The world of microbrand watches and independent watch manufacturers offers us a wide variety of watchmakers with diverse styles, price ranges, and designs. However, if we’re honest with ourselves, many of these watches and brands tend to be somewhat similar. Don’t misunderstand us; we don’t consider this a negative aspect. The presence of a wide range of watch manufacturers affords every watch enthusiast, whether advanced or a beginner, the chance to discover a timepiece that suits their preferences, at nearly any price point. Consider, for instance, a watch manufacturer such as DAVOSA. It offers the chance for anyone seeking a timepiece with an iconic design reminiscent of Rolex watches to acquire one at a fraction of the price. You can enjoy a high-quality Swiss watch with a dependable Swiss mechanism, free from waiting lists and the exorbitant costs associated with the grey market. Let’s take, for instance, a watch manufacturer like BALTIC, known for crafting timepieces with a captivating vintage design, paying homage to the illustrious era of luxury watches. Even in the case of BALTIC, you won’t find yourself emptying your wallet to enjoy a high-quality and dependable watch. However, when we bring up names like ZELOS, Farer, or even NORQAIN, it seems like they all tread a somewhat familiar path, offering variations on the same theme. In these instances, fresh perspectives and groundbreaking ideas are somewhat elusive. Fortunately, the world of microbrand watches doesn’t fall short in providing us with companies that stand out in their innovative approach to watchmaking. One such standout is Mr. Jones, and today, we’re delving into their latest creation – the “Beam Me Up” watch. Join us as we embark on this exploration in our review of Beam Me Up! Mechanical by Mr. Jones.
As highlighted in our introduction, Mr. Jones represents a watch manufacturer with a refreshingly unique approach to the world of horology. Rather than seeking to replicate iconic vintage designs, Mr. Jones chooses to infuse the realm of watches with a decidedly lighthearted touch. While other watchmakers may emphasize technical terms like Tourbillon, Repeater, Gullioche, Enamel, and the like, Mr. Jones leans toward more whimsical terminology such as Playful, Enjoy, or Relaxed.
Indeed, Mr. Jones gently reminds us that watches need not be overly solemn. Certainly, they should fulfil their primary function, which is, as we often assert to others, to tell time. However, they can also embody an air of levity, simplicity, and vibrancy, serving as a gentle nudge to savour life’s uncomplicated and affordable pleasures. Those everyday joys that often go unnoticed in the hustle and bustle of our routines—like a perfectly useless afternoon. Who’s to say we can’t occasionally hit pause on life’s relentless sprint and simply relish a leisurely dip in the pool?
Now that we’ve introduced Mr. Jones, though we hope you’re already familiar with this brand from our previous reviews on this site, it’s time to acquaint you with their latest timepiece – Beam Me Up! Mechanical.
This new Mr. Jones watch features a 316L stainless steel case with a 40 mm diameter. It comes paired with an 18 mm wide brown Nubuck leather strap.
In keeping with Mr. Jones’s tradition of collaborating with artists in the realms of painting and design for their timepieces, this new watch is no exception. The creative mind behind this watch is Xavier Broche.
Xavier Broche, hailing from France, is a versatile children’s book author and illustrator. He has crafted numerous creations for “Les Éditions Lapin,” primarily within a series of collaborative projects alongside Alice Chaa, a fellow children’s writer.
Employing an array of tools that include feathers, brushes, felt-tip pens, and inks, Xavier’s artistic arsenal evolves to suit the unique themes of each book.
In his extensive body of work, Xavier has ventured into a wide spectrum of subjects. His portfolio spans from tackling themes like adoption, travel, and overcoming the fear of the dark to imparting educational lessons on numbers and embarking on whimsical adventures with unconventional princesses.
Beyond his published works, Xavier has extended his creative reach to collaborate on radio shows and live drawing events, such as Podcast Science.
On the watch face, adorned with a blue-turquoise backdrop, you’ll discover an illustrated flying saucer hovering above a countryside farm, as it searches for signs of life on our lush green planet. At the farm, a curious cow observes the flying saucer’s presence, alongside a playful little piglet.
Now, as is the case with every Mr. Jones watch, let’s dive into the delightful process of deciphering the time. In this new timepiece, the ray emanating from the flying saucer serves as the minute marker, while the adorable little pig on the watch face signifies the hour marker.
Xavier brings his inspiration behind the unique design:
“I wanted to describe an alien encounter in a playful way. I imagined how it would be for a simple pig to be at the heart of this historic event.
I found it funny to imagine the alien travelling endlessly across space searching for intelligent life, only to encounter a bewildered pig at the end of this epic journey!
Don’t worry about the pig though – he’ll outwit the alien in the end!”
The final result is truly remarkable. The watch face captivates with its unique blue-turquoise hue, exhibiting a captivating interplay of light and shadow. When combined with the metallic sheen of the watch’s case and the vintage leather strap, the dial takes center stage, drawing the most attention. It’s worth noting that the review model we received is the mechanical version of the watch. Mr. Jones initially introduced a quartz-powered variant with a 37 mm diameter, which possessed a more unisex appeal compared to this version. However, even with a 40 mm diameter, this watch can comfortably adorn a female wrist.
The watch boasts a transparent caseback that provides us with a glimpse of the mechanical heart within – the STP-11 caliber. Crafted by Swiss Technology Production, it draws its inspiration from the ETA 2824-2 and Sellita SW200-1, two stalwarts of the Swiss watch industry. This caliber beats at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour, delivering a substantial power reserve of 44 hours.
Adorning the transparent caseback, we discover the watch’s name, proudly emblazoned as “BEAM ME UP! By Xavier Broche.” The captivating imagery showcases a pig being transported by the beam, while the inscription beneath it reads, “made in London By Mr Jones Watches.”
Just like the other Mr. Jones watches we’ve reviewed in the past, this watch comes in a neat cardboard box with stylish black illustrations. It’s compact and lightweight, so it won’t clutter your space at home, and it’s likely much kinder to the environment compared to the more traditional luxury watch boxes.
In a nutshell, whether you’re inspecting the packaging, the watch itself, its face, or the overall package, you’re greeted with a fun and youthful timepiece. It can withstand water up to 50 meters and carries a price tag of 545 pounds, or about 660 dollars. Even in today’s economic climate, this cost is unlikely to break the bank.