Hello everyone, and welcome to another Singaporean review! On this shiok Saturday, I’m reviewing the Twilight Glint from new local watch microbrand, the Eliana Timekeeper.
This is my first time reviewing a ladies watch, and I’m quite excited to do so! There aren’t many watch microbrands out there focusing on the female market, so I was stoked when I found out that there was a local microbrand dedicated to making mechanical watches for ladies. The Twilight Glint from the Eliana Timekeepers is now live on Kickstarter, and you can view the campaign here. Let’s see if the watches are any good!
The Eliana Timekeeper – the Brand
The Eliana Timekeeper was founded in 2019 by Singaporean Sherrie Han. Describing itself as a “boutique ladies watch company”, the Eliana Timekeeper is dedicated to “pushing the boundaries of premium ladies’ mechanical timepieces by incorporating traditions typically associated with men’s watches, and working with the same suppliers as luxury brands.”
Like most watch microbrands, the brand was inspired by a personal problem Sherrie faced. Unlike the sheer number of mechanical offerings in men watches, Sherrie couldn’t find an affordable mechanical ladies watch for herself. She shared with me that most of the affordable ladies watches she could find were overdecorated with cheap quartz mechanisms, while mechanical offerings from the big brands (Longines, Omega, etc) were priced exorbitantly. Most ‘industry experts’ that Sherrie spoke to opined that women didn’t really care about the internal mechanisms of watches – they just wanted something that looked pretty. Sherrie disagreed, and believed that discerning modern women (like herself) are no longer content to settle for watches that are mere accessories. In fact, she believed in the market for mechanical ladies timepieces so much, she actually quit her day job as a lawyer to set up the Eliana Timekeeper – named after her first born daughter, Eliana.
Without further ado, let’s delve into the review!
Eliana Timekeeper Twilight Glint – Build Quality
One of Sherrie’s pet peeves was that women watches are often more style over substance. Thankfully, I can report that the build quality of the Twilight Glint is pretty good!
Firstly, the Eliana Timekeeper Twilight Glint 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. Furthermore, there’s AR coating on the underside of the sapphire crystal to prevent the bulk of nasty reflections. There’s also a rather interesting anti-fingerprint coating, which is meant to prevent fingerprint smudges on the dial. It’s something that I’ve personally not seen before on a watch – I thought that was rather cool! Elsewhere, the WR rating for the watch is stated at 30M, so one has to be careful about not bringing this one anywhere near water.
The uncommon Miyota 6T28 movement powers the Twilight Glint. Some specifications: the Miyota 6T28 movement has 21 jewels, is self-winding, hacks, and features 40 hours of power reserve. It’s one of the smallest mechanical movements on the market, and thus an appropriate choice for a petite ladies watch like the Twilight Glint. Many of the movements common in microbrands – Seiko NH35, Miyota 8 and 9 series, ETA, etc – were either too big or too thick to work in a small 28mm wide watch like the Twilight Glint. I think the Miyota 6T28 is a smart choice here, as it is relatively inexpensive yet also minute in size.
The Twilight Glint comes on a sturdy bracelet, which is nicely finished. In particular, I love the contrasting polished and brushed finishing, which makes for a nice juxtaposition in texture. I like the engraving of the Eliana Timekeeper brand logo – an hourglass – too! For added sophistication, there’s also a lovely butterfly clasp that allows one to both strap and remove the watch with ease. I have to say – this is probably one of the best bracelets that I’ve personally handled on a sub-$500 USD watch!
All in all, the Eliana Timekeeper is really well built for its sub-$500 USD price. It has an anti-reflective, anti-fingerprint sapphire crystal, a reliable mechanical movement, and a lovely bracelet. Compared to most other ladies watches in the sub-$500 USD price point – mostly fashion watches from brands such as Michael Kors/Coach/Gucci – it is undeniably much better built.
Eliana Timekeeper Twilight Glint – Design
The Twilight Glint comes in two dial variants – one with a void-black dial, and one with a linen dial.
Let’s start with the void-black dial variant first. It’s important to note that this isn’t your regular black dial. Instead, the dial is coated with carbon nanoparticles originally designed for high technology use by NASA. As a result, the dial absorbs an astounding 99% of light, resulting in a dial that Eliana Timekeeper describes as “blacker than black”, or simply, “void-black”. To my naked eye, I can certainly tell the difference between the void-black dial of the Twilight Glint and regular black dials. There seems to be a depth to the blackness of the dial that reminds me of the urushi dials found on certain Seiko Presages. It is also reminiscent of the Vantablack dials of H. Moser & Cie watches. According to Eliana Timekeepers, the void-black dial of the Twilight Glint is meant to evoke the blackness of space, of the galaxy and the cosmos.
Interestingly, Swarovski crystals are applied on the dial at the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions. Sherrie shared that it was her intention for the Swarovski crystals on the dial to evoke the image of stars shining in the night. I personally dig it – I think it’s quite a cool idea, and ladies in particular should dig the look. I should also point out that legibility is perhaps not a strong suit of the Twilight Glint, given the lack of minute markers on the dial. If you need to tell the time instantly, you might have trouble doing so on the Twilight Glint.
However, I’m not a fan of the open heart on the dial. If the dial is meant to evoke the stars shining in the night sky, I’m not quite sure what the open heart is supposed to represent. It doesn’t really fit into the celestial theme, and in my opinion a solid dial would have resulted in a cleaner look and made better sense. The open heart sector is a tad off-centered as well, which destroys the symmetry of the dial and triggers my OCD. I discussed this in person with Sherrie previously when she first passed me the watches, and she shared that she wanted the wearer to be reminded that the watch – unlike most women watches in this price range – has a mechanical, beating heart. I think the idea and motive makes sense, but it’s just lacking in its execution here for me.
