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Daniel Wellington Watches Review - Are They Just Pretty? [2020 Update]

If you’ve prowled through Instagram, you’ve probably stumbled upon Daniel Wellington’s page before. They have millions of followers, and they owe it to social media for making them so popular. In our Daniel Wellington watches review, we’ve looked at who they are, reviewed some of their products, and answered some questions you may have.

Who Are They?

When it comes to the watch industry, heritage matters. Unfortunately for the company, they’ve only been in the game for a little less than a decade. This doesn’t mean that they produce poor quality watches, though.

They were founded by Filip Tysander. He was a Swede who traveled to Australia in 2006. He loved his time down-under and met Daniel Wellington – the gentleman he named his company after. According to him, Daniel was so fashionable that he left an impression on him.

According to Tysander, he always wore a Rolex Submariner, the pinnacle of classic luxury pieces.

He studied business at Uppsala University. Upon his graduation, he followed his dreams of starting a watch company. He says that he vigorously used social media to grow his brand, and it shows.

He designed perfectly minimalistic pieces, getting his designs created by a factory in China. He invested $15,000 in his dream. His efforts paid off - by 2014, they sold over 1 million timepieces and made a 70-million-dollar revenue.

Although they aren’t the oldest, you know who they are. They keep becoming more popular, and the quality of their devices is superb.

PETITE MELROSE

The Watches - At A Glance

Instead of diving right in, give the following table a read first. We summarized our picks in it. They’ll give you a good idea of the timepieces you’ll be meeting in our article.

Preview
Daniel Wellington Classic Black Stainless Steel Japanese-Quartz Watch with Man Made Strap, 19.6...
Daniel Wellington Petite Melrose Rose Gold Watch, 28mm, Mesh, for Men and Women
Daniel Wellington Classic St Mawes Rose Gold Watch, 36mm, Leather, for Men and Women
Daniel Wellington Classic Canterbury Silver Watch, 36mm, Nato, for Men and Women
Daniel Wellington Dapper Sheffield Watch, 38mm
Water resistance
100 feet (30 meters)
100 feet (30 meters)
100 feet (30 meters)
100 feet (30 meters)
100 feet (30 meters)
Strap
NATO strap
Leather
Leather
NATO strap
Leather
Crystal
Hardened mineral
Hardened mineral
Hardened mineral
Hardened mineral
Hardened mineral
Case (size)
1.57 inches (40 mm)
1.10 inches (28 mm)
1.41 inches (36 mm)
1.41 inches (36 mm)
1.49 inches (38 mm)
Case
Stainless steel
Stainless steel
Stainless steel
Stainless steel
Stainless steel
Bezel
Stainless steel
Stainless steel
Stainless steel
Stainless steel
Stainless steel
Movement
Japanese quartz
Japanese quartz
Japanese quartz
Japanese quartz
Japanese quartz
Colour
Black
Rose gold
Brown & black
Blue, red and white
White & black
Preview
Daniel Wellington Classic Black Stainless Steel Japanese-Quartz Watch with Man Made Strap, 19.6...
Water resistance
100 feet (30 meters)
Strap
NATO strap
Crystal
Hardened mineral
Case (size)
1.57 inches (40 mm)
Case
Stainless steel
Bezel
Stainless steel
Movement
Japanese quartz
Colour
Black
More Information
Preview
Daniel Wellington Petite Melrose Rose Gold Watch, 28mm, Mesh, for Men and Women
Water resistance
100 feet (30 meters)
Strap
Leather
Crystal
Hardened mineral
Case (size)
1.10 inches (28 mm)
Case
Stainless steel
Bezel
Stainless steel
Movement
Japanese quartz
Colour
Rose gold
More Information
Preview
Daniel Wellington Classic St Mawes Rose Gold Watch, 36mm, Leather, for Men and Women
Water resistance
100 feet (30 meters)
Strap
Leather
Crystal
Hardened mineral
Case (size)
1.41 inches (36 mm)
Case
Stainless steel
Bezel
Stainless steel
Movement
Japanese quartz
Colour
Brown & black
More Information
Preview
Daniel Wellington Classic Canterbury Silver Watch, 36mm, Nato, for Men and Women
Water resistance
100 feet (30 meters)
Strap
NATO strap
Crystal
Hardened mineral
Case (size)
1.41 inches (36 mm)
Case
Stainless steel
Bezel
Stainless steel
Movement
Japanese quartz
Colour
Blue, red and white
More Information
Preview
Daniel Wellington Dapper Sheffield Watch, 38mm
Water resistance
100 feet (30 meters)
Strap
Leather
Crystal
Hardened mineral
Case (size)
1.49 inches (38 mm)
Case
Stainless steel
Bezel
Stainless steel
Movement
Japanese quartz
Colour
White & black
More Information

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The Watches

1. Daniel Wellington Cornwall Watch DW00100149

The timepiece is a vision in black. This makes it very chic. Along with its minimalistic look, you’re looking at a device that looks expensive. Considering that it’s only $200, you’re making a good purchase.

