Disclaimer: These watches were sent to me to review, and I am not required to return one after my review is complete. This watch was given to me without restriction and is not contingent upon a particular outcome for my review. All opinions here are my own, and Second Hour had no influence over the opinions stated here.

Second Hour Memoir: https://www.secondhour.com.au/shop/p/the-memoir

Straps Featured

Second Hour Memoir Red & Delugs Navy Minerva Box Signature Strap 20mm – https://delugs.com/collections/ready-stock-straps/products/navy-minerva-box-signature-strap

Second Hour Memoir Black & Delugs Denim Alcantara Signature Strap 20mm – https://delugs.com/products/denim-alcantara-signature-strap



Second Hour, an Australian microbrand led by husband and wife duo Peter & Akira, has come to be a notable player in the microbrand industry over the last five years. This brand has become known for their creative approach to design, and has caught the attention of a lot of enthusiasts, particularly through their creative use of geometric shapes and a distinctive balance of asymmetry with symmetry in their watches. Among their models, the Mandala exemplifies this design philosophy, distilling that intricate balance and the elemental design philosophy that Second Hour seems to infuse across their collection. I have previously reviewed the first generation Mandala here.

Since reviewing their watches back in 2021, Second Hour appears to have continued to refine their designs,and improved their quality without significantly increasing prices. For instance, the Mandala Burst, still available in Green, has seen a modest price adjustment of just $12 USD above its 2021 suggested retail price. Similarly, the Gin Clear Diver MKII, although priced slightly higher, boasts a significant overhaul in terms of its case, bracelet, and clasp (now with on-the-fly adjustment), presenting itself as a substantially new and improved offering within the brand’s lineup.

This review is of the Memoir, a model that initially appears to diverge from the brand’s typical experimental design approach, opting instead for a more traditional, classic watch aesthetic. This quartz-powered dress watch, available for purchase / pre-order (deliveries expected in April 2024), is priced at roughly $392 USD. I handled two variants of the Memoir series: the red and black dial versions, but this watch is offered in a total of five different dial colors – blue, green, red, white & black, each paired with a matching leather strap. I hope Second Hour won’t mind me doing this, but I replaced the original straps to better align with my preferences, aiming to subtly downplay the red dial and give the black dial a more casual appearance.

Let’s get into it!


At first glance, the shape and dimensions of the watch case, i.e 28mm in width, just under 40mm from lug to lug, and a slender 7.5mm height with a 20mm lug width, might lead you to think it is just another slab-sided, rectangular design. However, seeing this piece in person reveals impressive details, a fraction which I hope I’ve captured. The case’s design features an exquisite curvature across the mid-case and the top crystal, elevating how the watch conforms to the wrist, giving it an unexpectedly sporty/ergonomic feel.

This sportiness is further emphasized by the case’s construction: stainless steel hardened up to 800 vickers – not something you’ll often (maybe ever?) see on a rectangular dress watch. The craftsmanship combines high-quality satin brushing with flawless mirror polishing on the case top, which is amazing for the end customer who wears this watch, but terrible for the amateur watch photographer trying to shoot this piece with minimal reflections. The use of curved sapphire for the crystal, generously coated with anti-reflective material, adds to the case design and delivers excellent legibility.

Turning the watch over reveals a solid case-back adorned with engraved artwork, mirroring the Art Deco inspiration behind the watch’s design. This level of build quality and finishing, especially on a watch priced under $500, was a very pleasant surprise. I can think of plenty of watches 2-3x in price that can’t achieve polishing and brushing this detailed. The case, with its blend of curvature and polished aesthetics, quickly became my favorite aspect of this watch. Second Hour seem to have struck gold with their case manufacturer.


The Memoir name aptly captures a sense of nostalgia, echoing design motifs from the Art Deco era while incorporating modern textural elements. This watch pays homage to historical aesthetics while ensuring the watch remains contemporary in its appeal. However, one notable absence in the collection is a black dial with gold colored hardware. I think that would’ve been a great addition to this series, but perhaps that one was a bit too much of a ‘low hanging fruit’ to pursue.

