Get ready to smile. Honestly, this one lit up not just my day, my week, or month. No, when I first laid eyes on the Lima Automatic Meca02, I felt that perhaps 2021 wasn’t going to be so bad after all. I laughed. Genuinely, I laughed out loud. Not derisively, but rather in disbelief that something so cute, so cool, and so totally off my radar could exist. Even after spending the entirety of my adult life in the watch business, I’m glad there are surprises left to discover.

I was contacted out of the blue by Herman Tantriady about possibly reviewing his irreverent creations. I’d never heard of Lima watches before so I checked out the site. The Meca02 offered here for one of you lucky readers to win is such an exceptionally well-realized concept I just had to accept. Given the approachable retail of this piece (coming in at just $275) I felt pretty comfortable asking Herman if he fancied donating this model to one of the Fratelli. He immediately agreed (smart guy). And now I have the opportunity to share with you this grin-inducing slice of fun.


What’s not to like?

I get a bit tired of concepts that take themselves a bit too seriously. Watchmaking is a varied discipline and just as varied a hobby. There can be loads of angles from which to come at the craft. Do you collect based on technical prowess or artful aesthetics? Is it rarity or trendiness that attracts you more? Is this all very serious to you or do you prefer to have a giggle?

When it comes to unusual ideas, I think it is probably best to keep them affordable. Brands like Mr. Jones, Unimatic, and Undone do this really well. They produce cutesy curios that provide a lot of laughs for your lolly (my humorous take on “bang for your buck”). I like a lot of the watches from those aforementioned brands, but I like none of them as much as I like the Meca02 from Lima.


This watch costs basically nothing in comparison to the kind of timepieces we normally write about. Heck, I spent more on a new bracelet for my Laventure Marine recently (and that’s another micro/small independent brand to boot!). But that doesn’t mean it is of poor quality. In fact, the opposite is true. This has been achieved by smart design decisions. Tantriady has designed this watch within its own limitations and he has succeeded largely because of his own restraint and because the concept itself is very pure.


A simple idea, very well done

I like this model so much because it is a perfect manifestation of my central watch design philosophy: don’t do anything if you can’t do it well. Tantriady has fixed the remit early on in the design phase. This watch needs to be key-wound. That’s it. Everything else has followed in line with that simple goal. He picked an era of design that is contemporaneous with the advent of key-wound toys and his sympathetic design followed suit.


He hasn’t been tempted to overegg it. A tasteful, quaint colorway provides a characterful base, allowing the key-wound concept to take center stage. And to round-out the proposition, the watch comes in a box that looks like it is straight out of Al of Al’s Toy Barn’s personal collection of vintage playthings. For less than 300 bucks, you get a fully-realized, satisfyingly executed concept watch that could happily sit next to your Sub or Speedy or, perhaps even better, be gifted to a young watch lover whose mind is just waiting to be bewitched by the mechanic mechanism within.


How to win the Lima Automatic Meca02

So how do you throw your name into the hat? Firstly, I need you to create a Fratello account. You can create an account in a few seconds. When you have time, why not add your own collection to your profile page? Upload a profile pic (we love to see your faces/wrists in the comments section), and tell us a little bit about yourself.

On your profile, you’ll be able to see your most recent comments and list your favorite brands. In the future, your profile will also have other features allowing you to grow your standing in the Fratello community. The most active users will receive prizes and invites to events (when we’re able to host them again). For more information on these developments, you can also sign-up for the newsletter here.

Secondly, you need to comment on this article with your answer to this question:

The packaging of the Meca02 is the icing on the cake. But what constitutes your dream watch packaging? Is it a travel pouch? A display box? Stuffed full of accessories? Don’t hold back; wild fantasy is encouraged. Who knows? The brands might be reading (they definitely are).

Entries will be accepted for the next two weeks. Once you’ve all chimed in, I’m going to comb through the comments and pick my favorite one. That Fratello account holder will win the Lima Automatic Meca02.


Let’s get friendly

So what am I looking for? I’m looking for engagement. I’m looking for smart, well-thought-out answers that further the conversation. The winning comment needn’t be a standalone comment: it could be a response to an existing comment. Talk to each other. Comment multiple times if it makes sense. Spam won’t win you the watch, but if you want to get into a debate, then do so. We’re looking for quality over quantity, but the more you want to interact in this zone, the better.

What’s next?

Every couple of weeks, I’ll be offering a watch donated to me by a brand as a giveaway. Every time, the question will be different. We want to learn more about you. What do you like? What do you hate? Crucially, what would you like to see more of? Now’s your chance to tell us!


I’d like to see more and more people becoming official members of the Fratello family so we can grow our network to be something more physical than just stats on a page. We have the #SpeedyTuesday community already. Now we want the Fratelli to come out in force. And as soon as we’re able to meet-up again, we’ll be inviting the most active readers along to partake in some very exciting experiences.

In the meantime, though. Why not win a watch? I can’t wait to read your comments and join in with the discussion. Let (good-spirited) battle commence! Learn more about the Lima Automatic Meca02 here.