Another review of a watch from a British brand with a long history. How does the Swan & Edgar Contrast Timer Automatic fare in a week on the wrist?

Swan & Edgar Contrast Timer Automatic Review

The company were kind enough to lend me the Swan & Edgar Contrast Timer Automatic for a week for this review. My first impressions were good: the watch arrived in a solid box and it looks great and feels suitably solid. RRP is £215, which compares well to its high-street competitors.


The Swan & Edgar Contrast Timer’s 43mm case is just outside of my sweet spot but wears really well thanks to some well-designed lugs, The two-tone finish looks great, accenting the watch’s design features and making it feel like a far more expensive watch, The crystals at the front and back are both mineral glass, which is to as scratch-resistant as sapphire but not uncommon in this price range.

Every part of the case is smooth and well-finished – this is often a corner that brands cut in lower-end timepieces, so well done Swan & Edgar for making sure there are no sharp edges. The watch is inoffensive to wear. At 165g it is heavy enough that you know you are wearing it, but not at all cumbersome.

Dial and hands

The watch shows the month, day and a date, and a dial at the bottom indicates the time in 24-hour format. There is also a rotating sun and moon wheel (not a moon phase as indicated on the brand’s website) which is handy when setting the watch to distinguish between 12am and 12pm.

The applied numerals look great. The dial has a great feeling of depth that is often lacking in fashion watches at this price point. The crystal distorts the dial when viewed from an angel in a way that I found very attractive, although the dome did tend to pick up reflections. The date, although correctly centred between 4 and 5, unbalanced the dial for me.

The movement is not stated, so I would assume it is the same Chinese movement that you will find in Parnis watches. There is a five-year warranty so if you have any concerns about the reliability of a “no-name” watch movement this will be reassuring. The finishing and decoration are nice – not the best I’ve seen, but better than most high street watches with open case backs.

Bracelet and Clasp

The bracelet is really well made. It is solid and not too rattly, with a satisfying click as you close the butterfly deployant. It is comfortable to wear and the mid and end links are all solid – much better than the folded bracelets you tend to find on watches in this price range.

Swan & Edgar Contrast Timer Automatic Video Review

What I Liked

  • I think this watch looks great
  • Build quality is excellent all round
  • For the price this is light years ahead of its high-street competition

What I Didn’t Like

  • The domed crystal picks up a lot of reflections
  • Many microbrands in this space have sapphire crystals
  • The date window unbalances the dial

Swan & Edgar Contrast Timer Automatic – The WRUK Verdict

Overall, my misgivings are relatively minor. The overall package offered by the Swan & Edgar Contrast Timer is very good – especially for the price. Comparing to its competition – which is high-street brands, not microbrands operating on wafer-thin margins – this watch is better on every count than the majority of watches at this price point. I’d say this watch would make a great Christmas gift for a new collector moving into the world of automatic watches.

Buy a Swan & Edgar Contrast Timer Automatic

Get 30% off at Swan & Edgar’s online store when you use code WWR30 at the checkout:

Author: 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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