Two years ago I was on a vacation in Amsterdam, when I came across a watch company I had never heard of: Fromanteel
On the last day of my trip, I was aimlessly shopping when I saw a display of nice looking watches in a window display. The shop was Monocle, a curated men’s shop from the company that makes a stylish men’s magazine of the same name. Past the leather and canvas goods, clothing and a selection trinkets and books was a jewelry case on the counter near the cash register. My eyes immediately shot to a watch called the ‘Amsterdam’. These were quartz watches, I was told, but were well appointed with a sapphire crystal, lovely design and bare the signature ‘Swiss Made’. A great breakdown of what ‘Swiss Made’ means can be found over at The Watch Lounge.
I like buying watches when I’m traveling, especially from small, local brands. One of the things that really made me want to take this one home was the GPS coordinates for Amsterdam underneath the brand on the dial. Right near where I had been the last few days. I love touches like that, and it reminds me of the trip each time I wear it.
I really enjoy the separate seconds sub-dial, lending a more upscale look to their watches; a smart move as it somewhat disguises the ticking of the quartz movement. The open date window, something that was recently made more popular by the Calibre de Cartier, also nods to an understanding of great watch design. The case has held up very well and maintains a polished finish, and the battery is still working several years later; things I would consider important for a watch which costs around $400. The crystal is still in perfect shape and seems to be a nice thickness. One last detail I enjoy is the yellow crown, its a happy color for a crown!
Although I didn’t love was the leather strap it came on, which was stiff and never broke in, it did look good when on the wrist. The only other negative and this is likely a fluke, is that somehow an eyelash as gotten on the face of the watch, which you can see in the pictures below, near 9 o’clock. I think the hair made it in during the casing process, as the watch has yet to be opened since purchase, and shook out of wherever it was hiding during the years of use. I plan to have it removed when I need to get the battery changed someday.
Overall, from my limited engagement with Fromanteel, it seems like a good mid-priced quartz brand with high finishing, lovely designs and features not usually seen in this price range. Although I don’t wear the piece as much as I used to, I’m glad it’s in my watch lineup and reminds me of a great long weekend in a fantastic city.