At first glance the Nove Craftsman is a confusing piece. Not because of an overly technical dial – it’s a wonderfully minimal, pared-back affair. Not because of the case shape, which is tactile in a cool, industrial way. But because of the crown – more specifically, where is it? The Craftsman looks like a watch that’s completely unadjustable.
That’s because of the brand’s unique setting system, which is actually located on the underside of the watch. Rather than the usual screw-down caseback, flip the watch over and you’ll see what looks like a lock and key at the centre. This is the crown, and it’s more satisfying to use than it has any right to be.
Having the crown there is more than just novelty of course; it streamlines the whole watch, keeping a svelte silhouette and accentuating the curvature of the bezel – which in the case of the Craftsman is one of its more charming features.
The bezel is actually made from wood, which you can see pretty clearly from the visible grain. It’s a naturalistic touch and a contrast with the metal cases, be that plain steel or black, blue, yellow gold or rose gold-coloured. It’s also where it gets the whole Craftsman name; you can’t industrialise wood in quite the same way as metal. The ebony bezels are individually polished to get that perfect, lustrous shine.
All of that comes with 200m water resistance and a quartz movement. That last fact might sound a bit odd coming from a watch with an artisan ethos, but it’s still a Swiss calibre and it makes things far more practical – not to mention accessible – than a mechanical timepiece.
In fact, despite the unique setting system on the back or the unique nature of the bezel (no two are exactly alike) the Craftsman won’t set you back much at all. It starts at just £419 in plain steel and doesn’t go up substantially from there. If that’s not an impulse buy, what is?
This is the crown, and it’s more satisfying to use than it has any right to be Nove’s Craftsman has a wooden bezel and rarely costs over £500.
Price & Specs:
Model Name: Nove Craftsman
Case/Dial: 50.5mm diameter x 13.9mm thickness, ebony wood & stainless steel
Water Resistance: 200 meters (20 bar)
Movement: Swiss Quartz
Strap: Leather Bi-Colour Strap
Price: £411 – £445
More details at Nove’s website.