Joining the M, P, and V series watches, SevenFriday today introduces the all-new Q-Series, each with its own slick vintage industrial design aesthetic and automatic movements that have helped SevenFriday occupy a category of its own in the $1,000-$1,500 range. Having already played a part in designing a bespoke electric guitar for charity earlier this year, it was only a matter of time that SevenFriday parlayed those musical ambitions into a slice of its latest collection of affordable, industrial-inspired watches. Offering something new but carrying on the brand aesthetic, the SevenFriday Q-series isn’t a revolutionary model but it does all the things SevenFriday excels at in a solid package.
The SevenFriday Q-Series utilizes the same case and central minute hand found in the V series from 2015 (reviewed here), but introduces three new models (dial layouts, essentially), each with its own unique visual identity despite the similarities in construction. Returning elements include a 44mm stainless steel tonneau-shaped case with 30 meters of water resistance, SevenFriday’s lugless, Fast Strap Changer system, and customized Miyota automatic movement. The Miyota 2819 actually offers a central hour hand, but here SevenFriday has omitted it, using what would otherwise have been a second time zone display as the main hours, in a 24-hour format. We’ve seen a 24-hour dial on other SevenFriday watches, but a date display is a first for the brand. The Miyota 2819 runs at 3Hz, with 40+ hours of power reserve, and an accuracy of -20 to +40 seconds per day. The multi-level dial elements are visible at all angles thanks to a domed mineral crystal.
The SevenFriday Q-Series continues a formula that’s worked well for the brand thus far, and one that’s effectively spiced up the low-to-mid range watch segment with a striking, high-end look that comes at a fraction of the cost of many avant-garde luxury watches – a strategy that’s even earned the brand a nod from many watch snobs. Notice that each watch in the SevenFriday Q-Series does not differ merely in color accents, but includes other small details to further emphasize the design inspiration of each.
Leading the new SevenFriday Q-Series is the SevenFriday Q1/01 – part of SevenFriday’s “Industrial Essence” family, where a decentralized 24-hour ring and alternating brushed and sleek polished steel case pay homage to the stark, monochromatic analog recording instruments and mixing consoles found in the late Sixties – specifically, those used to bring The Beatles’ famed Abbey Road to life.
Joining the “Industrial Revolution” family is the SevenFriday Q2/01, and arguably where the Q series really shines, thanks to a series of contrasting finishes and warm, copper-colored dial elements that look like they were pulled straight from the bridge of a steamer in the early 1800s. It also carries the steampunk theme nicely with a brown suede calf skin leather strap with tonal stitching.
The SevenFriday Q3/01 and its “Industrial Engines” family is slightly more familiar territory for SevenFriday fans. Here, we have a black PVD-coated case and matching dial elements inspired by the engines of supercars racing in the annual Gulfrun in Bahrain. A tachometer-style dial is hardly unfamiliar territory for watch collectors, but it’s still nicely executed here, with the various layers, contrasting textures, and timekeeping discs that never stray too far from the pure, instrumentation feel.
SevenFriday’s founder, Daniel Niederer, was a little tired of the typically stuffy and stiff way the watch industry approached layout, as well as how it marketed watches. A former luxury watch distributor, Niederer shared with me that he felt some of the watch industry’s gross profits in their goods were out of line with manufacturing costs, as well as consumer expectations. He also hated how the brands he helped sell were stuck on (literally) the exact same old designs and advertising practices. Seeing tons of room for change and improvement, for Daniel, the only solution was take action himself.Starting SevenFriday–since it is to begin any new company–was a gamble. The thought of the brand was to produce a mechanical watch with a modern design around 1,000 Swiss Francs. SevenFriday noticed that lots of the traditional Swiss watch brands had completely abandoned this price section, leaving it open for others, like the Japanese to go into. The Japanese did enter it, but a number of the high-end (but maybe not the highest-end) Japanese watches have been strangely designed, despite being of a high quality and a fantastic value for its money.SevenFriday for a watch firm was really about being an experiment of whether one can successfully combine the efficacy of Japanese motions and Asian manufacturing with the refinement of European design. With such a polarizing industrial look, the introduction SevenFriday collection could have been a success or a complete failure. What SevenFriday was intent on doing was combining a conventional wholesale business model together with the capability for customers to purchase directly from the brand online.
As with the V series, the SevenFriday Q-series includes an NFC chip which enables the wearer to “authenticate” the watch through the brand’s mobile app. Of course, this is the same technology that evolved from RFID and now powers applications like Google Wallet and Apple Pay. But NFC is also the same programmable tech powering many types of household locks (for example), so being able to use your watch to not only pay for coffee in the morning but get in and out of your apartment is an extremely cool prospect. For the time being, though, SevenFriday will offer a mobile phone app where the user can quickly scan the chip and test it against SevenFriday’s database.
SevenFriday Q1-01, Q2-01, & Q3-01
As before, each SevenFriday Q-Series watch will be delivered in a wooden crate, starting at a price of $1,160 for the SevenFriday Q1, $1,190 for the SevenFriday Q2, and $1,220 for the SevenFriday Q3 – a slight premium to pay for the livery inspired by some of the fastest cars in the world. sevenfriday.com