Last month, I had the opportunity to put together a list of the three watches I would choose for a collection if I had a budget of $5,000. Though I stand by my choices, selected through detailed research and great care, I have one small confession to make: none of those watches had ever graced my wrist. Fearing the imaginary cries of “j’accuse!” lest my secret be discovered, I tried on one of the three at a local authorized dealer within the week. This second opportunity was graciously made possible by the editors at Worn & Wound. I’m two for three now, so thus begins a personal journey predetermined by the Horological Fates.
For this review, I lived a full day in the life with The Twelve. Two of these were the highly anticipated 36mm reference – one on the classic integrated bracelet, and the other on the rubber strap option. I also sampled the 40mm stainless steel reference on the bracelet in order to properly compare them. My wrist circumference, for reference, is about 5.75 inches. Christopher Ward’s goal in this 36mm launch was greater inclusivity towards women and other smaller-wristed folks, and I’m uniquely situated to consider both sizing options from this perspective. Each watch spent a day (or more) on wrist, so I was able to assess my true feelings towards them after the immediate New Watch Glee wore off.
As a newbie reviewer, one helpful piece of advice I received was to pay attention to first impressions, and run with that if it felt right. While these watches certainly make a statement their first time on wrist, I’m glad I spent time living with them. The octagonal case, with its squared-off lugs leading into the bracelet fit differently than most standard-lugged watches that make up my collection. My experience with integrated bracelet sports watches is slim, and it really does take a moment to adjust to the general fit. Integrated bracelets add a new dimension to the conversation when considering a watch, as the bracelet must be factored heavily into the overall impression. Whereas a watch with a subpar strap can still hold its own in a world where aftermarket options are abundant, a watch with an integrated bracelet needs to be assessed as a package.