For Men

[On the Wrist] D1 Milano Atlas Automatic

Photo of author
Written by:

Jacky Chou

The dive watch is a true symbol of the adventurer who loves to get their hands on anything they can. While some people might think it's just fashion, others know that these watches are sturdy and useful. The D1 Milano Atlas Automatic is one such example because its design focuses on both form and function with an easy-to-read dial for those in need of timekeeping as well as a tough case to protect against every day wear and tear.,

The "d1 milano automatic" is a watch that has been designed for those who want a stylish watch that is not too complicated. The watch has an automatic movement and also features a date window.

A well-made, if pricy, automatic every day watch is the Milano Atlas D1.

Words/Photography: Me. D1 This Atlas was a complimentary gift from Milano given for the purpose of this review and picture session.

Horology fans will immediately recognize a clear source of influence for D1 Milano's design aesthetic. Although the Patek Philippe Nautilus is credited with popularizing the rounded inner dial and square case, it is also true that the Atlas's two-tone brushed and polished steel casing is just as striking.

Even more so when you take into account that the price difference between the Atlas and the Nautilus is denoted by a few zeros.

The minute/hour hands and indices are made of polished steel, and the deep blue dial with an orange outer ring and seconds hand. The dial is clutter-free except from the date window and brand branding. The Atlas is a wonderful alternative for a daily automatic watch due to its simplicity, sapphire crystal, and steel band.

However, the Atlas' high price, which is listed at $625 as of the time of this review, holds it back. For a watch with an entry-level NH35 automatic movement, it is a sizable price. This is particularly true given that almost similar watches can be purchased on Alibaba for far less than $100. It's crucial to remember that those Alibaba specials seem to be "knock-offs" of the D1 Milano design aesthetic (that they have Milano in the name is a big hint).

But how wonderful of a watch is the Atlas, assuming you're comfortable with the price of entry? Let's investigate.

Details for the Milano Atlas D1

  • The D1-ATBJ04 model
  • MSRP: $625
  • Size of the case: 41.5 mm
  • Models in Alternative: n/a
  • Seiko NH35 automatic movement.
  • Problems: Date Display
  • Power Reserve: Approximately 42 hours
  • Waterproofing: 50 m/165 ft
  • Sapphire crystal material

Live Long and Let Square Case!

I like rectangular and square cases. This rectangular casing is used by all of D1 Milano's watches for men, and I like it here just as much as I did with the last D1 Milano skeleton watch I reviewed.

By default, a square or rectangular casing will take up somewhat more wrist space than a conventional round watch. A 41.5 mm square watch, like the Atlas, will feel significantly bigger than its 41.5 mm circular equivalents, which are on the average large size.

Fortunately, the Atlas is just 11 mm thick, making it more like a cottage than a condo complex, even if it isn't a tiny watch from a real estate viewpoint.

The case's finish is extremely respectable; there are distinct lines separating the polished and brushed portions, and the machining is of high quality. Because the polished sides of the two-tone bezel reflect the surroundings in sharp contrast to the subdued and consistent texture of the brushed finishing around them, it gives the case a very elegant appearance overall.

The circular dial, which is housed within the rectangle body, is deep blue in color and has a construction paper-like texture. The orange outer ring and polished hands/indices definitely stand out against the dial's matte appearance.

However, D1 Milano did make one odd design choice that has been driving me crazy ever since I saw it during the picture post-production. What aggravates me even more is that what I'm seeing is a design choice rather than a flaw.

Why am I talking? Of course, the crooked 3 o'clock hour marker!

Picture: D1 Milano. Even if the angle change is little, it irritates me to no end! (I've added lines to emphasize)

The Atlas was the only polished indices watch in my collection of 65 or so watches where the 3 o'clock indice was angled rather than square with the other indices. I reasoned that perhaps this was a design standard adopted by other brands besides just D1 Milano and that I simply hadn't noticed it until now.


Hello once more, old friend

The Seiko NH35, a tenacious automatic movement that is employed by microbrands all around the globe because it is easy to use, reliable, and affordable, powers the Atlas. In other words, microbrands are aware that the NH35 is often "good enough" for a microbrand watch that is reasonably priced.

According to Caliber Corner, the NH35 has specifications that should satisfy all but the pickiest fans of automated movements. It has a 42-hour power reserve, beats at 21,600 bph, can be wound manually or in both directions, displays the date, and has a hacking feature. For the majority of individuals, the NH35 is a perfectly decent automatic movement that is entirely appropriate for everyday use, despite being pretty conventional.

The WR rating, a serial number, and some brand livery are etched on the case-back. It is a closed case-back, which is bad since D1 Milano's use of the case-back space is very uninspired in this instance.

Don't get me wrong, the case-back is fine as it is; nevertheless, it falls short of what other companies have offered on watches with comparable (or identical) movements that cost much less than the Atlas.

Exhibit A is the stunning case-back of Mitch Mason's recently reviewed and somewhat less pricey Chronicle.

The Dan Henry 1970, which also has a Seiko NH35, is Exhibit B.

My argument is that, considering the Atlas' high price and the sparse design of the dial and case, it would have been good to see more care dedicated to the case-back.

The Atlas is really attractive in the appropriate lighting.

Unfortunately, there is absolutely no lume on the dial. So, the Atlas may not be the best companion if your chosen theme for the day is mood lighting. However, when the lighting is just right, the Atlas like something out of a supermodel, demonstrating that a deep blue dial with orange accents can look amazing.

The hands and indexes look to be of high quality since there are no obvious flaws in their finishing, which makes them adapt well to any perspective. The Atlas turned out to be a pleasant subject for this photographer.

It is quite pleasant to be able to capture pictures fairly easily, like the macro image above, and the Atlas is more than eager to assist. The above image would have been a post-production headache if the hands and indexes had been less attractive (who knows what is dust and what is a genuine flaw in the watch!).

But since it is sturdy and can confidently withstand thorough examination, the Atlas is perfectly suited to macro photography.

A watch that isn’t horrible but has a pricing issue

I'm sorry, but the headline seems so depressing, yet it's real. The Atlas' value argument would be obvious if it were priced around $500. But at $625, I'm forced to back out. Think about the fact that you may get a Swiss-made Hamilton, Tissot, LIV, or any other number of microbrand watches employing the same or superior specifications for the same price.

The Atlas is a stylish watch with a sporty dial and high-quality workmanship, but it also lacks visual drama and doesn't break any new ground in terms of design.

To be fair, D1 Milano at least made sure to equip the Atlas with a fine jewelry with a butterfly clasp, a gemstone, and a respectable vehicle. However, $625 seems excessive for a microbrand watch with an off-angle 3 o'clock indication and a history of Italian design and Chinese production. The D1 Milano brand, in my opinion, lacks the cachet required to justify the price.

However, there is a lot to enjoy about the Atlas provided the price isn't a turnoff for you.

Automatic Photo Gallery D1 Milano

2160 x 1440 pixels


evaluated by

C. M. Martel

Review Period


Observed Item

Milano Atlas D1


Brand Name

Milano Atlas D1

The "d1 milano chronograph" is a watch that features the automatic movement. The dial is also made out of sapphire crystal, which allows for better visibility.

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Jacky Chou

Jacky Chou is the co-founder of Uberwrists and has gotten into watches from his father from a young age. His first watch was a black G Shock that was comedically large for his wrist. He appreciates watches from Seiko to a Patek Philippe.

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