Hands On with the New Atmoss SR-01 Pilot Watch

As I was considering how to begin this review, I found myself thinking about my own perception of how micro-brands get their start. Many of my favorite brands seem to come to life fully formed, with a watch or small collection that would appear to completely distill their essence, as if they’ve already gone through every possible growing pain. In the past few months I’ve come across more and more brands that seem to have figured it out immediately, with introductory watches that appear to be the product of a seasoned brand. 

Atmoss is the latest brand to make me feel this way with its debut watch, the SR-01. A clean and comfortable design presented as being a modern interpretation of a traditional pilot watch. One that has enough of what matters and none of what doesn’t, at least in my opinion. While pilot watches are not my primary focus as an enthusiast and collector, the SR-01 wound up winning me over, and has a suite of impressive specs that make it a legitimate entry into the genre at a price point that makes sense for those who might want to dabble in a watch with an aviation theme.


The Right Specifications for the Right Price 

Although I try as much as possible to not put the words “specifications” and “price” in the same sentence, sometimes it’s impossible not to. Especially when the price tag of a watch falls well below the $500 mark. The SR-01 has a lot going for it considering its accessibility. First, reasonable dimensions with a case diameter of 41mm, a lug-to-lug of 48.5mm, a thickness of 10.5mm (including the bezel) and a lug width of 20mm. While a 41mm diameter might not be for everyone, the reasonable lug-to-lug distance and modest thickness equals an enjoyable wearing experience on my 6.25” (16cm) wrist. It should be noted that the wearing experience is better on the provided rubber strap compared to that of the engineer style bracelet. 

The difference between the two is akin to wearing two suit jackets of the same size but one has a slim cut and the other one a regular one. I prefer slim. 

Inside the stainless case beats the Miyota 9039, a slim movement famous for being robust and accurate even though brands rarely go through the trouble of regulating it. The 9039 comes with 42 hours of power reserve and ticks at 28,800 BPH (4Hz.) Choosing this movement might already indicate something interesting to you: a good deal. At most, you will have to spend $470 to get an SR-01. Getting a premium Miyota movement at this price already sounds promising, doesn’t it? 

The stainless steel case is fully brushed and has a simple yet effective design. Short lugs that turn down and end vertically, and a seamless profile accentuating the thinness of the SR-01. The flat friction-fit bezel rests easy on the case and is easy to turn. Making good friction-fit bezels is not an easy task, and the one on the SR-01 is torqued just right. The toolish aspect of the fully brushed case is repeated on the brushed stainless steel bezel insert. The scale is engraved and filled with black and red paint, and aligns with the same scale on the rehaut. 

To complete the package, the SR-01 is equipped with a flat sapphire crystal with an inner anti-reflective coating. Although this might not be the first spec you’d think of when considering a pilot’s watch, know that the SR-01 comes with 100 meters of water resistance thanks to a screw-down crown and case-back. Upping the water resistance would have equaled to fattening the case which would have made this watch harder to wear for small-wristed people like me. Last but not least, the SR-01 comes with an engineer-style bracelet with a five-link construction, and a double-pusher deployant clasp with four holes of micro-adjust. 

The Type of Pilot Watch I Didn’t Know I’d Like 

Back in the introduction, I mentioned that the SR-01 has a clean design and constitutes a new vision of the traditional pilot’s watch. I also made that comment and followed it by saying that watches in this genre haven’t historically been my bread and butter. So you have been forewarned of the potential upcoming nonsense. We don’t know each other yet but I can tell you that I like clean and simple designs. I’m a tool-watch kind of watch enthusiast and the SR-01 comes with a few details that resonate with me rather strongly. For instance, the elegant baton-style hour and minute hands and short applied hour markers that make space for the small printed text. 

Then there’s the small and attractive logo below the 12 o’clock marker and the three lines of text below the pinion. The two scales are indicated with small numerals and hash-marks, and looking at the watch as a complete entity, I find that everything is balanced, harmonious, and pleasant to look at. Reading the time is easy, and so is using the slide-rule bezel that I had to learn what the heck I could do with it. From converting distances and currency to timing how fast I can walk from my home to my office to type this article. 

The possibilities are endless. 

Perhaps the best word to describe the way the SR-01 looks is “restrained.” There is enough functionality in the design, having a clear handset and dial layout, touches of color, and a slide-rule bezel and two small scales that do not overpower the overall design of the watch. Being a pilot watch, the Atmoss SR-01 flies under the radar, although it might make you feel a little something extra, depending on which dial color you would go for. I have a personal preference for the white dial and blue hands, something that surprised me at first because boy, I’m your typical boring black-on-white type of watch enthusiast. 


Final Thoughts 

Just like any tool watch, pilot watches now seem unnecessary, although I can appreciate their historical value. And saying this reminds me that realistically, we don’t need tool watches anymore at all. I certainly don’t. But we buy and collect them not because we need them, but because they match our personality or because we appreciate their intrinsic versatility and robustness. There are a few details that Atmoss paid attention to when designing the SR-01 that show a certain deliberate approach. For example, opting for a brushed bezel insert instead of a ceramic one because a pilot watch is bound to be banged around the cockpit. 

The SR-01 comes in three dial colors: black, gray, and white, and each model will be shipped with a rubber strap and engineer-style bracelet. They are available on pre-order by way of a Kickstarter campaign that began May 1st. Prices will be as follows: roughly $335 for the Super Early Bird price (limited to the first 100), $351 for the Early Bird price, and $385 for the standard Kickstarter price. Full retail after all discounts run out will be $465. You can learn more about Atmoss and the Kickstarter campaign here.

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Vincent is a French native who spent 13 years on the East Coast of the United States. After working in the cultural sector for a decade, he decided to transform his passions for horology and the written word into a full-time career since 2021. Vincent is obsessed with under-the-radar tool watches and the idea of a one-watch collection.