Hello everyone, and welcome back to another Singaporean review! On this shiok Saturday, I’m reviewing the Genesis from new Singaporean microbrand Revere.
The Revere Genesis is slated to be live on Kickstarter on 2nd March, with an early bird pricing of $220 USD, or about S$290. Let’s see if the watch is any good!
Revere – the Brand
Revere is a homegrown effort, founded by three Singaporean young adults who were dissatisfied with the affordable watches they saw available on the market. “Being young, we have a limited budget,” one of the co-founders said to me when we met up. “We didn’t really see anything that excited us, that we felt were cool at the S$300 price point.”
And thus, after a long night of discussion over Discord during the Circuit Breaker period, the trio decided to invest a bit of money and strike it out on their own. Thus, Revere was born – the brand derives its name from the word “revered”, which is how co-founders want the wearers of their watches to feel.
The first model is the aptly named Genesis, and the brand lent a prototype to review. Do note that as this is simply a prototype, there will be some differences to the actual production model.
Revere Genesis – Youtube Video
For those interested in viewing some hands-on footage of the watch, do check out my video review of the Revere Genesis below!
Revere Genesis – Build Quality
The Genesis actually has pretty good specifications for its price.
Firstly, the Revere Genesis uses 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. Unfortunately, there’s no AR (anti-reflective) coating applied to the crystal, which can lead to unwanted reflections. There is a 100m of WR rating, which allows you to wear the Genesis in practically any situations that doesn’t involve prolonged water submersion.
The Genesis is powered by the Seiko NH38A movement, which is the open-heart, time-only variant of the ubiquitous Seiko NH35A. Revere tells me that they have consciously chosen the time-only NH38A movement – as opposed tot he NH35A – so as to avoid the “ghost” position of the crown. Some quick specs: the movement beats at 21600 vibrations per hour, has 42 hours of power reserve, contains 24 jewels, and is hacking. I’m a fan of the Seiko NH movements, and greatly prefer it to the Miyota 8 series movement (which is the alternative movement commonly seen with microbrand watches). Unlike the NH38, the Miyota 8 series movements are non-hacking, suffer from a stuttering second hand (some models), and in my own experience with the Miyota movements, are also more prone to accuracy problems. In contrast, the Seiko NH movements are as reliable as they come, and is one of the best bets at the S$300 price point. There’s an engraved rotor as well, which is not something that’s a given at this price point.
The strap that the Revere Genesis prototype came on was a leather/rubber hybrid, and to be honest it was pretty terrible. However, Revere has stated that this will not be the production strap, and instead they are currently sourcing for a calf leather strap supplier. I suggested for them to consider pairing the Genesis with a Kevlar strap, which I think would help accentuate the sporty, masculine vibe of the watch. The package Revere passed me also included a NATO strap (fitted with quick release spring bars) which will be included on production models. However, the fact remains that I’m unable to comment on the quality of the strap that will eventually come with the Genesis, though to be honest at its S$294 price point, it’s perhaps unreasonable to expect much – just get an affordable Horween leather strap from Nomadwatchworks and you’re good to go.
The Genesis does come with Swiss BGW9 Superluminova, which is a nice surprise given its price point. Though not the strongest lume I’ve seen (as compared to dive watches), the indices and hands glow a pleasant icy blue, and one should have no issues with telling time in the darkness on this watch.
All in all, the Revere Genesis boasts strong specifications for its price point. There’s sapphire crystal, a reliable Seiko NH38A movement, and Swiss BGW9 Superluminova. The only question mark is the quality of the Genesis’ eventual strap, though one can simply opt for a third-party option.
Revere Genesis – Design
The main allure of the Genesis, as bang-for-buck its specifications are, is actually its carbon case and dial.
Highly unusual at its price point, the Genesis features a carbon fiber dial. Carbon fiber is a material commonly used in the automotive world due to its strong but lightweight properties. The co-founders of Revere told me that they have always liked carbon as a material, having seen the material used in Hublot, Richard Mille, TAG Heuer, etc watches. However, the price point of those watches are prohibitive, and thus they set out to deliver carbon in a much more affordable watch. Here, the carbon fiber dial shimmers in the light, and is definitely eye-catching. There’s also applied indices – reminiscent of the baton indices found on the Rolex Datejust/Oyster Perpetual – that adds depth to an otherwise flat dial. I like the red seconds hand too, which adds a pop of sporty colour to an otherwise monochrome watch. However, I think the hands are way too thin, especially on a “sports” watch. Those slender hands look like they belong on a dress watch, not one that is inspired by Hublot/Richard Mille/etc.
Intriguingly, the Genesis possesses a “sandwich” case, with its forged carbon center sandwiched between a steel bezel and caseback. It’s definitely an interesting concept, again one that is inspired by its more expensive counterparts. Here, the forged carbon mid-case and lugs adds to the exotic, sporty feel of the watch, while the stainless steel bezel provides a striking juxtaposition. The bezel features four screws, undoubtedly a nod to the iconic Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. However, due to the thin profile of the bezel, the screws are barely noticeable, and in my opinion the watch would be better off either without screws (so as to avoid the “homage” accusation), or have a thicker bezel with beefier screws. I would have also liked to see a higher level of finishing on the bezel, such as vertical brushing (think Rolex Explorer 2 bezel finishing).
