Case Diameter: 42mm
Case Lug to Lug: 47mm
Case Thickness: 19mm including domed glass
Case Lug Width: 22mm
Case Material: Stainless Steel 316L
Crystal: Double Sapphire Domed, Inner AR Coating
Base Dial: Aventurine
Hour Hand: Transparent Disc, Superluminova C3 Luminous Markers
Minute Hand: Northern Star Tip, Superluminova C3 Luminous Northern Star
Second Hand: Sweeping Upright with Orb, Superluminova C3 Luminous Orb
Inner Dial: 3D Effect of Astronomical Object
Seiko NH35, Automatic
41 Hours Power Reserve
Material: Premium Horween Genuine Leather
Buckle: 20mm Stainless Steel Signed
Kaal is like a super group of musicians comparable to the likes of Velvet Revolver. “Kaal Watch which is born in sunny Singapore and founded by 3 experienced industry names in the world of horology – Alvin Lye who is one half of the avant-garde Azimuth Watch Works brand with iconic designs like Mr. Roboto, The Spaceship just to name but a few, Jessie Yeo who is also the better half of Alvin Lye, is also the co-owner of watch brand Trifoglio Italia that gave you such pieces like the Radio City, Millimetro and Veloce. Rounding off this fantastic trio is Alvin Lew who has spent years in the watch industry being an active watch blogger and reviewer at Micro Brand Watch World and an avid collector of watches.”
In the ever growing sea of Rolex homages, it’s refreshing to see an avant-garde piece coming out. The Kaal multiverse is a truly unique watch with an equally unique way of displaying the time. You have your choice of dials with either Artemis(moon), Sol(sun), or Gaea(Earth). Once you have picked out which dial you like, now it’s time to figure out deciphering the display layout. Before we get into playing Ralphy with our little orphan Annie decoder ring to decipher the dial display, I want to start at the base of this dial.
A unique dial calls for a unique material and Kaal definitely went that route with using Aventurine as the material for the base dial. For anyone who isn’t familiar, aventurine is a form of quartz, characterised by its translucency and the presence of platy mineral inclusions that give a shimmering or glistening effect termed aventurescence. To keep that glistening/shimmering effect the hour numerals are displayed on a transparent disc. The glistening effect gives the illusion of the endless star filled depths of space. The futuristic font works perfectly with the overall theme of this watch. It reminds me of a legible version of the countdown on the Predator’s gauntlet/self destruct bomb. Each of the numbers/hours is coated with Superluminova C3 Lume which allows the Multiverse to be legible in both light and dark environments. The Multiverse is equipped with an inner chapter that has the minute track printed on it. A nice functional detail about the chapter ring is the thickness which allows for some optimal legibility from most angles especially because it has teamed up with this double domed crystal. Oh, did I mention that the chapter ring is fully lumed?
Kaal has done a thorough job of committing to the theme of the Multiverse through the precise execution of these details. The “northern star” tip of the minute hand is an example of the details I am referring to. I like that Kaal made the the tip on the minute hand to resemble a glistening star instead of going with the traditional star ⭐️ shape. The prototype version is an all white star but the production pieces will feature a red outlined star which will allow for greater visibility/legibility. Kaal is also shortening the stem on the minute hand to only allow the star itself to be seen. They are also increasing the size of the star from 3.28mm to 5mm, again this will allow for a much greater legible minute hand. The minute hand isn’t the only hand to receive a size upgrade either. The “orb” or as I like to refer to it as, the satellite second hand size is being increased from 1.4mm to 1.8mm. The satellite second hand orbits around the 3D part of the dial, which is either the earth, moon or sun depending upon the version you chose.
It is exactly that, the 3D detail of this dial that intrigued me the most when I first gazed upon the Multiverse watch. The details on each version is meticulously done with such precision that it is the true “star” of the dial itself. From the craters on the moon version or the oceans on the earth version, the intricate detailing is quite mesmerizing. The coloring on the sun and the moon are being changed a bit from what you see here in these pictures to what they will be on the production pieces. As for the color on the moon it will be shifting from the bluish color to a more grayish color and the sun from a red color to a more orange color. These color changes will give both versions a more accurate depiction of both celestial objects. These changes will be taking already great design into a more fine tuned direction that will appease both watch enthusiasts and astronomy lovers alike.
