Horage may be a brand that is unfamiliar with many. After all, with the slew of many different brands coming onboard over the last decade, it is not easy to keep track of the relatively smaller brands.
Small as they may be, Horage is an interesting brand that has done some pretty impressive stuff over the years. A few months back, we just reviewed one of the least expensive Swiss tourbillon that is (or, was, as we speak) available on the market: Horage Tourbillon 1. Now, has that caught your attention yet?
Review: Horage Autark 10 Years Limited Edition
Price of the Horage Autark 10 Years Limited Edition is S$5,877. It is limited to a production of 99 pieces.
The Horage Autark 10 Years Limited Edition, as its name suggests, is a watch made to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the production of the brand’s K1 movement. The movement, notably, was a culmination of hard work that spanned over a period of 7 years.
Based on the Autark collection, the 10 Years Limited Edition features some unique touches, such as a special anthracite dial, modified movement, and a fully integrated bracelet. It is certainly a looker at first glance, but how does it fare in reality? We had the watch for a couple of weeks to find out.
The Case, Dial, and Hands
The Autark features a 39mm case, with the 10 Year Edition cased in Grade 5 blast-hardened titanium.
Notably, the Autark has a rather interesting design. The watch features a barrel-shaped case, with a cut-out along the side profile that gives the watch a rather contemporary touch. In addition, the watch also has an integrated bracelet as well – which works rather well with the overall theme of this watch.
Next, we have the dial. The Autark is fitted with a rather intriguing dial design, which juxtaposes with the sand-blasted titanium case. For this variant, the watch has a deep-brushed anthracite dial – we love the texture and how it reacts differently under different lighting conditions.
Accompanying the dial are the Arabic numerals, and three different indicators in the form of a big date complication, power reserve indicator, as well as a sub-seconds dial. Despite the numerous functions that the watch features, we are quite glad to say that the entire dial is rather clean and legible.
On the same note, we feel that the power reserve indicator deserves some special mention as well. In a sea of grey and white, the power reserve indicator certainly stands out with its colourful gauge. We have to admit that the choice of pastel colours works well here, and anything else might have just looked tacky in this case.
Finally, the watch is completed with a pair of diamond-cut skeletonised pencil-styled hands, with luminous. Notably, the sub-seconds dial and power reserve indicators are fitted with different types of hands.
Overall, the Autark is an extremely good-looking watch. We enjoy its contemporary looks, and how Horage had given the watch a rather interesting treatment in terms of finishing and materials to reinforce its modern stance. We also appreciate the design, which is definitely not inspired by any competitors and major brands. In other words, this watch is highly original.
The 39mm case works very well too in terms of its size. In addition, because the watch is crafted in titanium, it felt rather comfortable on the wrist throughout the couple of weeks that we had with the watch (with both the bracelet and the biodegradable strap). The Autark certainly ticks many of the right boxes.
The Movement: K1
Powering the Autark is the K1 movement, a self-winding movement that was developed in-house by Horage.
The K1 is a culmination of 7 years of hard work. The modular movement beats at 25,200 vph, with a power reserve of around 65 hours. As mentioned above, the watch has a big date complication, as well as a power reserve indicator.
For this particular 10 Year Edition, there are special treatments done to the K1 movement. First, the movement is signed by Horage’s engineer (present on the bridges, in gold). Next, the rotor is also specially engraved with the word “10 Years”, in no less than 19 different languages. Finally, each of the movements for this special edition are certified by COSC, with the certificate provided to the owner of the watch.
Finishing-wise, the K1 is adequate for its price range. There are not many haute horlogerie standard of techniques rendered, but we do see some forms of anglage and satinage finishing on the bridges. Otherwise, for a mid-four figure watch, the engineering-level of finishing is pretty decent in our opinion.
The 99-piece Horage Autark 10 Years Limited Edition is priced at S$5,877. This is a S$600 premium over the usual Autark variants, but it comes with both the integrated titanium bracelet and a biodegradable strap.
At this price point, there are certainly many compelling options available as well.
The 39mm Tudor Black Bay is a strong competition, with an in-house movement from a reputable watch manufacturer. The Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925 is one of the newest variants to the collection, featuring an unusual silver case. Prices of the piece begin at S$5,960 for both the leather and NATO strap variants.
Moving on, we have the NOMOS Tangente neomatik 41 Update. NOMOS is another brand that we have constantly raved about, with its in-house movement and clean Bauhaus-inspired aesthetics. The Tangente neomatik 41 Update is one stunning piece, with a unique date indicator that makes this particular watch rather special. The 41mm watch retails at S$5,570.
Lastly, we have the Tutima Patria Admiral Blue SS. The 43mm Tutima may be priced a little higher than the Autark and the other two competitors, but for a pretty good reason. The finishing is a tad much better than the rest, with the Caliber 617 being a stand-out with some nice touches on it. The exquisite watch is priced at €4,900 including VAT (approximately S$7,689), but we do reckon it offers something different in return for its premium.
When we first learnt of the Autark, we felt that the watch had quite a lot to prove. Here, we have a sub-S$6,000 timepiece, from a relatively new watch manufacturer that is not as well-known to many. There are certainly very large shoes to fill, especially in today’s age.
After spending a couple of weeks with the watch, we were rather pleasantly surprised. The Autark is a very solid and comfortable watch, and it does not fall short against its similarly priced competitors. It is a great piece for sure.
We feel that, with due respect, the only two things that will stop potential buyers from acquiring the watch is the brand equity and the pricing. Sure, we know Horage has been doing incredible things, but unfortunately, it is not that well-known outside of the enthusiasts circle. This, together with its price tag, may pose a little of a challenge especially to potential buyers who might tend to stick with the more established brands at this price point.
Overall, the Autark did impress us, and we certainly hope that this review has certainly helped to increase the brand awareness of Horage (together with its incredibly-priced tourbillon). After all, everyone has to start somewhere.