Creux Automatiq Ghost
Hands-On Review: Angus Davies reviews the Creux Automatiq Ghost
I frequently receive unsolicited emails and I am therefore quite selective about which ones I respond to. Recently, an email from Creux Automatiq caught my attention. Prior to receiving this email, I had never heard of this brand. However, on learning that the watch they mentioned was mechanical and seeing that it looked interesting, I gladly agreed to appraise a ‘press loan’.
Despite being modestly priced at circa £1791.18 (RRP as at 3.7.2017), the Creux Automatiq Ghost is open-worked, affording views of the self-winding movement.
The lancine hour and minute hands, together with the sloping hour markers, are lined with luminescent fill. The hour markers are suspended above the date disc, delivering a wonderful three dimensionality to the dial display.
A small seconds display is positioned at 9 o’clock, framed with a gold coloured circlet. The hue of the circlet adds a touch of warmth to proceedings, contrasting wonderfully with the adjacent sea of blackness.
Closer inspection reveals various movement components. Most notably, the balance can be seen below noon.
The date display, located at 6 o’clock, is clear and highly legible. The other date values are virtually hidden from view and can only be seen when the watch is held at a particular angle.
Where this watch wholeheartedly enchants the wearer is with its front to back views of the movement.
Positioned between noon and three o’clock is a yellow ascent scale, albeit the water resistance of 100 metres and absence of a unidirectional bezel prevents this watch from being considered a suitable diving tool.
Despite being open-worked, nothing detracts from reading the time. The hour and minute hands contrast with the black movement components sufficiently to allow ease of interpretation. Indeed, practicality is not sacrificed on the alter of style.
The 45mm diameter steel case is deceptive with the watch appearing much smaller when worn. One reason for this smaller than reality illusion can be attributed to the absence of lugs with the straps affixing directly to the underside of the case-band. This has ramifications for wearer comfort, something which I found to be excellent. Furthermore, I found the watch did not turn annoyingly on the arm and always felt secure.
The case blends both satin-brushed and highly polished surfaces to splendiferous effect. Such treatment is unusual for a watch at this price level and is more befitting of a costlier timepiece.
On the right hand flank of the case, nestling in between the crown protectors, is a gold coloured crown. Personally, I found the crown proved a little fiddly to manipulate owing to the presence of the crown protectors.
The watch is fitted with a ‘rubberised water resistant calf leather strap’. This feels most agreeable when in contact with the skin. The strap is paired with a folding clasp, reinforcing the sense of no-compromise.
The self-winding movement is visible via an exhibition case-back. The oscillating mass is open-worked and pairs a black structure with gold coloured initials. Much of the gear train can be seen and it stands-out against a sea of blackness.
Swiss Tech, based in Botyre, Switzerland, has produced the movement for the Creux Automatiq Ghost. Owing to the black main-plate and bridges, there are few signs of traditional finishing, nevertheless, the modernity of the movement and its stealthy tones make for a visually attractive ensemble.
The balance has a frequency of 28,800 Vph (4Hz) and the movement contains 33 jewels. The power reserve confers 36 hours of autonomy.
The problem with many open-worked watches is that the readability of the dial is compromised with a sea of clutter. Thankfully, no such criticisms can be directed towards the Creux Automatiq Ghost which proves eminently simple to read.
Despite the yellow ascent scale positioned between noon and 3 o’clock this timepiece is not suitable for diving. However, few divers’ watches ever see life in deep waters and this aspect does little to detract from my love of this timepiece.
The large case size of 45mm is deceptive. Quite simply, it does not appear as large as the tape measure indicates. Moreover, despite its size, the watch grants a very comfortable union with the wrist.
While the open-worked movement eschews traditional finishing, it remains very attractive courtesy of its black hues and visible balance and gear-train.
On this occasion, I am glad I took notice of the email from James at Creux Automatiq as I could have potentially missed reviewing this interesting and wonderful timepiece. It is imbued with many qualities and represents excellent value for money.
• Model: Creux Automatiq Ghost
• Case: Stainless steel; diameter 45mm; water resistant to 10 bar (100 metres); sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
• Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds; date.
• Movement: Self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 VpH (4Hz); 33 jewels; power reserve 36 hours.
• Strap: Rubberised water resistant calf leather strap with steel folding clasp.
• Price: Circa £1791.18 (RRP as at 3.7.2017)