Hailing from the year 2123, the founders have time travelled back to 2023 to showcase their first collection the Estro-One with a regulator style dial layout.
What happens when you are not that interested in the main stream brand of watches and wants something more unique but don’t break the bank? Micro-brands are the solution and here we present the Estrowerk is one of them! We first handled the watch in the Spring, Sprang, Sprung event recently, and got our hands on a review sample for a few days. Here is our review.
Review: the new Estrowerk Estro-One Cobalt
The Estrowerk Estro-One Cobalt currently retails at USD 980, limited to 100 pieces. At the time of writing, the watch is still available for sale on their website.
Estrowerks Exo-One Cobalt in the very futuristic Singapore.
The brand is created by Alfred and Chuck from Hong Kong, their design goal is to make it futuristic. Hence, the Exoskeleton Structure, the regulator style dial layout and bold colour splashes.
First Impression / The Case
The Estrowerk Estro-One Cobalt is DLC coated 316L Stainless Steel with PVD blue flanks on the side which they describe as the “exo-skeleton” of the watch. The exo-skeleton is a structure which goes around the watch capsule, and finished in the same colour as the dial. And serves as an additional protection layer as well as a stylistic cue to the watch. When worn on the wrist, it feels very well put together, and perhaps better made than some of the mainstream brands in the same price point. When the Estro-One was handed over to us, it had already been handled by many during Spring Sprang Sprung and the DLC and PVD coating seems to have survived it all.
When it was on the writer’s wrist during the week, it certainly did catch the attention of some individuals. What attracted most people is the unique colour that it has, the integrated bracelet and also it is a regulator styled dial.
The watch wears friendly on wrist size that is as small as 5.5 inch to 7 inch due to the current “universally accepted” dial size of 40mm while complimenting it is the “exo-skeleton” gives an impression that it wears smaller than advertised.
The electric blue dial of the Estrowerk certainly enables the watch to pop on the wearer’s wrist giving it the theatrical effect that the brand intended. This is followed by a regulator style dial layout where hour, minute, seconds each have their dedicated counters. The size of the respective counters positively correlates the importance in terms of their hierarchy that the brand perceives.
The respective counters and indices incorporates a combination of luminescent and fluorescent paint to optimise legibility even in trying lighting conditions. The dial also features radial patterns on the inner dial to further beautify the dial.
We noted that the legibility of the watch is certainly good in both bright and dark conditions. Our biggest qualm is that it lacks minute markers. From a user standpoint where every minute is critical during the writer’s day job the design is a slight faux pas (yes, many may say our phones tell better time but it’s a social taboo in certain circumstances, therefore stealing a glance on your watch might be a more prudent approach).
The movmement of the Estrowerk Estro-One is powered by the very versatile Miyota 82S7. This is the 8 Series movement of Miyota, which is more versatile, and ease to modify to display the time as a regulator.
We also feel that a common, easy to service movement like Miyota would enable your local watch maker to work on the watch. One could almost guarantee that with due care, it will grow old with the owner or owners to come.
Riding on the current craze of integrated bracelet, the Estro-One is one of them. However, many of those integrated bracelet watches literally feels like a blackhole sucking your bank account dry (*ahem* holy trinity/Gerald Genta *ahem*, we are looking at you). And in contrast, the Estro-One is certainly a more pocket friendly option.
When held up, the bracelet isn’t flimsy. The links hold well, without much play when held horizontally with a nice feel when handling the watch. The bracelet sits well on the writer’s slightly “forested” wrist without much risk of “deforestation”. We noted that certain entry level watches of such price point would cause such issues to the wearers which could literally be a pain (no pun intended).
During the week that the writer had it on his wrist, the bracelet was surprisingly comfortable even in the humid weather of Singapore. The individual links conformed to the 6.25 inch of the writer’s wrist with no issues.
Currently in the realm of USD 1,000 there are quite a variety of watches that range from micro brands to mainstream brands that consumer can choose from. Below will be our top pick of what the Estrowerk is going up against in this price point.
First up is Studio Underdog. This is one of the brand that really caught the attention in the watch world in 2022/2023 with their funky colour and affordable pricing. At the very pocket friendly price of USD 675 (at the point of publishing in August 2022) it is certainly a formidable competitor to the Estrowerk should one be able to cop one in time, apparently at the time of publishing (November 2023) most of the series 01 in various colour ways are sold out.
The second watch that could rival the Estrowerk Estro-One is none other than the Tissot PRX Powermatic 80 40MM. Perhaps the king in this pricing level. Certainly, it seems like the comparison might be a little unfair for Estrowerk as the PRX is from a mainstream brand but hear us out. The PRX has an integrated bracelet, beautiful dial with various colours, diameter of 40mm and best of all, it is priced at USD 725 (at the time of publishing). The PRX certainly places puts the Estro-One in DEFCON 1.
All in all, we feel the Estrowerk Estro-One Cobalt has the vibes as a fun weekend watch. Yes! Not quite a tool watch but it certainly serves the function on the weekend.
The design of the watch along with the make of it certainly makes it a unique wrist candy that one could have. Think of it this way, you won’t have a Suzuki Cappuccino as your only car if you have your significant other and two kids in tow but it will be a great car when you want a fun drive alone with its top off.