In the sub $500 price range, there are plenty of sport watches, tool watches, pilots watches, etc… While these might be the watches we typically wear, and cover on w&w, every collection, nay every person, needs at least one dress or formal watch to wear. Whether your personal style just leans more towards the formal, you need to dress conservatively for work, or you need the right watch to match to your suit for the odd wedding: it’s unavoidable.
Well, Australian newcomer Erroyl seeks to change this with their first series of watches, the E30 Heritage line. Designed to be as handsome as it is affordable, the E30 features sapphire crystals, a Miyota 9015 and a price point of only $283. This makes the E30 an interesting offering as it’s not only one of the few mechanical dress/casual pieces under $500, it’s one of the least expensive watches to be powered by the 9015. The question is, is it worth it’s modest price tag?
Erroyl E3 Heritage Review
Movement: Miyota 9015
Water Res.: 50M
Dimensions: 40 x 46 mm
Thickness: 10 mm
Lug Width: 20 mm
Crown: 5 x 2.5mm
Warranty: 2 Year
The case of the Erroyl E30 is clean and elegant, with curves that belie its price tag. Measuring 40 x 46 x 10mm, it’s designed to be dress/casual. It’s small enough and has a short enough lug-to-lug to pull off a formal feel, yet large enough to be a day-to-day type. It’s a bit non-committal, perhaps, but as a business/casual watch it gets the job done. The design itself is surprisingly nice for the price.
The lugs start thick, but quickly taper down, giving them a nice masculinity. The bezel is a few millimeters wide, framing the dial well, and the case sides appear slab from above. The sexiest detail is how the mid case starts as a straight drop, then curves in, getting smaller in diameter towards the wrist. This creates an attractive undercut that lightens the look of the watch from the side, and simply gives it some dynamic geometry.
Coming off at 3 is a small push-pull crown, measuring 5 x 2.5mm. It has a coined edge and signed outer surface with the Erroyl crest. Not too much to say about it as it gets the job done, and is in proportion with the case, but isn’t a standout design, per say. Flipping the watch over, you have a display caseback held on by 6 small flat head screws. The display window is large, showing off the Miyota 9015 inside, and is surprisingly made of sapphire. In fact both front and back crystals are sapphire, which considering the sub $300 price point is pretty crazy. Sapphires really aren’t cheap, which makes me wonder on a design with a tight budget if a rear sapphire is worth it.
The case is polished all around. Given the design and price, I get the simple finishing, though some point of contrast would have been nice. Perhaps brushing on the tops of the lugs, or the bezel. The polishing and perhaps general machining also give the lines of the watch a bit of a soft feel, like a vintage watch that was polished a few too many times. This isn’t noticeable at a distance, so it doesn’t effect the aesthetic of the watch. At this price point, I wonder if something like this was a cost decision, and if an end price $50 – $100 more for a sharper case would be worth it.
The dial design of the E30 is handsome with some nice details that make it stand out. The dial surface starts with a bang. It’s fully textured with very fine concentric circular graining. This gives the “white” dial a light silver color with almost a drop of pearlescence, creating depth and a dynamic reflections. It’s an example of how a little can go a long way, as I feel a matte dial would have been too dull and a sun ray dial might have been too generic.
The primary index consists of applied markers in polished steel. There are roman numerals at 12, 3, 6 and 9, and simple rectangles for all other hours. Between each hour are small black marks for the individual minute/second, which add a more casual tone to the design. The applied index is very clean and nicely styled. They did a good job of proportioning the markers to the dial, keeping them restrained. The use of polished steel works as well. Against the light dial the steel comes across darker than usual, but overall gives a nice tone-on-tone look.
At 3 is a date window whooping the 9015’s standard black on silver date wheel. Given the dial color, this works visually, but I do wonder if having a date was needed at all, or if at the very least could be optional. As is, it does break up dial’s balance a bit. It also brings into focus that the three numeral is slightly angled. This is an issue regardless, but I honestly don’t think I would have noticed it if the window wasn’t up against it, creating lines for comparison. The only other dial elements are the Erroyl logo at 12 and “automatic” above 6. Both are kept small and non-disruptive.
Perhaps my favorite detail on the watch as a whole is the hand set. The hour and minute hands are a slightly modified Alpha style, with a small arm attaching the long arrow tip to the center. Both hands are slightly creased creating a faceted look. The second hand is then just a straight stick with a slightly larger counter-weight. The hands are just different enough to be really interesting and finish the dial off well. They are almost aggressive, since they are long and narrow, coming to a sharp point, yet still add the right amount of elegance for a watch with formal leanings.
Straps and Wearability
The E30 comes mounted to a 20mm black faux-gator leather strap. It’s padded, has black stitching and slightly tapers down to 18mm. The strap works with the watch, obviously playing off of the dress side of things. That said, inexpensive faux-gator straps leave something to be desired. They tend to be a bit plastic feeling and have a cheap sheen. I personally would have preferred a clean ordinary leather strap in black or dark brown. One really nice detail though is that it’s fit with a deployant clasp, which adds some fit and finish.
On the wrist, the E30 wears very well. As I said before, it’s sort of in-between things size-wise, but is totally unoffensive either way. The short lug-to-lug makes it sit very well on top of the wrist, and it’s fairly thin adding to comfort. While I do like a 36-38mm dress watches, this simply didn’t look too big to be worn formally. You can easily pull it off with a suit or with and oxford and jeans and it wont look out of place.
The Erroyl E30 Heritage is an attractive and very affordable watch with decent style. Dress/casual watches are few and far between at this price point, especially for a mechanical, making it a unique offering. I was glad to see that in general the design was well thought out and not off the shelf. The case wasn’t generic, the dial had some texture and well proportioned markers; and of course those great hands. I had some issues with the finishing, but they were fairly minute things that are partially excused given the $283 price tag. But that leads me to the question, is it better to have a very inexpensive watch that is imperfect or a watch that costs a bit more, say $400 – $500 that is better executed? Which, in the long run, is more desirable to own?
With that said, the E30, as is, might be spot on for a lot of people. People who are looking for an affordable business/casual watch but want something with more substance than a Daniel Wellington. Or people who need an affordable formal watch for the occasional dress occasion, and don’t want to spend too much on a watch they don’t wear often. For $283, it is a good value without a doubt, and does offer a nice aesthetic.