Many watch brands make changes to their watches and launch a new series of that watch. The design changes are usually subtle and current owners of that watch might not even notice. I’ve experienced a few of these watches that have undergone changes like the Nodus Retrospect. Even with the subtle changes most of these watches still feel the same to me.
The Lorier Neptune is the first watch where small changes changed my outlook on a watch. I spent some time with the Neptune Series 2 and honestly was not a huge fan. I felt that it was too thick and sat too flat on my wrist. I thought something was wrong with me because this is a heavily hyped watch. My views on the Neptune changed immediately after putting the Series 3 on my wrist. Let’s find out why.
On the Wrist
I don’t plan on discussing all the changes from Series 2 to 3 but there are a couple that make a huge difference in how this watch has improved over Series 2. Also, these changes make the Neptune an objectively good watch regardless of if you had tried any other series before.
The Neptune looks stellar on the wrist. The improved case design and slimmer profile allow the bracelet to sit closer to the wrist. This not only makes the watch head sit comfortably, but also allows for a pleasing bracelet drape as it wraps around your wrist. The flat links of the bracelet need a subtle curve as they turn so they don’t look chunky and the redesigned case helps with that.
The female endlinks and design of the bracelet can make the first link appear awkward if the watch is positioned on one end of your wrist (as opposed to centered on your wrist) or if you have a very small wrist. However, 99% of the time the watch looks fantastic on the wrist. The lugs appear to taper directly into the bracelet and around your wrist. The lug and bracelet design makes for such a seamless look that it sometimes appears like the bracelet is integrated.
One of the Lorier’s signature design elements is the use of an acrylic crystal on all their watches. This may seem odd to some in the world of sapphire crystal on everything demands but given Lorier’s overall design aesthetic, it is the right choice. Their watches are undeniably vintage-inspired, making the use of acrylic appear more period-correct for this type of watch. I also like how acrylic crystals create warmer reflections and in some cases can improve readability, which is the case here. Despite having a large dome, the watch is readable, even at extreme angles.
One of the more striking features of the Neptune is the crown. The crown, for lack of a better word, is huge. I was expecting it to dig into my wrist more than it did. Don’t get me wrong, it will dig into your wrist, but not to the extent that it is uncomfortable to wear all day.
Lorier Neptune Video Review
The Neptune’s dial can be boiled down to one word: simple. However, simple does not mean effort was not taken. The various elements making up the dial all work cohesively to create this simple look that just plain works.
The dial is entirely printed. Lorier credits the dial’s inspiration to vintage Submariners, specifically those worn by James Bond. The markers reflect that inspiration with their elongated triangles at the cardinal positions and circles everywhere else. Dial text has also been kept to a minimum with Lorier’s branding at 12 o’clock and the water resistance rating at 6 o’clock. This simple layout feels vintage without all the fauxtina a lot of watch brands seem to be obsessed with these days.
A definite point of contention I experienced when talking with others about this watch was the handset. The handset is comprised of an arrow-tipped hour and second hand and a simple elongated dauphine-style minute hand. While I feel the handset matches well with the dial configuration, there were some who felt the hands were derivative. There are certainly other watches with a similar handset or part of a handset (like the Omega Planet Ocean’s arrow hands) but it feels to me like Lorier was going for simplicity and readability.
I’m split on the bezel. By no means is it bad; it turns relatively easily with no backplay. However, it can be difficult to get a good grip on it because the edge is so thin. The case also sticks out slightly past the bezel which doesn’t allow the wearer to get a solid grip. As long as the bezels aren’t torqued any tighter I don’t have a problem with it.
Case & Bracelet
As I discussed earlier, the case has been redesigned since the Series 2. The dial’s opening has been reduced by 1mm, something I hardly noticed. The more dramatic changes were made to the lugs and case profile. The lugs are 1mm shorter, bringing the lug-to-lug distance to 47mm. This has been the perfect size for my 6.75” wrist and does make a difference as I felt the Series 2 wore a bit large.
The case itself has been reduced by almost 2mm, quite a drastic change for a watch. Lorier was most likely able to shave the case profile because of the thinner Miyota 905S movement (Series 2 contained a Seiko NH35). Including the crystal, the Neptune has gone from 15mm to 12.7mm thick. This greatly improved the look and wearability of the watch. The heavy, polished chamfer running along the sides of the case looks great and gives the impression the case is even thinner than it is.
The star of the show is the bracelet. 20mm to 16mm tapered bracelets are some of my favorite. Monta has always executed this well, as well as Astor + Banks with the Sea Ranger. Lorier has knocked it out of the park with the Neptune’s bracelet.
When you roll your wrist, the flat links each reflect the light in a slightly different way, creating an effect that just plain looks cool. It is like the effect of a Royal Oak bracelet but not quite as ornamental (for obvious reasons). The taper is perfect and, combined with the small push-button clasp, the watch feels balanced. Despite being small, the clasp has 3 microadjust holes. The small links and these microadjustments make for a great fit.
After I had spent a little time with the Series 2, I was honestly ready for a review that I wasn’t going to enjoy writing. I don’t think another watch has changed my opinion so greatly. Lorier’s improvements and refinements on the Neptune Series 3 are thoughtful and effective. Usually when a brand makes changes to an existing watch, they aren’t as obvious as what Lorier have done with the Neptune.
I didn’t go into great detail about how this watch looks both old and new at the same time but it is worth mentioning. This design may not be for everyone but for those who will appreciate it, Lorier knocked it out of the park. The acrylic crystal and vintage styling without fauxtina are perfect for creating a watch like this. This is a watch I can say I’d have no problem pulling money out of my wallet for.
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Check out the Lorier website
|Lug-to-lug Height||47mm||Lug Width||20mm|
|Water Resistance||200 meters||Lume||Super-LumiNova® BGW9|