Tusenö First 42 Review
For The Man That Wants a Horological Sleeper, Tusenö’s First 42 is a Worthy Consideration
Underneath the bonnet of this stylish, albeit conventional, dress watch is a movement type that you’ve probably never had around your wrist before. The meca-quartz movement – a sort-of hybrid between a mechanical and a quartz – gives the First 42 quartz accuracy and ease of use, and mechanical form, feeling, and function in the chronograph.
If you’re interested in the details and history behind meca-quartz movements, I recommend you pay a visit to worn&wound and read Mark’s excellent piece on it.
Otherwise, top-grade materials make up the First 42’s construction, and it ships in a beautiful piano-black box with a second watch strap (and spring bar tool). This one – a black on rose gold model (given to us by Tusenö) – comes with a reddish-brown crocodile-grain leather strap (with deployment clasp), as well as a brown suede strap (with buckle).
Priced at $380 USD, the Tusenö First 42 is priced competitively considering what it is made of and what it comes with. Speaking of which… let’s check it out!
Tusenö First 42 Technical Specifications
Meca-Quartz, Seiko VK64
60-Minute Chronograph, 24 hour subdial
Estimated 3 years
50m / 165 ft
If Classic’s Your Style, Tusenö’s First 42’s Got It
I’m one of those guys that believes that there’s always room in my collection for a good looking dress watch. The First 42 fits that description perfectly.
The case, hands, and indices come in a rich two-tone rose gold, brushed and polished finely. Engravings are made to exacting detail – something I found extremely satisfying to discover under magnification – and the watch is constructed with confidence and care.
The hands are easy to read as they reflect light generously. However, glare on the sapphire crystal is very noticeable in nearly all settings. An anti-reflective coating would have been most welcome.
Overall, it’s got a good look. It borders on “busy”, but doesn’t cross that line.
The First 42 Looks & Feels Good on the Wrist
Tusenö ships the First 42 with two straps, as well as a springbar tool to facilitate changing them. This one came wearing a deep reddish-brown crocodile-grain leather strap with a butterfly deployment clasp. Tucked in the box is a brown suede strap that sports a rose-gold buckle. Both are excellent, with the color well-saturated and very rich looking. Of the two, the suede is my preference.
The steel case and VK64 meca-quartz movement give the First 42 good weight, and it feels good to wear. Both straps are soft, but the suede in particular has a supple feeling that makes it a real treat to wear. It’s one of the nicest straps I’ve worn in a long time.
Seiko VK64 Meca-Quartz Hybrid Movement
Meca-quartz movements have a love it or hate it reaction among “watch people”. For reasons that I don’t particularly understand, some feel that a quartz-mechanical hybrid takes away from the horological significance of a watch. Respectfully, I disagree.
If you read Mark’s worn&wound article, you’ll know that meca-quartz movements have been used in a variety of brands at many different price points. Even high-end Swiss brands like Omega have made watches using this type of movement.
On the First 42, when you press the chronograph pusher, it makes 5 stops per second. It looks like a mechanical chronograph should, and when paused/reset, it snaps back to the 12 o’clock position the same way that a traditional mechanical chronograph would. If you were never told that it wasn’t a mechanical, you wouldn’t know.
Of course, you might come to such suspicion when the power reserve lasted 3 years instead of 36 hours, and its accuracy remained to within a few seconds per month as opposed to per day.
I’ll leave it to you to come to your own conclusions regarding whether or not the VK64 meca-quartz is a true watch person’s watch movement. I suppose it comes down to what you value in a movement (and in a watch). In my mind, the meca-quartz is kind of like the electric motor inside a Tesla: it operates differently than you’re used to, but you can’t deny its capability or its practicality.
Overall, the Tusenö First 42 is a Well-Crafted Timepiece
If you place value in finely-crafted details, top-grade materials, and interesting movements, there’s a lot inside the First 42 that will appeal to you. The big hurdle, of course, is its $378 MSRP. At that price it competes with the likes of Seiko, Orient, Hamilton, Tissot, Bulova, Citizen, and a host of other well-established, well-made watch brands. This segment is seriously competitive and full of some really good watches.
However, as is typical of a watch from a microbrand, the First 42 undercuts all its major-market competition with a sub-$400 price tag.
In all the ways that I think matter, Tusenö delivers an ownership experience that is as good or better than the big-brands mentioned above. The box it comes in feels high quality, as does the colorful manual and certificate of authenticity that come with it. It very much feels like a premium watch.
The feeling continues as you examine it: Tusenö wisely chose to present the First 42 using tasteful design and quality finishings. The buttons make a satisfying click when pressed; the chronograph looks and sounds like a mechanical; the two straps both feel luxurious and comfortable.
If you’re the kind of person that prefers Volvo to BMW, o- RIP – Saab over them both, you’ll love the First 42.
Get yours: https://tuseno.com/