Newmark is a British brand producing remakes of vintage watches with a modern twist. Is the Newmark 71 the best microbrand watch of 2019 so far?
A Week on the Wrist – Newmark 71
Let’s get this out of the way straight away: The Newmark 71 is in the running to be my favourite watch of the year so far. Newmark’s third effort, it is a vintage sports watch (some might say dive watch, but Newmark prefers the more flexible term) with a real 70s charm. Of the siz options, my personal favourite is the blue model with the 12-hour bezel but I chose to borrow the white model for review as it stood out as the boldest choice.
It is ostensibly similar to the Eterna Kon-Tiki, Zodiac Sea Wolf and this blog’s watch of the year 2018, the Emperor Diver but with a few twists of its own. It comes in three colours: blue, black or silver dial (as reviewed here) and with a choice of a 60-second unidirectional (diving) or a 12-hour bidirectional (dual time) bezel. The blue and black models have lumed bezels. There’s a no-date option if you like the black model.
The final price of the Newmark 71 will be £399, but for a month from June 18th, it will be available for preorder at £299 through Kickstarter. I’ve been wearing the watch for a week, so let’s have a quick tour through its features.
The Newmark 71 has a 200m water-resistant steel case, topped with a double-domed sapphire crystal. The case is nicely polished, with no sharp edges, and its 38.5mm size fits my 7.5 inch wrist perfectly. The bezel is a little larger, at 39.5mm, which makes it look a little larger than it feels. A nice touch, which will make it very flexible.
The bidirectional ball-bearing bezel itself is absolutely brilliant: totally solid with no back play and requiring just the right amount of effort to turn. The 12-hour markings mean you can easily track a second time zone without messing with the crown.The crown itself is just the right size and shape, and winding the Miyota 9015 movement is a pleasure. The case back has a lightly etched design, which was the only disappointment – I’d personally prefer a deeply-stamped, exhibition or even a plain case back to such a light engraving.
The dial of the Newmark 71 is supremely legible. In this variation is has light coloured lume on a silver dial, but clear black printing around the markers and hands make reading the time a doddle. The silver dial has a radial pattern which catches the light well, and gives a pleasing sunburst effect.
The green lume is something else, easily comparable with Seiko, and glowing at low-light levels after even a short time in the sun. The date at 6 balances the dial nicely, and the logo printing is clear. There’s not a lot of depth to the dial, but it suits the watch perfectly. I was a little disappointed not to get a fully-lumed bezel, but that’s restricted to the black and blue ceramic options.
Bracelet and Clasp
The Newmark 71 bracelet is superb. At first, I thought it was a beads of rice style, but it’s actually a multi-part bracelet that is incredibly comfortable to wear. It won’t attract scratches like a polished beads of rice bracelet does.
The clasp is identical to that of the F71 diver with a double-lock mechanism and plenty of adjustment. The folding part of the clasp is really nice and thick, and its feels really solid. I like to be able to adjust my watches a “link” either way without having to get my toolkit out and this clasp is perfect for that. I’d prefer a ratchet on every watch, but this is the next best thing.
Newmark 71 Video Review
What I Liked
- It’s great to wear, I barely took it off for the week I had it on loan
- The watch is really legible and adapts to whatever you are wearing in this colour
- The build quality is spot on in every regard
What I Didn’t Like
- The case-back is a little underwhelming compared to the rest of the watch
- The white-dial bezel doesn’t have the cool lumed ceramic insert of the coloured options
- £399 will make it quite expensive, but the Kickstarter pricing of £299 compares very favourably with similar watches.
Newmark 71 – the WRUK verdict
Until now, my favourite watch this year has been another British offering – the Hamtun Kraken. The Newmark 71 is right up there for me, even slightly ahead as it is closer to my taste. Compared to my favourite watch of last year, the Emperor Diver, this watch is better-proportioned, has a better movement and an equally good bracelet. Pricing is about the same, making the Newmark 71 great value at its preorder price.
The only thing holding me back from buying this watch myself is its superficial similarity to my Emperor, which I already own. Having said that, I may well be tempted to put my own cash behind the blue-dialled 12-hour variant before the Kickstarter campaign closes. Highly recommended.
Buy a Newmark 71
The Newmark 71 Kickstarter campaign starts on 18th June, but you can sign up to be the first to know when it goes live at https://newmark71.newmarkwatchcompany.com/
Win a Newmark watch
In conjunction with Newmark we are offering one reader the chance to win one of their HS Chronograph watches. Check out our giveaway page for details.