I’ve worn a watch ever since I was eight or nine. My very first was a little kid’s mechanical Timex (I had to wind it every day!) with a black and grey fabric strap—probably unisex or intended for boys, and I clearly recall an annoying little boy at the playground mocking me for wearing a boy’s watch! I probably said something like, “So what?” and brushed it off (he didn’t bother me again after that).
But the fact that this interaction has stayed with me for thirty years indicates that it did indeed mean something to me. I only remember one other similar instance as a kid: I was a big fan of the Gobots cartoon, and I vastly preferred its comedic tone to the overly serious Transformers, which it was obviously ripping off, but I didn’t care one bit.
Now, anyone who grew up as a kid in North America in the 1980s and early 1990s knows that you would carry a plastic lunchbox + Thermos to school every day. These lunchboxes were sold in masses every September, and they were branded with all kinds of toys, cartoons, movies, TV shows, etc. I remember having one with Garfield, possibly one with Snoopy, maybe one with My Little Pony (which I loved but I shied away from overly girly things in my childhood), and most definitely one with my beloved Gobots:
Anyway, the first day back at school, I merrily carried my lunch in my new Gobots-emblazoned lunchbox. A few boys said something like, “Why are you carrying a Gobots lunchbox?” I merely said, “I like them.” And that was that.
What was I talking about?
Right—I love watches! I used to have quite a little collection of quartz watches back in my twenties, with a different watch for every mood and outfit. I don’t care if smartphones can tell time. I like a watch and I’m damn well going to wear one.
In my thirties, however, I’ve pared down my watch collection because I’ve gotten tired of replacing watch batteries in ten different watches every couple of years. At the moment, I have an everyday digital beater (Casio Baby G), a Swarovski-bedazzled dress watch (Citizen Eco-Drive), and my favorite, an automatic Hamilton from my husband. Thus, only one watch runs through batteries quickly (the Casio) and it’s so cheap that I basically just replace it every few years.
And yet, I always look at watches and am sorely tempted to pick up the interesting designs I see.
When Alberta, Canada-based Monthly Watch Club recently contacted me to review their product, I thought it was such an interesting concept and wondered if it could wean me off my minimalist watch ways again. They are a newer subscription box that initially started with men’s watch styles—this summer, they expanded to include women’s watch styles, as well.
Their subscription box costs CA$39.99 a month, which is inclusive of sales tax (a better deal if you live in a province with higher sales tax!). Shipping is an additional $7 within Canada, and $15 for the US. Each month, you are sent a new watch—either men’s or women’s, depending on which box you’re subscribed to. There are also discounted prepaid subscriptions available for 3 months ($38.33 per watch), 6 months ($36.67 per watch), and 12 months ($33 per watch).
The watches are sourced from all over the world, and every subscriber receives the same style each month. They are labeled as “Monthly Watch Club” brand, and don’t worry, the “MW” logo is perfectly classy and unobtrusive. A 100 day warranty comes with every watch.
To me, a $46.99 watch—after sales tax—seems like it’d be quite a cheap thing. But I was quite pleased to see that what I was sent for review was an attractive watch with a unique face design, with a leather strap, to boot.
I’m also going to admit something fairly silly on my part. When the watch arrived, its hands appeared to be set at 10:10, which is very standard for watches on display. I did think it was a bit unusual for the crown to be placed on the left, but that’s not completely out of the ordinary—after all, left-handed people wear watches, too. The logo being at the 6 o’clock position also raised an eyebrow, but again, it’s not completely unheard of and I thought it looked good!
Well, it turns out that I was wearing the watch upside down for an entire day. I even took pictures for this review with the watch upside down. You see, there’s nothing about the design (no numbers or words) that clearly indicate the logo should have been on top. Frankly, I kind of liked it better upside down, if only because the end of the strap ends up on the “bottom” of my wrist instead of the top! But yes, I did go back and take proper photos of the watch right-side up.
Hmph. Who displays their watches at 8:20, anyway?
Here it is, worn properly:
With a 41mm diameter, this watch is obviously just a smidge big for my wrist. I personally don’t like to go over 34–36mm, but at least with this watch, the lugs are short so it doesn’t exacerbate the large-face issue for me.
I really like the floral design around the edge of the face! The main drawback to me is that the color choice for the hour markings and the hands is poor—it’s all black on black! It’s really hard to read at a glance, and I need to tilt it in the light to read the time properly. Monthly Watch’s male watch for October 2017 has the same issue.
Call me crazy, but I like a little function with my watches, too.
The strap is, as I mentioned, made of leather, which is a very nice touch. The leather is a bit stiff, but once I wore the watch a couple of times, it softened up nicely. I do like that the rest of the watch design is a bit spare, and even masculine, as it juxtaposes well with the girly pink floral design on the face.
The watch parts all seem solidly made, with attractive matte finishes. The overall weight of the watch is good, not too light nor too heavy.
The following two photos are from when I had the watch on upside-down, so just imagine the buckle flipped on the wrist:
On the technical side, the watch uses a Japanese quartz movement—the most commonly used timekeeping technology.
I have to say that overall, I think this Monthly Watch Club subscription would be a great idea for anyone who likes to change up their watches a lot, and doesn’t want to spend upwards of $100 and more on a cool new watch.
The watch I was sent is certainly in the style that I would have been happy to drop some money on (more than $39). I’ve actually ditched my Citizen for now, and have been wearing this watch a lot more. It goes really nicely with my black trench!
My main suggestion for the company would be to make the watches a bit more readable! Personally, I’d also prefer more color and whimsy, as I’m far more likely to impulse-buy a trendy watch from designers like Kate Spade, Betsey Johnson, and Swatch than I am to doing the same for a classically-style watch. If I want a classic watch, I’ll just save for a really great one, since I’d want it to last me a very long time.
It would also be cool for the company to consider doing bi-monthly watches, where you get a watch every two months, but the cost of the watch goes up to $78 instead.
Monthly Watch Club are currently running a sale—the code CYBER35 will get you 35% off everything, including past months’ watches that you can buy individually.
The store also sells gift cards up to $100, which would be a great idea for the casual watch lover on your holiday list!
As a final note, Monthly Watch Club works with Kiva to help entrepreneurs around the world.
Monthly Watch Club’s November 2017 Female Watch has a metal alloy case, glass face, and leather strap. The case diameter is 41mm, strap length is 25.5 cm, and weight is 45 g. The movement is Japanese quartz. Without a subscription, the retail cost is CA$89.99.
Monthly Watch Club is based in Alberta, Canada. The male watch subscription service has been around for about a year; the female watch subscription service began in July 2017.