Name: Tanto X Cambiare
Reference: AL18000, AL18001
AL18000 – white dial with black minutes hand and red hours hand, black strap
AL18001 – black dial with white minutes hand and red hours hand, brown strap
Movement: Seiko Industries VD77 quartz
Dial: regulator type, main minute hand, subdial at 12 for hours, no seconds
Case: stainless steel satined, diameter 40 mm, height 9 mm
Case back: snap
Water protection: 3 ATM
Strap: genuine leather with buckle, 20 mm
Text on case back:
INTL. DESIGN REGISTERED • QUARTZ • AL18001 • SOLID STAINLESS STEEL • 30 METERS WP
Alessi watches are combination of Italian design and Japanese technology. Sounds almost as an ideal solution – best from both worlds. Still many (most?) WUS members will underestmate Alessi because it is a „fashion brand“, not a „real watch brand“ with a heroic history.
I would recommend a following very good reading on Alessi watches - The Dream Factory: Alessi by problem son.
Alessi watches are decent watches, designed and signed by top designers and produced by Seiko Industries (SII, one of the Seiko copanies). The price level of Alessi is very affordable, usually between 50 and 250. Most Alessi watches are quartz watches, but some models have automatic movement.
Here we have Alessi Tanto X Cambiare, designed by Franco Sargiani in collaboration with Stefano Roversi. This watch arrived in Alessi’s 2011 Fall Winter collection.
Tanto X Cambiare is a regulator type watch – there is a main central minutes hand and hours subdial at 12. Usually classic regulators have seconds subdial at 6, but here to keep the dial design as minimalistic as possible the seconds dial is omitted.
Two versions are available, white AL18000 and black AL18001. We take a closer look to AL18001 first.
The dial is absolutely minimalistic. I like very much the white long and narrow minutes hand. As there is no seconds hand at all, the minutes hand must be to set up and read very precisely.
In hours subdial only every third hour is indicated with a number. You can’t write all 24 numbers on this small dial. It would be possible to have every 2nd hour numbered (see Skagen or OTUMM ). It was designers choice to keep the dial as minimalistic as possible. It worsens a bit of readability, but not much.
Because of the very narrow rim this 40mm watch is looking slightly bigger. But with 9mm height this watch fits nicely under your cuff.
The hidden and small crown is not very convenient to operate. But with quartz watch you need the crown very rarely. So I fully applaud this solution – without visible crown this watch looks much nicer.
The lugs are uncommon. The 20mm strap surrounds and is screwed into a lug. Looks nice, but makes the strap difficult to change.
The genuine leather strap is very pleasant – thin and flexible, suitable for this watch.
The final question – which one, black or wite? Usually I prefer white dial versions, because I have anyway many black dial watches. Here I would say, I like black dial version Alessi more. For my taste this minimalistic design works better as white on black background, then black on white background. And, Arabic hour numbers are here better than Roman numerals.