Elliot Brown Tyneham Automatic Watch | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Elliot Brown Tyneham Automatic Watch | Review

Practical, wearable and discreetly stylish, the Elliot Brown Tyneham is the sort of automatic watch we love, combining understated but elegant looks with go-anywhere, do-anything toughness

Why We Chose The Elliot Brown Tyneham Automatic Watch Rugged, stylish and wearable

We’ve been hugely impressed with all the Elliot Brown watches we’ve managed to get our hands so far – namely, the Canford, the Broadstone and the Holton Professional. Each, we felt, had a distinct identity, with rugged looks that clearly draw inspiration from military instrumentation and classic field or dive watches without looking too garish.

In many ways, they’re the antithesis of some of those oversized sports adventure watches on the market today. You know the ones – they have ridiculously large 45mm cases, chunky bezels and burly crown protectors, busy and confusing dials full of logos/multiple indices/motivational slogans, and a tiny, pretty much unusable button compass slapped on the strap too, just for good measure.

Elliot Brown’s approach is refreshingly different. The watches we’ve tested from the brand have all been eminently wearable and stylish in an un-shouty sort of way, while being tough enough to stay strapped to your wrist on almost any adventure. To borrow an old marketing tagline from another well-known watch brand, they just took a lickin’ and kept on tickin’.

The Tyneham has been designed with similar utility in mind. It’s a versatile automatic built for daily use, but with the same ultra-rugged build quality that characterises all EB watches. 

Photo: Chris Johnson

Who Is The Elliot Brown Tyneham Automatic Watch For?

As far as we’re concerned, there will always be a place for a classic field watch in the great outdoors, despite the advent of GPS watches, wrist altimeters and the increasingly ubiquitous smartwatch.

If you’re the sort of adventurer who just wants a rugged wristwatch that’ll keep good time, without worrying about temperamental tech and limited battery life, the Tyneham is for you. Similarly, if you’re someone with a sense of style who also appreciates well-built, quietly handsome kit, this is a watch that will undoubtedly speak to you.

It’s fairly compact, with a 41mm case, so it sits easily on most wrists. This houses a reliable, low-maintenance Miyota 9130 Japanese automatic movement, with a two-stage shock absorption system to protect it. It hacks and can be hand-wound. There’s also a subtle 42-hour power reserve indicator at 1 o’clock on the dial, making it easy to see the state of the mainspring winding.

Materials

Everything we look for in a quality watch is present and correct. That includes a stainless-steel case and bezel with a sapphire crystal. But in typical EB style, there’s far more to the components than that. For example, every Tyneham bezel is individually case-hardened for supreme scratch-resistance – apparently, it’s six times harder than marine-grade stainless steel. The anti-reflective sapphire crystal is also slightly recessed, with a bevelled circumference to protect the edge from chipping.

“There will always be a place for a classic field watch in the great outdoors.”

Our test sample was the handsome 001 model with the gunmetal-finished PVD matte stainless case, plus a matte black anti-reflective dial with white numerals and indices with matching date window at 5 o’clock. It’s fitted as standard with a diver-style rubber strap, with a heavy-duty stainless “EB” wide tongue buckle. The strap bars that fix the strap to the watch itself are solid stainless screw-in bars: highly unlikely to snap or come loose.

Flip the watch over and more exquisite details meet the eye. Even the inner surface of the rubber strap is finished with a contour line pattern borrowed from the depiction of Tyneham Cap on Ordnance Survey maps. This clifftop knoll is found on the Dorset Jurassic Coast, from which the watch takes its name. On our sample, the design was carried on to the solid caseback, but production versions feature a transparent exhibition caseback, enabling you to inspect the workings of the automatic movement.

Photo: Chris Johnson

It’s probably the most utilitarian of all the Tynehams in the range, with a slightly more ‘tactical’ look than the other models. But it’s still a watch you could easily dress up or down, making it well-suited to daily wear, whatever you find yourself doing.

Features

Though the Tyneham is more a field watch than diver, it has impressive water resistance, being pressure-tested to 300m. That exceeds a good proportion of specialist automatic dive watches on the market.

We’re also big fans of the lume, as a large proportion of the indices, markers and hands are liberally coated with 8 hour SuperLuminova, which glows a soft but highly visible blue at night.

In daylight, the distinctive white-on-black dial is easy to read, while the orange tipped seconds hand and power reserve hand add a nice pop that also improves legibility.

The knurled crown is positioned at 4 o’clock, so it doesn’t get in the way, and although it isn’t a screw-down crown, it has triple seals to ensure it remains fully sealed even when extended.

Conclusion

This is a rugged automatic with Elliot Brown’s trademark build quality and attention to detail. The £845 price tag makes it a considered purchase, and admittedly if you shopped around, you could probably find a lower-end Swiss-made watch with a Swiss automatic movement for similar money. But it wouldn’t have the go-anywhere, do-anything toughness of the Tyneham, and we also like the brand’s uniquely British design sensibility: something you just don’t get with many other watch brands.

“Flip the watch over and more exquisite details meet the eye.”

Anyway, if you offset the purchase price against the fact that this is an heirloom watch to last you the rest of your life, it starts to become far more justifiable. It’s also surprisingly versatile, thanks to its functional design, quietly handsome looks and very wearable proportions. If you do decide to splash out, and you should, we don’t think you’d regret it one bit.

Tester’s Verdict

Matt Jones, OM contributor and gear tester

“I love anything mechanical, which includes automatic watches. As such, I was desperate to get the Tyneham on my wrist and spend some time (pun intended) with it.

“It’s a great little watch. I was slightly concerned that the 41mm case would look a bit small on my fairly chunky wrist (I’m not fat, I’m just big boned, honest), but actually, it’s very well-proportioned, despite the deeper case design. It would still suit slimmer wrists I think, although the modest size (at least by modern mega-watch standards) also helps to give it a more classic ‘field watch’ feel.

Photo: Chris Johnson

“The gunmetal PVD case finish and the black rubber dive-style strap is a great combination, and my personal favourite of all the options available. The other colour choices and case finishes are definitely dressier, which might suit some, but I think the muted black looks subtle yet purposeful.

“The Japanese Miyota movement is just as reliable as you’d expect it to be, and the fact that it hand-winds and hacks gives it added versatility. I like the 40-hour power reserve indicator too, as you can see when it’s running down and wind the mainspring – or just put it back on your wrist! The Tyneham has already proved a great adventure companion, with a few details that I’ve come to appreciate the more I’ve worn it – like the bright blue lume, which makes it easy to check the time when you’re awake in a tent at 3am, listening to the rain hammering against your flysheet.

“The positioning of the crown at 4 o’clock is also a nice touch, as the sensible placement stops it from digging into your hand – something I noted with approval when scrambling down a pretty steep gully during the Outdoor 100 test weekend on Rhinog Fawr in Snowdonia.”

Photo: Chris Johnson

Elliot Brown Tyneham Automatic

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