Curious about the Momentum Atlas? Here’s our review of this interesting watch.
Let’s get into the review…
About Momentum and the Atlas
Momentum is a Vancouver-based brand, owned by the St. Moritz Watch Corp. Founded in 1980, their extensive catalog includes value-driven quartz divers, chronographs, and field watches. St. Moritz has also produced watches privately for law enforcement and fire departments.
This brand seems to go under the radar within the internet watch community, but maybe the introduction of their Atlas automatic will broaden their appeal among watch enthusiasts.
Many of Momentum’s offerings appear inspired by iconic watches, remixing familiar elements into their designs. Others venture more into homage territory.
- Case size: 38.75mm
- Case size w/crown: 41.8mm
- Lug width: 20mm
- Lug to lug: 44.3mm
- Case thickness w/crystal: 11.75mm
- Case weight: 42g, 63g on rubber strap, 85g on bracelet (sized for my 6.5” wrist)
- Bracelet weight (all links included): 50g
The Atlas bears a resemblance to IWC and Citizen, but how one defines and feels toward homages is subjective. I aim to judge the watch on its own merits.
Made from titanium, the case is nice and lightweight. The case finish is uniformly satinized, preventing unwanted reflections. The most prominent feature of the case is the bezel. Its tall rounded form has a bit of a bulbous appearance.
The entire midcase of the watch curves downward, including the crown guards (a detail that I’ll come back to shortly). The downturned lugs and compact lugspan help the watch wear smaller, a plus for those with slender wrists.
The matte finish looks like a gunmetal grey. It’s notably darker than stainless steel, giving the watch a distinctive appearance, especially when worn with the bracelet.
In addition to its weight, titanium has the added benefit of being hypoallergenic and practically impervious to corrosion. These properties make it a no-brainer for rugged tool watches like the Atlas.
The main drawback is that it’s inherently easier to scratch than stainless steel. I’ve found this to be true, picking up nicks and scuffs through daily wear. Don’t worry, they add character.
Packing a reassuring 100m of water resistance, the signed screw-down crown is nice and easy to grip. However, the ease of use is somewhat impeded by those curves I mentioned above.
Since the crown guards extend below the crown, they’ll dig into your fingers when you need to operate the movement. This is a minor annoyance, but it does take away from the pleasure of interacting with the watch.
While the Atlas is built to be a capable field watch, the dial is more suggestive of a pilot’s. You can trace the roots of this design back to the Type A flieger, first issued to German pilots during WWII.
Hallmarks of these highly legible timepieces include the triangle at 12 o’clock and the bold Arabic hour numerals.
A radial gradient draws the eye from the black edges of the dial toward the highlighted center. I think it adds a little flair to the design without taking away from its practicality. The numerals, minute track, and dial text are all nice and crisp. At 3 o’clock a beveled window frames the white date wheel.
The handset incorporates satinized hour and minute hands and a white seconds hand. The squared-off hour hand helps with legibility and is short enough not to obscure the date window.
The red-tipped seconds hand and matching “Atlas” is also a nice touch. Three lines of text in total keep the dial clean and minimal.
The crystal is a single dome sapphire with blue anti-reflective undercoating. Despite the AR, the crystal picks up a lot of reflections, but that’s par for the course with most domed crystals.
You’ll get some distortion when viewing the watch at extreme angles, but otherwise, legibility is quite good.
The lume application is more than adequate for a field watch. C3 Super-LumiNova lights up the hour and minute hands, hour markers, and 5-minute markers.
That’s just about everywhere you’d want except for the tip of the second hand. The lume doesn’t glow exceedingly bright like a diver, but a good charge of sunlight will render the lume readable for a few hours.
On the underside, we’ve got an exhibition caseback. With twelve total notches, it certainly has an industrial look to it. Along with the specs, I enjoy the “DO NOT OPEN” warning engraved around the perimeter.
If I had to critique it, the engraving is a little shallow and can be hard to read without shining a light over it.
Running the watch, we’ve got a Miyota 9015. This 24-jewel movement runs at 28,800 bph, with a power reserve of 42 hours. It hacks, hand winds, and includes a date complication.
Seemingly exclusive to the Atlas is the gilt version of this movement, featuring a gold tone. While it is unique, the contrast between gold and matte titanium feels odd. I think a solid caseback would have been more appropriate for the field watch theme.
Bracelet and Strap
Starting with the positives, the bracelet, also titanium, is lightweight and very comfortable on the wrist.
The bracelet tapers slightly down to 18mm at the clasp, secured by a serviceable flip-lock and push button deployant buckle with three points of micro adjustment.
The fitment of the solid end links is spot on with no play in them. However, the male end links bump the watch’s wingspan up to 51.3mm. As a result, the watch will wear slightly larger on the bracelet.
Negatives include the pressed clasp and the oyster-style bracelet links. Instead of the typical three-link construction, these are one solid piece with a faux mid link.
It’s not terrible, but the bracelet looks a little cheap up close. For sizing, it uses a pin and collar system, and there’s a visible difference in color where the holes are filled in on the non-adjustable links.
Also available from Momentum is their goma rubber strap. Its design is unique in that it’s completely free of holes, except for the ones you poke out yourself.
On the underside, there’s a row of half-molded holes that act as a guide for you to size the strap.
Just push the tang of the buckle all the way through on the appropriate hole and you’re left with a very minimalist rubber strap. It’s a pretty neat concept, as long as you get the size right on your first try.
As you might’ve guessed, this watch will look great on all kinds of straps. Its monochromatic color scheme will work with just about everything, and the short lugs make 2-piece straps viable for smaller wrists.
I’ve noticed a few quality control issues with this watch. When the watch arrived, one of the lugs had a small dent in the corner. The crystal was also not properly set into the case. It sticks up a little higher on one side than the other.
Perhaps these are issues to look out for if you decide to pick one up. Momentum has a good reputation when it comes to customer service, so hopefully, they’ll sort out any issues quickly.
The Atlas will no doubt be a faithful companion on any adventure. It just about disappears on the wrist until you need it. The water resistance, robust movement, and classic design make it an excellent everyday watch.
At $535, it offers pretty good value for money. My biggest issue is with the bracelet, which feels outdated when held against other microbrands at this price point.
If titanium is what you’re looking for, there aren’t currently many options in the way of automatic field watches. The Boldr Venture, RZE Resolute, and the Swiss Watch Company Bunker are all titanium and offer comparable pricing.
RZE launched a new field watch in October 2022. If you’re not 100% on the Atlas, I’d suggest checking out all of these watches.
Questions? Comments? Leave them below!