MKII Hawkinge Review -- is it "Perfection"?
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  1. #1
    Member avusblue's Avatar
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    MKII Hawkinge Review -- is it "Perfection"?

    Of course, we all know there is no such thing as the “Perfect” watch. There are always trade-offs to be made. Looks. Functionality. Ruggedness. Craftsmanship. Price. Brand baggage. Each element can play off against the others, and collude to prevent the possible declaration of any one watch as “perfect”. That said? I seem to have found the watch that -- at least from a purely aesthetic standpoint -- is the closest I think I’ve ever come to “Perfect.” At least Perfect as I would describe it. The MarkII Hawkinge!



    Absolutely perfect size (38mm) and spot-on, classically pure, proportions. The lugs curve down just the right amount for a super-comfortable, contoured fit on the wrist. And -- drilled lug holes! Everyone’s favorite feature.



    Clean, crisp dial with no extraneous markings, but just enough to make it interesting. I like that it doesn’t say “Self Winding Officially Stuperlative Top-Notch Automatic Water Resistant to 200Meters / 600 feet Swiss Made out of Stainless Steel” on the dial. Pure and simple.



    I selected the no-date version to get that extra-clean level of austere clarity, yet, I very much appreciate that MKII gives us the choice of date or no-date versions.



    The dial background is a lush, velvety, deep matte black, and the details are very precisely printed in a stark, clean, white. Vivid, contrasty and legible. An appealing and appropriate font selection, and the small encircled “Y” is a tasty little inside joke that provides just the right touch of jaunty verve. Super well done, Mr. Yao.

    Excellent timetelling legibility, with hands of precisely the right shape, length, and proportions. Plus, there is a little more to the hands than initially meets the eye. I’ll use the words from the Worn and Wound review posted here:

    “The hands are polished, and finished with a slightly curved surface. Unlike hands that are completely flat, curved hands better pick up the light, which means they won’t “black out” the way flat hands do at certain angles when facing a dark surface. It’s a seemingly small detail, but one that packs quite a punch on the wrist and goes a long way toward readability.”


    You know what else features this type of “curved” hands? The Rolex Submariner (& their whole sports line).



    Meanwhile, the Hawkinge case has all-brushed surfaces -- silky, satiny, smooth, and excellent fit & finish quality. The workmanship on this watch is impeccable and could be the equal of watches 10x the price. Check out the precision of the teensy-tiny words engraved on the radial brushed caseback:



    Big, beefy, screw-down crown that is simply luscious to unscrew and manipulate.



    Domed, sapphire crystal, with AR coating on the inside only. Beautiful to look at and sleekly touchable.



    Great lume (glows blue and bright). (Pic shamelessly swiped from Google photos):




    I even really like the brown leather strap that was supplied with the watch. Thick and beefy, yet supple and flexible, its quality is great and the look is spot-on. Although I’m a little surprised to see a generic buckle versus one that included the MKII logo:



    Finally, a really cool assortment of goodies comes with the watch. The hardshell, foam-lined storage box with cutouts for the watch, extra straps, and the supplied extra springbars and changing tool. Very nice touch. The box is beefy and tough, matching the sentiment of the MKII philosophy.




    The movement is the Seiko 6R15 so it’s the same engine as in the highly acclaimed Sumo and SARB series. See the little card that Bill Yao sent along with the watch? He personally sprinkles a little of his magic pixie dust on each movement with individual calibration -- and mine shows it, consistently running within 2 seconds per day. Nice accuracy!


    Attractive pricing ($600) makes it a solid value, even if not a screaming bargain. It’s a watch you can feel good paying the price for, because there’s really nothing else out there with its combination of total aesthetic honesty, understated geek appeal, and impeccable build quality.


    In conclusion. Let me reiterate my opening statement -- no watch is actually 100% all-around Perfect. To make this watch truly Perfect, you’d have to add Indiglo (the most underrated feature in all of watchdom, IMO), and maybe also substitute in a Spring Drive movement with HAQ accuracy, GPS synch, and a sweeping seconds hand? All for half the price.

    But back to reality. I seriously suggest that this watch has a design and a look that are, indeed, Perfect. Styling that, to me, simply cannot be improved upon. I ask you….if you had free rein to redesign this piece, what would you change? Yes, it lacks a rotating bezel for timing usefulness. Maybe add that? But then that would make it a different kind of watch. Maybe add a red tip to the seconds hand? Or perhaps even make the whole seconds hand an all-red-orange color? Maybe, maybe. But overall, I suggest that all things considered, as it sits, this could very well be one of the most flawlessly styled watches in history. And I suggest that, in this day and age of a phone in every pocket, digital time on every screen, smartwatches, etc etc -- to me, much of the pleasure gained from wearing an “old school” watch is when it brings aesthetic enjoyment and appreciation right to your wrist. And the Hawkinge does that with excellence.

    Your thoughts??

    Last edited by avusblue; July 18th, 2016 at 21:18.

  2. #2
    Member Toothbras's Avatar
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    Re: MKII Hawkinge Review -- is it "Perfection"?

    Great review as always Dave. I know a guy who has been screaming for years that all watches need to have indiglo.... Can't think of his name right now but it'll come to me ;)
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  3. #3
    bpc
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    Re: MKII Hawkinge Review -- is it "Perfection"?

    Pretty darn good...
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    Re: MKII Hawkinge Review -- is it "Perfection"?

    Great review!

    I think yours is missing a part though... The one that tells the date.

    LoL
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  5. #5
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    Re: MKII Hawkinge Review -- is it "Perfection"?

    One of your best reviews yet. I especially enjoyed the last paragraph. It's also the first time I've seen side shots and lume shots. I love the case and crown design, as well as the simple 12, 3, 6, 9 lume markings. Very cool. I've always been a fan of the basic field watch. I'd have to agree with you that this piece is as close to perfect as it comes. One thing that ruins field watches for me is oversized numerals. I'd say the numbers and hands are perfect and work very well together. As you said, clean and simple. As far as that missing piece, the date...Nah...that would just ruin the perfect symmetry of that handsome dial. Long live no date watches!!! If I want to know the date, I'll just look at my phone. When I want to look at a fine piece of art, I'll look at my watch Maybe I'll make that my new signature
    Last edited by scooby; July 18th, 2016 at 22:10.
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    Re: MKII Hawkinge Review -- is it "Perfection"?

    It is always dangerous to read your reviews. They have a way of adding wonderful perspectives to watches I have overlooked and making them land on my list of must-haves.

    It was a very enjoyable read... and my list just got longer. Darn it, Dave!

    Enjoy the great watch, my friend.


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    Re: MKII Hawkinge Review -- is it "Perfection"?

    "If you had free rein to design this piece, what would you change?"

    I would keep the bezel width the same, but make it less tall. As for the rest, hard to see any other change can improve the watch.


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    Re: MKII Hawkinge Review -- is it "Perfection"?

    Thoughts? When you steal a pic off the interwebs, please credit the photographer. ;)
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    Re: MKII Hawkinge Review -- is it "Perfection"?

    Great review!

    This watch is really growing on me. My biggest fear of ordering one is that my beloved Marathon GSAR would just become a safe queen. Nice job MK II!

    Now... If I can just score that vanilla Pepsi Key West...
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    Re: MKII Hawkinge Review -- is it "Perfection"?

    Excellent review, I'm reconsidering purchasing one after reading your comments.

    I like the watch, the 38mm is perfect for a smaller wrist and the dial / hand readability is bang on. My only concern is the overall thickness of the watch, it looks a bit wobbly in relation to the small diameter. Mind you, find most of the MkII watches somewhat top heavy (hasn't stopped me from buying them).
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