Viewed from the side, the unique texture of forged carbon is obvious and stunning. For those that have never owned a forged carbon watch – and at this price point, the chances are most of Revere’s customers hasn’t – this is bound to be a conversation starter. We do get a signed crown as well in polished stainless steel, which forms an appealing contrast against the forged carbon mid-case. Nevertheless, I do wish that the crown is slightly larger, and perhaps screw-down, which would no doubt aid in a higher WR rating.
At 41mm wide, 11mm thick and with a lug-to-lug length of 48mm, the Revere Genesis is actually relatively svelte as compared to some of the watches (cough, Hublot Big Bang) it draws its inspiration from. The Genesis is very wearable on my 7-inch wrist, and I found no issues pairing it with a suit – it slides easily under my shirt cuff. It has fittingly modern proportions that thankfully doesn’t veer towards the ostentatious and unwieldy sizes of most sports watches.
Overall, the Genesis is a compelling watch due to its usage of a carbon fiber dial and a forged carbon mid-case – something virtually unheard of at its price point. It’s a sporty, exotic watch for sure, and is a definite conversation starter on the wrist. Is it perfect? Honestly, no – there are certain elements that come across as amateurish in design. That being said, the Genesis is not even in production yet, and Revere still has plenty of time to implement design improvements.
Shootout – Revere Genesis vs Blacklist Stinger
If you’re looking for an affordable, sporty watch with a carbon fiber dial, then the Blacklist Stinger is probably your best alternative.
In terms of specifications, the Revere Genesis definitely beats out the Blacklist Stinger. For one, the Genesis uses a sapphire crystal, while the Stinger merely has a sapphire-coated mineral crystal, which is significantly less scratch-resistant. The Genesis is also powered by a Seiko automatic movement, while the Stinger ticks along with its ETA Quartz movement.
Aesthetically speaking, I would have to say that the forged carbon mid-case and lugs of the Genesis give it a more exotic look as compared to the Stinger, which appears more generic in comparison. However, I do like the broader hands of the Stinger, which I feel fits the vibe of a sporty, racing-inspired watch better than the slender hands of the Genesis. Revere, please thicken the hands on your watch!
Still, the Revere Genesis has better specifications, as well as a more eye-catching design due to its use of forged carbon. As such, I’ll probably pick the Genesis as the winner out of the two watches in this shootout.
Conclusion – so the Revere Genesis “shiok” or not?
I think Revere has a diamond in the rough with the Genesis. Make no mistake, there are multiple areas for the brand to work on – finding a better strap supplier, having broader hands and bezel, and perhaps implementing a larger screw-down crown. The good news is that there is time for Revere to work on these issues, given the pre-production stage of the Genesis. Ultimately, I do think that there is enough here presently to make the Revere Genesis a compelling watch. The specifications are great for the price, the carbon fiber dial is striking, and the usage of forged carbon in the construction of the Genesis is practically unheard of at this price point. The founders’ goal was to develop an affordable watch that captures the sporty, exciting look of Hublot, Richard Mille, TAG Heuer, etc carbon watches, and in that regard I think they have succeeded. At the very least, it’s not another generic affordable dive watch on Kickstarter!
For those interested in the Revere Genesis, do keep an eye out for the project when it goes live on 2nd March. The Early Bird pricing is $220 USD/ ~S$290, which is a good price considering the Genesis’ specifications and usage of carbon in both the dial and case. If Revere can sort out of the kinks on the prototype, the brand will have a great launching pad for its models to come.
Revere Genesis Update
Right after I finished writing this article, Revere got back to me and said that they would be implementing several changes to the design of the Genesis.
The hands and hour markers are now thicker, thus making them more fitting for a sports watch. Printed minute markers have also been added for easier time-telling. The words “automatic” will also be printed on instead of applied, and the Revere brand name has been eschewed in favour of a sleeker look. In addition, Revere stated that they will be going with a screw-down crown instead of the push-pull one on the prototype, though it is unclear if that will result in an increased WR rating. Slight changes in the dimensions of the crown will also be made to make it look less obtrusive. Finally, there will be satin-brush finishing present on the stainless steel bezel of the Genesis.
Case: 41mm Forged Carbon Fibre with 316L Stainless Steel Core
Crystal: Flat Sapphire Crystal
Lume: Swiss BGW9 Superluminova
Bezel: 316L Stainless Steel with Satin Finish
Movement: Seiko NH38A with Engraved Rotor
Dial: Carbon Fibre Twirl with Stainless Steel Indices
Caseback: Sapphire Crystal Exhibition Caseback
Water Resistance: 10 BAR / 10 ATM/ 100M
Crown: 316L Stainless Steel, Signed/Engraved Crown with Revere Logo
Buckle: 316L Stainless Steel, Engraved with “REVERE” text
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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.