Atom AT.01 watch Review

Recently, after a couple of fallow years, British watches are aplenty. Here’s the latest challenger: the Atom AT.01.

Atom AT.01 Review

When offered the loan of an Atom AT.01 for a week, I jumped at the chance. The pictures I saw were of an eye-catching watch with great specifications at a promising price.

At a glance

Atom AT.01

£270 (Kickstarter) / £360 (RRP)
Case size
Water Resistance
Miyota 9015

First impressions were good: none of your purchase price is being wasted on fancy packaging but what you get – a stiff, textured cardboard box with the Atom logo – is perfectly adequate for protecting the watch.

Case and Movement

The first thing that leapt out at me with the Atom AT.01 was the choice of movement. For the money, I had expected a cheap Seiko or Miyota 8-series movement but Atom has wisely chosen to put in a high-quality, reliable and accurate Miyota 9015 instead.

The case finishing is adequate – I am promised it will be better in the production versions – and the crown is easy to grip. At 40mm I’d half-expected this watch to wear big, given its abundance of dial and lack of bezel, but I found it was extremely comfortable on my 7.5″ wrist. The watch is good for 100m of water resistance – which is fine for this style – and the only niggle I found was the case back engraving, which was a little too shallow for my taste.

Dial and Hands

The Atom AT.01 dial is a stunning blue, and has a subtle texture that reveals itself on closer inspection (I zoom in on it in my video review). This, combined with the applied numerals and logo gives the watch a premium feel that is right up there with the best at this price point (which is Spinnaker). The hands are simple but easy-to read and the whole face is very attractive with depth, clarity and a sense of superior quality.

The date function, located at 6 O’clock, is a welcome addition and is integrated in an unobtrusive way. The surround on the date window is another touch of quality that adds to the feeling this watch should cost a lot more. I did find myself wishing that the font on the dates was a little smaller, as although they are all perfectly centred there is not much space around the edges which limits visibility from all but a straight-on angle.

Strap and Buckle

The Atom AT.01 has the best strap I’ve seen on a sub-$500 ever. It’s that good. I had to measure to check it is really 20mm – the clever design of the case makes it look like it is wider than it is. The leather is soft and supple, it is completely comfortable to wear and it is exactly the right thickness to feel good quality without being too bulky. The alternative Nubuck strap which I tried in the video is even better. This is the first watch in a very long time that – if I were to buy it – would not immediately have me heading over to WatchGecko for a replacement.

The tang buckle is just fine, with a decent ATOM engraving. If I have to pick an opportunity to improve – and I am clutching at straws here – a bracelet option with fitted end links would be nice.

Atom AT.01 – Video Review

What I Liked

  • Excellent multi-layered dial
  • Superb straps
  • Excellent value for money

What I Didn’t like

  • Case back engraving could be deeper
  • Date wheel font a little large
  • No bracelet option

Atom AT.01 – The WRUK Verdict

It’s almost halfway through the year, and at this time I always start to think about what might be my watch of the year. This little Atom has come out of nowhere and shot itself straight into pole position on my provisional list. I see a lot of watches at WRUK and it’s rare that I have to try so hard to find negative points about a timepiece. The Atom AT.01 is the best watch I have seen so far this year, and I can wholeheartedly recommend it.

Buy an Atom AT.01

The Atom AT.01 is due to go to Kickstarter on 14th September, and you  can register your interest now. Sign up for updates at Atom Watches’ website to keep yourself informed of the launch details.

By Mike Richmond

Mike spends what little spare time he has writing for WRUK; and what little money he makes building up his collection of timepieces.

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