Mr Jones Adds A Perfectly Useless Afternoon to their Growing Lineup of Mechanical Watches

Mr Jones Watches is a British brand that has been around since 2007, and in that time has carved out a niche that is really occupied by them and them alone. The brand specializes in “unusual watches that tell a story,” with dials that are full of unique artwork, visual puns, and feature curious methods of telling the time. For example, a favorite of mine is “The Accurate,” which is modeled after the concept of memento mori and features the words “Remember” and “You will die” incorporated into the hour and minute hands, respectively. Another watch, “Number Cruncher,” puts a bright blue monster front and center, with a jumping hour mechanism in its hand, and minutes reflected in a cross section of its stomach. You get the idea. Now, one of their most popular watches is available for the first time in a mechanical version, and it’s particularly appropriate as we approach the lazy days of summer. 


The watch, which is dubbed “A perfectly useless afternoon,” takes a bird’s eye view of a pool scene, with a figure lounging and floating peacefully across its surface. Naturally, the figure rotates around the dial, with their leg pointing to the correct hour. Minutes are read through the pool’s only other occupant, a rubber duck at the dial’s perimeter. The watch was designed by Belgian illustrator Kristof Devos, who was inspired by words of Chinese writer and philosopher Lin Yutang, who said “If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live.” As someone who enjoys spending his downtime in ways that could charitably be described as useless, this resonates. 

The mechanical version of “A perfectly useless afternoon” measures 40mm across and 50mm from lug to lug. Somewhat ironically given the aquatic venue seen on the dial, the watch is only rated to 50 meters of water resistance. The movement is the STP1-11 automatic caliber, a solid movement that has done time in watches made by Zodiac, Serica, and other brands. It’s visible through the display caseback, which features the name of the watch and its designer, as well as that rubber duck. Most of the time I’m not a fan of brands layering text or graphics over a display caseback, but i think I can make an exception for the rubber duck in this case. 

Mr Jones perhaps doesn’t get enough credit in enthusiast circles for their creative designs, but I think (I hope!) that the tide might be turning. A quick look through their website reveals that many of their watches are sold out, and awaiting a restock, and they have a growing number of mechanical pieces, which are likely to always be the preference of enthusiasts and collectors. I also sense that the watch community is moving on from homogenous, vintage inspired divers and similar styles of watches that have dominated over the last few years, and quirky, design forward watches like those made by Mr Jones might have an opportunity to gain some additional traction. 

“A perfectly useless afternoon” carries a retail price of $550. More information on the Mr Jones website here.

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.