Norton of Morton

Read a new instalment of Norton of Morton every Saturday at 4 o'clock

Saturday 20 May 2017

Review: James McCabe Watches

In which G.M. Norton adds a real beauty to his growing collection of watches.

Until very recently, my watch collection consisted of diver, field and chronograph watches but for somebody that tries to put an effort into what I wear, I was bereft of a dress watch. Thankfully, James McCabe Watches came to my rescue, who sent me a watch from their Heritage line.

What I particularly like about James McCabe Watches are that they're assembled in the UK. Given that a made in Britain watch would today cost thousands and thousands of pounds, a watch assembled here in Blightly is the next best thing.

Given the choice of any watch from their site, after a good day or so umming and ahhing, I settled on this beauty.

I adore the blue dial and stainless steel case. The very next day, the watch arrived. I’m not sure what I was most astounded at; the speedy delivery or the timepiece itself.

The watch is a perfect dress watch – reasonably small for modern-day timepieces at 40mm, nice and light on the wrist and positively gleaming as it perfectly plays with the light.
The watch is an automatic, with a Japanese Miyota movement inside, which you can see working away in a see-through exhibition caseback. This is a stunning detail, so hypnotising to watch.
In the same way that a jacket boasting working cuffs is a sign of quality, a watch that boasts a signed crown is an extra flourish usually found on luxury watches. As well as having a little ‘M’ etched onto it, pleasingly, the crown is also hand-winding. As automatic watches are powered by arm movement (no batteries here), it doesn’t need to be hand-wound. But of course, being the jolly throwback that I am, I want to wind it up.
Turning the watch around reveals another detail that I quite like. The McCabe name, in their very traditional typeface, is a nice nod to renowned watchmaker, James McCabe. As somebody who shuns brand names or slogans on clothing, this is subtle enough to be quite classic.

The watch has a lovely little dome on the crystal too. I have a few watches with domes, it must be something I’m drawn towards. It’s a very vintage touch.
I don’t tend to concern myself too much with straps that come with watches as I tend to buy different ones and experiment a little. The black leather strap that my watch was supplied with is soft enough with blue stitching to match the dial. It comes with a deployment buckle, which is a first for me.

The model that I picked out is a very reasonable £245. Here are a few pictorials of it on the wrist. 

All in all, I'm very impressed indeed. The McCabe watch is well made, very beautiful to look at and it makes me smile each time I see 'Assembled in the UK' so prominently as I check the time. I'm looking forward to wearing it for many years to come.

G.M. Norton
Protagonist of 'Norton of Morton'

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  1. Very smart indeed. I really appreciate these kind of posts, because I know nothing about watches and the various brands - most helpful in case I need to buy one as a gift one day! x

    1. Thank you kindly! I sometimes fear that I'm boring people silly. My watch obsession continues at an alarming rate, but no million pound purchases just yet, thank goodness.

  2. Greatly appreciated your review. I'm fascinated with McCabe and their marketing program. It's stylish edgy and urban. My question is...does the timepiece hold up? Does it retain its finish, keep time and generally hold up?


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