Pinion is a British watch brand founded by Piers Berry back in 2013. They make watches in small batches with parts sourced from Switzerland and Germany, while assembly is taken care of back in England. They’re not the biggest name in the microbrand scene, but their watches are always carefully considered and they have a devoted base of supporters, which is plain to see from even a cursory look at the brand’s Instagram page. Berry is a watch industry veteran, spending time at both Bremont and Bell & Ross before striking out on his own, and is a graphic designer by trade. That makes sense when you take a close look at the watches he makes, which are uniformly clean and balanced designs, with well chosen color combinations and just the right mix of classical details and modern touches. Pinion’s newest watch, the Neutron, is the brand’s smallest watch so far, and can be seen as a distillation of the Pinion’s core design language.
The Atom (reviewed here by Brad Homes) was previously Pinion’s smallest watch by diameter, coming in at 39mm. The Neutron is very much a refinement of the Atom, and many of its key design features are actually small adjustments to what Berry designed back in 2017. The Neutron stands at 38mm, and Pinion tells us that considerable effort went into taking length off the watch’s lug span and reducing its height to make it feel more than a single millimeter smaller. The hope was to create a case profile that wasn’t simply smaller in terms of measurements, but noticeably sleeker on the wrist. Another design trick deployed on the Neutron was to reduce the dial aperture slightly, which allows the bezel to be a bit wider and feel more proportional to the rest of the case.
The dial represents another series of little changes and refinements. Perhaps the most notable shift is Berry’s decisions to remove the Pinion logo from the dial entirely, and shift the brand’s wordmark to the rehaut above the 12:00 position. This immediately creates a more open, clean dial design, and places a focus on the numerals (at even numbered hours) and the guilloche pattern at the dial’s center. The numerals are applied and machined from brass, and then electroplated in silver. Similarly, the dial itself is electroplated in black, blue, or pink. The guilloche pattern here is another small departure from the Atom, which memorably featured a traditional Clou de Paris, or hobnail, pattern. On the Neutron, we have a wave-like pattern radiating from the center that leaves a very different impression. Because of the subtle curves inherent in this guilloche pattern, it feels more in sync with the circular motifs within the dial.
The Neutron is powered by an ETA 2824-2 movement, which is about as reliable and rock solid a movement as you can get, and has been at work in Pinion watches since the brand was founded. Pinion regulates each watch they sell in England over a five day period, and claim a rate of +/- 5 seconds per day. Pinions says that their small batch ethos is what enables them to take the time to carefully regulate each watch leaving their workshop, and also provides an opportunity to complete a personal engraving on the watch’s caseback, an option for each customer at no extra charge. We’re big fans of personalized messages on casebacks around here, and wish more brands would offer closed casebacks to make this a viable option, so credit to Pinion here for resisting the urge to expose the movement.
The Neutron is available direct from Pinion on their website at a price of £1,000 excluding VAT, which currently equates to about $1,200.