Hands-On With the Eldon Interchangable Watch
Eldon is an Upcoming Microbrand That Created Something Genuinely New… and Maybe Even Market Disrupting
After spending more than a week with the Eldon and getting to know it, I’ve come to a few conclusions. First, my concerns about an “interchangeable watch” being gimmicky are unfounded; second, Eldon’s first attempt at an interchangeable watch is really good; and third, this concept could catch on, and I’d be on board with it if it did.
If this is your first encounter with an “interchangeable watch”, it’s pretty simple: you can swap out the face, or case, or straps easy and without having to use tools. Popping out the dial is as simple as unscrewing the bezel and switching it out, and changing straps is easy thanks to the quick-release spring bars. If you’re someone who likes to tinker or customize, this is your watch.
The watch is currently available for under $200 on Kickstarter for just a few more days. More information here.
Eldon Watch Technical Specifications
Quartz, Ronda 507 or 503
50m / 165ft
Available Day/date display
Eldon Has Given Their First Watch Some Serious Attitude
The stainless steel case has more angles than a trigonometry class, and more facets than a brilliant gemstone. It looks like it was forged with a combination of steel and badasstonium, and thanks to its size and weight, has the heft to back it up, too.
The angular design almost looks monumental, and its machining is brilliant. The Eldon logo is engraved (with great detail) on the bottom lug, and the case itself features two deep ridges that are carved from the bezel to the lugs.
The crown-guard is grooved to help you get the watch face in position when swapping it out. It looks badass, just like the rest of the watch. Click the image below to zoom in to see the machining- top-notch, especially considering the current entry-level price point.
The “Interchangeable” Part of the Interchangeable Watch Concept Actually Works
I’ve popped the bezel off and swapped dials out at least a dozen times now, and each time the bezel was smooth to open and close. The machining on the inside of the case, which is milled from a single block of metal, is excellent. The bezel has not once gotten stuck or even snagged.
The straps use quick-release springbars that are easy to use and feel robust. Eldon shipped me two different straps: a stainless-steel mesh and an alligator-grain leather. Both are good, though my preference is the leather; the color is vibrant, and it’s soft and comfortable to wear.
It Can Keep Up With You, Too
There are a few watches that have been made over the years that allow you to change bezels or decorations. To my knowledge, the Eldon is the first one that allows you to swap dials and cases.
This is all well and good, but if it’s fragile then it’s all pretty pointless, right? Luckily, it’s not fragile.
The case, as mentioned, is actually a single solid piece of metal. The machining is well done all around, and because it’s a single piece of steel, it’s also tough. The machining on the inner-screw is flawless, and thanks to that fine machining, the task of screwing the bezel on/off is easy. Once secured, it stays in place.
The Ronda movement, which is either a caliber 507 (if you want day/date) or a 503 (no complications), has a four year battery life, and deviates by a approximately one second per day. In all the ways that matter, it’s a robust and reliable quartz movement.
With 50m of water resistance, you can wear the Eldon anywhere you’re likely to go. Removed from the case, the crown is the lone appendage on the dial and sticks out like a sore thumb. Locked inside the case, with the crown-guard in place, the watch feels tough- and looks even tougher.
There’s a Lot of Potential Here
As cool as this watch is, an entire ecosystem of parts that support it are is even cooler. This watch has sold me on the concept, but it’s not without its faults.
As you an see, it’s thick. Really thick. This is true of not only the case, but also the removable dial. It’d be more appropriate in a professional/dress setting if it was thinner, and it’d be a lot more versatile too. I can usually wear a 42mm, but the unique shape and sheer size of the Eldon makes it very obvious on my dimunitive wrists. I’m sure I won’t be alone here.
The unit I have in my hands – one of two currently in existence in the world, according to Eldon – is a pre-production model. It’s been around the block. It’s been reviewed on other websites. It’s been worn and wound and worn again. Point is, this one isn’t flawless, but despite all that, it’s a great piece of engineering. It’s not perfect, but it’s really good, and it’s also affordable.
I’d love to see something thinner, and I’d really love to see it with an automatic inside. Being able to go from a dress to a dive and back again sounds awesome- let’s make that happen by supporting Eldon as they press forward and bring their product to market!