Company: Whytes Watches
Model: Discoverer Mk1
Reminiscent of the days of early exploration into lands of vast dimensions and opportunity. The rugged and unforgiving landscape mirrored in the hardy grittiness of the people who explored and settled on the land
Exploring and discovering new things is one of most exciting things about life itself. Exploration can be done anywhere and with anything. In our busy life’s it is very hard to stop and take time to truly explore something new or someplace new. The other day as I was driving home from work I started looking at houses and buildings that I have never seen on my commute home. I’ve been driving this way home for over 5 years now and I saw so many things that I never noticed before. All because I took the time to open my eyes and took the time to look around. Think about all the things in life that we miss because we don’t take the time to look. Think about if people didn’t want to go exploring years ago, all the lands that would go undiscovered. Luckily the itch for adventure took a hold and drove explorers out to discover the hidden beauties of the world.
I may not go out to discover new lands, but I do get to go out to discover new watches that I get to explore. Today I am exploring the Discoverer Mk1. Upon opening the slick leather travel pouch, the striking dial of the Mk1 was just gleaming. So I’m going to start with the dial for this review. I’m typically drawn to black dials, but the white on this dial is absolutely beautiful. Pure ivory white with crisp black text/numerals makes for a winning combination on this watch. There are a series of sub dials on the MK1. I will start with the one at the 12 o’clock hour position which is a power reserve indicator. By unscrewing the crown and leaving in the first position allows you to wind up the Miyota movement. As you wind the small black hand starts to climb from 0 all the way up to 40 hours which means that your MK1 is full wound and will stay running for 40 hours. The power reserve sub dial is sunken into the dial and festures black printed number on a silver backdrop. This color combo looks fantastic and is very legible.
The next sub dial is located at the 3 o’clock position on the dial. This one is responsible for the indication of the month. Included in the kit is a long needle shaped tool which in itself looks awesome. This awesome looking tool serves the purpose of setting the month by pressing it into the button that is located on the crown side of the case at the 2 o’clock position. It is actually pretty addicting to use the tool for setting the month. The sub dial located across from the month indicator is the day of the week dial. This feature is down via the crown when it is pulled into the second position. This sub dial is like the others in terms of black printed texts, silver backdrop with a small black hand. All of these sub dials are very balanced and well placed on the dial itself.
The only thing about this dial that I will nit pick about is the position of the date window which is located between 4 and 5. I believe the date window would have looked better located at the 6 o’clock hour position. The date is printed in crisp black on a white date wheel. The hours are indicated on this dial by applied markers which are polished silver with thin lumed centers. They are very beautiful. While I’m on the subject of beauty, the inner chapter ring is sharp and really completes the look of this dial. The inner chapter rings job is to indicate the minutes/seconds through a series of black lines and black numerals printed on the white chapter ring. Now this would be kind of useless if it wasn’t for Whytes attention to horological detail. They made sure that the second hand extended all the way out to the chapter ring. This little detail made me very happy. Not only does it look good, but it also comes in very handy when you are trying to time things precisely.
The hour and minute hand are black and feature thin lines of lume down the center of each hand. I am a huge fan the hands on the MK1, the black hands look perfect against the white dial. The text on the dial was kept to a minimum, which is the Whytes name & logo and ‘Automatic’, all printed in crisp black. There’s a cool little detail that I didn’t notice right away, but after a little exploring it was an awesome discovery. Along the outer edge of the dial is small printed circles that are silver/grey which disappear and reappear depending on how you angle the watch to light. So cool! I spent a lot of time just playing with the light and watching them appear and disappear!
The polished 316L case is finished with the attention to detail that went into the dial design as well. The case is 42mm diameter, 12mm thickness, and 20mm lugs. The sapphire crystal is bordered by rounded edges that is on 2 separate levels. This gives the case a nice finished look when looking at the watch from a top down view. The screw down diamond shaped crown is hard to ignore because of how its machined. The edges are cut on an angle which catches the light and allows the light to dance about the whole crown creating some beautiful visuals. The crown is signed with the most perfect and precise small W. The case back is held in place by 6 screws offering both function and eye pleasing aesthetics.
The case back is brushed steel and features some nice engraving. I love the little quote that is printed on the case back, ‘TAKE YOUR TIME’ Yes, this is a great reminder to us all to take our time and enjoy life, enjoy discovering new things, discovering new places, discovering new people. Life is a fragile gift and this world is our temporary place of dwelling. Thanks for the reminder Whytes Watches. The case back also has info about the watch engraved on it and it’s limited edition number out of 250.
The lugs are an absolute work of art on this watch and they are my favorite part of this case. They are drilled lugs and feature long screw bars that hold the strap in place. ‘As part of our design we screw in the strap, making it simpler to replace when you feel the need, we don’t use a standard pin which is the norm with most watches. Our screws add that extra rugged security you would anticipate from a quality timepiece, and is a feature of the 19th century watches from which we draw inspiration.’ The lugs are very unique and look stunning. Whytes Watches do not use anything standard in the design of the case. It is all original and designed by Whytes in their homeland of Canada.
The MK1 comes with 2 separate straps, a black leather strap with white stitching and a very soft calf skin brown strap with white stitching. The black leather strap is thicker at the lugs and gradually tapers down when it reaches the polished stainless steel tang style buckle. It takes a little breaking in to soften up and to allow the strap to comfortably hug the wrist. The brown calf skin strap is soft as can be from the get go and hugs the wrist so wonderfully. It features a large v shaped buckle. The brown strap dressed down the MK1 and the black strap dressed it up. Both straps are very well made and look fantastic.
The MK1 is takes it’s inspiration from the watches of the early 19th century and is well executed from the dial to the case. It really is a refreshing and unique design. This watch breaks the mold of on what has become typical and over done which made exploring it extremely entertaining and pleasing to the horological nerd inside of me. The Miyota 9100 power reserve movement inside proved to be very accurate during my review, keeping +7 seconds. This movement is know for -10 +30 seconds per day accuracy, with 28800 vibrations per hour and has 26 jewels. The movement is the only “standard” thing on the MK1 as for everything else is original design from Whytes.
I would classify the MK1 as a refined tool watch. I picture an explorer from the early 1900’s going on an exhibition wearing this watch. That is what drew me to this watch when I first saw it. Imagining an explorer with very limited technology because of the time period, relying on his survival skills over the lack of having advanced gear. I pictured the explorer writing with an fountain pen under latern light writing in his journal about the day’s adventure, his sleeve slides up revealing the MK1. As a reviewer, imagery like this comes from inspired pieces like the MK1. Being inspired by a watch is a very magical experience that make me absolutely love what I do.
I highly recommend the MK1 to someone looking for a unique watch that captures the beauty of yesteryear, a watch that embraces the time to take to discover new things, to discover things lost from long ago. This watch can be your companion both in the office, dressing up for date night or for your weekend adventure. This watch didn’t disappoint me and I doubt it will disappoint you. At C$549 it is a true value as you get a lot of watch for your money, not to mention the extras included.
Thank you to Whytes Watches for the honor and opportunity to review the MK1. Thank you for reading and please comment below with any questions that you may have.