Hello everyone – welcome to another of my reviews. In today’s article, I’ll be reviewing the Revival Gunmetal Steel from Singaporean watch microbrand, Kent Hall & Co.
The integrated bracelet sports watch is all the rage currently, especially in the affordable watch segment with the recent release of the Tissot PRX (first in quartz, and later in automatic variants). However, there hasn’t really been one with a skeletonised dial, especially at the budget price segment. Given that I haven’t reviewed a Singaporean watch microbrand in some time (the last being the Aries Gold Diplomat), I was curious to see how the Kent Hall & Co Revival Gunmetal Steel fared. Let’s see if it’s any good.
Update: I’m pleased to list the Kent Hall & Co Revival on my new web-store, The Shiok Shop.
Kent Hall & Co Revival Gunmetal Steel – Video Review
For those interested in seeing some hands-on footage of the watch, do check out my Youtube review of the Revival Gunmetal Steel below:
Kent Hall & Co – the Brand
Based in Singapore, Kent Hall & Co was first founded in 2015, before shuttering operations in 2019. However, the brand recently reopened its doors with a focus to “bring unique mechanical watches to the everyday watch collector”, and introduced the aptly named Revival series, which offers an automatic, skeletonised integrated sports watch (in a variety of finishes) at an affordable price. And for those who are curious, the name of the brand was actually derived from the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Kent Ridge Hall, which was where the founders first met each other. I like that the name has some sort of personal significance to the founders, instead of generic-sounding Westernised brand names such as *cough* Daniel Wellington.
Kent Hall & Co Revival Gunmetal Steel – Build Quality
The Revival Gunmetal Steel has stellar specifications for the price.
For one, the Kent Hall & Co Revival Gunmetal Steel features a flat sapphire crystal. As aforementioned numerous times in my previous reviews, I’m a huge advocate of having a sapphire crystal due to its inherent scratch-resisting properties. Personally, I always look for sapphire crystal in my modern watches as it adds greatly to the durability of the watch. Although the brand doesn’t state if there is an anti-reflective coating applied, I didn’t face any issues with reflections and legibility during my time with the watch. In addition, the Revival Gunmetal Steel is rated to 5 ATM for water-resistance rating, which renders it robust enough for rainy weather and the occasional shower.
The Revival Gunmetal Steel is powered by the skeletonised Seagull TY2809 movement, which is visible through an exhibition caseback. It apparently costs almost as much as a Miyota 8215 movement, though there’s a lack of information online regarding its long-term reliability and timekeeping accuracy. It beats at 21,600 bph, has approximately 41 hours of power reserve, and is hacking. It’s pretty much a bare-bones movement without any decoration, but at this price point that’s par for the course.
The Revival Gunmetal Steel comes on a Nautilus-styled integrated bracelet, but unfortunately the bracelet isn’t that great. The links are hollow, and the bracelet has that ratty feeling that’s reminiscent of the bracelets on the cheaper Seiko 5 watches. There isn’t any alternating finishing as well, with the entire bracelet being simply brushed.
A pet peeve that I had was that even though the Revival Gunmetal Steel is matte black, the clasp is in standard stainless steel, which results in a mismatched look. It’s a small detail that shows that the Revival Gunmetal Steel is still a tad rough around the edges.
There’s also lume on the Revival Gunmetal Steel, though Kent Hall & Co doesn’t state which specific kind. That being said, the lume is rather weak, and nothing much to shout about.
Still, the Revival Gunmetal Steel’s specifications punch above its price point. It has a sapphire crystal, a skeletonised automatic movement, a metal bracelet, and even lume – all for less than the retail price of a Daniel Wellington.
Kent Hall & Co Revival Gunmetal Steel – Design
However, the main draw of the Revival Gunmetal Steel is certainly its avant-garde design, which brings to mind the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel in Black Ceramic.
The watch’s skeletonised dial is instantly eye-catching, and immediately reminiscent of haute horologerie watches. The skeletonised dial and the applied indices give the watch a sense of depth, while the red second hand provides a pop of colour to the otherwise monochromatic dial. However, I’m not the biggest fan of the handset, which looks a tad cheap and out-of-place in my opinion.
