The Pompeak Gentlemen’s watch is the brand’s sophomore release. The model first started life on Kickstarter, where it got over 100 backers. Described by Pompeak as “the watch we would want to wear”, the Gentlemen’s watch is also the brand’s first automatic watch. Let’s see if it’s any good!
Pompeak – Video Review
For those interested in some hands-on footage of the watch, do check out my Youtube review of Pompeak Gentlemen’s below!
Pompeak – the Brand
Pompeak describes themselves as “an independent, British company born out of frustration with the poor offerings of the affordable watch market”. They further state that they “design the watches [they] want to wear, and work to make them as affordable as possible”.
I first heard of Pompeak when they launched their Debut Collection. I wasn’t impressed – they looked heavily inspired by MVMT’s chronographs. I dismissed Pompeak as a mere fashion watch label, and was thus pleasantly surprised when they announced the Gentlemen’s collection, a mechanical offering with an original design.
Without further ado, let’s delve into the review!
Pompeak Gentlemen’s – Build Quality
I’m pleased to report that the Pompeak Gentlemen’s has decent specifications for the price – it’s definitely a step (or ten) up from the Debut Collection!
Firstly, the Pompeak Gentlemen’s utilises a flat sapphire crystal. As aforementioned numerous times in my previous reviews, I’m a huge advocate of sapphire crystal due to their 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. In addition, the WR rating for the Pompeak Gentlemen’s is 100m, which should render it safe for most daily activities except prolonged submersion in the pool or the sea.
The Pompeak Gentlemen’s is powered by the automatic Miyota 82S5 movement, which is unsurprising given that it’s one of the only affordable open-heart movements on the market currently. It beats at 21,600 bph, hand-winds, has about 42 hours of power reserve, but does not hack. I’m usually not fond of the Miyota 8 series movements due to the stuttering of the seconds hand, but this issue was not present on the Pompeak Gentlemen’s that I received. I’ve no gripes with the movement – after all, you will find the same Miyota 82S5 movement in some of SevenFriday’s (substantially more expensive) models.
The metal bracelet of the Pompeak Gentlemen’s is pretty solid for its price point. The bracelet is crafted out of solid stainless steel (not those hollowed-out links commonly found on cheaper watches), and has a sturdy feel. There’s contrast in finishing too, with the links being alternatingly brushed and polished. The clasp is pretty clicks securely in place as well, with its hidden nature giving the watch a dressier feel. As compared to the bracelet found on ~S$500 Seiko watches, the bracelet of the Pompeak Gentlemen’s is definitely superior.
The Pompeak Gentlemen’s even features Swiss BGW9 Superluminova, which is a nice surprise. It’s actually decently bright and long-lasting, especially considering that it’s not a dive/sports watch.
Overall, the Pompeak Gentlemen’s ticks all the boxes that I personally look for in a ~S$500 watch. There’s sapphire crystal, a decent 100M WR rating, a reliable Japanese automatic movement, a well-crafted bracelet, and even Swiss Superluminova. Pretty solid stuff!
Pompeak Gentlemen’s – Design
However, it’s really the design of the Pompeak Gentlemen’s that sets the watch apart from its competition.
The Pompeak Gentlemen’s possesses a layered tapisserie dial that instantly reminds me of the iconic tapisserie dials of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oaks. The bottom layer features the radial tapisserie pattern with a slight sunburst texture, which plays very well in different lighting conditions and is immensely eye-catching. The Gentlemen’s comes in both a black dial as well as the blue dial (that I’m reviewing), but my choice will definitely be the blue dial variant due to its inherent attractiveness. In addition, the indices and dauphine hands are polished, thus further enhancing the striking nature of the dial. There’s also a printed railway pad that is reminiscent of dress watches like the Cartier Tank and the A. Lange & Söhne 1815. As a whole, it’s a very dressy dial.
In case you haven’t noticed, the Pompeak Gentlemen’s features an open-heart window, which allows the wearer to admire the beating balance wheel within. Combined with the dual-layered dial and the applied indices, the open-heart window gives the watch a significant sense of depth. There’s also an off-centred sub-seconds dial, an added complication that once again elevates the formal nature of the watch. I like the play of shapes too, with the open-heart window and the sub-seconds dial intersecting. Lastly, the words “10 ATM Water Resistance” is strategically placed at 7 o’clock – an intriguing aesthetic choice. Overall, the dial is detailed, but not clustered. There’s a lot going on, but everything comes together in a cohesive manner.
In the sunlight, the Pompeak Gentlemen’s absolutely shines (both literally and figuratively). The tapisserie texture of the dial is a wonder to behold, while the polished hands and indices gleam. Just look at how beautiful it is!
