The Ciga Design MY-II is the latest in Ciga’s longstanding skeleton watch series. These watches feature a cutaway face, which displays the inner workings of the movement for the world to see. The rest of the design is understated, drawing attention to the complex gears and springs with an otherwise Spartan design.
The MY-II is perfectly circular, with a flat face that gives it a medallion-like shape. The watch includes a sturdy silicone band, and has lux-tipped hands for low-light visibility. Now, let’s take a closer look.
Seagull MY II Movement
The MY-II features a Seagull ST1940 movement. This is a more modern variant of the Venus 175, which is a Swiss movement that dates back to World War II. It was developed between 1940 and 1960 by Fabrique d’Ebauches Venus, a famous Swiss watchmaker. By the mid-60s, Venus wanted to develop a new movement, so they sold the rights to the 175 to raise funds.
The original buyer was the Chinese Air Force, who wanted a reliable movement for their officers watches, but soon there were several variants of the 175 available on the open market. This includes the ST1940. Essentially, we’re looking at a Swiss-engineered movement that comes at a made-in-China price.
The ST1940 features the same column-wheel chronograph as the original 175, so it’s as accurate and reliable as any Swiss-made machine. That’s not to say it’s a premium movement – it’s not. But it’s one of the most reliable movements available to a microbrand. The neat thing about this movement is how beautiful it looks through the watch face, which we’ll get to in a second.
The main appeal of the MY-II is its see-through dial. The watch face is open to display the movement, from 4 o’clock all the way around to the 2 o’clock mark. The open portion is crisscrossed by steel bars that look like a miniature girder, and which conveniently cross over at the center of gears, so the watch looks like a high-powered steampunk machine.
The hour and minute hands are high-visibility, with a lux finish at the tips for viewing in the dark. At the same time, they’re slender, with hollow centers that allow for a clear view of the movement even when both hands are positioned over the left side of the watch face. The second hand is bright red, impossible to miss if you’re trying to time something, although obviously it’s not as effective as a dedicated stopwatch.
The scala are elegant, with no numerals on the watch face whatsoever. Slim hash marks indicate individual minutes, with slightly extended marks every five minutes, and full-length marks at the fifteen-minute points.
The watch face itself is a darkened stainless steel, only slightly darker than the scala. On the one hand, this design is very fashionable. On the other hand, I found that it’s hard to read a precise time in low-light conditions.
The Crystal and Case
The MY-II features a titanium case, which is lightweight for its size, while still retaining all the luster you’d expect from a polished stainless steel watch case. It’s 100 percent corrosion resistant, but be careful.
This watch is only rated as 3AT water resistant, which means it’s not supposed to be submerged. It’s okay to splash it, but I’d take it off before getting in the shower just to be on the safe side.
The crystal is clear and glare-free. It’s constructed from synthetic sapphire, with a smooth upper surface that lies flat with the edge of the case. This flat design looks really sharp from the side, and fits comfortably under a sleeve with cuffs.
There’s not much involved in operating the MY-II. When the crown is closed, you can twist it to wind the watch. This should only be necessary when you first put your watch on, and after it’s been in your drawer for a few days. Otherwise, the watch will wind itself.
Pull the crown out, and you can turn it clockwise or counterclockwise to set the time. With no other complications or extra features on the watch face, there’s no need for any pushers or any complex control scheme.
This watch ships with a black silicone band as well as a black leather band. The rubber band lies totally flat when it’s open, but flexes to fit just about any wrist with comfort.
The band is sporty and durable, but it’s not as elegant as the leather option.
Ciga’s watches are designed with the premise that time is fleeting. Their spare, see-through dials strip your watch down to the bare minimum. It’s as if time has eroded all but the essentials, but the immortal watch has kept on ticking. For design and style alone, I’m a big fan of this timepiece.
You can view the CIGA Design Indiegogo project here.