Mileneal Classic Hands-On Watch Review
Live on Kickstarter Now, Mileneal Has Set Out to Create an Affordable Everyday Watch… and Has Succeeded
Ahh, that new watch smell- gotta love it! Here on my desk is the Mileneal Classic Rose Gold White, which is – you guessed it – a classically-designed watch in rose gold and white.
Smartly dressed, affordably priced, and available for pre-order now on Kickstarter, you may be asking yourself: is this micro worth my money? Is it it a smart buy? Why should I buy it? All good questions, and ones I hope to answer in this hands-on review.
Note: Mileneal provided this watch at no cost for my review.
Mileneal Classic Technical Specifications
Quartz, Miyota GM10
Estimated 3-5 years
30m / 99 ft
The Classic is a Fine Looking Watch Indeed
Conservatively-styled timepieces are among my favorite because they can be worn in nearly any circumstance. Whether it’s with a pair of blue jeans and a t-shirt, or you’re out and about rocking a full-on suit, something that is styled tastefully and modestly will always look good. Wisely, Mileneal follows this tried and true formula for their inaugural watch, the predictably-named Classic.
Printed markers on the white dial are simple and easy to read (save for at night, where the lack of lume becomes a challenge). The rose gold case and hands are finished well and also look good (I quite like the second’s hand which lacks the “counterweight”). However, what really makes the Mileneal a looker is the excellent domed crystal combined with the beveled interior edge that borders and frames the dial.
The case and dial look good, yes, but so too does the rest of the watch. Along with looking good, the watch also features a quick-release strap that makes changing up your style nice and easy. I’m a big fan of quick-releasing all the things and love that more and more brands are incorporating this handy (and obvious) feature into their watches.
Now, let’s take a second to talk the domed sapphire crystal. If you’ve read WYCA before, you may recall my extolling my adoration for the domed crystal on the Orient Bambino, Graf Zeppelin Dual-Time 7640-1, and Dan Henry 1970. This is entirely subjective, but I love a domed crystal and I love it even more when it’s sapphire (or protected with sapphire). In any case, the domed crystal looks wonderful here and, paired with the “frame” that borders the circumference of the dial, really gives the dial a sense of depth and elegance.
It looks sharp.
Pretty Close, But Not Perfect
An area where the Mileneal lacks is in water resistance, which is a paltry 30m- enough to get wet, but not enough to go out to get wet. For the vast majority of us, this isn’t a problem- we generally wear our watches while out and about, and that “out and about” doesn’t usually include a swimming pool. No swimming with the watch on, then.
The next area is the strap, which is soft, comfortable to wear, and pretty easy to scratch. I run each watch strap through the “fingernail test”, which is exactly what its name implies: I take my fingernail and scratch the strap with moderate pressure. Most straps weather this test just fine, but unfortunately the strap on this unit scratched quite visibly. It’s a shame, too, because it’s extremely comfortable to wear.
The Miyota GM10 Quartz Movement
Normally I’d bemoan the quartz (mechanical or bust!), but it simply wouldn’t be fair to do so considering the sub-$100 price. Sure, you can get a Seiko 5 SNK809 or SNK807 for that money, but you’d lose the crystal and styling that comes with the Mileneal. So, quartz is fine.
The GM10 has an estimated battery life of 3 years and is accurate to +/- 20 seconds per month. Neither metric is particularly exceptional, but they are on par with other quartz watches both at and above the price point.
Over the past 3.5 weeks the Mileneal has been accurate to approximately +0.75 second per day. Since I first started tracking (about 3.5 weeks), it has gained a total of 18 seconds. That’s pretty good.
- To adjust the time, pull the crown to the farthest position (position 3). Turn the crown clockwise to adjust the time. Note that the date display will automatically rollover at midnight.
- To adjust the date, pull the crown to its middle position (position 2). Turn the crown clockwise to adjust the date.
Mileneal Delivers Big-Brand Aesthetics & Quality at Microbrand Pricing
I appreciate the value built into the Classic. Sure, it’s name is decidedly unoriginal (how many Microbrands call their first watch the Classic/Classic Edition/etc.), but everything else about the Classic is pure class.
It’s made with the right materials – the domed crystal is rightfully coated with sapphire – and it looks sharp. It punches far above its weight in terms of value thanks to the materials and movement used. Unfortunately, the strap isn’t as durable as the crystal is, but it’s forgivable at this price.
As an aside, I’m impressed with the level of finishing on the case and hands considering that it’s Mileneal’s first watch. Typically I find all sorts of QA issues (especially once my macro lens gets involved), but such is not the case here.
It’s an affordable and well-made timepiece from an upcoming microbrand, and one I do not have any concerns recommending.
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