If you saw our review of the Era Prometheus then you may know the back story of ERA Timepieces and their aim to develop complicated luxury “million-dollar” watches without the million-dollar high price tag. Their initial Kickstarter for the ERA Prometheus was a great success and catapulted into the watch arena that had enthusiasts from both sized completely polarized, and rightly so. Era’s big claim for their million-dollar watch at a sub-$1500 price tag is bound to get some criticism, but I digress.
Today, ERA is a company that has grown, with an extensive range of watches models with variant colours featuring their famous tourbillon models as well as the recent offering of their in-house wandering hour complication that can be found in the ERA Hyperion.
ERA sent us a Hyperion to do a review and run it through the paces and its no doubt that that images just do it justice, you really have to get up close with it to appreciate the detail that went into making this watch. To my knowledge, there is nothing I can compare it to on the market, and I will be upfront and honest, it took me some time to get used to it. It looks like a space ship strapped to your wrist and it got some heft to it too.
Upon removing it from its watch box, it goes noticed that the Hyperion is smooth to the touch, Its wonderous domed monster of a crystal sits flush to the watch case, no rough edges or gaps. A great first impression, but how does the rest look, we’ll find out soon enough. Join on this special review of the ERA Hyperion.
The ERA Hyperion
The ERA Hyperion measures 44mm wide and is 18mm with a thick stainless steel case, huge wrist presence on a small wristed fella like myself, but I think I pulled it off. The case is made of solid 316L stainless steel which is the industrial-grade standard with a high polished surface, giving the watch an elegant smooth look.
Moving to the back, The watch has an exhibition case back that will let you peek at the inner workings showing off the beautiful Côtes de Genève pattern on the back rotor that’s reminiscent of something similar to what you would find on a Patek. It’s also the symbol for the expertise in manufacturing movements that only a few watchmakers have the right to use.
The ERA Hyperion’s strap is also made of 316L stainless steel to match the for the complete look and together with the case, the watch weighs around 220 grams.
What comes in the box
The Hyperion wouldn’t be complete with its own watch box. Inside the box, you’ll typically find the warranty card and the certificate of authenticity together. Mine didn’t come with the papers because this is a review model.
It also comes with its own branded spring bar tool, link pin removal tool to help you adjust the size of the watch without having to visit your jeweller to size the bracelet.
It’s important to note that ERA provides a two-year warranty on their watches which is the typical length manufacturers usually offer.
Design and Movement
The ERA Hyperion’s design is truly one-of-a-kind watch design. You probably have seen tourbillon watches that are priced as much as a house. But the ERA Hyperion is unique and not your traditional style watch, it uses a wandering hour hand.
What is a wondering hour?
The rocket represents the minute and hour indicator, the tip of the rocket represents the minutes and the hour wheel sits on the opposite end. One full rotation of the dial will change the hour on the wheel, its pretty simple to read, yet It’s easy to become mesmerized and pay attention to life happening around you, it happened to me a few times just casually checking the time and I found myself for a minute or two gazing at it.
Moving to the hand and dial, The edge of the hand is coated with lume for a stylish low light glow with the contrast of the deep space background it really makes this watch pop.
More on the dial: This is my favourite part of this watch, the black aventurine dial that captures that deep space vibe is amazing and many people point it out.
The specks of silica, manganese, and cobalt create flares that look like glowing stars on the dial. Because of the random arrangement of these specks I have read that there are no two ERA Hyperions that have the same dial design.
And that’s not all that’s unique with the ERA Hyperion. You’ll find that the crown is situated at the 12 o’clock position instead of the usual 3 o’clock position. It has a valve design inspired by the manual airlock wheel found on spaceships, complimenting the deep space theme of the watch. Surprisingly the crown provides a good grip to change the time, however, it can be tricky to wind the watch fully because of its awkward position.
On the 3 o’clock side features the tourbillon cage with the ERA insignia which further concludes the high attention to detail the Hyperion has and It doubles as a second indicator.
