Note: This post was made possible by The Fifth Watches. I only support brands I know, love and actually wear, so you can be sure this review is 100% honest.
Can we get real with each other for a minute? I’ll be honest with you: I’m not really a watch guy. Yeah, I own a few, but I’m not saving up for a Rolex or anything.
This probably has something to do with the fact that most watches are too bulky for me. If you have relatively small wrists and hands, the last thing you need is some behemoth watch weighing you down.
There are many watches I’d like to wear but can’t pull off because of their size and visual weight.
Ideally, here’s what I look for in a watch:
- Clean, minimal design
- Small to medium face size
- Thin “depth” or thickness
- Affordable price
- Leather strap
It’s hard to find watches that meet all of these criteria, which is why I’m excited to introduce The Fifth Watches.
They sent over a watch from their New York Classic collection, and it’s hands-down my new favorite watch for daily wear.
But before we talk about that, you should know two things about The Fifth.
#1: They’re Really Nice People
Meet TFW team:
Funny thing happens when your blog starts gaining popularity: You get bombarded with requests for promotion.
Marketing reps come out of the woodwork. Most of them don’t even take the time to learn your name before hitting you up, asking you to help sell their products.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m flattered that companies value The Modest Man readership, and I’m thrilled that I can actually make money blogging.
But too much of this marketing outreach feels impersonal and even rude.
So it’s always refreshing to meet people like Angus – the social media guru at TFW – who wanted to chat over Skype to learn more about The Modest Man, and who offered to send over a trial watch before asking about reviews.
You only need to look at their Instagram posts to understand how fun-loving and passionate this crew is. They love what they’re doing, and they love their products, which is very cool.
#2: They Have a Unique Business Model
The name “The Fifth Watches” has two meanings. First, it describes the brand’s aesthetic – a blend of modern Melbourne design and classic New York style.
It’s also a nod to their business model: products are released on the 5th of each month for five days, while supplies last (they sell out quickly).
This is why it’s important to sign up for free as a VIP member. You’ll early access to the entire collection (9 hours before the general public) and exclusive access to the new collection (like the one I’m wearing).
TFW has a handful of styles in two different collections. I really like the black-on-black Brooklyn from their New York Classic collection.
Here are the specs:
- All black
- Two stitched straps (one matte, one shiny)
- No second hand
- 40mm face
- Thin depth (around 6mm)
The matte strap is perfect for casual wear, and you can swap it out for the patent leather strap if you wanted to dress it up.
For this post, I kept things casual with a high quality white t-shirt, a nylon jacket with retro vibes and tropical weight wool trousers (links below).
t-shirt | jacket | trousers | watch | sunglasses
This watch would also look great paired with a navy, black or grey suit, but it’s a perfect addition to a simple, casual outfit like mine.
Want a New Watch?
Check out The Fifth Watches to see their current and upcoming collections. Make sure to become a member (it’s free) so you’ll have access to the new collection, including the all black Brooklyn.
Would you wear this watch? Leave a comment below!
Wynn Richards says
I recently purchased a watch from The 5th. To be honest, I am embarrassed to admit that it was after watching one of the many Men’s Fashion oriented Youtubers talk about it. This was before I realized that these guys will promote anything for the right amount of money. I believe what this company does is have a “design” mass produced in China at a per unit price of $15 and under, throw in some slick marketing and promotion, and create a sense of urgency with the limit quantities being released on the 5th. Anyway, I purchased the Black & Tan watch and was beyond disappointed. I am not a watch snob, but I do feel like a a purchase price of over $100, the product should be of reasonable quality – what I received looks, feels, and is a cheaply made product. Before purchasing a watch from this company – do a quick look at all the other fashion brands out there and I think you will see that they all are practically identical with just the brand name being different. I challenge The 5TH to prove that their watches are not massed produced in China
I actually agree with you 100%. I wore a watch from The 5th before I knew anything about watches. If you check out any of my later content, I don’t promote brands like this anymore. That said, I do think fashion watches do a good job getting people like me and you in to watches in the first place.
