All I can say is wow! I unboxed this Hamtun Neon as my wife was nearby. You have to understand she isn’t into watches like me. However, her eyes opened up and she said she loved it! You know what, so do I. I immediately imagined myself wearing this in my EDC (Everyday Carry) rotation. This area of my watch cabinet is something I give great thought to. If you’re reading this, I know you have high regard for your selections too. It has a proper feel, wears well and it attractive.
Hamtun is based out of Southampton in the UK. They have done Kickstarter before and astonishingly fully funded in MINUTES! Not only did they have an extremely successful campaign, they delivered as well. Of course, they had a few bumps in the road, but that’s par for the course.
This 42mm watch I was sent is all matte black and it reads very well. It’s made of 316L stainless steel. The L designation means less carbon than 316 SS. The bezel is ceramic and is nice to the touch. There is a layer (ring) of your chosen color that really makes the watch pop! This is made of anodized aluminum. The sapphire crystals are anti-reflective (AR) and the screw down bezel makes me think how tough this is. The crown is screw down with a logo on the end. One thing I want to point out is the clasp. I LOVE the clasp and how it looks, works and feels. This is one of those signature items that makes a piece stand out. It ratchets to adjust length. I was able to move it about 1/2″ or so. Many watches have the same basic aesthetic designs but the clasp is often ignored or just basic, not the Neon. There is a leather strap option available, and it’s a nice one. Di-Modell makes a nice strap, and it’s available with the Neon.
Let’s get under the glass. The face reads easy with a well chosen font scheme. Super-LumiNova hands and hour indicators make this easy to read when charged. From what I can see on their website, the white faces are all lume with black hands for the contrast. Their logo is at the 12:00 position but doesn’t look obnoxious, it just fits well. The color choices are all sharp, and I’d be proud to wear any of them, but white on black or green on black are my favorites.
The engine that drives this is a robust STP1-11* automatic movement. If you know movements, you know ETA 2824-2 is no longer protected and can be copied. However, copies can go way wrong! This went the opposite. The STP1-11* is even better and reviews well if you do a search for them. This nice movement is shown through the exhibition caseback. It’s also water resistant to 100 meters.
All said, this is a winner, and a big one at that. The only negative I found was it does wear on the heavier side, but it’s not cumbersome. The Neon launches on Kickstarter on January 30, and early backers can get this for only £259, which works out to about $368 USD. Of course there will be price levels, but at any of them this is a great value. Hamtun is going to offer this for much more at retail, probably around £370. Get this bargain as soon as you can.
*EDIT- original had st-11. Thank you to Alex for catching that.