SYE MOT1ON Chronograph Review [Silver edition]
While SYE recently presented a titanium version, the MOT1ON Chronograph [Silver edition] is the model that made the young French watch brand famous. A watch with a vintage design inspired by the car that Automotivpress.fr had the opportunity to test for a few days. Here are our impressions.
SYE is a young French watch brand created in 2017 by Arnaud Pezeron, a watch and car enthusiast. He gave us a interview (read here) 3 years ago. SYE is the acronym for “Start Your Engine” with no doubt about the “racing” inspired by its watches! They boast “Sport Tailoring” on the wrist, combining a casual sport-chic style and an interesting quality/price ratio. Thus they emphasize quality finishes and the innovation of a unique bracelet replacement system called “Fastback”.
SYE offers a collection consisting of two models: the MOTION 24a 3 hands 24 hours and the MOT1ON Chronographa bicompax chronograph which he rejected in several limited series. It unveiled its first titanium watch last month, the MOT1ON Chronograph Bullitt Titanium (read here) which pays tribute to the famous Mustang Fastback of movie with Bullitt Steve McQueen (read here).
We had the opportunity to experience one of the first models, a gentleman driver’s watch, emblematic of the “SYE” style: the MOT1ON Chronograph Silver edition. Here is the review.
Discovering the watch starts with opening the package which is a real pleasure for the connoisseur and offers the epicurean pleasure of discovering each element of the watch step by step. The presentation box is a real success. It opens with 3 watch elements: the watch body, the back plate, the fixing screw and the screwing key. We take the time to discover each piece, to take them in hand to admire the quality of workmanship. By pulling a small tab on the right of the box, you open a drawer where the bracelet and the folding clasp are stored. We open the manual with instructions for assembling the bracelet. So happy! And we appreciate putting the watch on the wrist even more when we finish assembling the bracelet by following the instructions in the user manual provided in the box.
Same model MOT1ON share the same 40.5 mm case in 316L steel, a surgical steel that is more resistant than conventional steel. The first impression is that of having a solid and well-built case. The compact dimensions associated with the two “mushroom” shaped chronograph pushers evoke the pilot’s watches of the 1960s. They also allow the watch to fit most wrists for everyday comfort to wear. The crown engraved with “S” is protected by two lugs.
The polished steel bezel provides a nice contrast to the brushed finish of the case. It is surprising that it is not decorated with a tachymeter scale as in any chrono of the great pilot, but in fact the choice was made here with a scale positioned on the flange of the dial to offer a more readable accurate measurements of speed
When you remove the box from the case, you immediately notice the absence of horns as on other watches. These are replaced by two notches for the exclusive bracelet fixing system that I will show you later.
Turning the case over reveals the exclusive “Fastback” strap attachment system developed especially for SYE. This name is a tribute to American sportswomen and also brings this ingenious and patented system that allows the strap to be changed quickly (“Quick”) thanks to the attachment on the back of the watch (“Return”). Found it!
It consists of a locking rear plate, the 2 bracelet strands equipped with a metal insert and a central screw in blue anodized steel fixed with a special screwdriver provided in the case. To mount the bracelet, simply place the case on a table, attach each strand to either side and clip the locking plate at the bottom which then screws down for perfect support. The bracelet is perfectly combined and creates a homogeneous whole.
We own a wide selection of full-grain Italian calfskin straps. A top-of-the-range leather made by French house Jean Rousseau that hugs the wrist perfectly. I chose the “SYE blue” bracelet which matches the dial and for me matches the image of SYE. It is enhanced with topstitching and fitted with a folding clasp with an engraved “S”. A steel bracelet is also available. The other side of the coin: you have to go through SYE to offer you another strap and NATO strap lovers can’t do this watch.
Come to the bicompax dial that adds to the vintage design. It is protected by an anti-reflective sapphire crystal. Its silver color with brushed finish is original and gives the watch a high-end look. It creates attractive reflections depending on the light, although on a daily basis, it can be a drawback, since the shiny part can change the reading of the time and the two counters. Touches of blue on the chronograph function hands and the “1/5th central second” indication add a sporty note, while matching the bracelet.
The counter on the left is the minutes totalizer. while the seconds are measured by the central hand. The 2nd counter is a 24-hour indicator that allows you to place yourself in the sun. It has a darker half for the afternoon. The polished steel indexes and the luminescent diamond hour and minute hands stand out on the case back. Note the presence of a luminescent square to identify the number “12” in the dark. Seen good! The date is positioned at 6 o’clock, but I found the window a bit too narrow to read the numbers at first glance.
If the Automatic MOT1ON 24 is driven by a Japanese automatic movement, the choice fell on a hybrid caliber to offer higher precision to the chronograph. In fact, it is a mecha-quartz movement that is the perfect compromise that offers the best of quartz and mechanics! It consists of a quartz caliber (battery operated) that displays the time to which a mechanical module for the chronograph is grafted. SYE choose a Seiko VK-64 whose reputation is second to none. It is used by many watch brands because of its reliability, durability and chronometric performance. Purists may regret that there is no automatic caliber. But this choice is relevant for the positioning of the price of the watch.
Finally, the chronograph SYE MOT1ON Chronograph [Silver edition] was a nice surprise and a great achievement. Its both retro and “racing” design will appeal to fans of pilot’s watches from the golden age of motor racing. A classic design that allows you to wear it every day on any occasion and subtly plays with sporty touches. It benefits from smooth finishes that enhance the piece by projecting a high-end image. The Fastback system is ingenious and practical, it offers a unique experience that makes the watch original and sets it apart from the competition. It promotes wearing comfort with a wide selection of high-end rewarding bracelets.
His price? Count €650 with a leather strap – and €599 with a metal strap – a consistent price due to the quality of manufacture and level of finish.
We would like to thank Arnaud Pezeron, founder of SYEfor its loan MOT1ON Chronograph Silver edition.