It took me a day or two to get used to the format of telling the time on the Hyperion, but after that, it was a walk in the park.
Moving to the crystal: The exquisite dial wouldn’t become completed without a scratch-resistant domed sapphire crystal that also has an anti-reflective coating for enhanced visibility. However I found that the only downside with this watch was the glare and reflection, you can see it on the photo’s but its certainly not a deal-breaker considering the significance of the crystal.
Does the Hyperion use an in-house movement?
According to the product page, yes, it has a 35-jewel ERA-002 Calibre Tourbillon automatic movement. It has a 28,000 vph frequency that allows for smooth accurate timekeeping abilities. The watch has a 45-hour power reserve which is great, however, there is no hacking which is a slight bummer.
The watch is water-resistant up to 50m only, but you wouldn’t catch me swimming with it. The water-resistant rating is acceptable to withstand sudden splashes of water like rain or briefly putting your hand in a body of water.
Who Is The ERA Hyperion For?
If you like a combination of futuristic, space and luxury watches then I think this is for you.
The ERA Hyperion feels and looks entirely different from the usual flavour seen on wristwatches. The ERA Hyperion presents a whole new design that will surely attract the attention of anyone who sees it.
I’ve personally had mixed responses from people who have seen it, some people love the space theme and heft of this piece and awestruck with its unique wondering hour time-telling abilities.
But I’ve had people who just don’t like it for what it is, which is totally understandable. This piece is not your discreet dress watch type of timepiece, and it doesn’t try to me either. The Hyperion is a statement piece and attracts people with questions. So if you are looking for a conversation starter then you are looking at the right piece.
In a bubble, If you’re interested in eccentric, luxury watches at a relatively low price, then the ERA Hyperion is the right fit for you.
The watch is priced at $1,900, which is not as expensive for a watch like this, but many will differ with my view.
However, if you are not glued to the brands we all know and respect like Rolex, AP and perhaps Jacob & Co and other renowned brands it’s a great entry-level buy that’s not going to break the bank.
Pros and Cons
The ERA Hyperion sure has advantages as mentioned above, but here is the TL;DR version.
- The distinctive design that no other watch has
- Mesmerizing tourbillon and wondering hour movement
- Solid stainless build like a tank
- Interchangeable straps
- Water-resistant up to 50m
- Long power reserve
- No hacking
- Braceless easily scratches
- It’s big and heavy
Honourable ERA Mentions
Aside from the iconic ERA Hyperion, the company has a lot of other watch styles to offer.
- Prometheus (Read The Review) – A skeleton watch with multiple complications including a day-night indicator and a 24-hour subdial.
- Poseidon – A sports watch with a huge hand that’s hard not to notice.
- Solaris – A minimalist watch that exudes subtle elegance.
- Aion – A $9999 Saphire marvel, the entire case is milled from a block of sapphire, hence the price tag.
- Notus – A mix of sportiness and elegance in one watch that makes it a versatile accessory.
- Zephyr – A Patek Philippe Nautilus lookalike, minus the high price tag.
- Odyssey – A vintage-looking timepiece with designs inspired by German-made watches.
- Aegis – An open-heart tourbillon masterpiece with a Guilloché Motif dial.
The ERA Hyperion is a very distinctive timepiece that you surely wouldn’t want to miss. Its unusual design might not be the one you need for an everyday watch, but you can’t deny how attractive it is as a statement piece. As mentioned earlier it draws peoples attention and by default, it’s the perfect conversation starter for any situation.
ERA’s impeccable build is approaching that higher-end of the scale, but it’s not quite there just yet, and this is not a dig at ERA in any way, they have come a long way from their beginnings.
All in all, the $1900 price tag is a steal, but it’s hard to put down the fact you can get a known luxury watch like a Tudor, Breitling or perhaps an entry-level Rolex for that money.
But if you are watch collector who’s not afraid to venture off the beaten track to explore brands like ERA then I would recommend the Hyperion as a contender.