Hands on: Lonegrade HDR140 Collection
Part of the objective of Affordable Wrist Time is to shine light on watches that other outlets don’t cover, be it because of price, reputation or other reasons. At the same time, a balance has to be found between giving every new watch brand an outlet that may not be merited and shining light on exciting new brands. The Lonegrade HDR (Heure De Rotation) collection offers a fresh new design that I have never seen in the busy (at times, oversaturated) market of new microbrands.
The HDR140 Collection
Disk movements are rarely used in watches. Aside from the Orient Disk, it’s a great design that, in my opinion, is criminally under used. This is the highlight of the HDR140 collection. The the specifications of the watches in this collection are:
Dial: White, Blue, or Black
Movement: Swiss Quartz
Water Resistance: 10 ATM
Crystal: AR Coated Sapphire
Crown: 3 o’clock
Strap: Leather, quick release pins, 20mm tapering to 18mm
Lume: Hour and minute hands
Designed and assembled in America.
The overall theme of the dial is one that’s well balanced and minimalist. The lack of an hour hand removes clutter and adds a fun asymmetrical aspect within this very symmetrical design. The indices are raised, small, and of a great font that isn’t seen often. The watch is relatively thin (9mm) and sized well at a neutral 40mm. The 20mm lugs leave the door open for a strap swap.
For me, the design goes a long way. In a saturated market of “minimalist” designs, one grows tired of the same styled “new” watch. The HDR does it in a way I have never seen from any watch company do it. It certainly keeps the overall design minimalist without sacrificing legibility or aesthetics. It does all of this without falling in the trap most new “bauhaus” style watches fall victim to.
Another mistake a lot of new watch brands make is over sizing their watches. They fall victim to the current watch styles, size their watches very large (44mm+), systematically size their way out of the hobbiest market and place themselves in the fashion watch market that is often difficult to break into without a major influx of money. The HDR avoids this by going with a neutral 40mm case diameter that can be worn on most wrists, barring extreme cases.
The assembled and designed in America is always a cool title to tie to your brand. While this will obviously bring production prices up a bit, at $495, it stays competitively priced with other “American assembled” watches by major brands. The price may be a bit high compared to other quartz watches, but you’ll have a hard time finding some with these credentials at this price range.
And of course, the obvious “good” is the disk design, which is criminally underused in the watch world.
What Could Have Been Better
One of the few things I would have loved to see different in this piece is lumed indices. While the hour and minute “hands” are lumed and serve their purpose, lumed indices would have added great contrast within their corresponding dials. This small detail can, in my opinion, help add to the overall design of the watch.
The HDR collection is one that definitely deserves more attention. They are able to differentiate themselves among their competitors and add the “assembled and designed in America” label. If you’re looking for a micro brand to checkout with a truly unique design, this might be the one for you.
Check out Lonegrade’s website here, and check out the unboxing video here for a hands on video of all of the watches in their collection.