It’s always a pleasure when technical craftsmanship and sleek design come together — indeed, that statement alone characterizes the very reason many of us men are fascinated with timepieces to begin with. It’s at this convergence of style and function that lies the appeal of Classic Engineering‘s minimalist watches.
My classic NATO watch arrived tucked in a smartly designed package of solid acrylic and raw paper, likely a nod to brand creator Eduardo Umaña’s engineering degree background (the Bogotá native launched the company as a student at Pennsylvania’s Swarthmore College, where he made his first watches by hand).
Many aspects of the watch faithfully reflect the profession’s motto of doing more with less, and it’s this design ethic that puts the focus squarely on the materials used in the construction of the timepiece.
The effortlessly lightweight case is machined and treated with scratch-resistant ceramic in the U.S. The interchangeable, vegetable-tanned leather strap is handmade in Amsterdam by Guild of Holland after finding its way over from Tuscany (the source of some of the world’s finest leather). Beneath the sapphire crystal lies a Swiss movement tasked with guiding the high-contrast hands past clean, unmarked indexes.
Having completed their world tour, the parts form a watch that’s particularly striking given its low-profile silhouette.
Classic Engineering’s model comes in nine possible configurations — your choice of gold, black, or silver case can be matched with straps in chianti, black and natural tan (or any NATO-style strap, really), making it perfectly easy to change up your look as needed.
And once you strap one on, that’s only the beginning. True to the engineer’s quest for perfection, every timepiece comes with lifetime support for repairs and maintenance (and that includes the five-year power reserve).
It doesn’t get any simpler than that.