Perrelet and Sung Kang develop a sporty driver’s watch that evokes high tech turbo power, pedal-to-the-metal redline driving, and drifting — via a spinning turbine and other design cues.
I liked the SKLE watch very much, despite my usual preference for smaller watches.
It is the first 44 mm watch I’ve strapped on my wrist that felt comfortable immediately. I attribute that to the flexible strap, long curving lugs, and tapered case (the part touching the wrist is 41 mm).
It’s very amusing to flick your wrist and see the turbine disappear in a blur of motion. I predict owners will look at their wrists more, and notice the time less, than with any other watch they wear. It’s hard to describe this and very difficult to photograph the turbine, as the camera usually “stops” the motion.
You’ll just have to watch the video – or try it on for yourself. Beware of triggering an repetitive motion injury or crashing into another car, as I predict you will be compulsively twisting your wrist … 🙂
This is Way Rightly Cool!
Looking at the dial you can see the ’12’ has been rotated to the 2 o’clock position. This design choice places the ’12’ close to the top when you are driving and your hands are at ’10’ and ‘2’ on the steering wheel. It makes the watch easier to see at a glance, especially if you are wearing long sleeves. The large photo indicates 2:46 pm and not 4:56 pm. Most users quickly take to this new orientation while others will have to look twice. Luckily, if you wish, you can ignore the numerals and set the hands as you would on any analogue watch.
There is a trick little flip-out tab on the crown that makes it possible to set the time without removing the watch from your wrist, otherwise it would be impossible because the crown is recessed. The latch effectively locks the crown in position. Way Cool again!
I have a 7 3/8” wrist and the buckle felt best in the 3rd of 9 holes. There’s plenty of adjustment, no matter what your wrist size. It’s a bit thick to fit under cuffs, which is a good reason to keep your cuffs pushed up and play with the watch more often.
Overall, this was a really fun watch to wear. It gets noticed by those around you, feels extremely solid, should stand up to fast driving and recreational use, AND keep you amused at stoplights.
This review was aided by Perrelet with a pre-production watch loaned just before series production.
For the technical aficionados, please read on for more detailed facts and figures …
The Numeral 12 is rotated 60º degrees to the right which puts the 12 nearly upright when a driver’s hands are at 10 & 2 on the steering wheel.
The dial uses a modern, san-serif font on the 6 numerals which sit on raised platforms, above the turbine. If you hold the watch by the strap, the bases of 8-10-12 are oriented towards the center; while the bases of 2-4-6 are towards the outside of the dial. The metal-outlined numerals are filled with white glow-in-the-dark material called Superluminova.
On a larger diameter circle above the main numerals, small white numbers indicate hours 13-24. Minute markers and SWISS MADE fill the remaining space. Beneath the turbine is a circularly-brushed silver dial fastened to the movement with tiny Allen head screws. The center of this dial is finished in black perlage which is best inspected with a loupe. The 10-minute interval numerals on this dial sit horizontally. A scale at the outer edge is colored White for 180º, Yellow for 60º and Red for 120º to imply the main, yellow and redline regions of a tachometer.
A crisp modern shape is used for the hour and minute hands. The yellow second hand adds color to the dial while its tail evokes the shape of the larger hands. The 10 revolving turbine blades are coated in matt black, and are weighted so it always stops with the blade marked “SK” at the bottom.
The turbine blades are an unmistakeable feature of the watch. With a slight motion of the arm the blades begin spinning so quickly you cannot see them. In my tests the blades continued moving for as long as 25 seconds for one flip of the wrist. The hub of the turbine has a bi-directional arrow embossed in it, and on one of the blades you’ll find the discrete SK. The watch’s design inspiration came from a collaboration between actor/driver Sung Kang along with the design team at Perrelet.
As mentioned earlier, the recessed tab/handle on the crown flips out to assist in winding. When it is closed, a spring-loaded ball keeps it shut, and the tapered case shape envelops the crown to ensure it is secure.
The movement is readily visible through the rear sapphire glass. The tapered shape of the case means the movement appears proportionally-sized, and makes the watch “wear smaller” for comfort, while still projecting a strong impact from the front.
Beams rise out of the bottom of the case and wrap around the top, gripping the smooth bezel. They protrude above the 6 main numerals and draw your eye to them. Shorter, matching shapes appear to be third lug retaining the strap, but they are on top only and do not impact the spring bars (as you can see from the back).
STRAP & BUCKLE
A matching black metal tang buckle is fitted. The rubber strap, which is flexible and looks like a semi-slick tire, is integrated to the lugs and extremely comfortable. Stylized Ps are molded into the strap on the inside and outside.
Several other watches in the Turbine line-up are fitted with leather straps, thus Perrelet can supply a choice of straps if rubber isn’t ideal for all wearing situations.
NIGHT TIME VIEWING
The superb luminous material utilized on the hands, numerals and markers glows bright blue-green and easily visible at night. This image was taken in a dark room after only 5 minutes of outside exposure.
The Perrelet P331 movement has 25 jewels and is machine-finished in a pebbled style, unlike other watches in the line using the same base. It suits the movement and the theme of the watch. After assembly, it is adjusted for timekeeping accuracy in 6 different positions, and then in hot and cold temperatures — all to ensure good performance on the wrist. The watch will run for 42 hours after being fully wound.
I have only a very minor list of issues: No date on the dial, the three-lug style will reduce the number of strap choices for folks who like to try various after-market straps and the rear rotor could be more interesting. After much debating, the AlphaLuxe crew couldn’t decide if we preferred the 12 and 2 both the same way up, or rotated as they are now. Nit-picking, I know. But that’s a good thing.
There’s very little to complain about, and much to love.
If you love machinery and want a sporty, modern, unique watch with a celebrity connection, this is a watch to consider seriously!
- Calibre = SOPROD / Perrelet #331 w/25 jewels; adjusted for temperature & 6 positions
- Case = black PVD-coated stainless steel
- Caseback = retained with 6 screws
- Crown = recessed in case; accessed with a flip-out handle
- Strap = 26 mm rubber with Perrelet logo; retained with spring bars; 9 holes
- Buckle = black tang-style
SPECIFICATIONS & COMMENTS
- Diameter 44.0 mm = fine for medium to large wrists
- Height 13.3 mm = moderate thickness
- Weight 131 gms = light for its size; vs 140 gm for stainless steel Daytona on bracelet
AUTHOR BIO: Michael Roeder
Michael is a contributor on the AlphaLuxe web-zine.
Michael is also editor and Seiko moderator on the PuristSPro.com watch site. Although retired now, his “day job” was working with publishers of automotive technical data, to create better resources for professional technicians. Over 40 years, he has written and edited hundreds of boring, but money-making, books. His latest book, 1000 Whales in 1 Year, is fascinating but makes no money, and all the whales were spotted less than 10 miles from his coastal California home.
He is definitely a collector, with more than 100 watches and clocks ticking in his home and workshop. His other passions include books, Russian icons, oriental carpets, Citroen cars and Michelin memorabilia. When not collecting things, Michael enjoys cycling, boating, driving and cooking.