Our Swan & Edgar watch reviews have proven popular, so we arranged with the brand to review another: the Swan & Edgar Sovereign Automatic.
Swan & Edgar Sovereign Automatic Review
The Swan & Edgar Sovereign Automatic costs £202 direct from Swan & Edgar (read on for a 10% discount code and chance to win this very watch). Presentation is the same as the other Swan & Edgar watches we have reviewed: a decent box, covered in soft-touch material, with the watch presented on a padded cushion.
The watch case is a sizeable 45mm. That will immediately switch off a lot of people, but if you can get past the gargantuan size, there is plenty to love. The case is inspired by the Genta school of watchmaking (it is very reminiscent of the AP Royal Oak in particular). I also found some similarities to the Victorinox I.N.O.X. with its bezel and dial design.
The case is finished well for the price point, with decent brushed surfaces and a pretty clean transition between its angles. It feels solid but not overly heavy. The details perhaps let it down a bit when you look closer – the crown has a very shallow embossed S logo, and the case back has a laser etching of the brand logo. Having said that, neither feature is at all unusual at this price range.
Inside is a presumably Chinese movement (Swan & Edgar do not specify what it is). I don’t routinely check time-keeping as part of my reviews but had no concerns over its quality on the week I spent with the watch. What I did find is that on my 7.5″ wrist, the Swan & Edgar Sovereign Automatic was right on the verge of being too big. Caution is advised for the smaller-wristed.
Dial and Hands
The dial is reminiscent of my old Tag Heuer Aquaracer, with a pattern of horizontal lines. It looks good as it catches the light, although in certain lighting conditions it looks a bit plasticky. The applied markers are edged in metal, and they look good, although a bit thin: I’ve seen better on some other Swan & Edgar models. Viewed from an angle, the dial is flatter than I expected. There is a date magnifier on the mineral glass crystal. Both those features will put some readers off: sapphire glass is now common even in many low-end watches, and the date magnifier Swan & Edgar has chosen is of a type that barely magnifies the date.
The hands are clean and easy to read, matching the markers perfectly. The minute hand is a little shorter than I would like, as it does not quite meet the markings on the outer edge of the dial. I found myself wondering if perhaps the watch had been increased in size at the last minute as everything would be that bit better proportioned if it were a 40-42mm watch.
The integrated bracelet reminds me of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak design – it shares the same small end link, so you cannot fit a normal strap to it if you want a change of look. Swan & Edgar kindly provide lug holes, so it is possible to get the bracelet off relatively easily, but you will likely need a bespoke strap to fit the watch if you choose to change.
Having said that, the bracelet is really good. It has solid links and a great hidden butterfly clasp. The links themselves are quite thin, helping to keep the weight sensible, and the finish is as good as elsewhere.
Swan & Edgar Sovereign Automatic – Video Review
What I Liked
- The design is great, and not one I commonly see in this price range.
- Quality is good for the money with decent case finishing.
- The bracelet looks good and is well made.
What I Didn’t Like
- On my average-sized 7.5″ wrist, the watch is right on the verge of being too big.
- Some of the fine details could be a touch better, e.g. hand length, depth of engraving.
- Strap replacement will be a chore thanks to the integrated bracelet design.
Swan and Edgar Sovereign Automatic – the WRUK Verdict
Swan & Edgar are not competing with microbrands, but the mainstream. This makes a comparison to better-specced small-run watches a moot point, as I do not think there is a crossover between microbrand buyers and the target audience for the brand. Some of my negatives – the no-name movement; the mineral glass – are common features of mainstream brands in this price range, and you’ll often get a lower-quality folded bracelet for your money. Few high-street brands can match Swan & Edgar’s 5-year warranty, either.
Therefore, in coming up with a view on this watch, my question is: “what are the specs and prices of similar watches from mainstream brands and how does Swan & Edgar compare?”. Well, as luck would have it, Rotary has launched a new watch range (Regent) that shares similar design language, and costs between £249 and £299 for similar specifications – so this watch represents great value for money if you have the wrist size to pull it off.
Buy a Swan and Edgar Sovereign Automatic
Get 20% off at Swan & Edgar’s online store when you use code WWR20 at the checkout: https://swanandedgar.london/coupon/WWR20