The Devil's In The Detail
With small diameters come small parts - dials have less room to display the time and hands have less room to move. Given the limited space we had to play with, we've enhanced the feeling of depth by using multiple tiers for the dial, with an outer ring angled into a contrasting chapter ring, both elevated above the main textured dial. This stadium-like rake leads the eye into the dial, giving the impression of depth and separation.
The hands on the Marine feature a blasted metal finish with luminous filling; we chose to finish the main hands this way for legibility - fully polished hands are great if the highlight is reflected, but as soon as the hands move into shadow they disappear against the dark dial. By treating the hands with a diffused surface, the hands remain legible whether it’s light or dark.
The Tay dial is small, which means every effort has to be made to prioritise clarity and legibility. The Marine dial has 3 layers, each one showing different information, boosting legibility and looking incredibly dynamic in the changing light.
Each chamfer on the Tay case is there to guide the light, shaping it, catching it and presenting it back to you in a way that keeps the Tay looking slim and neat, yet at the same time reassuring you it's incredibly capable.
As thin as we can make it without compromising our 100m water resistance rating, the Tay case is robust, angular and has wonderful, simplistic wrist presence. Each facet is designed to catch the light in an elegant way, yet still look and feel solid as a wee tank.
Inside the Tay is the solid, reliable, accurate and beautifully finished Miyota 9039. Beating at a high rate of 28,800bph, the 9039 sweeps the second hand around the dial smoothly, and keeps you on schedule, no matter how busy your day is.
Low-light legibility is aided with bright and long-lasting luminous paint in the hour and minute hands, as well as a little luminous pip to give orientation on the dial. Easy. Simple. Effective.
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We are limited, unfortunately, by the realms of physics. It’s true - we have tried to bend these rules - but things are the size they are and that’s that. When it comes to mechanical movements they are inherently 'big'. You might think we’re joking, considering the movement inside the Tay is only 26mm in diameter and a mere 3.9mm thick, but when tolerances, clearances and physical limits of material thicknesses are considered, that 26mm soon approaches the 35mm diameter that we want the dimension of the Tay to be.
Having uncompromising demands like water resistance capability and construction quality has been the greatest challenge for this watch. As well as keeping the Tay at a touch over 10mm thin, affording a comfortable and unobtrusive fit, we wanted the Tay to have sensational wrist presence for such a small watch. As such we have affectionately called this our “little tank” owing to its robust appearance, but diminutive dimensions.
The Tay is part of the wider Solent architecture - an idea set out in a period of design review. That DNA, of robust design with simple angular lugs, wide dial apertures and, in a twist on the norm, inverse tapered case sides, brought a different take on what an everyday watch could be: simple yet engaging. The Solent set the foundations for the next iteration called the Sceptre - a more rugged iteration of the Solent. Next up was the Tay - a smaller diameter chassis that retains the core robustness and case design aesthetic.
SMALL BUT MIGHTY
The Tay features an automatic movement with bi-directional rotor, and despite all the mechanical wizardry inside this movement, it's still 3.9mm thin. This has allowed us to keep the Tay to a very respectable 10.8mm from crystal to case-back. The diminutive size doesn't betray its capabilities, hitting a universally adaptable 35mm diameter and a lug-to-lug distance of just 41mm.
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