I just bought one, same one youre referring to. Cant wait to receive it 🙂
Jennifer M. Brinley says
I was so very excited to buy one…It scratched the second time I wore it. I work a desk job and work with paper and a laptop. Not exactly an abrasive environment. Their customer service was pretty good -but the process was cumbersome. The hundred bucks isn’t worth the time and effort to take the *required* pictures of the damage and then get permission to mail it to them before they can assess the damage and refund your postage and replace it. I mean…seriously.It’s not even worth it. I’m sad that the quality was worse than something you’d get from Walmart or Target. At least then I’d have expected it and be less disappointed when it broke the second day. It just looks shabby to wear a scratched watch.
Randall Stevens says
Hey there, I’ve been interested in the fifth watches for a while now but there’s just one thing I have not been able to find out about them so far, where are the watches made? I understand they have a Japanese quartz movement but I’ve had no luck so far in finding out where the rest of the watch comes from, does it say on the bezel? The case? The Bands?
I bought the watch because I loved the design, the look and the practicality. However, my first watch was losing time, 10 minutes for every hour, so I sent it back and swiftly they sent me another watch (great customer service!). However, my second watch ALSO lost time! So I sent it back, going with the theory or third time lucky… and then my third watch arrived and again it lost time.
At least I’m getting a full refund.
Unfortunately I am unable to recommend these watches due to the poor make of them. Be careful before purchasing.
That’s too bad! I haven’t experienced that with mine. Maybe it was a bad batch… Either way sorry to hear that, and thanks for sharing.
Love the watch, but it looks like it’s much larger than 40 mm. Unfortunately I can’t pull off anything over that size. I feel like wearing a train station clock 🙂
love the watches but so disappointed that I cant wear my watch anymore because the band has faded so much and I cant get a new band 🙁 really should considered selling the bands…………
Hi, I Want to buy a watch from The Fifth but I have some questions. I live in Belgium and I can’t find much information about The Fifth. First of all I want to ask what happens when you are not at home when the delivery is at your house. And are there delivery costs when you buy a watch from The Fifth? I know this is maybe not the place to ask these questions but it would be very nice if someone could anwer my questions.
i love the watches there really in right now if you look at the big companies they all have the same style.the watches are a good price for a watch. me and my friends are all buying different ones but there the same price and while my friends pay like $250 i am paying like $150 there so styles this is definitely a much have one but i really wish they where easter to get like i know there nice but i going to ripe my hair out if i cant get one soon.
I just ordered 2 watches, 1 for myself and 1 for my girlfriend, I agree with everything you said! Glad I got to read your blog, and I’m especially happy to know that there nice people behind this brand, as for majority of the comments above I think people need to relax, the bottom line is it is a fashion peice, and for the price I think is set to sell and do well,
Hi! Do you mind sharing how you change the watch strap? I’m unsure if frequent changing would compromise the straps perhaps.
No one said you couldn’t get a better (more elegant, more impressive, more unique) watch at an exorbitant price. I like the simplicity of the design, and the price is low enough for me to be willing to buy it to change off from my Seiko with different outfits. As for impressiveness, I leave that to those who think their possessions make them impressive. I’m impressive enough in my own right. I don’t need a watch to command respect. On the other hand, respect for good taste never hurt.
I first saw this watch on my tumblr, the two models in the picture (boy and girl) were both wearing the same watch. I LOVED the watch, so I zoomed in saw the company, googled it and went right to their website. I didn’t know about the 5 day purchasing time which started on the 5th of each month, so I was confused to why I couldn’t preview the watches. An hour later it was Jan 5. and the store was open. I took that as a sign to buy the Brooklyn since I fell in love at first glance and the website opened up.
It is very hard for me to find my ideal watch, which is the same qualifications as your ideal watch:
Clean, minimal design, small to medium face size, thin “depth” or thickness, affordable price, leather strap. This watch fits all of them and is Water Resistant 5ATM (ATM is equivalent to 10 meters or about 33). I have a very simple taste and this watch is perfect.
This watch also comes with free 1st class shipping. I ordered it on the Jan. 5th and the tracking information says that it will be delivered today Jan 8th.
The first class shipping makes the price of the watch feel even sweeter.
i ordered a watch after i read about the fifth watches here. for almost three weeks, i waited just to finally order it. i am beyond excited. i hope its great just like what you said here.
Jessica Chen (@conapplee) says
Hi! I’d like to ask if you think the ‘All Black’ model would be suitable for me?
I’m a girl and my wrist is pretty small (it measures about 5 inches) and the width of my wrist where the watch face would go is around 4cm, give or take a few mm.
