HANDS-ON: The Erroyl Regent Nero, a value-packed calendar that hits all the right notes

Editor’s Note: In our penultimate post on Australian watch brands, we take a look at Erroyl’s second watch, and discover that this one definitely isn’t suffering from second album syndrome.

Around this time last year, Erroyl had only just launched its first model – the Heritage. In the subsequent 12 months, the fledgling brand has done very well in combining quality components and finishing with thoughtful design and wallet-friendly price. Its latest model is the Erroyl Regent, which has the more difficult task of meeting and exceeding those expectations that were forged with the Heritage.

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The first thing you notice about the Regent are its similarities to mid-century sports watches with ‘panda’ dials, particularly the early dual-subdial Heuer Autavia. Of course, the Erroyl is no chronograph, the  subdials instead displaying day and month, with the date on show at six. It’s a wonderfully classic design, its tuxedo styling cues instantly making this watch feel special on the wrist. With its highly polished 42mm case and loads of guilloché detailing, the Regent belies its sub-$600 price tag, punching well above its weight in almost every respect.

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Hidden behind the upmarket caseback is the Japanese Miyota 9122 triple-date automatic movement with 40-hour power reserve. It’s one of the higher-end mechanisms from the Citizen-owned Miyota, and although not the quietest of engines, is a good choice to provide reliable and accurate timekeeping while keeping costs low – all important considerations for a new watch maker.

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The fully polished surgical-grade 316L stainless steel case has a depth of 12mm, features tapered lugs, and is water resistant to 100m. With its rounded sides giving the entire piece a full-bodied robustness, the case is unusual but certainly pleasing to the eye, while the caseback is quite impressive in its detail and manufacture, really lifting the quality of the piece to a new level when handled. The crown is sturdy and well designed,  and there’s also a pusher at two o’clock to advance the month display; though this adds interest to the design, it can cause some minor annoyance if pressed accidentally.

Our main concern is the signed butterfly deployment clasp. While the it appears to be a high-end touch, in practice we found its ‘wings’ tended to dig into the the wrist, which could only be alleviated by wearing the watch loosely throughout the week. Still, it was enough to make us want to take it off completely, which should speak volumes about the Erroyl Regent Nero.

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Instead of going with a more conventional choice, Erroyl has shown a great deal of confidence with its black ‘Crazy Horse’ leather strap, the velvety, nubuck-esque finish contrasting nicely with the case, adding a casual touch to an otherwise formal piece.

The Regent Nero impressed me more than any other watch I’ve handled in recent memory, even disregarding the price. The calendar complication adds a level of maturity to an already well designed and well made piece. And rather than creating a fictitious brand history, or stamping an extravagant price to give a false sense of superiority, Erroyl has quite simply created the best watch they can and offered it for a price that is reasonable. It’s a wonderful second opus from a small Australian company, which truly deserves to be celebrated.

Erroyl Regent Nero Australian pricing

The Erroyl Regent Nero, $579, available on Erroyl’s website.

Images by Jason Reekie.

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