The passage of time flies quickly. Sevenfriday has been around now for over 10 years (having celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2022). Not sure it can be classed as a new and upcoming brand anymore, but it certainly hasn’t deterred it from pushing the boundaries of innovation and design. I had the pleasure of getting a hands-on look at the FREE-D 2 now in red. Somewhat of a portmanteau, the name of the watch comes from the 3D printing technology used to construct the majority of the watch. 3D printing a watch? The sacrilege – some may cry, but stay tuned to learn a little bit more before passing judgement.
The box itself like many of Sevenfriday’s pieces is almost a masterpiece in itself. The caged 3D printed box which suspends the watch in the middle is totally eye catching. I wish more independent watch brands put effort into their presentation boxes. Of course we are not dealing with a Rolex here, so the design element and presentation are so important for its target market. Inside the box, sits cradled the FREE-D 2 which is constructed from PA11 – an organic and sustainable polyamide which is light and durable. When utilised in 3D printing this allowed Sevenfriday to create something unique and out of this world that would otherwise be incredibly difficult to craft in traditional materials.
There are so many things going on with the watch that I’m not even sure where to begin. It looks striking and completely unique. You know right away that it is not a traditional timepiece by any means. Designed like something out of a sci-fi movie, this watch came straight out of an Alien movie. The dial features no traditional hands and instead has cut out rotating discs which display the hours, minutes and seconds numerically. It will take a little bit of time to get used to, but overall is pretty easy to read (albeit to me slight counter intuitive to have the hours at the bottom rather than top). The seconds dial is probably superfluous as it is smaller and has almost no numerals on there, so you wouldn’t be able to use it to gauge how close you are to the minute or as a timer.
Holding it, it gave me a huge surprise. For a watch case that measures a massive 52.8mm wide and 55.4mm in height, it was incredibly light. The polyamide case and grade 5 titanium houses the movement beneath domed sapphire crystal. The combination of lightweight materials meaning that the overall watch feels almost bereft of any weight. The polyamide feels like a brittle textured plastic (it is technically some form of nylon). Titanium is a metal that many manufacturers have used for many years, it is an excellent material choice. Here Sevenfriday have finished the case expertly with lovely rounded corners and a microbillage matte finish. The watch is put together well but at the same time makes you wonder if you have a real working timepiece or a dummy model because it’s just that light.
The FREE-D has a Selita Swiss automatic movement inside and adjustments are made via the screw in crown. It comes paired with a genuine calf skin leather strap. Those are probably the most traditional elements in this watch. On the rear, there is an engraving on the harness which envelopes the back of the case noting “NFC” or near field communication. Sevenfriday has equipped this piece with a NFC chip which links each watch to its own NFT collectible and certificate. Sevenfriday are certainly keeping up with the times by including this and authentication/warranty registration can be done via the brand’s app.
Who this watch is for: The futurists. If you live in the now, if you love unique and space age designs this watch may be worth consideration. However, it should be noted that the price of the FREE-D is pretty pricy over other Sevenfriday watches at USD$3,800.
Who this watch is not for: The traditionalist. If you want a classic watch, something simple, something understated, this is probably not going to even be on your radar. For the price, you could find many quality classic timepieces from a myriad of other brands.
In the end, it comes down to personal taste. You could wear this watch all day and despite its imposing size not feel like you have had anything on at all. On the other hand, if you’re a bit of a traditionalist and love a bit of weight to your watch this may not feel like substantial enough.
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