I used to wear a white swatch watch which only had a 35mm diameter watch face and the (rubber) straps were just over 1.5cm in width. It stopped working a while ago and I prefer a watch over using my phone because often need to know the time at school, so I’d say I’m not just all for style, but also for functionality. The ‘All Black’ has a second hand so I think that’d be useful too.
I’ve been debating this for months now, and January 5th is coming up soon, so I’m not sure if I should purchase one. (if it doesn’t fit, do you know if I can refund it?)
(also is there more than one strap for the all black model?)
Love the style on the watches…Similar to MVMT Watches. Clean and not overly flashy. The millennial generation will love these watches. I’d rock these watches! Great watch guys! I’m hooked.
I have a one of the firth watches, I had it for 6 months then the battery died. I emailed them expecting that they would stay I would have to by a new battery but no they gave me a whole new watch for free they even let me change the colour and they paid for all shipping expenses. I highly recommend them for their great service plus the watches look so good!
I’ve always loved bigger watches (even though I have a skinny wrist) and always struggled to find something in the womens watches section. After debating between a Nixon Kensington, The Horse, Breda, and The Fifth for over month, I finally bought the all black Melbourne Minimal from them for everyday wear. I’m loving it and feeling more comfortable looking beyond the womens watch section.
I’ve ordered a black on black for myself, from my girlfriend as a Xmas present.
Up untill reading a few of the comments & feedback on this blog I was really excited.
I myself am not really a big watch guy. But the subtleness, yet eye catching beauty, really appealed to me.
I just hate reading comments about ‘good marketing’. It makes me feel like I’ve been suckered into buying something stupid.
I hear you, Mitch. But don’t worry about it. On almost everything I write, especially sponsored posts or product reviews, there are some negative comments.
If you like the watches, then they were good purchase! I’m sure your gf will like them too (I actually gave mine a rose gold one, and she loves it).
Way to get your xmas shopping done early!
Do you notice not having the second hand and minutes lines on the Brooklyn watch? I was wondering because the suave strap doesn’t come with the all black? So I don’t know if the missing minute lines and second hand makes a difference?
I guess it depends on how you’re using the watch. Without a second hand, you couldn’t use it as a timer. But honestly, watches for me are more for style than function. If I need an exact time (down to the minute) or a timer, I use my phone.
Thanks still stuck between the All black and Brooklyn though haha
Wait, isn’t the Brooklyn all black?
Do you know the price of the New York style watch in GBP (£) including duty tax?
How much are they?
Start at $105, I think the new collection is $125.
Thanks brock for shure i will buy one
I’m always on the lookout for new watches as I have kind of an obsession for them. My problem is however quite the opposite from yours. I am a tall, buffed Swedish man with wrists the size of most peoples ankles and it’s quite tough to find minimalistic watches with sleek designs when you need your watch to be minimum ø 44mm. If I go smaller it looks like a bird droppings on my wrist. I personally really like the Jord collection from woodwatches.com but their standard models are way to small, 39-41mm. I just found your blog but if you know of any nice looking bigger watches in the similar price range please point me in the right direction. And have a look at the Jord collection if you like the naturalistic look of things 🙂
Might want to check out The Fifth’s original collection. I think they’re about 43-44mm, but they’re also thicker than the New York collection, so they look and feel more weighty.
Hello everybody. When I came across this post I relly wanted a watch from this company. I really like the design and their philosophy. BUT BE CAREFUL: I ORDERED A WATCH FROM THEM AND IT CAME BROKEN!! After not even 2 hours after setting the time, it was already going wrong by 30 min!! The watch looks very nice on the pictures, but I have to say that in reallity it feels and looks VERY CHEAP! I made a warranty claim to get a new watch or my money back but they say they have some problems with their system so they can´t give me a return shipping label. They want me to send the watch back on my own cost, which I´m not willing to do! My advice: stay away from their watches! right now there are more companys that are producing watches in this style as the minimalistic style is becomming very popular. I´m sure you can find a similar watch in better quality!
Hmm sorry to hear this. They seem like the type of company that would take care of any issues right away. Keep us updated if anything gets resolved!
I received my watch and after having it for a few weeks it stopped working !
I’ve emailed them a few times and just never get a reply.
really sad because their design are really nice.
I’m so involve with these watches and now I’m wondering how much they cost. so i can hopefully buy one when i get the email
I like the style and look of the watch, yet at 40mm it makes my wrist invisible. Can you point me toward a slightly smaller and thin mens watch?
