Here's a fun fact: if you take a portion of black paint add equal parts of every color in the spectrum, the end result will be white. If you then start adding equal parts of each color back into the white paint, the end result will again be black.
Greyhours is a Hong Kong based watch brand whose philosophy is that the "truth never resides in the extremes," and instead lives somewhere in the grey area between the polar opposites of black and white. Of course this colorful metaphor could be extended into any aspect of life; politics, religion, etc, but since we only talk about watches here, let's talk about some black, white, grey, and colorful areas of the watch world.
It's been an interesting experience interacting with and observing watch enthusiasts both online and in person since I started this project. For the most part, watch geeks are are welcoming to other watch watch geeks regardless of their technical level of knowledge on the subject, the size of their collection or non-collection, or how expensive their timepieces are. Not to say that there isn't a certain level of watch-snobbery among some, but for most it's just fun to be able to talk to anyone who shares this somewhat niche interest. One extreme end of watch enthusiasm is the technical expert who can name every caliber of every movement from every popular mechanical watch brand. His watches are probably almost all mechanical. His collection could be large or small, but it is a focused one. The opposite of this would be the novice enthusiast - the guy or gal who's just starting to take an interest in what's on other people's wrist, or someone who's interested in watches from more of a fashion perspective. He could go quartz or mechanical...take it or leave it...it's really not that important anyway, as long as it looks cool.
Between these two ends are those of us in the grey area. I would consider myself a grey-area watch enthusiast, and if I had to guess I would say a majority of people interested in watches fall somewhere in this shade as well. I hope to one day make my way down toward the expert end of the scale, but another part of me really likes this grey area. As much as I hope to continue learning technical knowledge and history, a large part of my interest in watches is still very much aesthetically driven. While I'm curious to know what's going on behind the hood, I can still appreciate something for what it is on surface level.
So what is on the surface level of what appears to be grey? If you zoooooom in close enough...you'll find that what actually makes up the grey area is a broad, fascinating, and colorful world. So what makes a great grey area watch? The Greyhours Essential collection presents a watch that may seem basic to the hardcore extremist, but is actually a beautifully designed piece constructed with a lot of care and attention to detail.
Greyhours watches are only available online, so in doing this they cut out a lot of middleman cost and, according to their website, put that cost into using very high grade materials. The brushed surface DLC (diamond-like carbon) case is 40mm wide and 9.1mm thick. The case was designed without lugs, so the leather strap attaches on the underside of the perfectly round case, making for a smooth transition with no gaps. Speaking of the strap, they boast hand-picked Italian leather, and it is definitely on the high end. Soft and smooth; after just a few days this watch was molded to my wrist and felt almost like a second skin of my own.
They also emphasize the 7 layered anti-reflection coating on the sapphire; it's quite impressive and in par with some very very high-end watches. The dial is super clean and extremely legible with hours, minutes, a blue seconds hand, as well as a subdial for day of the week. There's also a small date window, and if I had one issue with the watch it's that the date is a bit difficult to read. The date display is behind an internal piece of glass that is curved, so it picks up a lot of glare.
I was very impressed with the overall presentation, something that a lot of Chinese brands could pay more attention to. Along with the watch you get a card holder made from quality Argentinean leather, a warranty card (2 year warranty can be activated on their website), a Greyhours cleaning cloth as well as a booklet with specs and maintenance recommendations.
At the time of writing, this watch is actually sold out. You can preorder here for %30 off, at a reasonable HK $1365 ($175 USD). Greyhours is off to a great start, and we can't wait to see more of what they have coming in the future!