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Hands-On: Pompeak Watches Gentlemen’s Collection Review

William Barton

Style, Grooming, Fitness, Boots, Workwear

William has been covering men's style, grooming, and fitness topics for The Adult Man since 2018 as both a writer and photographer. Based in North Carolina, he's also the face of premier men's boots website BootSpy.com and the popular BootSpy YouTube channel. If William could only wear one outfit for the rest of his life, it'd be slim blue jeans, a green fitted oxford shirt, Chelsea boots, and a nice watch. Read full bio.

Last Updated: Feb 16, 2024
6 min read

Wondering if Pompeak Watches deserves the hype? Is an automatic timepiece worth the extra expense?

In our Pompeak review, we take a close look at the new brand’s Gentlemen’s Collection to see if they’re a flash in the pan or the next big splash in the British watch scene.

The Brit with grit
The Adult Man Image/Icon Image source: Pompeak Watches

Bottom line: The Gentlemen’s Collection from Pompeak has classy style and is a nice timepiece for anyone who enjoys the open-heart automatic design. While the design of the dial isn’t completely new, specs like a sapphire crystal, 100m of water resistance, and automatic Miyota movement all add up to a solid value.

Ratings: The Adult Man Image/Icon  Design The Adult Man Image/Icon  Quality of Materials The Adult Man Image/Icon  Value for Money The Adult Man Image/Icon  Craftsmanship The Adult Man Image/Icon  Customer Service
  • The movement showing through the open-heart dial is classy
  • The link bracelet with deployant clasp feels sturdy and reliable
  • The Miyota Automatic 82S5 movement has decent timekeeping and is durable
  • Free shipping worldwide and 2-year warranty
  • The dial design isn’t one-of-a-kind, but it’s still handsome

The British have invented at least two great things:

James Bond. 

And the word, “squidgy.”

To be honest, when I look at those two side by side, James can’t even compete. 

Like an artist that created his masterpiece in his youth, the Brits must carry on despite the fact that they’ve already reached perfection with squidgy.

And that leads me to Pompeak Watches: a young British-designed watch company founded by two brothers. 

I’ve had two timepieces from their Gentlemen’s Collection for the past few weeks and I can’t contain the truth any longer. This must be said. 

What Is Pompeak Watches?

Pompeak watches gentlemens collection in navy and black

Pompeak Watches is a British-designed watch brand that launched after months of designs, redesigns, and a successful Kickstarter campaign. 

Founded by brothers Dave and Noah, Pompeak started with a passion for design. Their first watch: The Debut Collection, is a minimal quartz timepiece. But their newest watches—the Gentlemen’s Collection—is their pride and joy, at the time of writing (who knows what they’ll design next). 

Pompeak launched in 2017 and has seen slow and steady growth to today. They’re still a young brand, with only two models. That said, I prefer a watch brand that knows itself and grows gradually, improving with each new release. 

Things to Consider Before Buying

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Pompeak is based in the UK, and they’ll ship your timepiece anywhere in the world for free. For other US-based brands, UK folks have to pay hefty shipping and import duties for their watches. But because Pompeak is a homegrown brand, the Brits get a nice deal.

For US-based folks, there is an import duty, so budget a bit extra for that. 

When buying any automatic watch, it’s worth considering whether you’ll get a watch winder. Winders are nice if you have a few different automatics and you don’t get to wearing them at least every other day. 

But if this is your first automatic, just note that you’ll want to reset the time fairly often (maybe every other day) as automatics can lose or gain time much more than watches with quartz movements. 

Pompeak Watches

A rising star in the British watchmaking scene, Pompeak has two models---a minimalist quartz piece and their new Gentlemen's Collection with an open heart automatic Miyota movement at its core.

Visit Pompeak Watches

My Hands-On Review: Gentlemen’s Collection

Packaging & First Impression

Pompeak watches black packaging

Pompeak has put a lot of care and attention into their packaging. And to be honest, my solid first impression started before my watches even arrived—Pompeak kept me updated on the shipping, which took about a week from the UK. 

I’ve never been one to begrudge a company for not teleporting their products to me a la Amazon, but having consistent updates every other day is nice for peace of mind. 

The Gentlemen’s Collection model arrives in a matte black padded box in a display setting. I picked up two editions: the navy dial with a stainless steel link bracelet and another with a black dial and black leather band. 

Case & Caseback

Pompeak watches gentlemens collection

The case is 40mm in diameter, 10.4 mm thick, and made with 316L stainless steel. It’s a nice masculine size without tipping over into “oversized” territory. The design of the case is very simple, with all polished silver tones and comfortable curved lugs. 

The star of the show in this design is the open-heart movement (which I’ll discuss more later), so I’m fine with the no-frills case. 

Pompeak clear caseback

But the caseback is a different story. With a viewing window back, you can look into the inner-workings of the Japanese 21-jewel movement. This is the kind of thing that turns people into watch nerds. 

