In a previous review, I said that it can be quite tricky to design a minimalist watch. Well, the same is true for watches that are the exact opposite and which have a ton of features. It can obviously be very difficult to balance a lot of complications without making the dial too cluttered. But Waldhoff has attempted to do just that with their Multimatic II. It’s a dressy automatic watch that’s available in several colours. The sample I have here is the Emerald version, and it retails for $789.
The Multimatic’s Many Complications
The watch is powered by the Miyota 9100, which has 26 jewels, a 40-hour power reserve, and a 4Hz beat rate. As most of us know, Miyota’s are known for their reliability, and the 9 Series are a solid choice for a mid-range automatic movement. This 9100 variant is equipped with a plethora of features. In addition to displaying the hours and minutes, the calibre has a date complication, a power reserve indicator, and three subdials displaying the day, month and 24-hour time. It’s a lot to cram onto a watch, but I think Waldhoff manage it rather well. And the reason I think it works is that the rose gold accents used on the sub-dials and hands contrast really well against the rich green of the dial.
A Detailed Dial
The design of the dial is rather complex, with the hour markers and minute track placed on a raised outer ring that serves to give the watch some nice depth. Meanwhile, the main dial is stamped with an interesting pattern that looks very art deco in style. I personally feel as though this over-complicates the dial somewhat, as there’s already a lot going on with the power reserve indicator and sub-dials. However, as I said earlier, I don’t think it noticeably impacts the legibility of those complications, which are on the whole pretty easy to read. The only exception is the 24-hour sub-dial at 6 o’clock, which doesn’t have any numbers printed on it, so it’s really difficult to tell exactly where the hand is pointing. Though, on a positive note, the sub-dial does feature a neat little globe printed on it that really pops against the green and gold of the dial. I must admit that the green is a bit too vibrant for me, but the Multimatic is available in several other more conservative colours, and the finishing of the dial is pretty good.
When it comes to night-time legibility, only the hands of the Multimatic are lumed. The hands on the sub-dials don’t glow too brightly, but the hour and minute hands have a stronger glow and are much easier to read in the dark.
The Multimatic’s Case And How It Wears
The case measures 41mm across and is 11.4mm thick, with a lug-to-lug of 47.5mm. With its thin lugs, the Multimatic II wears rather nicely, and it offers a good amount of presence on the wrist without being overpowering. The overall design of the case looks deceptively simple when viewed from the top, but it’s got an interesting side view with vertical brushed slats milled against a polished channel.
On its underside, the Multimatic has a display case back, through which you can see the Miyota movement. Waldhoff has gone to the trouble of having the movement’s rotor decorated, which helps to make both the movement and watch feel a bit more premium.
As it’s essentially a dress watch, the Multimatic only has 30m of water resistance, but it’s hardly the watch you want to take for a swim anyway. However, it does have a flat sapphire crystal that will provide decent scratch resistance.
When it comes to the leather strap, it’s nice and thick and feels pretty durable, but its faux alligator surface does feel a bit plasticky. The strap is also pretty stiff straight out of the box, though it will probably break in and soften with regular wear. Fortunately, the strap has quick-release spring bars, so it will be easy to swap it out for something more premium if that’s something you want to do.
Overall the Multimatic II makes for an ideal statement piece. It’s not too big, but it has a decent amount of presence and the punchy gold and green colour scheme of this option only enhance the watch’s eye-catching styling. The same goes for the intricate dial, and I think the stamped art deco pattern really helps to make the watch look more premium.
On the flip side, I think that the strap could be nicer and a bit more supple. I also feel that with a retail price of $789 (approximately £643), the watch is priced a little on the high side for the overall package it offers.
However, value is subjective, and the watch has a fair few points in its favour if you like the design. The movement and other specifications are all spot on, and the design is original, which is always good to see. So, if you like the look of the Multimatic II and are after a watch packed with complications, then it’s a solid pick.
You can read more about the Multimatic II on Waldhoff’s website here.