Wrist Hardware is a brand many, if not all, of us are familiar with by way of the nylon straps that have recently joined the fray. The owner’s own words describe the goal of the watch as “My primary inspiration was to design a timepiece that I could bring with me on all my adventures”.
Now, this being a familiar brand name doesn’t make it a familiar watch. The MK1 Paramo is the debut model for the brand and is priced very competitively given the specifications. I was truly impressed by the watch from start to finish.
On The Wrist
As I write this I have the Emerald dial seated next to me. On first viewing this watch has many of the characteristics I expect of a dress watch. I was most taken by the mirror polishing and reflectivity of the dials. The first color I revealed was silver. The dial on first glance is exceptionally simple. But with further inspection there is a lot going on – more on this later.
The dimensions of the watch are a touch deceiving to the fit of the watch. The 40mm case is great but the mirror finish forces your eye to think it is larger. The 12mm thickness is mitigated by the lug shape. The spring bars sit below the bottom of the caseback and allow the bracelet, or alternate straps, to pull the watch tight against your wrist and make it feel slightly slimmer. The watch has a 47.5mm lug-to-lug which makes it a whole package of enjoyable proportions.
I enjoyed wearing this watch on a bracelet and other shoe options. The bracelet swap was easy and the watch remained attractive on a variety of strap types and color options, although I’m not sure you’ll need to remove the bracelet at all. The H-link bracelet is well-finished, flexible, and very comfortable. The clasp is a simple flip-lock and button-press which is some serious points in the way of clasp choices.
I did notice the watch wore a touch heavy against the watches I typically wear but for those of you who are accustomed to wearing divers, chronographs, or slightly larger watches, it’ll feel just like home. And, in fairness, after a few minutes of wear this watch disappears onto your wrist. This is NOT a workout to wear, just a bit thiccc. I think the culprit is the 23mm to 18mm tapered bracelet because I did not notice heftiness when wearing this on nylon or silicone.
All of the colorways look beautiful in about every lighting environment I exposed them to and as I said above, really lend themselves to a dress-watch feel.
Here is where this watch really shines. I am a sucker for small seconds and I think the execution of the small seconds in the MK1 is great. This is also where the watch breaks from the look and feel of a single-purpose dress watch and takes to the streets.
This is a subtle party of a dial. There are very simple triangular markers and pointed stick hands that are highly polished and well-lumed. The BGW9 Super-LumiNova was applied well and shows no signs of cutting cost with fewer applications. However, because of the size of the markers, the lume is limited simply by real estate for lume application. For most applications this isn’t a limitation or even a negative – I can’t imagine you’ll be doing any serious diving with this watch that requires lume.
On to the next level. Within the outer ring of the dial resides a second, depressed, layer. The interior level of the dial has a sandpaper-like texture, imagine 220 grit, with the same beautiful color application. The 12 o’clock marker bears the Wrist Hardware bull’s head logo that, while still polished, doesn’t pull your attention away from the other elements of the dial.
Case and Bracelet
The case is well-finished and combines polished and brushed edges that highlight the highly polished bezel. My favorite part of this case is the lug design. Rather than long sweeping lugs you’d expect on a watch like this, there are nicely angled quite short lugs. There is a slight bevel on each lug that plays with light in a really fun way. It almost makes the case shape morph based on the direction from which you’re viewing the watch.
The angle of the lugs and the way the bracelet integrates place the spring bars quite low, which does slightly increase the perceived thickness with the watch off the bracelet. The endlinks on the bracelet fit nicely with the overall design and have a utilitarian dress feel to them. The H-link bracelet leaves very little to be desired for a watch in this price point.
The bracelet is a bit of a chunk. The “integrated” bracelet tapers from 23mm to 18mm with 3.4mm-thick links, so it has some heft to it. Given the design inspiration and nature of this watch, it makes perfect sense and looks great on the watch. I think sacrificing some of the sleek dress sport feel for the weight is worth it.
This is a great debut model from a brand from which I’m excited to see more. The watch tends toward a dress watch design with all the functionality and utilitarian touches you’d want out of a sport watch. I think this is a fun offering from a brand owner pursuing a passion that highlights the things he wants to do while wearing his watch. This watch makes me think of a mountaintop wedding that required a pair of sturdy boots to hike to.
Check out more of Andrew’s reviews here
Check out the Wrist Hardware website
Wrist Hardware MK1 Paramo Specs
Ronda Calibre 1069 (Quartz)
*Height of the watch from the wrist to the top of the crystal