alkin is an independent British watch brand founded by award-winning contemporary furniture designer and watch enthusiast Charlie Fowler. After their successful launch of their Model One watch back in April 2018, the brand presents its second creation, the Model Two.
For this new timepiece, Charlie Fowler has once again followed an understated, design-led approach that is a clear and conscious evolution of the alkin house style. It looks to pay homage to the traditional dual crown compressor watch archetype, made famous by brands like Enciar and Universal Geneve, but brings it up-to-date in a form that is simple, modern and functional.
This update is followed through in the mechanics of the watch, which employs a standard screw down crowns and a depth rating of 300m, instead of a true super compressor system.
All elements have been distilled down to create a simple, visually balanced piece that offers maximum legibility, functionality and versatility. The case, hands, dial and branding have all been designed from scratch by Charlie, while the same Arabic numerals found on the Model One (designed by British typographer Gareth Hague) have once again been used on the dial and bezel of the Model Two.
The 41mm case has a utilitarian style with proportions that give it a presence on the wrist without being too bulky. The short lugs (48mm overall) reach down to hug the wrist, helping to balance out the slightly larger case diameter.
Inspired by the most traditional compressor style designs, the crowns of the Model Two are positioned at 2 and 4 o’clock for maximum balance and comfort.
To once again reflect the updated nod to tradition, the ‘hatching’ design on the crown that controls the bezel, has been laser etched, instead of machined.
In order to create a sense of ‘depth’ in the pared back dial, the model two employs a sandwich design, with the hour indices cut out to expose the white lume on the lower dial. This is contrasted by the multi-layered screen printing of 12, 3, 6, and 9 that raise them up slightly from the surface of the dial. This is further enhanced by the flat rotating inner bezel being set 1.4mm above the face of the dial, creating a more contemporary and robust look.
The use of sapphire crystal front and back, Super-LumiNova BGW9 lume and the Miyota 3039 Automatic movement all demonstrates the central alkin commitment to quality and functionality. The step-up from a Seiko NH 35A in the Model One to the Miyota 9039 for Model Two is in line with Charlie’s ambition to move the brand on in terms of quality, execution and longevity, while still keeping the watches affordable.
Charlie recognises the impact of just creating more stuff, so has put the sustainability of the alkin brand central to the business mission. Fundamentally, designing a product that is rooted in longevity is key to keeping the product in use for as long as possible. The quality of the components and a reliable, widely used movement that can be very easily serviced or repaired are essential factors. In addition to this, all external packaging is paper-based and a vegetable-tanned leather travel pouch is included that can be used throughout the watch’s lifetime, instead of elaborate packaging that will lie idle in a drawer.
The Model Two is available in three dial colourways; Blue, Black and a SuperLuminova full lume white. All watches will ship on a stainless steel bracelet with fully articulating solid links and solid end-links.
316L stainless steel
Case Finish: Brushed SS
Dimensions: 41 x 48mm
Lug width: 20mm
Bezel: Internal Bi-directional
Crown: 3.5 x 6.5mm screw-down
Lens: Sapphire with AR coating
Water resistance: 300m
Three versions: Blue, Black and a SuperLuminova full lume white
Lume: Super-LumiNova BGW9
Miyota 9039 automatic movement
Brushed SS Bracelet
Pre-order price: £325 ($399 USD)
Full price: £410 ($499 USD)