The dial features a printed railroad-style minute track along its edge, complemented by rectangular curved hour indices that extend into it. The precision of the printing and the legibility of the minute track are quite good across both dial options. Additionally, the dial has polished, applied hour markers that conform to the curvature of the case and crystal, enhancing the watch’s legibility. This was an unexpected surprise, and a level of detail I wasn’t expecting but fully welcome and respect.

A distinctive inner segment showcases a clous de paris style stamped guilloche pattern, with the brand’s name placed just below the 12 o’clock marker. The printing from the outer track continues around the indices and borders this textured region too. This design choice not only improves legibility but also aligns with the Art Deco inspiration behind the watch.

The dial’s standout feature, in my opinion, is the square subdial, which employs a concentric square motif to create a visually intriguing pyramidal illusion from certain angles, centered around the small seconds hand. This detail, along with the other elements, is executed well, with good printing quality and tidiness even under my macro lens.

The hour and minute hands are crafted in the traditional dauphine style, featuring double faceted polished surfaces. Although a variation in the finishing of these facets could potentially improve legibility against darker dials, the existing combination of textures on the dial mitigates most of my concerns, ensuring that the hands rarely ‘disappear’ against the darker dials.

Overall, the dial is executed with a keen attention to detail, leaning more towards classical design and traditional aesthetics rather than Second Hour’s typically more experimental and geometric designs. This shift in design is a notable departure for Second Hour, and while I do like it, I can’t help but imagine a Memoir with more eccentric and geometric design elements.


This watch uses a Swiss Made Ronda Slimtech 1069 Quartz movement. I don’t have any real experience with these movements, so I won’t bother attempt to have an opinion on it. But Ronda makes reliable movements so there’s no reason to worry about this one.

On The Wrist

Exploring rectangular watches was a new experience for me, since I don’t currently own any. The 40mm lug-to-lug dimension initially raised questions about fit on my 6.75″ wrist, since most of the watches I wear have lug-to-lug dimensions of 46mm-50mm. However, this size seems fine on my wrist, offering a comfortable fit without feeling diminutive or ‘too dainty’. A significant aspect contributing to this comfort was the case’s curvature, which ensured the watch contoured smoothly around the wrist, suggesting a made-to-measure feel.

One aspect of this watch I wasn’t totally sold on was the straps (and no, that is not because I’m a Delugs ambassador trying to sell you on their straps instead). For me it mostly came down to the taper – I’m typically not the biggest fan of 20mm/16mm tapers, but for a watch like this it felt a lot more natural to me to have a bit more of a dramatic taper. I think the 20mm/18mm taper maybe more appealing to those seeing this as less of a dress watch and more of a ‘sporty-dress‘ watch. The actual quality of the straps is good, and reasonable considering the overall price of the watch. I also think the red dial gets a lot more life when you put it on a darker strap, but that’s just me.

Wrapping Up

To wrap up this watch review, I’ll say that it is immediately clear that the case design, build quality, and finishing stand out as exceptional aspects of the Memoir. The level of execution is such that it will be difficult for most to have any real criticism regarding the quality of the watch. Equally impressive is the wear-ability it offers; thanks to its curved design and thoughtfully calculated proportions. With the dials, they present a neat and classical design, and memorable elements that suggest a good attention to detail. While the styling leans more towards the traditional, the execution is quite meticulous, highlighting a good amount of design consideration.

When it comes to pricing, I think that the $400 tag might seem steep to those microbrand enthusiasts who enjoy seeking out the maximum technical specs for their purchase. The quartz movement, in particular, might deter those who have their hearts, minds & wallets set on a mechanical watch at this price point. And I can’t blame anyone that decides to pick their watches that way. However, for those who value the styling, as well as the superior build quality and finishing, the Memoir is likely to be seen as entirely justified.