14 Mar Hands On Review: MAALS Jump Over The Moon
As someone who regularly reviews watches, I’ve got to admit that after a while things can start to blur into one. For example, I’ve lost track of how many watches I’ve reviewed that have a domed sapphire crystal, or use an ETA movement. Which is why it’s really refreshing to come across a watch that dares to be different. In this case I’m specifically talking about the first watch from UK microbrand MAALS.
MAALS was founded in 2017 by two brothers, Andy and Mark, who had a passion for collecting watches. Their first piece is inspired by their love of vintage jump hour watches, and is called the Jump Over The Moon.
A jump hour watch isn’t something you really see anymore. Rather than use hands to display the time, it instead uses rotating discs to display the hour and/or minutes. The result is naturally something completely novel that is pretty different from a regular watch. Anyway, let’s get on and take a look at the watch itself.
The case of the watch is completely brushed, and has sharp, clean edges. The slight flair to the lugs is a simple, but elegant, touch that adds a unique aspect to the otherwise standard case shape. At 42mm the case is on the large side, but thanks to its thinness it doesn’t overpower small wrists like mine. The finishing is nice and fine, giving the case an almost satin look on the steel model. Of course the black PVD coating on the other model creates a uniform stealthy matte look, which has much the same effect. It’s a straightforward look that is perfect because it helps you focus on the dial of the piece.
For what it’s worth the Jump Over The Moon has 50m water resistance. It’s by no means a lot, but this is a statement piece, not a tool watch. Therefore I don’t think you could expect any more for this price range
If you flip the watch over you can see the most interesting part of the case – the snap-on back plate. It’s decorated with a great piece of artwork that illustrates the watch’s name of “Jump Over The Moon”. The laser etching looks absolutely fantastic on the black model, and it’s nice to see something that breaks the mould so well. It’s touches like this that show the passion that’s gone into this watch.
The crystal is a domed mineral with an AR coating on the underside. The coating does help reduce any glare you’ll get, and I always like it when a brand has bothered to apply it.
Of course what makes the MAALS completely different to anything else out there. As a jump hour piece, it doesn’t have hour or minute hands. Instead you have a rotating disc for each which displays the time. MAALS combine this with a moon-phase complication, all framed within a triangular window. It’s an interesting approach that creates a dial that’s very different from a standard watch. Though, to be completely honest the minute disc is a bit too small. I can barely read it when I look at my wrist.
The dial itself has a beautiful sunburst finish which extends to the minute track. After that the dial is matte with a downward curve, and the contrast that this change in finish creates is a really nice detail. As you can see the minutes are marked at every 5, with a full inner graduation from 1-30. The asymmetry this creates adds another layer of intricacy to the face without risking cluttering that dial. The black version uses grey for the printing, and as you might expect it doesn’t help with the legibility. Personally I’d have preferred something with more contrast. However, the steel option uses black and red, which is perfectly legible. The red also matches the seconds hand and the contrast against the dial livens the whole thing up.
A trusty Miyota 6P24 quartz movement can be found inside MAALS’ first watch. Whilst it’s a basic zero jewel movement, it has a decent 3 year battery life and should be accurate to +/- 20 seconds a month. Of course the only extra feature is the moon-phase, and other than that it’s your average run-of-the-mill quartz movement. Not that I’m criticising MAALS’ choice. Miyota produce quartz movements for countless other affordable brands, and have a good reputation. So it’s safe to assume you’ll have no problems with the choice here.
The Jump Over The Moon comes on either a black or brown stitched leather strap. MAALS have gone for quite a thick strap, but it’s actually pretty comfortable, and not too stiff. It’s brushed steel buckle is also pretty chunky. It feels pretty solid, though I think that a smaller, dressier buckle would suit the watch better. That said, overall it’s a perfectly decent strap, and one that won’t wear out quickly.
The Jump Over The Moon is certainly an unusual piece, and one that (if I’m honest) I think is a bit divisive. I’m sure there are some people who’ll look at this watch and slam MAALS for the fairly small window being difficult to read.
But let’s be honest. You aren’t going to buy this piece because you want some super legible tough watch to wear camping. You’re buying it precisely because it’s different to what everyone else is wearing.
And there’s no denying that this is a watch that’s had a lot of passion put into it. Even though the watch costs just £225 it is very well made for a watch at that price point. There’s nothing in terms of the quality I can really find fault with. The finish of the case and dial is fantastic and I think the addition of the quirky caseback art is simply inspired.
Really what it comes down to is how much value you place on a design. If you appreciate a watch with a fresh look when compared to your average Timex then I don’t think you can go wrong with the Jump Over The Moon.
If you like the look of the Jump Over The Moon, you can purchase it from MAALS’ website here.