LEGO Multistud Watch review
I've had my eyes on one of these for a long while, though never got around to really doing anything about it...
However, with full disclosure, the very kind people at Clictime unexpectedly asked me if I would like one to wear! There haven't asked me to do anything other than give them a little feedback on it, so I thought what better way than do that than a review?
OK, unboxing videos are usually fairly uninteresting, but the one thing that isn't on the website are any pictures of the box that these watches come in.
Whilst it is, yes, a cardboard box - it's a very pretty and sturdy one and yup, that's a real 2x4 plate as the clasp. Which opens up to show you....
Not just the watch, but also 3 extra bezels, 2 extra straps and 8 additional coloured links. Oh, and a lovely little pillow to present the watch. This is actually the second adult LEGO watch we've had, as I did buy the 'Be Mine' version for Mrs E a while back. They certainly make lovely gifts :-)
Of course though, you're not reading this for a review of a box - lovely as it might be. How's the watch? Well - a bit of background first:
I don't change watches very often but I do wear a watch pretty much every day. For the last couple of years I've been wearing a Citizen EcoDrive watch. Not a monster expensive watch considering what you can pay for a timepiece, but certainly not cheap! More to the point though, I spent quite a while deciding exactly which watch to wear. Style, size, colour and features were all on my list. Though of course - that one doesn't have 'LEGO' written on it! So, bear in mind that before I put this watch on, it had quite a lot to love up to.
First impressions of the watch are very positive. It's certainly a sharp looker. This model in particular comes in Red, Blue and Black - but Black is certainly the best looking to my eyes. The watch is very shiny and looks great.
Looking closer, whilst the face is glass, the changeable bezel is plastic with a metal band around the outside of the dial holding the thumbwheel. A metal back and clasp round out the watch - though the strap is 100% plastic (and, like all the LEGO watches, interchangeable).
The strap was actually my first slight disappointment. Whilst the plastic is very high quality - using a plastic strap on a classy, expensive black watch just didn't seem right. It's not bad by any means, but it just seems a little out of place. A plastic strap is also significantly lighter than a metal strap which subtracts something to me. Then again, I'm used to a watch costing twice as much and weighing twice as much too ;-) Oh, and I hate solid straps too - rubber or leather.
Once the watch is on, you do have to admit that it does look very smart. I've kept the bezel and strap links as black and I've already worn it to a few high profile meetings and TV interviews. No hesitation that it would look out of place there at all!
Like all the LEGO watches, you have the option with this one to change the dial bezel and strap links for a variety of colours. Changing the parts over is easily done - but hard enough so that there's no concern the watch would inadvertently come apart. At the moment there's no option to buy any of the watch parts separately - but as mentioned above - you have a few choices right out of the box.
I'm of course a geek - I like things with features and this watch has 4 dials :) Apart from the main dial which of course displays the time there are 3 smaller dials. If you closely, you'll see that they are laid out just like a 2x2 plate - even down to the LEGO logos on the studs. A very nice touch ;-)
Working left to right, there is firstly the Day dial. Very useful to me at long events because I have been known to forget what day it actually is. Or in a week when 'it's London so it must be Tuesday'!
In the middle is a 24-hour clock. This one always confuses me - whether on a LEGO watch or not. Does anyone really sit there and wonder if it's 6am or 6pm? I guess maybe they do, seeing as it's on every multifunction watch I've ever seen, but it seem very weird!
Finally, we have the date indicator. The dial is quite small, so only every other date is shown. Each of these functions are set by two positions on the single thumbwheel.
Whilst the multiple functions of the watch are really important to me (hence the Citizen choice - day AND date were essential), this is one area where the style beats the substance. It's not immediately apparent from the pictures online, but this is dark grey printing on black. And small. This sucker is HARD to read!
Oh - does it keep time well? I've no idea, I've only had it a few days but it seems OK so far!
So what do I think of the LEGO Multistud watch? Well, as I said earlier on I didn't actually pay for this one. So in one way it's fantastic! But what if I had paid for it?
The watch retails at £145. Not pocket change, but well priced for a good watch. My Citizen, for instance, retails at £400. So whilst this really isn't a totally fair comparison - lets see how it compares to my current watch:
My first concern - is it smart enough to wear out? The answer there is certainly yes. It's a looker and it says LEGO on it :-)
Next up - is it 'tech' enough for me? Well, technically yes. It has day and date and tells the time. All useful things to have and extras goodies such as radio time syncing etc I wouldn't expect to find here anyway. . However, it is let down by the...
Ease of use. Telling the time is easy - nice and clear. However, when I signed into a meeting yesterday I had to bring the watch almost up to my face to be able to tell the date. It would certainly affect the look of the watch - but I think changing the colour of the hands and smaller dials to white would make a real difference. A numeric date indicator would be ideal for me.
Finally, robustness and feel. I've worn my current watch for the best part of two years every day - including load-ins and load outs, heavy lifting etc. It has a sapphire glass face and full metal body and still looks as good as new. The LEGO Multistud watch is obviously largely plastic bodied which means that I'm going to be a bit more careful with it! That will limit when I decide to wear it. Personally, I'd also rather a metal (and heavier) strap too but that's likely to be personal preference.
Marks out of 10 then? Well, I'm going to go for a solid 8. If I opened this box on Christmas day, I'd be a very happy camper! For me, the watch sadly looses some points for the hard to read smaller dials and the non-metal strap, but it's certainly a quality product. If those aspects aren't of concern to you, I think you'd likely rate it alot higher.
Regarding value, I think the price is very slightly on the high side, but maybe only by £10 or so. In fact, with a full metal strap&body, plus improved dials, I'd personally be happy to pay up to £200 for it.
Slightly co-incidentally, if you'd like to give Clictime your views on their watches - they have opened up a survey so that you can let them know. 10 simple questions right here.
All in all, it's a thumbs up for the Black LEGO MultiStud Watch. Now, what else can I get with the LEGO logo on it? ;-)