyota 8N33 beating away inside.
There’s a lot to take in when looking at the dial of the Bluebird. Around the outermost edge, there’s a raised track that displays 24-hour time. A slanted rehaut features yellow hash marks, adding a subtle pop of color that matches the slim, arrow-tipped seconds hand. An inset ring of lume is intersected by the applied silver indices, creating an interesting visual effect when the lights go out. A large, stylized “12” is indented into the ring of lume in the form of a polished silver applied numeral. A blue disc makes up the inner dial which is wide open, save for the brand’s name right under 12, rendered in a modern typeface. The hands are quite interesting, starting at a wide rounded base and tapering to a point at the end. Both the hour and minute hand feature stepped construction with lume filling the gaps towards the tip of the hand, while those close to the base remain skeletonized. A slim, arrow-tipped seconds hand is painted bright yellow, adding a pop of color that picks up on the hash marks mentioned previously.
At $325, Marloe’s Coniston Bluebird is an interesting and affordable watch. The blue dial with yellow accents is a fun and sporty color way, while the curved features and interesting application of lume blend both vintage and modern design cues in a compelling way. If you’re into British design and engineering and you’re looking for an affordable watch to commemorate the two, the Coniston Bluebird is worth a closer look. More from Marloe.