Today I want to introduce you to a brand that I was looking to check out for some time now. I like vintage/classic watches, but I also appreciate a well designed modern watch, I especially like weird watches, where they went out of the classic case shape or any crazy dial, I call them conversation pieces! And the brand we are looking at today makes exactly these “conversation watches”! Lytt Labs is an independent microbrand from Singapore founded by Edwin Seah, an experienced wristwatch collector and modern electronics industry professional, and his business partner who is also a watch person. Their main concept is to make interesting watches, conversation starters, but keeping it also a bit traditional. From what I see this brand is keeping with that pillow-shaped case, and it kind of reminds me, Dietrich, where they are keeping all watches hexagonal and you immediately can distinguish that that’s Dietrich. I think Edwin wants to achieve similar thing where the watch enthusiasts look at the watch and immediately say it is the Lytt Labs watch, and that is good in my opinion that a brand is keeping to one design, shape etc. it gives it that distinctive look and design language. We can see it also in many big brands like Audemars Piguet with the Royal Oak or the Patek Philippe with the Nautilus.
The Lytt Labs Inception Prodigy is their new watch. This is the second watch from the Lytt Labs. The previous Inception Version One used rotating discs to tell the time, but the Inception Prodigy move to a bit more tradition hands. Despite this new model using an hour, minute, and seconds hand, there is nothing traditional about the form of the hands, as they have a pretty unique shape, but about all that later! Let’s get to the watch!
The Inception Prodigy came in a very nice and a pretty heavy cardboard box. The box is signed with Lytt Labs logo. You slide off the lid and here lies the watch! Lytt Labs were also very kind to throw in me a keychain. I think I will have a microbrand watch company keychain collection as I already have 6 different ones from other companies, haha. When it comes to the watch, the photos can’t do justice on how cool the watch is in real life. There is so much going on the dial despite it beeing just time-only watch. And I really like that sleek case design too and I can’t even imagine how it takes apart, my guess would be from the top as there is no screw-in case back or any screws showing any signs on how to take it apart.
The case of the Inception Prodigy is made of 316L stainless steel. The case is very well manufactured in my opinion and it could easily compete with big brands in how the case is made, no doubt! The case itself is a bowed-out square/pillow-shaped that measures 45mm on each side and the thickness is 14mm. The size on the paper looks big, but in reality, it wears a bit smaller in my opinion. The case has a satin-brushed finish, with corners that are sharp enough to look flashy and elegant, but not that it would cut your fingers open. At 3 o’clock we have a push-pull crown also in that same square/pillow shape with rubber going through the middle for extra grip. The crown is very easy to grip for changing the time or winding the movement. On top of the watch, we have a flat sapphire crystal with AR coating. The coating on this one is actually pretty good and the dial is visible in basically any light condition. When it comes to the case back, well there isn’t one in the classical sense of watches, but on the back, we have a QR code to register your watch, model name and some specifications. I actually like those pyramid angles that are going on, on the case back, plays nicely with the light! The water resistance is only 50M (5ATM), pretty normal for a watch of non-diver origin. That means that swimming isn’t recommended!
The dial on this watch isn’t actually square or pillow-shaped. Well, the crystal and cutout for it are pillow-shaped, but the dial is round! The dial is really well made on this watch, I could put it in my top 3 best micro brand dials of 2019 without a doubt! The honeycomb pattern with that brushed metal on the hands and dial is just stunning! The minute and hour hands are both fat and wide with a unique shape, with brushed stainless steel faces and white outlines that glow a lux green in the dark. Both hands are mounted on thick, circular dials. The second hand is also unique. It’s a round, short hand with a cutout in the central dial and a red hash mark at the point and also features the white outline that glows in the dark. The dial face itself is an off white cream colour with a honeycomb pattern. The applied Arabic numerals are very bold and very legible in any light or dark conditions as they are also lumed in the middle. The lume shot with the watch I think takes the #1 spot in all of my lume shots, it just looks so unique! I’m just blown away by the dial, as it isn’t anything that crazy, but how it is executed and how much detail there is on it! Well done Lytt Labs!
The movement that is inside the Inception Prodigy is Japan made Seiko NH35A. Usually, I would say that it is a bad thing as the watch costs 425€ which is a lot for this movement, but you need to remember that this is a design watch, it isn’t here to show off the movement, but rather the amazing design. And for a watch which is designed like this one, I think the price should be even higher even with this movement. But not all things are bad, the NH35A is a really good movement! Mine example is running at +8 to +10 seconds a day, which is acceptable for these type of movements right out of the factory. This movement is pretty popular in the microbrand world as 50% of watches that are coming out have this movement inside them. It has proven it’s reliability and easiness to service within many years. You just can’t go wrong with Japan made movements from Seiko. It is an automatic 24 jewel movement with 41-hour power reserve and beating away with 21,600 BPH.
The strap that it comes on is a very soft black rubber strap with contrasting white stitching. It has a nice taper and it is relatively slim for a rubber where it doesn’t look big on the wrist. The buckle is very nicely made with two rather than one piece that goes in the other end. The strap on the wrist is very comfortable on the wrist and wears nicely. My only problem with it is how it attaches to the watch case, it has an integrated system with two hex screws on each end. Being a guy who likes to change straps a lot on my watches, I find this a bit frustrating as if I ever would like to change the strap, I need to buy one from Lytt Labs or if I want any other colour like yellow or blue, I need to order one from strap maker and that can get costly. Of course, most of the watch guys like to keep it on one strap anyway so it isn’t a problem for most of the people!
Overall I really like the watch! All the problems or things I didn’t like I can overcome, as in my opinion there isn’t a perfect watch, at least not in this world, reality or universe! The watch is very well built, it has a cool design, amazing dial and lumeshot, automatic movement, sapphire crystal, good rubber strap and all that for 425€, which in my opinion is a steal!
- Movement: Seiko Instruments calibre NH35 mechanical automatic
- 42 hours of power reserve
- Case: 45mm wide by 45mm long, and 14mm thick
- PVD case, 316L stainless steel
- Sapphire crystal, quadruple anti-reflective treatment
- luminescent paint applied to dials by hand
- Individually stamped hour numbers
- Water-resistant to 50
*Original article courtesy of Kaminsky Blog