After seeing the press on the new automatic Aikon I decided I wanted one. It takes design cues from the AP Royal Oak, the GP Laureato and even the Omega Constellation. The pitchfork brigade will moan that it is a direct ripoff of the AP design but I think there are enough differences, including the big one - I don't need to sell a kidney to own it!
I already own two genuine Gerald Genta designs that I really like and I thought the ML would make a nice trio:
There is no ML AD within thousands of kms of me so it was always going to be an online purchase with no opportunity to try one on. I decided I would go for the black dial with the matching date window, I was worried that the white dial might have legibility problems and I wasn't going to take the risk without seeing one. I discounted the blue due to the white date window, that was until I saw a YouTube review of the blue dial......oh well, another compromise! I know that if I waited 12 months I would probably get the watch a lot cheaper, ML prices crash pretty hard if you give them enough time. I got a great deal from IguanaSell who are an AD in Spain (18% discount),the price also included all duty & charges into Oz, that was a saving of over AUD 300 alone on top of the discount. Overall it was a significant saving compared to other offers that were out there. So here's a quick rundown after 3 days of wearing:
The surface finishing is nearly all brushed apart from the polished bezel claws (ala Constellation), the sides of the bezel and the bevelled case edges.
The bracelet is 5 links wide and all brushed with 2 of the 5 rows being slightly raised but light still dances around all those geometric shapes and straight lines - it really is a great effect. It has a quick release system which is cool but given it is integrated you can only swap it for the ML leather strap, which I'm in no hurry to ever do. For sizing the bracelet has 2 slightly smaller removable links near the clasp, I removed 2 full links and one of the smaller ones for my 7.25 inch wrist.
The case back is see through and very pedestrian. I really don't need to see another SW200 movement, I prefer solid case backs for all but nicely decorated hand wind and micro rotor movements. Anyway, not a big deal as long as the other side is done well.
The dial uses a Clou de Paris pattern, the same small pyramid shapes as the GP Laureato. It's been a long time since I tried a Royal Oak on but I think the pattern is different? I seem to remember it being more like squares? Anyway, as with a lot of blue dials there are a lot of different shades depending on the light and you can get a real nice sunburst effect as well.
The Aikon looks both dressy and masculine/sporty at the same time with all those industrial looking straight lines and reflections, it's also deceptively heavy (it weighs the same as my Limes Endurance Diver) and it reminds you that it's there, which I like. Surprisingly it has a 200m water resistance which is very unusual on non dive watches these days, the crown is screw down.
At 42mm diameter and a touch over 11mm thick, it fits really nicely on my wrist.
So far so good then, I won't go into raptures until I've had a few weeks with it at least but I'm really liking it so far