The Pinion TT watch collection
Most days, I sit by my computer with a cup of coffee, reading my scribbled notes and perusing images of watches. My time is spent tapping on a keyboard writing about fine examples of high-end watchmaking. Guilloché dials, mind-blowing complications and flawless finissage vie for my attention. Every square millimetre of a fine watch is deserving of column-inches. I adore this world of no-compromise craftsmanship and never tire of meeting the creative talents responsible for conceiving and making these paragons of horological virtue.
However, like many things in life, there is a downside. The problem with my job is that one becomes detached from the real world. While a fine timepiece may embody everything I hold so dear, the six figure pricing has little relevance to most people’s lives, including my own.
On occasion, I have described a tourbillon as keenly priced, ‘representing great value at £30,000’. Compared with other tourbillons, the watch may well prove competitively priced. However, it is only when I stop, reflect on the statement I have just made and consider how many hours I would have to work in order to earn said amount, that a sense of reality comes to the fore. Professionally, I possess the tastes of a millionaire, but regrettably I only have the means of a ‘working-class lad’ from Lancashire.
Watches for the style conscious
Last year, I met Piers Berry, founder of the British watch company, Pinion. His watches have relevance to style conscious individuals who lack the means to own a Mayfair townhouse or ride in the back of a chauffeur driven Bentley.
The Pinion Atom
Founded in 2013, Pinion has been highly productive, releasing numerous timepieces. In 2017, the British company unveiled the Pinion Atom. On seeing the watch for the first time, I was mightily impressed. The black dial, plump hour and minute hands and bold hour markers coalesce wonderfully, enunciating the prevailing time with notable clarity. The size of the 41mm stainless steel case has relevance to most would-be wearers. Indeed, Pinion has avoided the gauche excess of oversized watches and, in so doing, imbued the Atom with lasting appeal.
Pinion has not tried to masquerade as a manufacture, it freely discloses the source of its movements. The Atom is endowed with an automatic Miyota 9015, produced by Japan’s giant watch company, Citizen. I have huge respect for Japanese watchmaking and hold Citizen and Seiko in high esteem. The Miyota 9015 is technically impressive, yet attractively priced. By using this Japanese calibre, Pinion has delivered a pleasingly appointed watch for the comparatively modest sum of £790.
A new era
Clearly buoyed by the success of the Atom, Piers Berry has been busy using his CAD software, working on the design of his latest watch, the Pinion TT. This timepiece features an array of attributes which justify an uplift in the recommended retail price. However, readers should not despair, Mr Berry has not lost sight of his target audience, creating a well specified model, delivered at a very affordable price.
The Pinion TT is offered in two dial variants, anthracite and maroon. I must be honest, the latter hue is my favourite as it stands out from the crowd, imbuing the watch with a distinctive mien.
The luminescent hour and minute hands share the same profile as the aforementioned Atom. The hour markers consist of Arabic numerals at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock, with tapered batons positioned in between. While the Pinion TT is modestly priced, the specification of the watch incorporates some interesting details. The Arabic numerals adorning the hour track are applied and sit high above the dial surface, affording an agreeable depth to the display. Orange strokes encircle the central area of display, providing delightful contrast with the maroon shade of the dial.
Considering the affordable asking price, Berry has also expended much time on the minutiae. For example, the date disc is maroon, matching the colour of the dial. This may sound small, but often costlier watches settle for a standard white disc which fails to blend with the main dial area.
This is a GMT or dual-time watch. A ‘beau-blue’ hand points to a 24-hour scale depicted on the flange framing the dial. A quirky detail is the kink in the GMT hand, adjacent the tip. It is these isolated episodes of individuality which augment the appeal of this watch. The central sweep seconds hand is presented in orange and completes the inventory of functions.
The 42mm titanium case features a brushed finish which softens its appearance. Titanium cases are normally the preserve of costlier watches. Once again, Berry has not skimped on materials. This lightweight metal is hypoallergenic, hence the case should not cause any adverse reactions with the wearer’s skin. An exhibition case-back provides sight of the self-winding movement.
On this occasion, Pinion has not used a Japanese movement, but chosen to incorporate the ETA 2893-2 from Switzerland. This self-winding movement features 21 jewels and the power reserve is sufficient to confer 42 hours of autonomy. The balance has a frequency of 28,800 VpH (4Hz). The oscillating weight is presented in a pale shade of blue and has been decorated with the company’s name and logo. Finally, the movement also features blued screws.
Whilst appraising the Pinion TT, I was struck by the thoroughness of the design. Despite Berry’s courageous use of colour, everything proves harmonious. The design of the Pinion TT is sublime, an agreeable consequence of Berry’s design prowess. Berry has worked in design for over twenty years and during this time has produced ‘numerous award-winning products’.
It is Berry’s attention to detail, incorporating subtle styling elements, that differentiate this timepiece from many mundane watches sometimes costing more.
Those impatient readers, yearning to know the price, need not wait any longer. I can reveal the recommended retail price is £2,350. I concede the Pinion TT is not a bespoke minute-repeater from an illustrious Swiss maison, but it probably has greater relevance to ordinary souls seeking an extraordinary watch.