The Twilight Glint also comes in a linen dial, which personally is my favourite out of the two. I love the texture of the linen dial, and it’s also a vintage inspired aesthetic that is very uncommon amongst modern releases today. I find the grey linen dial to suit the stainless steel case and bracelet brilliantly.
Like the void-black dial variant, swarovski crystals are applied on the linen dial as well to denote 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock. Again, there’s an open heart near the 6 o’clock. I much prefer the open heart here as compared to the void-black dial. The open heart integrates better with the silver/grey linen dial here. Again, there’s a lack of minute markers on the dial, so legibility and time-telling will not be the watch’s strong suit.
The watch also come with a coin edge detailing on both sides of the case. According to the brand, it’s an aesthetic that’s inspired by the design of vintage jewelry, in particular vintage rings. There’s also an onyx stone crown, no doubt inspired by the iconic sapphire cabochon crowns of Cartier watches. Together, I think it leads to a refined and sophisticated look that’s inspired by the design of jewelry, which should prove to be popular amongst ladies.
There’s also an exhibition caseback whereby one can view the beauty of the mechanical movement within. On the rose gold variant, whereby the movement is gold-plated, I have to say that it’s really a sight to behold. In addition, each watch is individually numbered (limited to 360 pieces each), with the serial number engraved on the caseback. I like this – I’ve seen other microbrands which simply put “1 of 50” on every one of their “limited edition” watches, which I find incredibly lazy. A unique serial number may seem like a small detail, but it’s certainly one that I appreciate!
Obviously, the Twilight Glint isn’t meant for my 7 inch wrist, so I included a wrist shot from the brand to illustrate how the watch wears on a woman’s wrist. At a mere 28mm wide, the Twilight Glint is petite, even for women watches. If small, dainty watches is your (or your missus) cup of tea, the Twilight Glint is perfect. It’s also relatively slim at 8mm thick!
Overall, I’m quite impressed by the design of the Twilight Glint. Both the void-black dial and linen dial variants of the Twilight Glint are intriguing, while the use of Swarovski crystals on the dial add a nice dose of bling to the watch without going overboard. I like the coin edge sides of the case too, as well as the oynx crown. Whilst I’m not that fond of the open heart on the void-black variant, I think it works well on the linen dial model. At a mere $486 USD, I have to say that the Eliana Timekeepers Twilight Glint packs a lot of aesthetic punch for its price!
Shootout – Eliana Timekeepers Twilight Glint vs Seiko Lukia Automatic SSA838J1
As aforementioned, it’s pretty hard to find an affordable (~$500 USD) mechanical watch for ladies. The best alternative I can think of is the Seiko Lukia line (which is targeted at women) specifically the SSA838J1.
In terms of specifications, both watches are similar. Both watches use a reliable Japanese automatic movement, and possess sapphire crystal to protect the dial. That being said, the Seiko Lukia does feature a 100M WR rating, as compared to the paltry 30M WR rating of the Eliana Timekeeper Twilight Glint.
However, I do think that the Twilight Glint triumphs over the Lukia in its aesthetics. Firstly, the Twilight Glint comes in a more petite 28mm size, as compared to the 34mm of the Seiko Lukia. Secondly, although both watches features an open heart design, I find the open heart to be better incorporated on the Twilight Glint, especially on the linen dial variant. In addition, I find the linen/void-black dial texture of the Twilight Glint to be more intriguing than the dial of the Seiko Lukia. Lastly, the Twilight Glint comes bejeweled with Swarovski crystals and an onyx stone crown, which I think would appeal better to the ladies. However, the Seiko Lukia does come with numerals and a minute track, so for those who prioritise legibility and time-telling, the Seiko Lukia may still be the better option.
Overall though, I have to crown the Twilight Glint the winner of this shootout due to its more intriguing design, as well as its petite size.
Conclusion – so the Eliana Timekeeper Twilight Glint “shiok” or not?
Definitely so. I genuinely think it’s one of the best, if not the best, ladies watch you can find for under $500 USD. It’s both style and substance. I find both dial variants – the void-black and the linen – to be intriguing, though my preference still leans towards the linen dial model. It manages to add some bling to the watch with its use of Swarovski crystals and an onyx crown, but it’s done in a tasteful manner. As I mentioned at the start of the review, there aren’t many watch microbrands targeting the female demographic – Eliana Timekeeper is one of the first to do so, but hopefully not the last!
For those interested, you can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 10% off all watches from Eliana Timekeeper’s web-store! After the discount, the Twilight Glint would cost $486 USD/~S$667, which I think is a fair price considering the build quality of the watch and the materials used. However, the promo code will only be valid for a month (until the end of August 2020), so if you’re looking for an affordable mechanical ladies watch for either yourself or your loved ones, act fast to snag the Eliana Timekeeper Twilight Glint!
View Eliana Timekeeper’s web-store here.
Watch Glass: Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective and anti-fingerprint coating
Watch Case: 316L Stainless Steel
Watch Dial: Brass coated with Singularity Black, Swarovski Crystal markers
Watch Crown: Synthetic Onyx stone
Movement: 6T28 Japanese Miyota Movement, 40 hour power reserve, 21 Jewels
Watch Lugs: 14mm
Water resistance: 3ATM
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wahsoshiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!
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