Pelton is the second entrepreneurial venture of Detroit-based machinist, designer, businessman and all around interesting guy, Deni Mesanovic. His first was Mesanovic Microphones, where he managed to improve on hundred-year-old ribbon microphone technology, successfully machining aluminum ribbons that are 1/50th the thickness of a human hair while simultaneously improving the tiny motors involved in these delicate devices. His other passion is watches, and it wasn’t a huge leap for him to take on the meticulous work of watchmaking. Deni now owns and operates a host of computer-aided and old-school hand-operated metalworking machines dedicated to watchmaking.
Pelton makes their own cases and crowns in-house and, significantly, they also produce the only watch bracelet that can legitimately claim to be “Made in the USA.” That bracelet lives on Pelton’s Royal Oak tribute watch, The Perseus, so we’ll have to leave the impressive 131-piece, handmade bracelet to the side for now. That bracelet is, however, an exercise in proving Pelton’s capabilities, and it’s worth checking out their video of how that bracelet is made in order to appreciate Pelton’s metalworking capabilities.
Those same capabilities go into making the 40-millimeter Sector. When you hold the Sector in your hand the precision is immediately apparent; edges are immaculate and striking, and under the loupe they are even more impressive. Deni told me that the ultra-sharp connections are part of what he sees as an emerging American watch aesthetic. With other companies like Vero and Vortic CNC’ing their own ultra-precise cases here in the USA, he may be right.
The Sector’s 316L stainless steel lugs and mid-case are brushed, while the tall chamfered bezel is polished to a mirror finish. Fit is excellent, and at 9.9 millimeters thick with 100 meters of water resistance, the Sector is an easy-wearing and versatile watch. Brushing stainless steel, Deni explained to me, is not an exact science, and even with computer-aided machines he has to finish them off with old-school polishing wheels in order to get rid of microscopic imperfections. The result is ultra-smooth brushing that glows whiter and brighter than your average brushed stainless steel does.
For instance, the Sector’s screwed-in crown is also an in-house piece, and it’s lovely. Reminiscent of the older Omega sector dial watches that Pelton is riffing on, the crown is 10-sided—a decagon—which is reflected in Pelton’s 10-pointed star logo, taken from the coat of arms from Prijedor, Bosnia where Deni was born. Unlike those older, small, slippery Omega crowns, the Sector’s is large and quite easy to operate.
Solid case backs are not always exciting, but the Sector’s is an in-house unit that demonstrates Pelton’s metalwork capabilities as much as any other part. The shallowly chamfered edge help the Sector wear comfortably, while the engraving proudly declares the prized phrase “Made in the USA,” an honest “Swiss Mvmt,” a serial number, the star logo, and the watch’s name.
Deni points to the Omega and Longines sector dials of the 1930s as his inspirations. The Pelton sector dial features alternating bead-blasting and circular brushing, and the dial’s metalwork—though not in-house (yet)—is just as impressive as that on the case. The date aperture at three o’clock is well proportioned, handsome, and, unlike most date windows, adds tasteful visual syncopation rather than screwing up an otherwise solid layout. Numerical fonts are appropriately conservative, and the railroad outer track is equally traditional, all adding up to a classic look.
Two colorways are available for the Sector, a silver steel dial and a dark ruthenium-plated one. The contrasting sectors leap off the silver dial while the darker version mellows the contrast for a quieter look. Touches of turquoise around the outer railroad track add a modern flavor to both dials.
The Sector’s diamond-cut leaf hands are well suited to this watch’s vintage vibe. On the black dial the hands are nickle-plated (looks alternately silver, bronze or black at different angles), and on the silver dial the hands are black-plated. Each handset emphasizes legibility by way of contrast against the dial while also matching the color of the numerals and markers, respectively.
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