Minimalist watch brand Uniform Wares has launched an update to their 300 Series chronograph. The new 302 Series combines a reliable quartz movement with an updated range of finishes and new leather straps. Uniform Wares has been around since 2009 and produces exclusively minimalist and highly legible watches which are clean, modern, and feature very sparse dial layouts.
The new 302 Chronograph offers a 42 mm wide steel case which is available in brushed steel, black PVD, or PVD rose gold finishing. The cases are lug-less and promote a very clean and modern aesthetic that pairs nicely with the pump-style pushers and crown for the chronograph and time display. The case measures 11.25 mm tall which should make the 302 very wearable and, due to the lack of traditional lugs, it should be a great fit for smaller wrists that want the visual punch of a larger and more bold watch. The 302 also uses a sapphire crystal and offers 5ATM of water resistance (50m) which is to be expected as these chronographs are not especially sporty nor designed for diving.
Powering the 302 is an ETA 251.471 quartz movement offering a three register chronograph display, 1/10th of a second resolution and a date display at four o'clock. The three register chronograph display spans running seconds (lower display), a thirty minute register (left) and split seconds register (right). The purpose of a minimalist chronograph always seems so compromised as I feel the small and almost completely unmarked registers will be hard to read with any speed or accuracy. The 302 does at least provide indication markings so you know what each sub dial is measuring. Additionally, it can be easily argued that Uniform Wares was out to make a stylish and distinctive watch which does not need to be the most utilitarian of designs. Fashion has its price, after all.
The 302 sells directly from Uniform Wares for £620 (roughly $975) which includes VAT. Buyers outside of the EU will pay £517 which, given the current exchange, will be $810 USD. There is no disputing the fact that for a simple quartz chronograph, the 302 series is on the pricey side, but I don't think this is a watch which one buys for its features or internal technology. Uniform Wares is a brand with a distinctive and recognizable style that is more important to their clients than the watches technical attributes (many of their watches do not feature a seconds hand, for example). Fans of minimal and modern design will likely overlook the quartz movement as the 302 Series will speak to their sense of style and contemporary taste. While I still prefer the simple two-handedness of the 250 Series, I can appreciate the successful design of the 302 which promotes legibility, practicality and the simplicity of a quartz movement.