The device has a quality steel case. DW says that it’s 316L. This means that it’s surgical-grade, so you won’t be able to scratch it easily. The metal also makes it very water-proof. What’s more, it has a silver finish. That’s why it shines bright when the light hits.

Its case is only 1.57 inches (40 mm). Considering that Daniel Wellington is all about minimalistic pieces, if there was a large case, the effect would be taken away. As its case isn’t very big, you might think you won’t be able to wear it if you have large wrists. This is not the case – you’d just look like a bit of a giant with it.

You’re looking at a Japanese quartz watch. If you know anything about how automatic and quartz mechanisms work, this shouldn’t be a surprise to you. Automatic movements require a lot of gears. Being such a small watch, it wouldn’t be able to host them. It’d also be heavy, ruining its sleek feel.

We’re also not mad about this as quartz movements are the most reliable. After all, they have the least parts.

The strap on it is NATO. This makes it easy to wear. You just loop its band into place. Being NATO, it is water-proof. This is great as the timepiece can handle 100 feet (30 meters) underwater. The cherry on top is the fact that you can swap its strap out. Daniel Wellington lets you do this with any NATO piece in their collection.

In terms of what its band is made from, it’s polyester weave – it’s tough.

It has a mineral window. You’d think that it’s not very durable, but you’re wrong. It’s hardened mineral glass, so it can withstand quite a bit. 

We discussed the pitch-black variant. However, there are different designs for the DW00100149. One of them is black and gold. Yes, the gold was ion plated.

Its dial is super minimalistic. The thing is, this makes it hard to read. There are dark, thin rectangular markers on its sides. The fact that its dial is black makes things even harder. If you have bad eye-sight, you’ll struggle. Of course, there is no lume in place. The pigment isn’t on its hands either.

What makes it special:

It is full black.

2. Daniel Wellington Melrose (Petite) Watch DW00100219

The timepiece is for women. That’s why it isn’t surprising that it’s small. However, we think it’s especially petite. Its case stretches 1.10 inches (28 mm) across. If you’re a lady with larger wrists, it might look awkward on you. Speaking of its case, it’s made from quality surgical grade stainless steel. The gold on it was double plated.

Its strap is metal. It’s also made from surgical grade stainless steel. It’s meshed, so it looks and feels dainty. Of course, the gold on it was double plated too. As it’s meshed, the air is allowed to flow in. This is appreciated as metal straps can collect sweat. It also makes the device super light-weight, which helps with its minimalistic, sleek look.

You’ll find it hard to damage its display. It rocks a hardened mineral. It’s super flush. This is something that’s seen across DW watches.

Although we said that you can change the strap on each Daniel Wellington watch, you can imagine that you can’t do it with this timepiece. This Daniel Wellington rose gold watch is fully metal after all.

It is water-resistant. It can handle 100 feet (30 meters). What can you do with such a resistance rating? Well, it can handle brief splashes, but that’s about it. It’s great for everyday wear. Considering that the Petite Melrose looks so good, diving into the pool with it probably won’t be a priority.

As it’s made from high-quality stainless steel, it’s waterproof. It’ll never rust as well.

If you’re wondering what mechanism it rocks, it is Japanese quartz.

The watch is easier to read than the entry above. There’s not much blending-in going on. That being said, its markers are still really thin. If you have bad eye-sight, you’ll probably still struggle.

What makes it special:

It rocks a meshed band.

3. Daniel Wellington Classic St Mawes Watch DW00100136

It is not big or not too small. Its case stretches 1.41 inches (36 mm) across. If you guessed that it’s unisex, you’re right. The manufacturer has quite a few pieces like this - minimalistic pieces are the easiest for both genders to rock. The timepiece comes in 3 designs. One of them is more feminine; it is rose gold. If you’re a guy wearing it, you’ll seem more adventurous.

It comes with a leather band. We have to say, the leather is one of the best we’ve felt. It feels ultra-rich.  It’s supposed to be sourced from Florence, Italy. Unfortunately, we can’t tell what type it is. If we had to guess, we’d say calf-skin. Each variant of the watch comes with the strap.

Its strap isn’t thick. This is great, as similar to wearing a lot of metal, a lot of leather makes you sweat. We think that it collects sweat more.

The Classic St Mawes can handle 100 feet (30 meters) underwater, which you know is suited for a couple of splashes. But you might want to avoid getting it wet. If you should know anything about leather, it’s that it soaks water up like a sponge.

Its case is made from surgical grade stainless steel. As you are aware, it’s super durable and water-proof.

We think the device is easy to read. Its face is black, while its markers are bright gold. But no surprise, there’s no lume to them. There is no pigment on its hands either.

Yes, it is 1.41 inches (36 mm). You can pick it up in a 1.57 inches (40 mm) option too, though.

As its strap is not NATO, you’ll be utilizing a tang-buckle clasp. If you don’t know how they work, they can be a pain. You try and pin a latch into place. Depending on how large your wrists are, finding the right hole would be hard. If it’s any consolation, they’re secure. 

