A Week on the Wrist with the Hvilina L&MR – a gem you've never heard of

The Hvilina L&MR is a historically influenced, openworked, square case watch – Cartier Tank? Eat your heart out

The Hvilina L&MR infront of a black textured plant pot
(Image credit: Future / Sam Cross)

I've talked a lot about quirky watches in the first months of 2024. That's no secret, either. From the top of the market right down to the most affordable models you'll find, watches that are out of the ordinary are really seeing a surge in popularity right now.

One of my favourite brands for this is Mr Jones Watches. Their most recent release – the Blueberry Late – shows that theme is set to continue into 2024.

But if those are a little too outlandish for you, there are some halfway house options. Those are pieces which offer something interesting and unusual, without being the same dull, three-hand Rolex ripoff which can be found laced throughout the industry.

Those are models like this Hvilina L&MR. You've probably never heard of the brand before, but that's not a problem. Let's take a closer look at why you should consider this model for adding a little more intrigue to your watch collection.

The Hvilina L&MR on a grey background

(Image credit: Future / Sam Cross)

Let's quickly run through some specs. Inside, you'll find a Miyota 9029 movement. That's a really reliable third-party calibre, which should make it easy to repair and service over the life of the watch. 

That can be spotted through the dial, thanks to an open segment at the 3 o'clock position. The dial features a trio of train tracks running between the 11, 12 and 1 o'clock markers and the 5, 6 and 7 o'clock ones.

It also sports a colour-highlighted minute-marker at the 27th minute. That represents the 27km/h speed of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway trains. That's where the L&MR gets its name, celebrating the achievements of the Industrial Revolution.

Of course, one of the most striking design elements is the case itself. That features a square centre portion, with rails around either side holding it in place. Again, those are styled to resemble train tracks.

It's certainly an interesting design. The team at Hvilina have gone to great lengths to incorporate the theme of rail travel, without making it abundantly obvious to the naked eye.

Those rails come together at either end to form the lugs. That's a 22mm genuine leather strap – on my review unit, that's a black which matches the case and dial beautifully.

That does play a little havoc with the measurements. While the internal case sits only 34 by 39mm, the addition of those rails bumps that up to 39.2 by 51.1mm. That gives us two very different sounding sizes, which could make the wearing experience a bit of an unknown.

Of course, the other quirk here is the winding mechanism. The crown sits on top of the case, preserving those beautiful lines and harking back to pocket watches of old. It also comes with a small winding key, which can be used to keep the movement powered.

The Hvilina L&MR on a grey background

(Image credit: Future / Sam Cross)

What is the Hvilina L&MR like to wear?

After having this on the wrist for a little while, there are a few things worth mentioning. The first is that this is a really gorgeously slim case. At just 10mm thick, there is very little to protrude from your wrist, making for a really great wearing experience.

Sadly, that isn't quite met on the face of it. Those muddled dimensions are really apparent on the wrist, with the long lug-to-lug width of the rails making it a real challenge for those with more slight wrists.

The gaps between the strap and the case also felt very present to me. Spotting a patch of skin around the internal case was an unusual experience.

More than anything, though, I felt like the internal case was the perfect size for a watch like this. It would have sat with an almost Apple Watch-like slenderness, making for a sumptuous wear.

Still, there are some bits to love. It's exceedingly comfortable, with those curved rails arching around the wrist and the lather strap offering a beautiful lightweight package.

The Hvilina L&MR on a grey background

(Image credit: Future / Sam Cross)

Is the Hvilina L&MR worth the money?

Listed at €492 on the Hvilina website (around £420 at the time of writing), the L&MR is unquestionably good value. An open heart Miyota 9-series movement in any watch of this price range is good value – one that also isn't just a blind copy is even better.

Sure, the wearing experience isn't perfect for me, but that doesn't mean it won't be for you. I'd certainly recommend taking a shot at this if you're a larger wristed individual on the hunt for a truly unique timepiece.

For such little money – and with such a cool story – it could be a valuable addition to a lot of collections.

Sam Cross
Staff Writer

Online news writer at T3.com, Sam has five years of experience in online and print journalism, with work featured in publications like Metro and Last Word on Sports. After years writing about music and football, Sam now turns his hand to bringing you news about new phones, smart home products, smart watches, laptops and TVs. Sam is a longtime fan and user of Apple products, including iPhones, MacBooks and Apple Watches.He’s also T3’s resident football expert, bringing you everything you need to know about the big games, including how to watch them. In his spare time, Sam is a keen guitarist, watch lover and (very) amateur golfer.