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Square and integrated – The Scarifour – Benjamin James


When someone decides to start a watch brand, passion is key. The main issue is how to balance that passion with something that would sell well. This is probably the reason why all first watch launches of any brand are considered safe, they do not want to go all in. Perhaps a diver? Or a field watch? and if successful, in the future the brands would let their hair down.


When I spoke to Ben from Benjamin James, the first question I’ve asked him about his new watch (the Scarifour) was: ‘’why a square integrated bracelet as your first solo project?’’. Well, his answer showed me that Ben understands the proportions needed to make an attractive square watch. A as a watch designer, how the watch wears and feel is key. You can experience this with brands like Cartier and JLC, the original sizes wear well in many wrists, is an object more than a watch, but then an oversized Tank or a Reverso looks a bit comical.

Added to the sizes of square watches, we also have the added trouble that the Scarifour is an integrated bracelet watch, everything wears larger so in consequence, it must be a well executed design.


Join me to discover the upcoming launch from this new formed British brand.


The specifications

When I saw the Scarifour for the first time, I got it. I didn’t know where I saw a similar design, the hands reminded me of the A. Lange Sohne but the overall shape also reminded me of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 6005ST, so far all good.

The proportion are spot on. The case measures 31mm in diameter by 40mm lug to lug. I can tell you that for square watches might read a tad small, but I am so used to the 25mm in diameter of my Cartier Tank that the Scarifour feels more like a sports watch. I believe is no coincidence as the watch is meant to be worn as an everyday piece.

The thickness (or lack of it) is 8.3mm which mean it will wear flat and seamless. The reason for this low profile is the manual Sellita SW210-1B movement, there is also a quartz version coming but I have to say nothing feels better than interacting with your watch on a daily basis.

The dial called ‘Heraldry’, is one of the most attractive parts of the watch. We were lucky to see the orange version with a degrade dial and a V shaped pattern, which are actually inspired by the coat of arms from Ben’s town Cheltenham. Everything looks very crisp and with minimal text, the sharp pointed sword hands that complete the look. The stick markers are brushed and well executed, I wasn’t sure about the roman number at 12, but it matches very well with the style of the hands, it does give a more sophisticated look. The Scarifour is a watch that walks well between a causal and a sporty style.


The case is well constructed, and we really enjoyed the transitions within brushed and polished elements. The dots on the polished bezel sit well on top of the brushed mid case, is a detail that I enjoy in watches with a higher price range. The bracelet integration is seamless, and with a quick system release it would be easy to switch for a rubber or leather strap. Surely the brand will come up with an offering in the future. The clasp is solid and well milled, I would have favoured a butterfly style one, but it wouldn’t have been as secure as the one the Scarifour has, we all have to compromise at some point.


On the wrist

Thanks to the proportions and integrated bracelet, the Scarifour wears well on my 6.25-inch wrist. It is very light and also the right size, not too small or too big. The dial is legible and with those vibrant colours that Benjamin James is offering, you really cannot go wrong.

I wore the Scarifour for a couple of days and with a long sleeve sweater, the watch feels at home. It is causal but also very playful, the degradation of the dial makes it more interesting to look at, and because there is no date, the symmetry is very good.

Another detail is the push crown, it is easy to grab and doesn’t dig into the wrist, I was very happy on how it sits compared to the rest of the case, very well planned and executed.


Conclusions

We enjoyed the time with the Scarifour from Benjamin Watches. It is a watch that felt really refreshing as we always find ourselves looking at divers and chronographs, and when they are based on a integrated steel bracelet design, they are often a tad too large and certainly not square.


The Scarifour is offered in Royal Purple, Orange Sunrise, Ice Blue, Metallic Silver, Smoke Black and Blue Hour.

The Scarifour starts at 380 GBP with the Quartz version and 660 GBP for the mechanical one. Both watches have the same size and dimensions.


If you enjoyed the review and pictures give them follow and join their waitlist here: https://benjaminjameswatches.com/

 

 

 

 

 

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