If you’re wondering what the glass on its display is, you’re met with hardened mineral glass. It is sleek just like on its siblings. 

What makes it special:

Its black and gold face.

4. Daniel Wellington Classic Cantebury Watch DW00100002

You’re looking at the second NATO watch on our list. This means that its strap is super easy to work. All you do is loop it into its bands. It is also water-proof and can be interchanged with any other band from their collections.

In terms of what its strap is made from, it is nylon. Regular nylon is not fun to wear. It not only is uncomfortable, but it can irritate your skin. Thankfully, it’s NATO, so it’s made to be more comfortable.

We love the design of it. Its band is red, white, and blue, which is very French. As its face is also sleek and gold, you’re getting a rich, Parisian aesthetic from it. You can also pick it up in a silver case option. As you’re probably guessing, the gold and silver were plated on. They were added onto 316L stainless steel as finishes.

Its case size is familiar. It is 1.41 inches (36 mm). This is the same as the unisex watch we discussed above. Yes, the timepiece is for both genders too. We think its gold version is more feminine than its silver one.

You’re getting a Japanese quartz movement from it. You’re probably wondering what the specific quartz mechanism in it is. It’s the same one we saw in the other devices. We touched on it in our Things You Should Know section below.

There are thin rectangular markers throughout its dial. This time around, you’re also met with markers for the minutes passed. This makes it more convenient. The fact that its display is white and its markers are a dark-grey makes them easier to read too.

It is water-resistant. Just like its siblings, it can handle 100 feet (30 meters) underwater. In case you forgot, this means that it’s capable of occasional splashes, just not swimming. The brand doesn’t make timepieces for swimming, so you might have to look elsewhere if this is what you want.

Once again, hardened mineral glass is present. We’re not complaining, it can handle a beating.

What makes it special:

The colourway on its strap.

5. Daniel Wellington Dapper Sheffield Watch DW00100084

It is called the Dapper for a reason. It embodies its name perfectly – you are getting a sleek leather strap. It looks like a million bucks. Yes, it’s genuine. We don’t know its specific type, but it was sourced in Florence. The band isn’t thick. This is something we’ve seen in the company’s pieces numerous times.

It’s the perfect piece for a gentleman. That being said, it isn’t that big. It only stretches 1.49 inches (38 mm) wide. For a man, such a watch would make you look like a giant.

You don’t get thin, rectangular markers throughout its dial. You’re met with Roman numerals instead. Considering that its dial is wide, and its bezel is thin, it looks very pocket watch-like.

There is a calendar on it. You’ll probably have to look close to notice it, though. It is in the 6 o'clock position and is extremely dainty. It reads the day’s date. It would’ve been bigger if it included the day too. That being said, it would take away from its minimalistic aesthetic.

You’re looking at probably the easiest-to-read watch so far. To begin with, its markers are more noticeable. Its hands are a striking blue too, so they contrast against its dial.

If you’re wondering what the glass on its window is made of, you’re getting hardened mineral again. The gold on its case was double plated. It was finished onto high-quality, surgical grade stainless steel.

It is as water-resistant as its counterparts. In case you forgot, getting leather wet is not a good move. It soaks up like a sponge.

No surprise, you’re met with a Japanese quartz movement. It is the same one we’ll be discussing in the below section.

What makes it special:

The Roman numerals to read the time with.

Things You Should Know

Now that we’ve run through everything you need to know about their devices, let’s answer some burning questions you may have.

Where Are Daniel Wellington Watches Made?

Good question. The company’s timepieces are designed in their headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. However, they are assembled in China.

What Type of Japanese Quartz Movement Do They Use?

They place the most common, reliable type in their watches. You’ll find the Miyota movement in them.

Are Their Watches Worth Buying?

We believe they’re well worth it. They are ultra-minimalistic pieces that look expensive. Considering they’re affordable, you have nothing to lose. The timepieces go with any outfit, and you can pick them up in multiple designs as mentioned.

The fact that they’re so good-looking is a major reason people flock to them – they got famous online because of this.

How Is Their Reputation?

If you want to appease watch collectors, you might want to avoid the company. They don’t produce the most unique watches, have been in the game for a while, or are pricey. But in general, they are known to produce good products. They have quite the following on social media, so they take the quality of their items seriously.

Are All Their Watches Affordable?

Yes, you’ll find their devices for around $100 – 250.

Where Can You Purchase Them?

If you want Daniel Wellington watches Nordstrom is the perfect spot to snag them from. They’re widely sold online too.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to these watches, we’re fans. Being so minimalistic makes them attractive. They are affordable too, yet high-quality. If you’re thinking of picking up timepieces that look good, give them a go. Just know that they’re not suited if you want an impressive watch collection – the brand hasn’t been around for a while, and they’re more social-media focused.

We’ve talked about countless brands like them on our Facebook page, so do check us out! We regularly update it with all kinds of lists and reviews.

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