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Thread: Domo Arigato - Mr. Roboto review

  1. #1

    Domo Arigato - Mr. Roboto review

    Obligatory Styx reference out of the way in the thread title, lets talk about the watch

    The Azimuth Mr. Roboto is one of the weirdest, nerdiest, and whimsical watches around. The watch is part of the Mecha-1 BMF Collection of tonneau shaped watches by Azimuth. I don’t know much about the company but I hear that they are a Singaporean outfit with production in Switzerland. They are known for rather outlandish designs. Given the success of avant garde brands such as MB&F and Urwerk in Singapore, perhaps its not surprising that someone would try marketing weird and experimental designs at a more accessible price.

    I bought it in Singapore and have now owned the watch for over 18 months. I shall try to put forth some thoughts about it

    Vital Stats
    Stainless steel case with 5 bar water resistance
    43mm x 50mm
    24mm lug width
    ETA 2836-2
    Hours, Retrograde Minutes, Seconds, 2nd time zone

    Lets talk about the design. The watch is inspired by the Tin Robot toy craze of the 1950s, in fact the Azimuth brochure specifically cites the Lantern Robot toy above as the direct design inspiration. These robot toys themselves rose to popularity following a wave of science fiction movies such as “Forbidden Planet”.

    My biggest issue with watch has been comfort. The Tonneau shaped case is quite substantial at 43mm width and 50mm length. The lugs are however fully integrated into the case which is a big help with wearability. However, the watch originally came on a sand coloured leather strap that was just too thick and stiff, it was actually quite a chore to remove if had been secured snuggly on the wrist. I have since switched it to a much thinner Hirsch leather (with embossed croc pattern). This has helped quite a bit. It is still a large and heavy watch but I can now consider it wearable. I think I would like to switch to a decent genuine croc strap at some point but it has to be both supple and not too thick.

    As the pics below show, the watch does not overhang my 6.7 inch wrists and the strap wraps around slightly (its almost a straight drop though)

    The case is actually almost surprisingly well finished. The front and (solid) back have a very nice straight brushed grain. Very notable is that both the left and right sides of both the front AND back have shapely, beautiful, wide and highly polished chamfers. The edges too are polished around the watch while the middle case band features a matte blasted finish. The surrounds for the “eyes” and “mouth” are also nicely polished. What you get then is a rather complex case with lots of varied details and finishes.

    The watch is powered by an ETA 2836-2 which is the day date version of the 2824. Azimuth have removed the date functions and added modules for a second time zone and retrograde minutes.

    The left eye (well the Robot’s right I suppose) houses the hours while the other one houses the second time zone. The second time zone can be set with the crown. The eyes have a luminous pointer and the hours are indicated on rotating luminous discs. Unfortunately the 2nd time zone is not very legible during the daylight hours as those hours are in red on a green backgroud. Moreover since its a 24 hours disc the numerals are squeezed together. A good travel watch it ain’t; I use the second time zone as a day night indicator essentially.

    The red triangle on the “nose” rotates and serves as a seconds indicator while the minutes are shown by a cool retrograde counter. There are some nice applied luminous batons on this indication. All 3 windows are topped with sapphire; domes on the “eyes” and a curved piece following the shape of the case on the “mouth”.

    The watch features a solid back but has a cute “verify” window over the escapement. The large crown that evokes a clockwork winding key that you might see on a toy is yet another cool and whimsical touch. (seen here pulled out)

    Mr. Robot is deliberately too weird to ever be a mainstream watch. It is difficult to reccomend to someone on account of the large size and heavy weight in addition to the unconventional looks. It is also not cheap at around USD3000 so its not worth it to own just for a laugh, as a novelty. However, it must also be said that while 3K is on the high side for an ETA especially for an obscure and new brand, Azimuth adds a fair amount of value with an added GMT and retrograde complication. More than that, the complex case is exceptional for the price.

    I think you have to be of a particularly nerdy disposition to want to own this watch Although in the past 18 months I do not find myself wearing it that frequently, I find that I am quite happy owning it and wearing it ocassionally. The new strap has also improved wearability considerably and I suspect large watch wearers would find it even more accomodating. I have built up a bit of a collection over the last few years including a couple of rather refined pieces and the future wishlist is definitely in that direction. However, Mr Roboto appeals to the whimsical side of my nature. He may have a slightly sad countenance but it always brings a smile to my face when I wear it

    (Ps. the robot keychain came with the watch too!)

    Thanks for reading!

    Instagram: @tempocalypse

  2. #2
    Big Member Chase's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Guess I must have a relatively nerdy disposition

    Excellent review. I'd very much like to add one at some point. Pretty sure I am eclectic enough to wear a more whimsical piece like this more than just as an occasional novelty. You're doing a good job of enabling that's for sure!

  3. #3
    Porous Membrane skywatch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    The Valley of Heart's Delight
    Blog Entries
    Good fun! I could see a spot for that in many a nerd's collections. (P.S. I'm a nerd, for sure, but probably won't be adding it to my collection -- quirky coolness, though!)
    Too many watches, not enough wrists.

  4. #4
    I'm awfully glad that watch exists.

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  6. #5
    There is a spot in my watch box reserved for that watch. Everything about the design is well done, but the crown is the perfect finishing touch.

    Thank you for your wonderful photos and write up!

  7. #6
    FANTASTIC! i want one so bad for cool factor!

    thank you very much TC! you ROCK!!

  8. #7
    Moderator gnuyork's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Marietta, GA
    Nice review and photos, Temp. I have a greater appreciation for that weird thing, now.

  9. #8
    I was a bit "errrmmm no thanks" at a different one of their models a month or so back , but that one really looks very cool on your wrist

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    I could easily say yes please to that if it weren't for the price

    Great detailed review

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  11. #9
    El bot. geoffbot's Avatar
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    Oct 2014
    West Sussex, UK
    So much awesome 😁
    Follow IWL on instagram!

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