Guides Watches

In Focus: SevenFriday

SevenFriday S1_01

SevenFriday S1/01, CHF 1,140

Sometimes it pays to follow the rules, to toe the line and not stand out. It’s often not worth the hassle. After all, who wants to be divisive when you can follow the crowd? Apparently, the answer is SevenFriday.

If you take a look at a SevenFriday watch it’s not hard to understand the kind of risk that founder Dan Niederer took with the brand. There’s no way you could ever call its over-the-top, intense designs ‘safe’. Call them riotous, eclectic, chaotic if you want but safe? Never.

SevenFriday P1B_01

SevenFriday P1B/01, CHF 945

Still, in 2012, after years of working on the project in not-quite-secret, Dan’s midlife crisis brought to life one of the most personality-driven watch labels in the business. The first watch off the production line was the P Series, a piece that came to define precisely what made SevenFriday tick and, so it seems, their veritable army of dedicated collectors.

SevenFriday P1/01, Wall of Fame, P-Series

SevenFriday P1/01, Wall of Fame, P-Series

SevenFriday was one of the first watch brands on Instagram. Now that sounds odd; why would any brand not be on Instagram? But back in the early 2010s that wasn’t as ubiquitous a pursuit. Yet by showing off its early P Series, the brand managed to nab itself some serious collectors and a following that many a serious watchmaker would kill for.

SevenFriday T3_01

SevenFriday T3/01, CHF 855

It’s something it’s kept up ever since, and not simply by taking occasional snaps of its watches. SevenFriday, as the name suggests, is all about fun. Every day is Friday. Collectors have bought into the brand as much as they have the watches, which have continued in the same vein as the original P Series, with their cushion-shaped cases, open-worked dials and overly-designed, maximalist vibes.

SevenFriday P3C_02 RACER III

SevenFriday P3C/02 RACER III, CHF 1,140

Take their latest for example, the P3C/02 Racer III. The name’s pretty on-point when it comes to the whole high-octane angle and the watch lives up to it. As the brand’s first model to offer 100m water resistance, it’s a big step forward, but otherwise it’s pure SevenFriday.

SevenFriday P3C_02 RACER III

SevenFriday P3C/02 RACER III, CHF 1,140

It shares the signature cushion case of its predecessors, this time in black PVD for the serious, performance look. The dial uses the trademark four-layer construction with big, domineering hands and an open section and various horological finishes. It even has an NFC chip so that the watch can be verified and registered via the SevenFriday app – a feature that should be a necessity for any collector-focused watch.

It’s big, it’s bold and it’s unapologetic. It has an automatic movement – a Miyota number – but comparing it to classical watches is a mistake. The P3C/02 isn’t a traditional watch in the same way a Richard Mille is not; though in this case, SevenFriday pairs its extraordinary designs with accessibility. The P3C/02 will set you back £1,200.

SevenFriday M1B_01 URBAN EXPLORER

SevenFriday M1B/01 Urban Explorer, CHF 1,188

At the end of the day SevenFriday watches aren’t for everyone. That’s fine; they’re not trying to be. If you see their oversized case and busy dials and detest them that’s fine; there’ll always be someone that loves them just as much. Either way, with so many watchmakers playing it safe, a brand this disruptive can’t be a bad thing.

More details at Seven Friday.

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About the author

Sam Kessler

Legend has it that Sam’s first word was ‘escapement’ and, while he might have started that legend himself, he’s been in the watch world long enough that it makes little difference. As the editor of Oracle Time, he’s our leading man for all things horological – even if he does love yellow dials to a worrying degree. Owns a Pogue; doesn’t own an Oyster Perpetual. Yet.