November 27, 2022

There’s Always Room in My Wardrobe for a Classic Dress Watch

Bonvier’s Classic 40mm – which comes in several different color and strap combinations – fits the “classic dress watch” label perfectly. This version, which is steel on steel on black leather, reminds me of the attractive (and more expensive) Jazzmaster Day/Date.

Bonvier sent me this watch to review, and so I’ve spent the last few weeks wearing it, getting others impressions of it, and looking at it from behind my camera’s lens.

About the Miyota 2035 Quartz Movement

It’s hard to get excited about a quartz movement. It’s not that it isn’t a vital component of the watch (it definitely is), or that it’s value isn’t there (because it’s looking good there, too). It’s hard to get excited about a quartz movement at this price point because:

  • Most watches at this price are quartz, and
  • Most quartz movements are pretty similar

Just the same, the Miyota 2035 is a good movement. It’s claimed accuracy is to within 15 seconds per month, though toolwatch pegged this one at +6 seconds every 10 days.  +18 seconds per month is pretty good; if you’re looking for something that’s more accurate than that, you can spend another $75 on the Bulova Accutron II Alpha.

Bonvier Classic 40mm Build Quality

Build quality is good overall. I’m a little disappointed to see mineral used here, as other watches using similar movements and prices are coming with sapphire. I recognize that sapphire is traditionally more expensive, but when the Castle Corbel has it (and it’s priced under $100), and the upcoming Monsieur Watch Co. Marvin Collection has it (and it’s priced under $150 CAD), it stands to reason that it can be used in more affordable applications.

Bonvier Classic 40mm Aesthetics & Design

Bonvier Classic 40mm

Leaf-style hour and minute hands contrast against the rectangular hour markers; they’re subtle, but the choice to use them adds a layer of sophistication to the dial that couldn’t exist without them.

This polish exists on the sides, bezel, lugs, and most of the caseback.The highly-polished case grabs your attention almost immediately. It reflects and refracts light brilliantly; out of the box, it comes with an almost mirror finish.

Raised hour markers and printed 5-minute increments allow for easy timekeeping, and the raised markers add a layer of depth that most inexpensive watches are missing. I like these sunburst-style dials- they really light up beautifully in the right light. It certainly does a good job making the Bonvier look great.The dial, which is a brushed steel finish, refracts light similarly to how the Seiko Alpinist and Hamilton Pan Europ do.

Bonvier Classic 40mm Caseback

Crystal, Case, & Dial

Mineral and stainless steel is the combination of the day. I’ve said my piece about the crystal, and despite the fact that it’s not sapphire, it has held up fine. It doesn’t rise far above the bezel, so it’s not a target like the domed crystal on the Orient Bambino.

The case is done well, but I have to admit that I’m concerned about the finish. Watches with a mat finish tend to hide scratches and wear marks better; polished surfaces really know how to make a scratch pop. That said, the Bonvier still looks good after a few weeks of intermittent wear (probably around 40 hours of wrist time).

Under zoom, the dial looks great. The finish on the face looks good, and the hour markers and hands are free of defects that I can see.

Strap & Clasp

The strap is made of standard-grain Italian leather, and from my experience it’s actually one of the better straps I’ve worn in terms of wear resistance. It’s not the most comfortable I’ve worn, but it’s also far from uncomfortable. It still looks good after 40 hours of wear.

It’s one of the thicker straps; compared to the usual run of crocodile-grain leather varieties, this one is thicker by about a third. The stitching looks good, with no frays visible to my eye.

The clasp – a standard steel buckle – looks great due to its polish and the Bonvier lettering. It’s a fairly standard unit, but considering the price, it fits right in.

 

Bonvier Classic 40mm Clasp

The inoffensive styling continues throughout the sides, strap, and clasp. The strap, which is a standard-grain Italian leather, is as reserved as the rest of the watch is. I tend to prefer crocodile-grain leather, but to be honest, just about every watch released these days comes with a croc-strap.

The crown is absent of any engraving, but the clasp is engraved with Bonvier’s nomenclature. Like the case and dial, it’s inoffensive and classically styled- the script writing on the clasp looks classy and compliments the overall look.

In my mind, Bonvier has done a good job creating a nice looking, adaptive watch that will mesh with a variety of looks. It’s quite versatile.

This can be a hard part of the review to write, if only because it’s hard to remove subjectivity from the equation when assessing something like value.

Value is personal, and in my opinion, Bonvier has baked decent value into the Classic 40mm. From a materials perspective, it’s standard fare; build is good; presentation is nice, and I like the raised markers on the dial. It lacks complications, but it’s also not meant to be complicated, either.

Where I do see value is in Bonvier’s two year warranty. Industry standard is one year, and while I don’t see anything going wrong with the Classic, it’s nice to know that I’ll get at least a couple years of worry-free enjoyment out  of it.

All told, this is a fine looking watch that will last.