I cannot remember when I first came across the Matthew and Son Watches Irukanji. I do remember seeing it and immediately liking the design. I also remember being hesitant to purchase because of the small size. After owning it awhile I can definitively say that I am glad I purchased this watch.
Matthew and Son Watches or MAS is an Australian Microbrand founded in 2019 by Matthew Francis. Matthew’s desire is to produce unique and attainable pieces which I believe he achieved with this offering.
The Irukandji is a venomous jellyfish and that is where the contoured body, bezel and lug design get their inspiration. From the case back, the watch reaches it’s widest 42mm measurement at the base of the case. From there the brushed sides blend into the bezel for a very appealing side-profile with a 39.5mm bezel. Showing great attention to detail the vertically brushed case is finished by hand. The thin and angular lugs are drilled and also vertically brushed. The lugs width comes in at a very appropriate 20mm.
The 90-click unidirectional bezel (yes you read that correct) is very easy to grip and operate. I inquired about the 90-click bezel and received confirmation that I did indeed count that correctly. Matthew also told me that these 90-click bezels were only on the first run of watches and that since then they have moved to 120-click bezels. I notice very minor back play in the bezel movement. It has a black ceramic insert with lumed numbers and indicators in 5 minute intervals. On my example the bezel is misaligned by about 1mm when at the 12 o’clock position. The bezel gives way to a domed sapphire crystal which has anti-reflective coating on the inside of the crystal.
The 10 o’clock crown is signed which is a nice touch at the price point. At about 6mm it easy to grip and operate the crown. The quality of the engraving is good but could be better. Unfortunately I scratched my crown up a bit when trying to remove the blue sticker that came on the crown when brand-new. Another point of note; I always struggle to screw the crown in with the crown being at 10 o’clock and wearing the watch on my left wrist. I tend to turn it upside down in my hand so the crown imitates the 4 o’clock position. At this point I can easily screw the crown back down.
On the reverse side is a very nice stamped design on a solid case back. The central image is of the Irukandji jellyfish. Along the outer edge of the design are the details of the watch. The watch has a 200m water resistance rating.
The deadly black dial has a subtle sunburst to it that I really only noticed at magnification. The other available dial colors appear to show this sunburst much better if that is important to you. The printed dial is crisp enough but not perfect. Each of indices are well executed and I do rather like the triangular indices at 12, 6 and 9. At the 3 o’clock position is the date with a black on white wheel and a polished edge finishes the date window very nicely. Below the 12 o’clock index is the MAS logo and above the 6 o’clock index is the watch name and WR rating.
The hands are well designed as well. The minute hand comes to the outer edge of the hour pips and the hour hand is just shy of them. The seconds hand extends just a little further than the minute hand. Each of the hands appear to have a flat finish and are well filled with lume.
I enjoy the departure from the green lume on this watch. Below you can see the lume is blue and while the bezel and hands are both well lumed the larger hour indexes could be better. Overall the lume performs as it should and is readable well through the night.
This watch uses a Seiko NH35 movement with a date complication. This is a hacking and hand-winding movement and is a great movement for the price point of this watch.
Features as Reviewed:
Case: 39.5mm (Bezel), 42mm (base), 46mm lug to lug, 13.13mm thickness – Brushed 316L stainless steel
Lugs: 20mm, drilled
Bezel: Ceramic, unidirectional, lumed
Crystal: Domed sapphire, internal anti-reflective coating
Crown: 10 o’clock, signed, screw-down
Dial: ‘Deadly Black’, Logo @ 12, Date @ 3, Name @ 6 (Also available in Seastorm Red, Tropical Yellow, Reef Blue, Stinger Pink, Tentacle Purple, Sea Green and Starfish Orange)
Indices: Printed, lumed
Case back: Stamped Irukandji artwork
Movement: Seiko NH35, regulated
Price: $475 AUS / $370 USD (at time of writing)
On the Wrist
For a long time, I avoided anything smaller than 42mm watches. Over the years my wrist has unfortunately grown a little. The size of the bezel and dial cause the watch to wear a little small. The watch has nice presence on my wrist though and I truly enjoy wearing it. Here I have paired it with our 20mm Ilwaco nylon strap with brushed hardware.
Would I buy this watch again? Yes. Would I recommend this watch to a friend? Yes. Knowing what I know after reviewing the watch I think I would reach out to MAS and ask about getting a watch with a properly aligned bezel. For the current cost of entry at $370 I would not hesitate to pull the trigger on this watch. The quality is on par or exceeds other watches I’ve owned at this price point. What do you think of this review? Do you own this watch? Let me know in the comments below.
I hope to be able to get my hands on MAS’ next offering the Arcticus field watch. In the meantime, visit MAS Watches to purchase the Irukandji dive watch.