Lew and Huey Riccardo Prototype Review
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  1. #1
    Member DPflaumer's Avatar
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    Lew and Huey Riccardo Prototype Review

    A few months ago, when Chris was first introducing his upcoming watch company launch/flagship model release, I volunteered to take some pictures for him. When the renderings first came out, I got really excited because I loved the look of the watch. But the size and inevitable thickness of a chronograph turned me off quite a bit.

    So when Chris emailed me last week to ask if I was still interested, I said yes, but, to be honest, I wasn't really looking forward to wearing one around for a few days. I thought I would look a bit like a clown.

    I'm amazed and thrilled that he proved me wrong. This watch is fantastic. Let's get right down to it.

    Review

    The quality of the watches was noticeable as soon as I picked up the package from the post office. The package, containing two watches on leather straps with no boxes, had a very pleasing heft to it.

    The real treat came from opening it up. I know that I loved the blue dial in the renders, and that more blue dials will be made as that seemed to be the general consensus. But the smoky charcoal dial absolutely blew me away. It is incredibly hard to capture on photos, but the "black" is actually a very, very dark grey with a beautiful sunburst. The chrome rings all appear to have been polished, then finely brushed to a soft, satin finish that still reflects a ton of light. Almost prismatic, really. To me, the black is the winner here.

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    Upon putting the watch(es) on it was treated to a second, very pleasant, surprise. They actually fit really, really well on my (fairly well known) 6.5" wrist. I think it helped that the strap is 20mm, tapering to 18mm. This happens to be my favorite size (shared among all my watches) and it made the Riccardo feel right at home on my wrist. The thickness, while a bit much for anything overly formal, felt just fine too. It can't be more than a mm or two thicker than any of my Seikos.

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    Chris included in his emails a list of issues with the watch the factory needs to sort out before production starts. I'll try to address some of them as well as my thoughts on the matter.

    CASE- The case is currently all polished. For production, it should be brushed with polished bezel, pushers, and curved bit of lug.
    I actually love the polished case. With simple, clean lines and a definite retro flair, I think the all-polished case looks seriously good.

    Crystal- Currently flat sapphire, should be domed with AR coating on the inside.
    To each his own. I'm not sure I understand the obsession watch types have with domed crystal. I actually (greatly) prefer flat. But I have to agree that AR coating is awesome, even if I don't generally find it necessary to enjoy a watch.

    Dial- Minute counter is split (oddly) into 36 segments. Should be 30 with every 5th marker being thicker/darker.
    Obviously an issue, but interestingly enough not one that bothered me visually. Definitely makes the chronograph feature useless though.

    Strap/Buckle- Straps will be more of a buffalo texture. Stitching on black strap needs to be brighter. Both feel a bit plasticky. Logo on buckle etched upside down.
    All of these are definitely issues, though luckily none of them really impact the wearing of the watch. I agree on all counts though. As an aside, Chris did things properly with the strap. The buckle end is substantially shorter than the "long" end rather than nearly even. This lets those of us with small wrists get a good fit without the deployant digging in to the wrist or sticking out oddly. There are even small wrist friendly holes. I could have gone nearly an inch shorter on the strap!

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    Overall

    This is a seriously nice watch. Honestly, I'd buy the production sample. You will be hard pressed to find a better value at the price Chris is bringing it at, barring the random stupidly good deal. Yes, some will complain about the lack of bracelet (a year ago I'd have been among them) and some will complain about only two subdials, or no date, or only a 30 minute counter, or any one of 100 other things.

    The simple truth of it is that this is a very well made, very good looking watch at a very reasonable price. What more can you ask for?

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    Shut your mouth and wear your *Alpinist.
    *"Your Alpinist" is metaphorical and in truth refers to your most versatile watch.


    Drew

  2. #2
    Moderator Emeritus Bradjhomes's Avatar
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    Re: Lew and Huey Riccardo Prototype Review

    I've been looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it. I was tempted to pm you for your 'honest' view but presumed that you'd give it a write up here. I'm glad you have.

    I'm always happy to read a realistic review which points out the flaws and possible improvements, rather than one just filled with praise. Given that you can be quite picky with what you like and don't like, it's a great thing that this watch gets your approval. I'm certainly glad I was one of the first to order mine.

    The blue originally stole the show in the first renders, but your pictures and the others we've seen show that the black is just as good looking (if not better). I don't feel there will be a loser in this battle.

    I'm not quite sure how, but in all the wrist shots I've seen the watch looks like the whole thing is curved to wrap around the wrist. Optical illusion I'm sure, but it just goes to show that no matter how thick the watch might need to be (and this was a concern for some) it looks sleek and certainly doesn't look too large for your smaller-than-average wrists.
    docvail, snaky59 and woodt3 like this.
    Brad (@bradwatch)
    - appreciating fine affordable watches since 2011



  3. #3
    Member Aitch's Avatar
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    Re: Lew and Huey Riccardo Prototype Review

    I also agree I'm very surprised how great the black watch looks. I'm very happy Chris decided to do black and orange instead of black and red, it was an inspired choice.
    DPflaumer and docvail like this.

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  5. #4
    Member lumm0x's Avatar
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    Re: Lew and Huey Riccardo Prototype Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Aitch View Post
    I also agree I'm very surprised how great the black watch looks. I'm very happy Chris decided to do black and orange instead of black and red, it was an inspired choice.
    Go Flyers!

  6. #5
    Member whoa's Avatar
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    Re: Lew and Huey Riccardo Prototype Review

    It looks so amazing! and great review!

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  7. #6
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    Re: Lew and Huey Riccardo Prototype Review

    Wow, very nice indeed. I've already pre-ordered the black one.
    docvail likes this.

  8. #7
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    Re: Lew and Huey Riccardo Prototype Review

    Hi there. Nice review.

    Bump

  9. #8
    Member mpalmer's Avatar
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    Re: Lew and Huey Riccardo Prototype Review

    Thanks for the good review. I think I prefer the look of the black one as well. I didn't notice that the minute counter has 36 segments until you pointed it out...
    "The stuff that dreams are made of…" - RGM ‘801 EE Motor Barrel’

  10. #9
    Member lactardjosh's Avatar
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    Re: Lew and Huey Riccardo Prototype Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Bradjhomes View Post
    I'm not quite sure how, but in all the wrist shots I've seen the watch looks like the whole thing is curved to wrap around the wrist. Optical illusion I'm sure, but it just goes to show that no matter how thick the watch might need to be (and this was a concern for some) it looks sleek and certainly doesn't look too large for your smaller-than-average wrists.
    I think it's the way the lugs twist. They reach down and hug your wrist.

  11. #10
    Member jtstav's Avatar
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    Re: Lew and Huey Riccardo Prototype Review

    Good writeup Drew. Glad to see these things are living up to the hype! Pretty soon we'll be seeing them in the WRUW threads attached to their happy owners. Congrats Chris, looks like you've got a winner.
    docvail and 3ther like this.
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