Dial & Crystal

The main feature of the dial is the open-heart movement window. Just look at how mesmerizing it is:

pompeak watch movement 1

The skeleton viewing window is positioned between six and eight, with an overlapping second-hand subdial.

Pompeak gentlemens watch dial closeup

Besides that, the dial is pretty minimal—the batons are uniform silver bars and the hands are a lume-coated sword and dagger. 

There’s an interesting radial pattern on the dial which adds a little depth and intrigue to the watch. I’ve seen a few other watchmakers with similar looking dials, albeit not for this price. 

Pompeak watches review

The crystal is pure sapphire, which is excellent for scratch resistance and reduced glare. I didn’t have any issues reading the face, even at midday.  

Movement & Crown

Pompeak dial head on

The Gentlemen’s Collection runs on the Miyota 82S5 movement, which is a 21-jewel Japanese automatic. It has a decent reliability at plus/minus 20 seconds a day. In the world of automatics, that rating is good, considering the lower price tag. 

It couldn’t be more simple to operate this bad boy—the crown is a simple three-position piece. Wind your watch by cracking 40 counter-clockwise turns, set it at the third position, and click the crown into place and let your timepiece take it from there. 

As I mentioned earlier, the movement is the star of the show here, and being able to watch it run in real time, either from the dial or the caseback is a pleasure. 

Pompeak watches crown closeup

I’ve also noticed that Miyota automatics seem to take a little better to your standard arm jostling—the last auto I picked up had a Seiko engine, and I’ve had issues getting it to stay wound on my wrist. That’s not the case at all here. 

Strap & Wearability

Pompeak display caseback detail

My two watches from the Gentlemen’s Collection have different straps: one a leather band, and the other a stainless link bracelet. 

With all stainless link bracelets, a little adjusting is necessary right out of the box. This can be really difficult if you don’t have the right tool. But a few months back, I got a tool from Vario watch straps that helps me adjust my bands much more easily. 

Pompeak watches on wrist

Both the leather band and the link bracelet feature a deployant clasp. I really like the clasp for the stainless links, though I’m a bit divided on the clasp for the leather band. I think it adds more bulk to the band than necessary. 

Pompeak Watches Gentlemen's Collection

The Gentlemen's Classic has a striking open heart dial with a distinguished textured face. You can pick this timepiece up with either a steel link bracelet or leather, though we lean toward the steel link. What kind of gentleman are you?

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What Do Other Reviewers Say?

Pompeak is a young brand, so they don’t have a ton of crowdsourced reviews online. But at the time of writing, 99% of their reviews are 5-stars.

What’s interesting though is that they’re fairly well reviewed in the professional blog world. Something tells me a lot of folks expect good things from Pompeak in the future. 

My Thoughts Overall

What I Like

  • I’m a fan of the open-heart movement and the classy dial. 

  • The link bracelet is comfortable and the clasp is sturdy, so the watch has a hefty, masculine feel to it. 

  • The Miyota 82S5 is accurate to 20 seconds per day and is a workhorse that will last many, many years. 

  • Shipping is free, and the brand offers a 2-year warranty. 

What I Don’t Like

  • I’ve seen other brands with similar dials, though it is a handsome design. 

Who is Pompeak Watches for?

Pompeak offers up something for the guy who doesn’t make hard distinctions between his personal and professional life (i.e. the hustlers out there—you know who you are). The Gentlemen’s Collection is a bit of business class, a bit of weekend lake trip, and a lot of handsome style.

The Verdict

For such a young brand, Pompeak Watches has done a nice job with their first automatic timepiece. 

The Gentlemen’s Collection is distinctive with its open-heart movement and textured dial. The design, including the 40mm diameter, makes this a good choice if you’re a guy who wants a single, versatile watch that can move effortlessly from the office to Saturday night drinks. 

I recommend the stainless link version over the leather band. I think the quality of the leather doesn’t live up to the price, whereas the stainless link bracelet definitely does. 

Pompeak is especially worth a closer look if you’re one of our mates from the UK—their free shipping and 2-year warranty are a big bonus, and it can be hard to find good watches in the UK that don’t require a hefty import tax. 

So, are you ready to take a Pom-peek?

And with that: we’re done.

Pompeak Watches

A rising star in the British watchmaking scene, Pompeak has two models---a minimalist quartz piece and their new Gentlemen's Collection with an open heart automatic Miyota movement at its core.

Visit Pompeak Watches

For a closer visual on the Pompeak Gentleman’s Collection, check out my in-depth video review:


Are open heart watches tacky?

Some open heart watches can look tacky, but it’s all in the execution. If there’s a small window into the movement, that can add a lot of intrigue to the timepiece. If the watch is cheaply built and has a completely open face, it might look more like a steampunk cosplay item than a nice timepiece.

What are the watches called when you can see the gears?

Watches that show the gears and movement are called either a skeleton watch or an open heart watch.