JS Watch Co. 101 38mm Long-Term Review

You probably never heard of JS Watch Company if you haven’t been to Iceland. A little watchmaker along Laugavegur, the main shopping street in Reykjavík, JS Watch Co. produces about 500 watches a year across 14 collections. I have owned the JS Watch 101 38mm for about 2 years now and here’s my verdict.

Before starting this review, I have to share my buying experience at JS Watch Co. back in 2018. I entered the shop without any knowledge about the brand and was greeted by a friendly face, the master watchmaker Gilbert Ó. Guðjónsson.

Without hesitation, Gilbert gave me a quick introduction on the brand and showed me his ‘Hall of Fame‘ – a photo wall of celebrities wearing JS Watch. There’s Ed Sheeran, Kit Harrington, Ben Stiller, and they recently added Gordon Ramsay who has an impressive watch collection himself. I managed to get a photo with Gilbert too – without fanfare!

Gordon Ramsay with Gilbert Ó. Guðjónsson (centre), Sigurður B. Gilbertsson,
Watchmaker & Technical Director and Grímkell P. Sigurþórsson,
Director of Design & Marketing

Initially, I had no intention to buy a watch but I thought why not since I’m in Iceland for the first time for my honeymoon. Long story short – I picked up the 101 38mm in black arabic dial and have kept it ever since.

Classical Design

The 101 38mm collection is named after the postal code (101 Reykjavík) where JS Watch Co. is located.

At first look, the classical design of the watch stood out. It has a gloss black dial with large arabic numerals and minimal wording. A date window is tucked away at the 3 o’clock position – white font with black background blends well with the black dial. It looks amazing with the railroad minutes track around the dial.

The face of the 101 38mm is complete with rhodium-plated white Breguet style hands. It’s not often you see these kind of hands on a watch these days. However owning the watch for almost 2 years, I feel that the minute and second hands are a little short. That’s not a big issue since visibility isn’t a problem so far.

The stainless steel case is slim for a dress watch coming in at just 10.3mm. It’s actually a 38.5mm watch even though the collection calls it a 38mm. According to JS Watch Co., the case is made with surgical grade German 316L stainless steel and it’s highly polished to a mirror finish.

Another attraction of the watch is the coin bezel and large onion crown. These features are often associated with early military and aviation watches, adding a strong neo-vintage appeal to the watch.

Daily Wear in every Setting

If you’re a fan of classic dress watches in modern size, the 101 38mm makes for a great everyday watch in both casual and formal settings.

The JS Watch 101 38mm comes with a 20mm handmade ostrich leather strap and signed buckle. I have since worn out the strap and currently wearing it with a distressed leather strap from Nomad Watch Works.

Powered by a Top grade Soprod M100 movement, the watch is adjusted in five positions and regulated to Chronometer standards by JS Watch Co. It has 42 hours of power reserve and an accuracy of +/- 4 seconds a day. At the point of this review, I’m still observing the same level of precision and it keeps good time consistently.

Keeping to modern standards, the watch uses sapphire crystal both front and back. The display case back showcases the nicely finished Soprod M100 calibre with some information of the watch engraved around it. Its front sapphire crystal has really decent anti-reflective coating, making the dial super visible in most lighting.

Small, but Packing a Big Horology Punch

At just US$1,777, the JS Watch 101 38mm is miles ahead of its competitor in similar price point. From finishing to design, the so-called world’s smallest watch manufacturer is one of the most honest watch brand around today. They certainly deserve more attention!

Overall, it’s safe to say that the 101 38mm punches above its weight. That’s a testament to the company’s vision in producing finely crafted and genuine timepieces for the masses without compromising on quality and wearability. I’m keeping mine for sure.

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