Hastings & Co Heritage review
Making a new watch to fund on Kickstarter is, I imagine, difficult. The platform is swamped with “me too” generic pieces built from catalogue parts found on Alibaba and then presented as though they are the results of decades of thought and love. If I have to read another horribly contrived “pre-flight briefing” or the made-up history of some utterly tedious re-brand of an off the shelf “minimalistic” DW clone I might just pack it in.
Occasionally though, buried amongst the crap, you find something built by someone who really did make the watch they wanted to, rather than the watch they thought they thought they could turn the easiest quick profit on before moving on to their next great venture.
The Hastings & Co Heritage is one of those rare pieces. That’s not to say it’s perfect, but it’s easy to believe in it and I’ll be cheering it on towards it’s funding goal.
The Heritage arrives nicely packaged in a solid feeling box with a piano black finish. It’s heavy, well made, has a very sturdy hinge and gives a first good impression.
So often microbrands don’t make the effort with their packaging, assuming shaving a few $ off the total price is what buyers are looking for. For me that’s not the case. A $10 watch from Amazon will last years and tell me the time, if that’s all I want. Anything more is a luxury, so make it feel like one. Hastings & Co have done a pretty good job of that. The only minor criticism I’d make is that the “Hastings & Co” logo on the top of this box isn’t printed at a partially high quality, but it really is a minor issue. At this price point this is good packaging.
However, a confession: I don’t like gold or rose gold & black watches. To me they either feel cheap, or old fashioned in a tired way rather than a classic way. Something worn by a guy in a polyester shirt and cheap suit at the local small business accountants because he thinks it makes him look professional. That’s not a criticism of Heritage specifically, it’s just personal taste and applies to watches made by pretty much any company at any price point. Thankfully the Heritage is also available in silver with either a white or black dial, and those options look great.
The Heritage has a completely custom case, designed from scratch by Hastings & Co. While from a quick look you wouldn’t necessarily know it as it’s not anything particularly unusual or different, it adds to the feeling of quality and care. You know that this is the watch Hastings & Co wanted to make – no corners have been cut. The watch wears well, fits under a shirt comfortably, and most of the time I forgot I was wearing it. Just what you want from a formal piece.
The dial is a gloss finish black or white enamel. The black on the review model looks great and adds to the high end feel to the piece, however the silver case/white enamel dial combination really excels. For me this is the best looking combination available, and the one I’d buy.
There is a date window at the 6 o’clock position, and it’s well implemented. Rather than just punching a hole through the case, the window has been framed by a mental border matching the case material. It’s well finished and of high quality.
The Heritage has a display case back, meaning you can see the movement within. I’m not convinced of the value of display cases when the movement is just a generic, un-customised one, however they remain popular. It’s well implemented here, with the watch specs well engraved around the outside.
On the negative side, the printing of the Hastings & Co logo on the dial could be slightly better. It feels a little duller and less defined than the word “automatic” on the lower part of the dial. The 12 o’clock markers also appear to be very slightly off, with the bottoms of the XII not all perfectly in line. It’s an incredibly picky complaint though, and not something you’d notice unless really looking.
The crown is fine, has a the Hastings & Co logo etched on its end, and has a solid feel when winding or setting the date.
The Heritage ships with a leather strap, and for once on a watch of this price it’s one I’d keep rather than replace. It’s genuine leather, supple, wears very comfortably and has a slightly dull finish to it that I think looks great. It comes with a deployment clasp which is engraved with the Hastings & Co logo.
Our review model came with a Miyota 9015 in it, which is a superb movement for watches of this price point. Unfortunately in recent months supply of the 9015 has become increasingly constrained and prices have gone up significantly. This means that the Heritage will ship with and 8215 instead, with the 9015 now a stretch goal.
It would be a real shame if the stretch goal doesn’t get met, because the difference in quality, and in particularly the higher beat rate (the 8215 beats at 21,600 times per hour compared to the 9015’s silky smooth 28,800 per hour) is significant.
The Heritage is finished to a high quality, it wears well and it looks good (especially in that silver/white combo!). It’s already close to funding on Kickstarter, and as Hastings & Co have delivered before you can be confident in them fulfilling the orders on time and to a consistent standard. If you’re in need of something smart and simple, but with enough about it to stand out from the hundreds of DW clones flooding the market, it’s a great choice. Buy with confidence.
Make: Hastings & Co
Case diameter: 40mm
Case thickness: 11mm
Lug width: 20mm
Movement: Miyota 8215 or Miyota 9015 (depends on funding raised)
Crystal: Double-domed sapphire
Strap or bracelet: Leather strap
Water resistance: 3ATM
Price: From $259 CAD