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Review of the Wake One from Canopy Watch Company

Originally posted to WatchUSeek forums by Fullers1845. You can check out the original source here.

I am delighted to offer this review of the Wake One by Canopy Watch Company. Canopy was launched by watch enthusiasts Ross Tomson and Machlen Polfliet in 2020. The Wake One is their debut model. I received both a Wake One Silver Edition and a Wake One Midnight Edition for review. After sizing, setting, and testing the features of both watches, I decided to put the Wake One Silver Edition through its paces during a week on the wrist.

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Designed as a hybrid pilot and dive watch, here are the Wake One specs:
  • 316L SS case and bracelet
  • 40mm bezel, 39mm diameter at top of case, 38mm diameter at base of case
  • 12.8mm thick (including domed crystal)
  • 46mm lug to lug
  • 20mm bracelet tapering to 18mm
  • 200m WR
  • Modified Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement
  • 41 hr power reserve
  • Sapphire crystals (front and back)
  • Forged carbon fiber bezel and crown inserts
  • On-wrist toolless micro-adjust deployant clasp
  • Swiss Superluminova C1 lume on hands, dial, and bezel indices
  • Date window at 6:00
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The elegant inner presentation box is high-gloss piano black. After unboxing, I can immediately tell this watch has been designed by people who know and love watches. The Canopy tagline is apt: “A dive watch built by enthusiasts, for enthusiasts.” The team’s thoughtful design philosophy and attention to detail result in a watch that includes many features praised in watch forum discussions when a manufacturer gets it right and are frequently bemoaned with, “If only it had a…” when they don’t. If there is a must-have feature on your watch creature comfort list, chances are the Wake One has it.
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Let’s dive into some of those details. The 120-click coin-edge bezel is grip-able even with gloves. It clicks (not clacks) firmly, yet smoothly with zero back play. The bezel markings are lumed and the forged carbon fiber insert is smooth and glossy. The bezel is marked with 05-55 for keeping track of elapsed minutes. The 6.3mm crown unscrews smoothly with a strong spring into the winding position. The clicks are noticeable to the second and third crown positions. The precision engineered crown winds and sets the date and time with ease. The signed forged carbon fiber crown insert is another tasteful aesthetic addition.
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One of the very most useful features of the Wake One is the on-wrist toolless micro-adjust deployant clasp. My first experience with this type of clasp was on Citizen Promaster dive watches. I instantly fell in love. Without removing the watch, depress the lower side buttons and the clasp extends with a ratchet up to an additional 14.7mm (almost 2 entire links). This is so useful for the changing wrist diameter that I inevitably experience as the temperature changes throughout the day. Walk out into the cold, and quickly snap the clasp back down without even taking the Wake One off wrist. I wish I had this clasp on all my watches with bracelets.
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The bracelet on the Wake One is an original design presenting a unique visual with both brushed and polished surfaces and stair-stepping links that are thicker at the top than at the bottom as they approach the case. The removable links are secured by screws. I used a 1.2mm micro screwdriver to easily remove five links for my 6.75” wrist. At just 46mm lug-to-lug, the case and clasp are proportionally matched allowing the wearer to dial-in their own well-balanced fit.
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On to the Wake One case. Also an original design, the vertical elevation reminds me of a classic Seiko SKX diver. I suspect this has largely to do with the thickness of the coin-edge bezel. While the edge of the domed crystal is recessed below the level of the bezel, the apex of the dome rises approximately 1-2mm higher than the bezel. The specs report that the crystal is double domed with AR coating (without the familiar blue tint). This allows for clear viewing of the hands and dial even from steeper angles. The case back is secured by six flat head screws.
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The dial is textured black with stick indices and a flieger-style right-side-up triangle at 12:00. The date window (with black date wheel) is tastefully positioned at 6:00. While C1 is serviceable lume, in my experience it is never very bright or long-lasting lume. With black surrounding the indices and hands, as well as a black rehaut, this dial already eats light. I would have preferred C3 or BGW9 if possible.
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Speaking of hands, I can appreciate the idea of “none more black” (hat tip: This Is Spinal Tap), especially on the stealthy Midnight Edition. The similarly shaped hour and minute hand on the Wake One are distinguishable only by length. Practically, because the black hands disappear against the black dial, this means lume length. At least once early on in my week-on-the-wrist, I glanced down at the time and had to double take to figure out which hand was which. As my brain adapted to reading the time on this watch throughout the week, the hand shape/length became less of an issue. The second hand has no lume and a small red arrow at the tip. It too is easy to lose against the dial. Chalk it up to my aging eyesight, but I do appreciate a clear distinction between hands when checking the time or tracking seconds.
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The Selitta SW200-1 automatic movement is a Swiss workhorse. The sapphire display case back provides a nice view of the movement and the rotor to which Canopy has given a DLC treatment. The movement in the Silver Edition I’ve worn this week is well-regulated and running about -3.2 seconds per day. While I generally prefer my automatic watches to gain rather than lose time, ~23 seconds over the course of a week is not much time to lose at all straight out of the box. Solid movement choice, Canopy!
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One of the genius design features of the Wake One that was not immediately obvious are the vertically sloping case sides. Measuring 39mm at the top (beneath the bezel), the case sides slope down to about 38mm at the case back. A subtle difference, but one that adds to the comfort on-wrist as well as to the Wake One’s wearability on other straps.
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All of the foregoing applies equally to the Wake One Midnight Edition. The only difference is the blackout DLC coating (with matte and polished surfaces) rather than the stainless steel finish of the Silver Edition, which I happen to prefer.
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In the end, watches can be assessed in many ways, from aesthetics to functionality to their similarity to other watches. Comfort and wearability are at the top of my list. For a watch to last long-term in my collection, it can’t be too heavy, imbalanced, have sharp edges or protrusions that dig into my hand or wrist. After initially sizing the bracelet, and expanding the clasp a click or two when needed throughout the week, the Wake One is so comfortable and well-balanced, I almost forget I’m wearing it.
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To me, this is the Wake One’s most valuable feature. The fact that this watch so effortlessly feels the way I like watches to feel on my wrist is evidence of the painstaking work the Canopy team put into designing their debut model. In a world where micro-brands striving for a certain look are a dime-a-dozen, Canopy has produced a watch with an original form in service of excellent functionality. They got it right the first time.
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