Reading your post about the watch, i found the trousers very nice, but never could reach the right item on the link you give. Do you if it is still available?
These were made from a seasonal fabric (lightweight wool), so it might not be available anymore (since we’re getting into fall).
Could email Black Lapel to ask though!
Kiara Febres says
How much was the watch, just signed up for their VIP BLOg
I believe this one is $150.
I dig it! But it is Interesting to note that on their website and social media, most of their models are women. Are the watches actually meant for women, or are they unisex?
They’re all unisex, although some are obviously more feminine (like the white one with the rose gold strap), while some seem more masculine (like the black on black).
I received two today ($150 each) from the New York collection–black/black (or “stealth,” as some watch sites call this combination) and rose/tan. On day one, I am reasonably well-impressed. These watches have a nice “presence;” Super-thiin, they seem to me to whisper–rather than shout–“class” or “elegance.” The stealth model is not difficult to read. Each comes with two straps, whiich are made with easy-to-change mechanisms. I am not enamored of the black suede, but the straps seem well-made and are attractive.
I am a watch collector, and own and wear a number of prestigous Swiss watches. (I took off a Ball Engineer II to try these.) i do not think that I would be embarrassed to wear these anywhere I would wear my dressier Swiss mechanical watches. This collection is 41 mm and does pretty well fill my wrist.
Ever think about starting a watch blog? Haha… well written review. Thanks for sharing!
Gwen Ferguson says
I love the look of this watch and i even checked out their website, but what concerns me is that there are no prices listed at all anywhere. what am i getting myself into falling in love with such a gorgeous accessory, and not even knowing what cost it would be to own? its so sleek, clean, and looks so fresh and pristine, I’m basically mesmerized by it!
Haha good point. I think they’re all about $105.
Gregory Wright says
I’m not a watch guy at all but decided to buy the black/gold V as part of my wardrobe makeover. Antonio of Real Men Real Style convinced me that I should wear a watch as part of my dressed wardrobe. Ordered it on September 4th, schedule to arrive tomorrow September 14th. I like how the watch looks on videos and Internet pictures. I think I will like wearing it too.
I think the watch looks a little too big. Also not a big fan of the green jacket.
I have a 6.5-inch wrist, and I find that 40mm dials look and fit just right. This watch wears MUCH larger than its advertised 40mm. Plus, the watch back is convex, lifting the watch somewhat off the wrist. I find that a strange look. It should be concave, hence conforming to wrist shape.
In checking their website, I can find no specs on the watch, not even a mention of the movement.
Although the $105 price ranks it as an “affordable,” Seiko has many more choices in that range, and you’ll have no trouble finding their watch specs.
I do like the Seiko 5 for a casual watch. Not really a “minimal” design, but they have a nice small face at 37mm. They are quite a bit thicker than this one though (11mm as opposed to 6mm).
Specs are listed somewhere – I think in a blog post on their site. Will post the link if I see it again.
First off. This isn’t a review it’s a marketing piece, secondly this is your favorite watch and it’s just been sent to you, really? What was your favorite before this one as surely you would have had one.
Lastly it’s too big and bloody awful
My favorite before this was a Timex Weekender (38mm instead of 40mm). Like I said, not really a watch guy.
Erekose P. says
Maybe I’m the only one in the comment section rocking the oversized accessories, but I think it looks great and makes a bold fashion statement. As long as your clothes are stunningly well fitted, I say make your look really pop with some oversized accessories!
I’ll definitely be hitting this company up, thanks Brock!
You’re so right about well-fitted clothes. It lets you get away with a lot more when adding accessories. Thanks for your comment!
These look boss.
I was looking through their selection and saw the white and gold one.. Is that too flashy?
My style is pretty neutral right now… My clothes fit, no one would see me and say, “he doesn’t know how to dress” but no one would say “He’s very stylish” either… Know what I mean? I’d like to up my style, and I’m thinking a swag watch might help. But I don’t want to overdue it. What are your thoughts?
Also, that jacket is sick. I’ve see you wear it in other pictures. I’m definitely getting the same one for fall.
Yeah, the jacket is great. It’s on sale right now actually (you’d probably want the medium).
I wouldn’t say the white and gold is too flashy, but it’s probably not as versatile as a brown or black one. I think they have one that comes with a brown and black strap.