The case of the Pompeak Gentlemen’s is fairly angular, and polished to a gleam. The entire case is polished – bezel, casesides, lugs, crown guards, and even the crown! Again, the polished nature of the watch makes it suitable even for more formal occasions, though I wished more finishing techniques were on display here (for example, chamfered lugs or bevelled edges). Furthermore, the screw-down crown is signed, which is not always the case with ~S$500 watches. It’s well-sized as well, making hand-winding the Gentlemen’s an ease.
The 40mm case diameter of the Pompeak Gentlemen’s feels perfect on my 7-inch wrist. Personally, my preference is for 39-40mm watches, so the Pompeak Gentlemen’s hits that sweet spot. It’s small enough to be considered a dress watch, but big enough to still be considered a sports watch. It’s also relatively thin at just 10.4mm, which allows the watch to slide easily under a shirt cuff. I’m very impressed by how Pompeak was able to keep the watch so slim – in comparison, the Aries Gold El Toro (which also uses the skeletonised Miyota 8 series movement) is over 2mm thicker at 12.7mm.
All in all, I appreciated how the Pompeak Gentlemen’s serves the perfect balance of sport and dress. On paper, the Pompeak Gentlemen’s can be classified as a sports watch due to its 100M WR rating, screw-down crown, and stainless steel bracelet. You can wear the watch while swimming without any problems. However, due to its dial and polished aesthetic, it’s a very dressy watch as well, and fits right in even with a suit and tie. In this particular regard, the Pompeak Gentlemen’s reminds me of its luxury counterparts such as the Patek Philippe Nautilus and the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. Like them, the Pompeak Gentlemen’s is incredibly versatile, and could be a one-watch collection for some.
Shootout – Pompeak Gentlemen’s vs Seiko Presage SSA377J1
If you’re looking for a watch with a textured dial, an open-heart window, a sub-seconds dial, and comes on a metal bracelet, then the Seiko Presage SSA377J1 is in my opinion one of the best alternatives at the ~S$500+ price point.
In terms of specifications, both watches are fairly even. Both the Seiko and the Pompeak watches feature sapphire crystal, Japanese automatic movement (Miyota 82S5 for Pompeak, Seiko 4R39 for the Seiko), and a metal bracelet. However, the Pompeak Gentlemen’s does have a higher 100M WR rating – the Seiko only has a WR rating of 30M – and Swiss Superluminova, so if you’re planning on doing any water-related activities or if nighttime legibility is a priority, then the Pompeak Gentlemen’s definitely should be your pick.
From an aesthetic perspective, both watches are again pretty close. Both watches features a textured dial, applied indices, a polished case, an open-heart window, and an off-centred sub-seconds dial. They even have text placed similarly at 7 o’clock! If I had to pick one, I would probably still choose the Pompeak Gentlemen’s due to its dual-layered dial, which gives it a higher degree of depth. Personally, the tapisserie dial of the Gentlemen’s is more intriguing too.
Ultimately, both watches are priced similarly, and you can’t go wrong with either. However, the Pompeak Gentlemen’s does have a sportier vibe to it, and if you’re looking for a more versatile watch it will be the better choice. Nevertheless, the Seiko Presage SSA377J1 has the Seiko name on it, so if the history of a brand matters to you, go for the Seiko! If you’re looking to purchase the SSA377J1, you can purchase it over at H2 Hub, and use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” for 5% off.
Conclusion – so the Pompeak Gentlemen’s “shiok” or not?
I think the Pompeak Gentlemen’s is a well-made, well-designed watch. I’ve like the specifications – sapphire crystal, 100M WR rating, reliable Miyota 82S5 movement, a sturdy metal bracelet, and Swiss BGW9 Superluminova. However, what I love about the watch is its design. I adore the dual-layered tapisserie dial, the polished applied indices and dauphine hands, as well as the open-heart window and off-centred sub-seconds dial. It’s a great looking watch that is sporty and dressy in equal measures. My only knock against the watch is its price. It currently has an MSRP of 329 pounds/ ~S$580, which in my opinion is a tad high – 279 pounds/ ~S$492 would be a perfect price.
For those interested in the watch, Pompeak has kindly provided my readers with a discount code. Simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK” whilst checking out to enjoy 10% off all Pompeak watches! After the discount, the Pompeak Gentlemen’s can be had at a more palatable 296 pounds/ ~S$522. In my opinion, that’s a fair price for the watch, especially when considering the amount of detail and thought that the brand has evidently poured into it. The Gentlemen’s is a strong sophomore effort from Pompeak – I can’t wait to see what else this British watch microbrand has in store!
View the full Pompeak Gentlemen’s range here.
You can read other reviews of the Pompeak Gentlemen’s below!
|Case Material||316L Stainless Steel|
|Strap||21 mm Linked Stainless Steel – Silver|
|Movement||Miyota 82S5 (Automatic)|
|Size||40 mm Case Diameter10.4 mm Thickness|
|Water Resistance||10 ATM (Up to 100m)|
|Lume||Swiss BGW9 Super-LumiNova|
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wahsoshiok 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.