Lytt Labs is a Singapore-based microbrand that was founded by Edwin Seah. Edwin was an avid wristwatch collector as well as a professional in the modern electronics industry, and he and his business partner founded Lytt with a single goal: to bring a contemporary artistic vision to the age-old practice of watchmaking.
The Inception Prodigy is an upgraded version of Lytt’s original Version 1, with a totally revamped set of hands for a slick, modern look. It certainly brings to life Lytt’s vision of a modern, technologically-inspired watch. The disc-style second hand is a particularly unique touch, and one that I appreciated the moment I saw it.
The Prodigy Movement
The movement on the Inception Prodigy is a Seiko NH35A, which is a hand-windable automatic movement that’s an upgraded version of their NH25. This is one of the world’s most popular automatic movements, and it’s commonly found in many independent watch brands.
The branded version of the NH35A is the 4R35. Both of these movements are rated as part of Seiko’s “Basic” mechanical series, which is a step below their “Premium” series. The NH35A ticks at 21,600 beats per hour (BPH), a nice, steady pace that’s what you’d expect from a microbrand watch.
This movement is accurate to within -20~+40 seconds per day. That’s not an impressive amount of accuracy, but again, you’re getting what you pay for. At the end of the day, the Inception Prodigy is a mid-priced watch, and with its gorgeous design there’s just not a lot of room left in the price cap for a top-tier action.
As I already mentioned, the dial is the highest-quality component of this timepiece. And wow, is it beautiful. The minute and hour hands are both fat and wide, with brushed stainless steel faces and white outlines that glow a lux green in the dark. Both hands are mounted on thick, circular dials that occupy much of the center of the face. The dial face itself is an off white cream color with a honeycomb pattern, reminiscent of ivory or aged parchment.
The second hand is also unique. It’s a round, short hand with a cutout in the central dial and a red hash mark at the point. This gives the Inception Prodigy a truly unique appearance, in contrast to other watches where the second hand is long and slender.
The numbering is easy to read, with large, stainless steel numerals at each hour position. These numerals are outlined in a lux coating, for easy nighttime visibility. In between the numerals, you’ll also find discreet stainless steel numerals that stay hidden in the dark.
Crystal and Case
The sapphire crystal on the Inception Prodigy is remarkably clear.
It’s treated with a four-layer anti-reflective coating, which prevents glare, while still providing a clean, clear view of the dial, even when you’re checking the time in the dark.
The case itself is a bowed-out square that measures 45mm on each side. The stainless steel has a brushed finish, with corners that are sharp enough to look flashy and elegant, but blunt enough that they won’t actually dig into your skin. It’s waterproof down to 50 meters of submersion, about standard for an automatic watch of non-diver origin.
Like any simple watch, the Inception Prodigy features simple controls. There are no pushers, just a single smooth crown that gets everything done. When closed, it can be used for manual winding, perfect for the first time you wear the watch, or for when you’ve taken it out of storage.
If you tug on the crown, it clicks out to a middle position where it can be used to set the date. Give it another firm tug, and you can set the time, turning the dial freely both clockwise and counterclockwise.
Each watch includes a sharp rubber strap. The strap has a relatively slim profile, and flares out to meet the watch at the top and bottom lugs.
It’s stitched on the outer edge for extra durability, and features dual-punched holes for twice as much retention as your average watch band.
In short, it’s beautiful and well engineered.
According to Lytt Labs, the Inception Prodigy was inspired by contemporary public fountains. The sharp lines and brushed steel finish lend it a modern, urban appearance, while the cutouts in the overlapping second hand evoke the complexity of modern life.
That said, a watch itself is a timeless accessory. In today’s world, it’s not a necessity. It’s a fashion statement, a utilitarian but attractive device that brings an appeal that’s as fresh today as it was when the first Swiss watchmakers plied their trade. For that, a fountain is an excellent metaphor; a gathering place in ancient times that remains popular today.
To have a look at all of Lytt’s offerings you can visit their official website here.