In your promo, and in the cluster of photos, it is impossible to see the time. Form follows function…… the primary purpose of a watch should be the ability to tell the time.
If you are going to sell out your independent views, at least pick a product that we can respect.
Rich, I find it pretty easy to tell time with these watches. For example, it’s 11:50 in the title pic and 12:07 in the “ideal watch” graphic. Of course, there’s no second hand, so you couldn’t use it as a timer.
As far as selling out my views, I get 2-5 requests for this sort of post every day. I run about one per month, and it’s only after trying a product and getting to know the company (usually the founders).
Almost every blog earns revenue this way. The difference is, not all of them disclose this fact clearly, at the top of the post. That’s their choice. I choose to let people know, even if it upsets some of them.
This is a big part of how I make a living, and how I’m able to produce so much free content.
I love the look of these. I’m leaning towards the brown and black one. Do you think those colors limit the versatility of the watch?
Also do you know anything about the durability of the watch. Water resistance, scratch resistance, etc?
Thanks for the post man I’ve been looking for a sleak watch in my price range:)
I can’t speak to durability over time because I’ve only owned mine for about a month. But they’re supposed to be water resistent (I think up to 5m). Keep in mind, that usually means it’s okay if it gets wet (like rained on a bit), but try to keep it dry.
I think one of them comes with a brown AND black strap, which would be really versatile. Otherwise, I’d probably go with a brown strap over black.
Tom Bertagnolli says
Thanks for the post! My daily driver is a Citizen BM8240-03E. The glass face is 30mm, the case adds another 6mm for a total of 36mm. I find this to suit me perfectly. This morning, I was told by a punctual shuttle driver at a hotel, “I will leave in 90 seconds.” I sure appreciated the second hand on my Citizen as I finished my checkout at the front desk in a hurry!
Looks like a sharp watch…nice choice!
I understand this is a paid advertisement but Fifth watch seem to be very good at marketing mainly.
They create the illusion of rarity by having a limited time frame to buy the watches. (Only 1 model tends to sell out out of the 4 available – given they don’t release sale numbers, they probably allow the sell out on purpose to further create demand)
The watch is definitely too big (40mm) for a small man.
The company is aimed at hipsters – I’m from Melbourne so it’s pretty easy to spot them.
Better to check out Melbourne Watch Company for quality time pieces rather than some cheaply made watch.
Another alternative is Lexon watches in 38mm
They’re very good at marketing, mostly because they treat people right (I touched on this in the post).
I think you’re right that they use scarcity to create demand but can’t speak to their sales numbers, etc.
Will check out Lexon, thanks for the recommendation!
Personally, the perfect dress watch I wear now and then (I use my cellphone for the time) is my Rolex Cellini. It’s size is perfect for people with small wrist. This Fifth Watch looks nice but it doesn’t have the wow factor that I desire. However, if the price is right, it may be a nice accessory for daily use.
Spoken like a true boss! Thanks for weighing in, Cyrus.
Gotta be honest, I don’t like these watches at all. First, they are trying way too hard to be the poor man’s Movado. Second, the black-on-black-on-black looks gaudy, defeating the purpose of a “minimalist” watch. a 40mm plate is too big for the plain face, leaving a lot of empty space. Skagen and Rado do “minimalist” watches right.
Fair enough, but I don’t see the comparison with Movado. They’re 4-10x the price and kind of gaudy, in my opinion. Sure, they’re minimal, but to the point where I don’t think I could actually read the time (then again, I was never good with the whole analog thing).
Skagen is cool, although I think most of theirs are 40mm as well.
I’ll get back to you about Rado when I can afford one (in 2035).
Miles Lane says
I just received my first watch from The 5:th and I absolutely love it. I am not a watch snob I don’t know hoity from toity
But I do know since my head is the size of an oats bucket this 40mm looks friggin awesome on me! Don’t hate
Thanks guys I like what you doing
Bert Hurst says
My criteria are about the same as yours but a 40mm face is 5-10mm too big for my taste. Other than that, these are beautiful minimalist designs. (Love the green jacket, btw!)
Thanks! I’ve been loving this jacket too. Usually my cutoff is 40mm, but the depth really does make a huge difference. I have some 38mm watches that feel way bigger than this one because they’re thicker (face and strap).
But I hear you – maybe they’ll come out with a smaller design in the future.