Medini Celeritas; or the attainable, elegant chronographTime+Tide
The more time passes, the more I realize that a good watch doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Quite the contrary, actually. Because too often do we – watch enthusiasts, collectors and journalists – get stuck debating about the best movements, the best lume, or the best brands. While we do so, we look over new brands that put out good products that are affordable and readily available. No need to get on a waitlist or to spend thousands of dollars on watches we don’t want to (maybe) get our hands on the ones we actually do want.
Enter Medini and the Celeritas. Based out of Dubai, Medini is a new brand with two collections, one of which being a meca-quartz chronograph, the Celeritas, which we’re going to take a look at today. Because sometimes, all we need and look for is a good-looking, well-made, and affordable chronograph. Nothing else.
There are different types of chronographs that serve different purposes. From racing chronographs that look and function more like proper tool watches – rather than everyday timekeeping devices – to elegant ones that we would all feel comfortable wearing on a daily basis. The Celeritas belongs to the latter and it does so for two reasons: first, it comes with reasonable dimensions that will make it look at home on many collectors’ wrists. Two, the case has a simple yet classic design which endows the Celeritas with a certain everyday look. Dimensions-wise, it measures 38m in diameter, 45mm lug-to-lug, 14mm thick and comes with a 20mm lug width.
While 14mm might sound thick, the lightness of the watch (75 grams) combined with the compact lug-to-lug makes it comfortable to wear for hours on end. A few of these millimetres, by the way, come from the domed sapphire crystal. What also makes the Celeritas sit comfortably on the wrist and appear thin is the case profile. It is made of three parts, each being delineated by alternating finishes. The fixed bezel is fully polished while the mid-case receives a satin brushed finish. The edges of the caseback receive a polished treatment as well. This combination of finishes makes the watch look thinner than a caliper measurement might suggest. Furthermore, the lugs are short and turn down towards the wrist.
The Celeritas comes in three dial colours, all pictured in this article. There is an all-black variant with polished silver accents; a ‘reverse panda’ (i.e. black dial, white subdials); and a white dial/gold subdial variant that looks more snazzy. All variants come with the same dial design: polished applied baton hour markers everywhere except at 12 and 6 o’clock (highlighted with Arabic numerals) and no markers at the 3 and 9 positions to make way for the two sub-registers. The one on the left is a 60-minute totalizer while the one on the right is a 24-hour indicator. The main section of the dial showcases a delicate sandy texture which contrasts nicely with the polished accents from the hands and markers. These matte dials also absorb light instead of reflecting it, which aids with legibility.
Speaking of hands, the hour and minute hands are simple, fully polished batons while the seconds hand, also simple in appearance, comes with a circular counterbalance; a neat little visual detail. Furthermore, a fully indexed tachymeter scale can be found on the periphery of the dial, as well as a fully graduated minute track outside of the hour markers. This, combined with the 60-minute counter in which the 10-minute increments are highlighted by Arabic numerals, confer to the Celeritas a purpose-driven and functional allure. What also contributes to this is the domed piece of sapphire crystal complete with multiple layers of anti-reflective coating, giving the wearer an unobstructed view of the dial.
When one purchases a Celeritas, one can choose between one of six options for leather straps with a crocodile pattern: black, blue, green, brown, grey or tan. In these photos, I tried as best as I could to showcase all permutations possible for each colourway. The straps taper from 20mm at the lug to 18mm at the clasp, and the latter is of the deployant variety, making the operation of putting the watch on and off a breeze. Furthermore, Medini provides two silicone straps, the colours of which match that of the dial. All having quick-release spring bars, swapping straps is easy and makes it a cinch to change the overall look of the watch to match your activity.
Powering the Celeritas is the Seiko VK64 meca-quartz caliber which has a frequency of 32,768 Hz and a battery life of 3 years. (That is when not using the chronograph function all day long, that is.) As mentioned above, this movement comes with two sub-registers, one being a 60-minute totalizer and the other a 24-hour indicator. The Celeritas does not come with a date complication to preserve the dial symmetry and elegance of its design.
Medini Celeritas price & availability
The Medini Celeritas retails for US$350 USD and is readily available on the brand’s website. In addition to a leather strap and two silicone ones, each watch also comes in a thin and elegant PU leather pouch available in eight colours.
|38mm (D) x 14mm (T) x 45mm (LTL)
|Black, black/white or white/gold
|Genuine leather, rubber
|Seiko VK64, mechaquartz
|3 years (battery)
|Hours, minutes, 24-hour indicator, chronograph