Like in the much pricier Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel, the balance wheel of the movement can be conspicuously seen beating away, with the rest of the movement featuring a granular, sandblasted finishing. I also liked that the tips of the applied indices are faceted downwards for a more refined look.
The Revival Gunmetal Steel features an octagonal bezel, which is clearly a reference to the iconic eight-sided bezel of the Royal Oak. However, Kent Hall & Co has smartly decided against having screws on the bezel as well, which would have made it too much of a homage for my (and I assume most enthusiasts) liking. In addition, the bezel features containing finishing, being brushed at the front while having polished sides.
Unlike the bezel, the crown is hexagonal, and signed with the brand’s logo – which is not always a given at this price point.
With a 41mm case diameter – coincidentally identical to the aforementioned Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked – the Kent Hall & Co Revival Gunmetal Steel wears perfectly on my 7-inch wrist. At 12mm thick, it’s also pretty slim, and I had no issues pairing the watch with formalwear.
Overall, the Revival Gunmetal Steel succeeds in what it sets out to do, which is to provide an avant-garde, integrated sports watch aesthetic that’s reminiscent of haute horogerie timepieces but at a fraction of the price.
Shootout – Kent Hall & Co Revival Gunmetal Steel vs Kredo Otus 2
If you’re on the hunt for an affordable, skeletonised sports watch, an alternative would be the Kredo Otus 2.
In terms of specifications, the Kent Hall & Co Revival Gunmetal Steel beats the Kredo Otus 2. The Revival Gunmetal Steel boasts a sapphire crystal, while the Otus 2 has a mere mineral crystal. And although both watches use Seagull skeletonised movements, the one in the Revival Gunmetal Steel features 41 hours of power reserve, as compared to the measly 13 hours of the movement found in the Otus 2.
Aesthetically speaking, I would say that the Revival Gunmetal Steel is the more striking out of the two, especially due to the beating balance wheel on display. It also has an integrated bracelet, the style du jour in watchmaking currently.
Given that both watches are similarly priced, I have to give the Revival Gunmetal Steel the win in this shootout due to its better specifications and more distinctive looks.
Conclusion – so is the Kent Hall & Co Revival Gunmetal Steel “shiok” or not?
All in all, I would say that the Kent Hall & Co Revival Gunmetal Steel is a good value proposition. For less than S$250, it features sapphire crystal and an automatic movement. It’s also eminently captivating due to its skeletonised dial and integrated bracelet, while the all-black colourway results in a stealthy and sporty look. That being said, it’s still a tad rough around the edges, and one can see the areas in which corners were cut (namely the bracelet, the mismatched clasp, and the hands). Furthermore, I’m worried about the dark coating on the Revival Gunmetal Steel wearing off/getting scratched over time, as is usually the case with more affordable watches. Personally, I would go for the regular stainless steel Revival Nobility instead, which in my opinion looks even more striking due to the contrast between its blue dial and the steel case/bezel.
For those interested in purchasing any of Kent Hall & Co watches, you can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 10% off all watches on the Kent & Co web-store. After the discount, the Revival Gunmetal Steel (and its other colourways) would cost just $179 USD/ ~S$245, which makes it possibly the most affordable mechanical integrated sports watch with a skeletonised dial on the market.
Update: The Kent Hall & Co Revival can be had for just $244 on The Shiok Shop – an unbeatable price.
View the Kent Hall & Co Revival Gunmetal Steel here.
View the full Kent Hall & Co Revival series here.
Movement: Seagull skeletonised automatic movement TY2806
Power reserve: Approximately 41 hours
Glass material: Sapphire
Case material: 316L Stainless Steel
Case diameter: 41mm
Case thickness: 12mm
Case colour: Brushed matte black with polished bezel edges
Dial colour: Black
Strap type: Integrated stainless steel bracelet with deployant clasp
Water resistance: 5 ATM/50m
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wah so Shiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!
P.S.S.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.