This watch represents something of a middle ground. The essentials are there. It’s under 40mm in size and is powered by Luch’s own 1801.1 hand-winding movement. The sunburst dial is spartan and shows only what you need to tell the time – again no date window.
However, there are a few noticeable upgrades. The dial is protected by a sapphire crystal, and rather than a plain case back, there is an engraved back with a small window to see the inner workings. The basic leather strap has been replaced by a stainless steel Milanese style bracelet, although the case is still brass.
Luch watch case back
This model is a smaller, slight variation on the original design. Marketed specifically to women, it is a modest piece, coming in at 30mm. The strap is on the little side too – it’s 16mm. Aside from the sizing and the crown position, it’s all quite familiar.
As with many of the more recent variations, a touch of colour has been added. In some models that has meant a colourful dial or strap. In this model, it’s the more subtle green hand. It makes for a contemporary aesthetic, with the emphasis more on the minimalist and Bauhaus side of the design.
The case is still brass and the movement is the same hand-winding 1801.1 calibre. Like the previous model, there is an engraved case back and exhibition window. All for less than $100.
In the west, the One-handed Luch exact replica watches is the design we’re most familiar with. Its appeal is obvious. It has a minimalist, almost Bauhaus (more here), design. Runs by hand-winding its in-house mechanical movement and is very cheap.
I’d suggest there are some other subtle reasons that this watch has proven so popular with watch fans in the West. It represents more than just a vintage aesthetic – in a sense, it is a rebellion against the digital age we now inhabit.
We like mechanical watches despite them not being as accurate as quartz models. As I noted here, we may want a watch capable of going to the bottom of the ocean, despite never taking it anywhere but the office.
The Luch wins me over for one reason. It only roughly tells the time. Without minute or second hands, you’re unable to get a precise time. Forget how many seconds a mechanical watch may lose in a day – the Luch One-handed watch has markers around the dial showing five minute periods. That’s the best you can get – the time, give or take five mins.
You wear a Luch when every second doesn’t count. When the design of your watch is more important than the exact time. When you have the freedom to not be a slave to the clock.
With that in mind, I’ve highlighted some of the various versions of the one-handed watches that Luch now do. They’re fun, quirky and mostly cheap enough to be bought on a whim.
This is the original Luch One-Hand watch.
It has a simple, dateless, uncluttered dial and one hand. There are variations of this model, with black or silver dials and with the logo and text in Cyrillic or English. For me, this is the most authentic version – a white dial and Cyrillic text.
One of the first things you notice when you see this watch in the flesh is the size. It’s 38mm and slim in profile. Although Luch produce watches specifically for women, I’d suggest that this makes for a suitable unisex piece.
Indeed, it has a small Luch mechanical movement that was originally created for small women’s watches. It’s hand-winding, so if its the vintage aesthetic that appeals to you, you’ll love the ritual of winding the watch each morning.
Remember though, this is a cheap replica watch and has been built to a budget. So it does have a real leather strap, but the case is brass with a chrome coating. For me, that isn’t a deal-breaker. It just means that the watch is built the way that it always was – if anything it adds to the charm
This watch contradicts everything I’ve said regarding the history and charm of Luch’s single-hand watches. It’s the most up to date, highest spec model that the Belarusian’s manufacture. I’ve highlighted it straight after the original model to amplify the contrast between the two.
How does this watch differ to the first?
At 42mm, it’s significantly larger. Rather than using an in-house handing winding movement, it houses a Miyota, Japanese made automatic. This is visible through the exhibition back. There are other design touches that the increased price allows for. The crown is signed for example. It has some modest water resistance and a sapphire crystal. The beefed-up strap also includes a neat deployment clasp.
In a sense, you still get a niche mechanical one-handed watch with cool Cyrillic text – it is a watch that you’re unlikely to see on someone else’s wrist. But whether it has the same authenticity as the original would be up to the buyer to decide.