SIXOFOURLIFE Watches Review

By: Kaz Mirza

I know it may sound silly, but sometimes it can get overwhelming as a watch enthusiast when you’re starting at your watchbox in the morning.

“What the hell watch do I wear today,” can be a more anxiety inducing question than most watch folks are prepared to admit. You consider how many days in a row you wore a dive watch. Or you go back and forth on whether you feel like wearing a large watch or a small watch. Maybe you have a meeting today and you want to wear that “dress-to-impress piece,” but it doesn’t really feel like you’re being yourself when you wear it…So on and so forth. It can feel like in my tiny little head that the whole world turns on the axis of what freaking watch I decide to wear. It’s in those instances I’m thankful for a watch like my SIXOFOURLIFE Watch in Canuck Blue.

SIXOFOURLIFE watches is a microbrand out of Canada being run by a few guys with one goal in mind… design and create watches that are emblematic of (and inspired by) their beloved home city: Vancouver. Knowing the impetus behind the brand and understanding their design aesthetic, I can describe my initial impression of the watch in one word: fun. These things are just goddamn fun, man! I can have my SIXOFOURLIFE in Canuck Blue in my watchbox as one of my few go to automatics that doesn’t cause decision paralysis. But what exactly makes this piece fun? In my opinion, the design and construction behind the SIXOFOURLIFE is deceptively simple but is actually quite complex when you stop and really take it in. Read on for a breakdown of what really make this watch tick (editor’s note: poor pun, but I’ll allow it.)

Case:

Y’all know I’m a sucker for a watch with a square case, and the SIXOFOURLIFE Watch is no exception. However, it’s easy to be deceived by the simplicity of the square case.

In its simplicity I find it to be complex – when something is designed in a very ergonomic and straightforward way – a single long curve speaks volumes more than something that’s been over-designed. It’s the case construction’s economy of shape and line that’s most appealing. I will also say though that at 40mm the case size is perfect. However, if the watch were the same contours as it is now but at 42mm or 44mm it’d simply be uncomfortable. You can just tell by looking at the watch that anything larger than its current state just wouldn’t sit right. So lets all be super thankful the SIXOFOURLIFE Watches crew made the smart call with the watch case at 40mm. Plus the flat sapphire crystal is jiving so well with the overall forward facing facade of the piece that the whole package just looks bold but fluid.

The back of the case features an exhibition window showing off the Miyota 8215. Just beyond the perimeter of the window is where the feature text is displayed. The caseback is a screwdown type and has a slight bevel to it, which does add to the comfort of the watch on the wrist. From the back of the case we get a better sense of the lug profile. From the front the lugs have a bold and clear presentation and on the back we actually see they are curved slightly to further support comfort on the wrist – a great touch of “form/function design” comfortably balancing with aesthetics.


 
 

The only straight lines you’ll find on the body of the piece are located at the four corners of the case, which visually connect the facade profile to the caseback. They act as a great and much needed visual anchor on the piece.

Dial:

Most well designed watches have that “it” factor – something present and immediately about the watch that helps to catch people’s eye and become the focal point. For the SIXOFOURLIFE watch it’s easily the dial – there’s no getting around it. The color in Canuck blue (and Stanely Green pictured below in this SIXOFOURLIFE Watches review as well) is rich, tastefully and proportionately saturated, and with a great gradient pouring in from the outer perimeter of the dial – becoming lighter as it hones closer to the center of the watch. It’s honestly a bit mesmerizing.

The dial is also framed by simple and straight bar markers so as to not distract from the beauty of the face. Plus the SIXOFOURLIFE branding is boldly present here as well. The hands are very slightly rounded which helps the watch keep its visual curve that carries in from the watch case itself.

There are a lot of really awesome dial colors to choose from on the SIXOFOURLIFE Watches site, offering a lot of fun personalization and unique expression opportunities. The only thing I will point out is that some of the darker dials may have low legibility. My Canuck blue for example can be hard to read in certain lights.

However I won’t necessarily point out legibility as an issue simply because the focus of the piece was to create something aesthetically beautiful in a simple and unique way. As a result, legibility doesn’t always fit into that. So for me, it’s not a deal breaker. Now if someone was trying to create a tactical flyback chronograph for cyborg-duck hunting on Mars or something and if *that* watch has legibility issues, then that’s a problem. But that’s not what we’re talking about with the SIXOFOURLIFE Watch. The dials are meant to evoke a personal expression designated by the wearer, and in this Broke Watch Snobs opinion SIXOFOURLIFE Watches executes that perfectly.

Strap:

My SIXOFOURLIFE in Canuck Blue features a Light Brown Crocodile quick change strap. Paired with the Canuck Blue it’s really gorgeous. Apart from each other, they’re striking. But when combined they only serve to complement one another very well. The strap is appropriately thin for the style of the watch while also being thick enough to support both the timepiece’s literal and visual weight.


 

After only wearing the strap for about a day or two it began to break in and comfortably conform to my wrist. I also like how easily the quick-change feature works. I can also say that the SIXOFOURLIFE watch case works really well on a nylon strap. Check out the video at the end of the review.

Movement:

The SIXOFOURLIFE Watch is powered by the immensely reliable 21 Jewel Miyota 8215 Series. With a 40 hour power reserve and an accuracy rating of -20/+40 seconds a day, the Miyota is a good fit for the SIXOFOURLIFE. There’s honestly not much more to say other than that – it’s a well known movement caliber that’s been used in many different watches from both small and large brands/manufacturers. What I particularly like about the Miyota 8215 here is the fact that you’re getting reliability while also keeping the cost of parts/materials in a reasonable area to benefit the consumer.

Final Thoughts:

The bottom line is this: if you’re looking for a fun watch with a reliable automatic movement that you can basically rock in both an office and casual environment, then the SIXOFOURLIFE watch is worth taking a good hard look towards.

SIXOFOURLIFE Watches wanted to create something that had both the look and feel of a fun watch that didn’t take itself too seriously. But when you really stop to take it all in you realized that there were some actual solid horology chops and smart design choices that went into the watch as well.

SIXOFOURLIFE Watches wanted to create a super reliable automatic timepiece that would be welcome in any horology enthusiasts’ watch box. But at the same time, they wanted the piece to be fun, expressive, and super versatile. On all those points I say the watch is a success. Is it for everyone? Nothing really is IMO. But if you’ve ever suffered from decision paralysis while staring into the reflective blackhole that is your watch box…not knowing what to wear… you may want to check out SIXOFOURLIFE Watches.

Most of their colors are priced around $379 – check out SIXOFOURLIFE Watches to find a dial color you dig.


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