The latest British watch to land for review is the Fifty Eight Geneva Tribute: a Swiss Made watch designed here in the United Kingdom.
Fifty Eight Watches Geneva Tribute Review
The first thing that struck me when I opened up the bag that the Fifty Eight Geneva Tribute arrived in is the stunning presentation box. It’s covered in a striking wood veneer that exudes quality, capped off by a shiny metal plate bearing the brand and model name. I had to double-check that this watch is, indeed, being offered at under £500 on Kickstarter. Inside was not quite so luxurious: in transit, one of the watch’s retaining straps had come undone, but the watch was luckily undamaged despite DHL having repackaged it on its short journey across the country.
Although the Fifty Eight Geneva Tribute’s case is conservative by design, it is beautifully made with no sharp edges and crisp transitions between surfaces. The case back has a light engraving of St. Pierre’s cathedral, which is better than a laser etching but falls some way short of the deep engraving of, say, a Christopher Ward watch. The crown is a touch more shallow than I would like, which made it a little trickier to grip than I like, but that’s no deal-breaker. It is also engraved with a light 58 logo. The case is 41mm in diameter (it wears smaller) and just 10.2mm thick. For a larger dress watch, it’s the perfect thickness – easily swallowed by a shirt sleeve.
Inside we have a Sellita SW-200 self-winding movement – a very popular Swiss movement that should last for years and which can be serviced by any reputable watchmaker. Plenty of bigger Swiss brands use these – from Christopher Ward to TAG Heuer. The whole thing is topped off with a sapphire crystal that will boast five layers of anti-reflective coating in the production models. It’s an unremarkable but well-executed design that wears well. Exactly what I want in a dress watch.
Dial and Hands
So, the case is conservative, but a dress watch also needs a little flair – and that’s where the dial comes into play. The subtle Côtes de Genève pattern on the dial catches the light beautifully, making the Fifty Eight Geneva Tribute sparkle in the sunlight. My equipment and photography skills are not quite up to capturing all of its beauty, so I will refer you to the Time Bum’s review, which contains some glorious close-up pictures.
This particular watch is in a striking salmon pink but, even if you choose a more conservative colour, that pattern adds depth to the dial and makes it really stand out from the crowd. The blued hands are also beautifully made and easy to read. The downsides for me is the date window, which, in white, spoils some of the balance of the dial – it looks best with the white dial as the black also has a white date wheel. Secondly, I found that the dial text and applied logo did not stand out so well on this particular dial colour.
Strap and Buckle
Given the quality on show elsewhere, it is unsurprising to report that the Fifty Eight Geneva Tribute also has a great strap. It’s made of soft Italian leather, in this case, dyed a contrasting green, with a comfortable backing. The buckle is nicely engraved and, all in all, I have no complaints.
Fifty Eight Geneva Tribute – Video Review
What I Liked
- Build quality is excellent in every area
- That dial texture is simply stunning
- The balance between conservative dress watch norms and bold touches is just right
What I Didn’t Like
- The crown is a touch shallow for me, I found it a little hard to grip
- The engraving on the crown, applied dial logom, and case back could be a little deeper
- The white date wheel background unbalances the dial a little
Fifty Eight Geneva Tribute – the WRUK Verdict
I always pick three good points and three bad points in every watch but am always keen to point out that they are not of equal weight. In this case, the Fifty Eight watch company has come up with an excellent watch and any minor niggles I have are just that: minor. It looks good, it’s great to wear and the specifications are spot on. I fully expect this watch to sail through its funding target and at the asking price of less than £500 I think it is an absolute bargain. A watch that is well worth backing!
Buy a Fifty Eight Geneva Tribute
The Fifty Eight Geneva Tribute is coming to Kickstarter on 5th May. Head over to the Fifty Eight Watch Company’s website (fiftyeightwatches.com) to sign up for updates.