24-hour watches are an interesting phenomenon. The way they work is that instead of the hour hand circling the dial once every 12 hours, it completes one revolution a day instead. The minute hand still rotates fully once an hour, so you have to retrain your brain to read the hour it’s pointing to rather than look at the position at a glance. Whilst there’s no obvious advantage of this style of dial, it’s a pleasant alternative, and due to 24 hour time used by the military, scientists, pilots etc, it would definitely be handy for them.
The Akerfalk First Season takes inspiration from the classic vintage era of the 60s; personally, I find it very striking and quite possibly the nicest 24-hour watch I’ve come across. Let’s check it out.
The video review
The Akerfalk does not utilise just a standard barrel which is good to see. Instead, it’s curvaceous, slender and certainly vintage inspired – primarily due to the highly domed crystal and thin, spindly lugs.
I find the size is perfect for my 7.25” wrist, and the slender height allows it to be easy to wear under a cuff. The case is polished in its entirety, and due to the fluid nature of how it’s formed, it reflects the light in a variety of ways.
The Akerfalk First Season is fitted with a K1 hardened mineral crystal. This may put some off as it’s not sapphire, but I’ve never had an issue with hardened mineral before. The primary selling point behind the K1 crystal is that it’s more scratch resistant than mineral, and more shatter resistant than sapphire, so in many manufacturers eyes, the best of both worlds. Whatever the case, the crystal is massively double domed: it provides beautiful clarity to the light dial and the distorted edges create a wonderful view. It’s certainly a key feature for the 60s vintage theme.
The crown is splendid – I love the shape, and to my surprise it’s screw-in. The shape is like an upside-down cupcake paper cup which is refreshingly different. It’s also rather dainty which suits the size of the case well and is fully polished, with effective grip and is accurately manufactured.
The caseback is simple but interesting; a sort of round porthole in the centre with a forest silhouette at the top. Various specifics surround the outer edge, all in a thin, delicately engraved typeface. It’s also fully polished to complete the entirety of the case – but just be careful of any scratches as you pop it down.
For me, the most striking aspects of the dial are: firstly, the beautiful subtle champagne colour, and secondly, the usage of both steel and gold for the hands. It’s incredibly classy and certainly has that 60’s vibe.
The colour of the dial is delightful, at certain angles it has an aged feel. The simple, crisp and delicate printwork works really well on top: with a combined minute track and hour indication around the outside, as well as the logo in the top half, and the model name and country of origin in the bottom half.
It appears to be domed around the edges, following the highly domed crystal. I love the depth this technique provides; it’s also a real eye-catcher.
The hands are a thin index shape, both are polished, but the hour hand is steel whilst the minute hand is a gold colour. They both work so well with the watch; tying the case and dial together perfectly. I feel they are the stand-out feature that I immediately loved.
You get the choice of three different straps: leather, nato, and Milanese mesh.
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting an amazing quality leather strap. I thought it was going to be a bit on the thin side, and nothing special. Well, how wrong I was! The strap is impressively thick yet supple, with a pleasantly soft top grain. The soft black hue works in contrast to offset the lighter dial.
The strap comes fitted with a standard tang buckle, fully polished to match the case. The logo is laser etched on one side of the top bar – personally, I’d have preferred it to be engraved.
The nato strap that comes with the watch isn’t anything too exciting, but the green works pretty well with the dial. Interestingly, the tang buckle is exactly the same apart from the logo is engraved rather than laser etched.
There’s also the option of a Milanese mesh bracelet. The mesh is tight and neat, and it’s rather thick, showcasing the quality. The logo is engraved on the buckle, which is easy enough to adjust. I was pleasantly surprised to find quick-release pins on this bracelet too, which means you can switch out the straps and change the look within a minute.
The movement used is the Ronda 515.24H – which is basically the 24-hour version of their standard trusty quartz movement (the 515). Using this movement means that the hour hand has been connected to the 24-hour pinion rather than the normal hour pinion. It also means that the hour hand can now be set quite independently from the minute hand (crown’s second step) as well as normally (crown fully pulled out). It has 1 jewel and 45-month battery life.
I believe Akerfalk have created a beautiful timepiece that is the perfect option for those who are after a vintage-inspired watch that’s a bit different. The dial is an excellent example of effective, simple design. There’s not a lot to it, but it’s so clean, crisp and striking. I love the hands, the flowing case, and the highly domed crystal. Yes, it’s not sapphire, but in this instance, I believe the K1 hardened mineral will suffice. It’s a great all-rounder, and the 24-hour aspect of it sets it apart from the crowd.