The 42mm x 19mm thick case is made of 316L stainless steel with a uniform brushed finish is as beautifully unique as the dial itself. The case also consists of little details that are consistent with Kaal’s visionary design. In my opinion the most obvious detail of this case is the massive double domed sapphire crystal. It creates the perfect viewing window for this dial and also creates a stunning profile for the watch itself. The inside of the crystal is treated with an anti-reflective coating to allow for a greater legible/glare free experience. The choice of a large double domed crystal makes perfect sense to me on a watch with a unique dial such as the multiverse has. You can literally view this dial from almost any angle whatsoever. The fixed bezel is nice and thick brushed stainless steel which is the perfect frame for the massive domed crystal.
The Multiverse case features short curved lugs (47mm L2L) which play a role in allowing this watch to sit and conform to the wrist comfortably without any excessive wrist overhang. Spaced at 22mm, the lugs hold the included horween leather strap in place with the quick release spring bars. The strap is very well made which it possesses that precision leather strap look/feel of those pricey custom straps possess. Taking the strap on and off is made so easy because of the quick release function and it also helps protect the lugs from those easily incurred strap change scratches. This strap also features a 20mm brushed stainless steel buckle that is signed with Kaal’s logo.
The screw down case back isn’t the end of the fine details that we have seen throughout this watch. It features some nicely raised planetary details that are not only consistent with the Multiverse’s theme, but they are extremely well executed. Sometimes engraved or raised details on a case back can have some sharp edges to them, but that is not the case here. The solar system found on this case back is done smoothly and accurately, but the sun is not the center this time. A small, sapphire crystal porthole is the center of attention on the Multiverse’s case back. A porthole that gives you a small glimpse of the Seiko NH35, Automatic movement with it’s 24 jewels and it’s 41 hour power reserve. Now you know that it being an automatic movement it is wound by the rotation of the weighted rotar and it can also be wound via the crown. The Multiverse features a knurl edged crown that is extremely easy to grip and operate. This crown is a push pull style crown that operates with buttery smooth movement. Setting the time and winding the watch is done with ease and without any of that annoying extra wobble that can plague some watches. The knurl edges is done very well which adds a nice flare of detail to the side of the case which you can notice is void of any crown guards. Adding a bit more detail to this side of the case is the inclusion of the Kaal logo that is etched on the crown itself.
I have been a huge fan of the watches that Azimuth has produced over the years. In fact, I still desire a Mr Roboto watch. Azimuth produces beautiful avant-garde watches that are unfortunately out of my price range. When I first saw the Multiverse I thought to myself “wow what a beautiful and unique watch, but I know that it is going to be way too much for my budget” I was shocked when I saw that these were only $429 usd. Then when I actually handled them in person, I was even more shocked. The quality and the design on these are way better than what the price implies. I have experienced watches that 10x the cost of the multiverse with far less quality and design detail. We have all said this before“oh you get a lot of watch for the price”, but this time it is way more prevalent in regards to the Multiverse watch.
Kaal is already working on improving the Multiverse from what you see on the prototypes in this review and what you will see on the actual production pieces. I posted a list of all the expected changes that are being made as you read this. There are so many little endearing details on this avant-garde beauty both on the dial and on the case. The brushed finishing on the Multiverse case is nearly as good as it gets. The brushed finish in my opinion was the right way to go as opposed to having a high polished case because a. It wouldn’t be cohesive with the overall design of the watch and b. It would distract from the main focal point clearly being the dial. The Earth/Moon/Sun are attached to the dial with a semi skeletonized “metal bridge” with a nice ark that follows the curvature of the crystal and planet. From the bigger details such as the crystal and dial, to the smaller details such as the comet engraved lugs and star head faux screw bars, all of these details impressed me. The bright glow of the lume on the Multiverse is also quite impressive. I do wish that the star head faux screw bars were actual functioning screw bars as opposed to the quick release style.
For fans of space and fans of avant-garde style, this is definitely an affordable choice for you. The trio of “watch gods” have created something special here with the Multiverse. As well you know how I have an affinity for the unique watches, the Multiverse ranks high on my list of unique watches to consider. I want to thank you for reading my last review of 2020 and I look forward to continuing our journey together in 2021. Thank you to Kaal for allowing me to spend so much time with the 3 prototype watches.