Update: Instrmnt is no longer is business as of 2022.
It’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to test and photograph a new watch, and I’ve been enjoying this Everyday Watch from Glasgow based industrial design duo Instrmnt. They’ve been around since 2014, launching with their original Instrmnt 01 watch on kickstarter, which I believe looks to be the same watch I have here, although the name has been updated.
The packaging stood out to me right away. I’m somewhat of a watch collector at this point, and I’ve found that packaging is pretty well the same across many different price points. Typically with most watches you get a small container that opens up like a ring box, and the watch is displayed inside.
With Instrmnt, we get something a little bit different.
The box is simple, adorned only with their logo and some information on the back on how all of the packaging is recyclable. Nice touch.
After you slide the inside of the box out from the shell, you’re greeted with a semi-opaque sheet of paper with some additional information on the warranty, and how you can assemble the watch.
That’s right, this watch doesn’t come assembled.
Now, I love the idea behind this approach, and it’s for a very simple reason. I switch out the straps on my watches a lot (I have about 2-3 straps for each watch at this point), and I remember being pretty nervous about doing it the first time, because I didn’t want to scratch the case of the watch.
At the end of the day, changing the strap is pretty straightforward, and I like how this product forces you to get used to the process by making you do it yourself before you can wear it. Included in the package are the 2 halves to the strap, a little spring bar removal tool, and a small case of 3 spring bars. These things have a tendency to go flying across the room if you’re not careful, so the addition of an extra one is thoughtful.
This design is as straightforward as you can get, with a simple white face, silver casing, and some sans-serif typography for the hour and date markers. I tend to prefer these simple, minimalist designs when it comes to daily wearing, and this is no exception.
It’s a basic 3 handed watch, with the addition of a date complication. I like my date windows on quartz watches like this, but am not a fan of them on my mechanical watches—it gets annoying having to set it every time if you don’t wear it for a few days.
I think the case is my favorite part of the watch. It includes a very thin bezel, and it looks like they matched the width of the smallest part of the lug, to the same width of the bezel. The soft curves out on the outside of the lugs are a nice contrast to the harder angle of the inside.
While they say they took inspiration from some industrial design of the mid 20th century, I noticed that they balance it with design choices that bring it back into the 21st century. Typically mid-century watches have slightly domed crystals, but with the Everyday watch, they went with a completely flat design. I like having watches with both styles—the domed crystals allow some beautiful distortion when looking at the watch from different angles, but these flat designs are so much better for pure readability and clarity.
The crown matches the case, and doesn't include any knurling to help with grip. I didn’t find this to be a usability issue when setting the time, and like how it flows well with the rest of the design.
The included strap is a pretty basic 2 piece leather strap, but if you’re looking for some other options, they include 4 other colors for leather (tan, brown, black, and navy) as well as a black rubber version.
The hardware is simple to match, and doesn’t include any visible branding (bonus points for this).
Flipping the watch over, you’re greeted with some information including the brand, the size (40mm), the movement, and the type of steel used for the case.
316L is a type of steel commonly used in high end watches, which offers some additional benefits over the usual 304 stainless steel you might find in other, cheaper watches. The biggest difference is that the corrosion resistance to chlorides and acids are going to be much better, allowing you to beat the watch up a little bit without having to worry about it getting stained or scuffed up.
This watch comes in 4 different colors (gunmetal/white, rose gold/white, silver/white, and black/black) each applied with a PVD coating over the steel.
The strap comes in at a standard 18mm size, which is great if you want to swap it out for something else in the future.
The natural color of the strap is visible on the back, as well as the brand initials that have been softly debossed into the leather.
In the heart of the watch is a Swiss quartz movement called the Ronda 585 3H. This little thing is a powerhouse used in a ton of watch, and its thin size makes it perfect for these sorts of minimal designs. Batteries are readily available, and if it needs service in the future, any watch maker will be able to take it on.
You can grab one of these watches directly from their site for around $250 USD, while customizing the color and strap options to fit your style. The simplicity of the watch is similar to some other Braun watches I have, so check those out if this minimalist style is what you're looking for.
I think this is a solid contender to replace the Braun, and something about this craftsmanship makes me feel like it’s going to last much, much longer.