Review: Atticus Téleios inspires nostalgic punk rock attitude
The inaugural release of new microbrand Atticus took me on a punk rock trip down memory lane. What does a dressy sports watch with design cues borrowed from familiar historic timepieces have to do with four-chord punk rock played by four dudes from Queens, NY? Stay with me.
The Ramones arguably saved rock and roll music from the muddled radio rut of the mid-1970s – which seemed hopelessly stuck in a loop of disco, yacht rock and the smog of post-hippie confusion. The pseudo siblings came along and dragged music kicking and screaming back to the raw and exciting roots of rock music – back into the garage with Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley. The punk experience was simple, loud and cartoonish – the band had an undeniable shtick. They all donned shaggy bowl cuts, a black and white aesthetic completed by black leather jackets, and played blisteringly short-but-catchy rock songs.
This raw simplicity mixed with nostalgia worked so well for the Ramones, it cemented their legacies as godfathers of punk who heavily influenced other genres of rock music. But they weren’t reinventing the wheel; the Ramones were basically an homage band – a tribute to the trailblazing rock and rollers of the 1950s.
When Atticus founder Rusty Mahony sent me pictures of his prototypes, I immediately connected with the black-and-silver dialed Téleios. It had the same impact that seeing Johnny Ramone’s infamous black and white Mosrite guitar.
Homage haters are quick to dismiss familiar looking pieces as a lack of creativity. I would argue that execution of those details can make an homage piece stand out. Much like the punk pioneers of the 70s, the budding microbrand industry is using familiar designs and twisting in different flavors.
Hey, Ho, Let’s Go:
The Atticus Téleios, part of the “Adventure” series, borrows case design cues from classic Rolex, Tudor and other brands from the 1940s and ‘50s. There’s no denying the clear influences. But as we move into the dial details and design choices, we can begin to appreciate some of the charm and individuality of this piece. A radial brushed silver outer ring separates the all-black center – giving an eye-catching contrast to the dial. The simple polished hour markers are completed with a small lume markers placed just above. (Rusty says a very slight misalignment of the lume plots will be addressed in production models).
The dagger hands fit beautifully with the overall aesthetic with polished edges that match up perfectly with the hour markers. A slim polished second hand with diamond-shaped lume plot glides smoothly around the dial thanks to the high-beat Miyota 9015 movement found inside. The date window is legible without distracting from the overall design thanks to a matching black color.
While the Téleios case may look familiar, it has far-from-generic finishing touches. Fine brushing mixes with polished beveled edges for an elegant but sporty look. Microbrands in recent years have made huge leaps and bounds in overall finishing, and this case is a prime example of the high quality small producers are now able to achieve.
The bracelet finishing is also excellent. While I tend to prefer screw-in links for adjustment, I had no problems sizing the pin setup links. It’s one of those preference things that should not bar anyone from enjoying a watch. You just get used to the differences and make sure you have the necessary tools for the job. The prototype included plenty of links for the large wrists out there and micro adjustments on the folding lock clasp for further fine fitting.
The Adventure series includes five iterations which all offer date – and no-date options, as well as different color and dial choices. Check out all the options at http://www.atticuswatch.com and sign up to be notified about launch details.
Case Diameter: 38mmCase
Height: 11mmWater Resistance: 10ATM/100mCustom bracelet with a 20-16mm taper
Movement: Japanese Miyota 9000 Series
In-stock Price: $700
Pre-order Price: TBD (but likely between 400-500 USD)
Pre-order start: TBD
Expected delivery: TBD
The Atticus Téleios is a charming throwback that introduces some playful updates much in the same way the four-chord savvy Ramones reinvigorated the rock and roll genre. It does so without pretension and by sticking to time-tested design while adding its own unique flare. I think this versatile watch would look damn good with either a sports coat or a leather jacket.