A Commentary and Review
If you’ve followed the last few months of mechanical mod releases from the Philippines- you’ll notice something cool:
many of the mods have the same theme of mixed metal (aptly named “two-tone”) arrangements of stainless steel with brass accents, all tubular with a bottom switch, all laden with graphics or fonts. There are some that completely succeed (Silverback, Stingray, Terra to name a few), but… unfortunately many others don’t. I suppose they can’t all be winners, right?
For the most part- the actual mod designs would have been better off bare… Imagine a sleek Porsche in your mind right now… and then imagine that same car but with HUGE black letterings on the entire length of the car that says “PORSCHE” in big bold fonts. Then add a huge LOGO right on the hood. It’s a race car for sure- but is it a classy sportscar? Maybe not.
Graphics on metal can sometimes be a double edged sword. When it works- it’s utterly beautiful. When it doesn’t… it’s just… too much. The design process would be better driven if the end goal was to enhance the product’s overall aesthetic value. The last thing you want to do is to take attention away from the beautiful finish of the metal and the overall quality of the metalwork.
So when the pieces get posted on Facebook as prototypes- they show so much promise. Come release date- with too many etchings or just the wrong typography… the attraction slowly fades. You only wish that they made a revision- asked for honest user opinions before releasing their product out into the wild. A little market research won’t hurt… or a group study of unaffiliated consumers. It’s a business, after all.
Wu Tang House of mods- however- is a little different. This modding group seems to have that rare instinct for aesthetic design that’s both raw and sophisticated, kitschy yet refined, quirky but charming. This is where the El Sigilo Mod separates itself from the herd.
Alibata calligraphy is deeply carved into the profile of the mod’s body with far more artifice or craftsmanship than the usual laser etched prints.
The whole design also attempts to innovate on how mechanical mods are built. Instead of having a visible top cap for connecting your 510 atomizer and a visually separate bottom-firing switch cap – you are presented with one continuous tube with no visible segmentation. What you get is essentially a “hybrid-type” look without losing the versatility of your normal 510 connector. The bottom switch does not have a lock but is meant to be recessed- purposely designed to prevent accidental firing from normal storage and handling. You’ll have to see the pictures to make better sense of this.
This novel design carries some usability problems which can happen if the threads are not as smooth as they ought to be… but after casual handling of the prototypes in this picture set, I found the threads fine and buttery-smooth. Each one could be easily turned with just a little thumb-action.
I can imagine that a tool would be required for “tight” situations (we’ve all been there before) when expansion of the metal or grit on the threads locks the caps on too tight. It is possible though- to loosen the caps with the tine of a fork or similar objects- like a ball point pen or plastic toothpick. Although both parts have ample space for longer threads running from top to bottom to make insertion and removal smoother- usability issues always just come up when the product is out in the wild after its yet undetermined release date.
Meanwhile, the El Sigilo is a very attractive mechanical mod with a generous dollop of style and craftsmanship. A definite keeper for those seeking uniqueness and artisanal quality that cannot easily be cloned or replicated.