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Behind the Design: Atlas Automatic

Publié par Momentum Watches - April, 08

Take a look at what went into creating an automatic version of one of our most iconic and timeless watches.

Atlas Automatic Lead Image


Yep, we finally did it…

This is a big one for Momentum. Our mid-size Atlas 38 has been a best seller for nearly 20 years. Compact, light on the wrist and ultra-legible – what is not to like? Over the years, have had regular requests for an automatic version of this watch. The number of requests has increased steadily over the past couple of years. So, we decided it was time to make an Atlas 38 Automatic, but we wanted to do it right, so we took our time and considered every detail.


We knew from the beginning that we wanted to keep the case as close to the quartz version of the Atlas as possible. People love its easy wearability and compact dimensions. Only this time, it needed to house an automatic movement, with a display case back. As we had selected a special, high-quality automatic movement, we wanted to make sure you could see it! The new case still retains 100M of water-resistance with a screw-down crown, so you don’t need to worry about jumping into the water with this piece. The ultra-slim, hi-beat 9015 movement we selected made it possible to keep the watch only 11.5mm high, without sacrificing durability. The Atlas 38 Automatic also comes standard with an ultra-hard, domed sapphire crystal, and the inside anti-reflective coating ensures it is as legible and durable as you would expect from our Atlas Series.

A lot of time was invested in a subtle redesign of the dial. We started with the dial design from our Atlas Blue Sapphire Special Edition. We wanted to give this new Automatic model a distinctive look, without sacrificing legibility, so we altered the numbers to give them bolder dimensions and slightly sharper angles. The numbers and hour-points on the minute track are all painted with high-grade Swiss C3 Super-LumiNova, for incredible night-time legibility. We wanted to give the dial a matte finish to match the bead-blast finish of the titanium case, but since this is the first Atlas Automatic, we wanted the dial to be special. We decided to add a subtle gradient to the dial, so it is jet-black on the outside edge of the dial, and blends into a slightly lighter, charcoal-black in the center.

Atlas Auto Hands

The hands also took a lot of consideration. The hands of most watches use polished “frames” but we decided to make the hand-frames matte silver, to match the matte titanium case and “function-first” appearance of the rest of the watch. We decided a new style of hand (not used in any previous Momentum models) would help make the Atlas Automatic subtly different. It was important that you should be able to read the time at-a-glance, with the hour and minute hands clearly recognizable, during the day, or in the dark, so we squared off the end of the hour hand. and added an arrow to the end of the minute hand. The matte silver frames give the hands a little more dimension than polished, or all-white hands, while still complementing the overall design. Similar to the numbers on the dial, the hands are filled with C3 Super-LumiNova, for outstanding legibility. To differentiate it slightly from its quartz cousin, we marked the ATLAS model name in red, then added a red tip to the second hand, to tie it all together.

The choice of automatic movement was fairly straightforward. We believe that at this price point, no movement offers better bang-for-the-buck than the Japanese made, Miyota 9000 series. (We recently introduced this premium movement in our new Aquamatic IV models, to an overwhelmingly positive response.) It is only 3.9mm thick, high-beat (28,800 BPH), reliable, and easy to service. While it is one of the most expensive “production” Japanese movements, it is significantly more affordable than any Swiss contender with similar specifications. The 9015 comes in a couple of different executions, so to give our Atlas Automatic a little “twist”, we chose the deluxe, gold-plated version. While the watch itself is completely function-first, with a black, white and grey colour scheme and matte titanium case, we felt that being able to flip the watch over and view the stunning, gold-plated mechanical movement through the presentation caseback, whenever you take your watch off your wrist, would add a special element, to make this watch truly “a little out of the ordinary”. 

Atlas Automatic Bracelet

Working with a new bracelet-maker, we are pleased to add a custom bracelet option for the Atlas Automatic. It is solid titanium, so is as light, comfortable and naturally non-allergenic as the watch itself. It features solid links, solid endpieces and a titanium clasp with micro-adjust, trigger-release, and double safety-lock. On the clasp, we decided to use our old logo, as a nod to the long history of the Atlas.

Atlas Beach

This is an exciting watch for us, as it adds a new dimension to one of our best-selling model families. We knew we had to take our time and do it right, to live up to both our standards and your expectations. 





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