If watches are anachronistic objects, not really exiting these days do to a need, then pocket watches are straight-up relics of another age. Yet, while not as popular as their wrist sized younger siblings, brands from Orient to Tissot to Panerai to Urwerk to still manufacture them. Perhaps produced less due to demand and more as show pieces, there never the less is an adoration for these relics. But rarely does one find a brand exclusively manufacturing pocket watches anymore, let alone in a modern aesthetic, which makes MMT a truly unique and curious company.
Based out of Hong Kong with one of three partners residing in Paris, MMT goes about producing some of the most subtle and elegant timepieces under $1,000, they just happen to go in your pocket. Wrapped in wood with minimal, contemplative dials, their pocket watches are practices in restrained design. At 50x50mm, they are, as expected, large enough to fit in your palm, yet despite their size, and the fact that most of the space on their dials is empty, they don’t feel bleak or empty. Rather, there is something very warm and friendly about the designs, drawing on the texture and tonality of the removeable wooden cases that hold them.
With their new T series, the trio has pushed their concept further, both building on the manufacturing capabilities with new materials and treatments, and playing with their controlled aesthetic. The T100m, $299, is pale and airy, with 2 hands, a white dial, maple shell and steel case. The dial is very open, with just small silver markers around the outer edge. It is complimented by a white leather strap. The T200e, $349, claims naval inspirations for its design, which darker and more technical. It features 3 hands, a still minimal dial, but one that includes 3, 6, 9 and 12, an ebony shell and a “champagne” PVD case. They complimented this one with a navy blue leather strap that works beautifully with the warm case and shell tones.
The T300k is a dark departure for the brand, one that examines a more textured style. The dial features a full-set of gun metal numerals on top of a pattern of interwoven black and grey bricks. The three black hands appear ony as silhouttes on top of the dial, which also includes a date off of three. The shell is black ebony wood and the case is PVD matte black. Naturally, this model is paired with a black strap with black hardware, $399. All are powered by Japanese Quartz movements.
Admittedly, I’m not about to start carrying a pocket watch in my pants pocket, but I could easily see attaching one of these to this inside of my briefcase, or even hanging by my desk. I find them all oddly soothing, and tranquil… suggesting that the act of taking a moment to check one for the time could act as momentary reprieve from the day. While that occasionally happens with a watch, more often than not, I check the time while in the middle of another action; walking, typing, etc. Never really stopping in the moment. Regardless, their contemporary aesthetic, use of wood and controlled design sensibility are very compelling. Not sure if it’s something they have planned, but clearly these very same design motifs could translate into some beautiful uni-sex watches.