Thursday, January 25, 2018

Wristwatch Review: PureDial Square Legacy Watch

This is my new PUREDIAL: The Square Legacy Watch.  I received it last month as part of my membership in WatchGang.  It's the first watch that I received as part of WatchGang.  It's actually quite a nice dress watch.  But, it's curved face and case makes it difficult to photograph.

PUREDIAL The Square Legacy Watch


PUREDIAL is a California-based watch company that started as a kickstarter project.  The design and watch are brought to us by entrepreneur Ziv Nissimov. I've long been fascinated by watch microbrands like PUREDIAL, but the idea of plunking down money for a kickstarter product that may or may not be delivered has held me back.  I think it's pretty cool that WatchGang was able to back them and bring some nice watches to its members.

PUREDIAL Watch Design

The watch itself is a 42 millimeter square and 12.4 mm thick.  These dimensions fit my wrist well.  The watch seems solidly constructed and features a 316L Stainless Steel case with a nicely etched stainless steel caseback.  The watch is rated for 5 atmospheres (30 meters) of water resistance.  It is powered by a Miyota Quartz movement.  The crystal is sapphire-coated glass for improved scratch resistance.

 The leather watch strap was nicely stitched and quite supple. Overall the watch was quite comfortable to wear.

I liked the way that the PUREDIAL logo was embossed into one of the straps.  It was a nice luxury touch.

PUREDIAL Watch Value

If you received this watch via WatchGang, the natural question to ask is - "How much is this watch worth?"  It's a good question.  One the PUREDIAL site, the Square Legacy watches are listed for $250.00.  That price seems a bit ambitious to me and reminds me of some of the suggested retail prices for the famous Swiss Asian brands.  On the brand's kickstarter listing, early birds were offered the watches for $69.  The next tier was $79.  Others were offered two watches for $155,  three watches for $230, or four watches for $299.  This suggests that the real retail price for this watch would be in the neighborhood of $75.

I think $75 would be a reasonable price for this watch.  In terms of the construction and component quality, my PUREDIAL watch definitely stands far above the commodity quartz watches that you would typically find at Walmart, Target, Kohl's, or Sears.  In my opinion, the leather strap, the stainless steel case, the etched caseback, and the interesting shape would make this a watch retailers would want to keep under the glass.  Based on my estimated real retail price of $75, I think this watch is a good value for WatchGang customers.

Overall PUREDIAL Watch Review

This watch is an interesting addition to my watch collection.  I usually gravitate towards Commando-style macho watches.  But, when I go into work, I typically select a traditional dress watch that looks like a quality timepiece.  PUREDIAL is a solid dress watch choice.  This watch is also my first micro brand watch.  I appreciate its unique design features, creativity, and relative exclusivity.  Overall, I'm very happy with this watch and I will wear it fairly regularly.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Watch Review: Timex Expedition Scout Metal Watch with Leather Strap

A Military Inspired Watch from Timex

I recently received this military-style Timex Expedition Scout watch (Model TK49963) as a Christmas gift.  It offers the simple masculine looks of a military field watch.

Timex Expedition Scout Watch Features

With a cream dial, large black numbers, and Indiglo backlighting, the Timex Expedition Scout is a wonderfully readable timepiece.  The dial has the 12-hours in big numbers and the 24-hours marked off in smaller inset numerals.  The watch is very readable except for the date window which is just inboard of the 3 o'clock marker.  At 50, I find that difficult to discern without reading glasses. 

The Timex Expedition Scout has a base metal case with the etched stainless steel caseback.  The watch takes a standard CR2016 battery.

For an inexpensive watch, the water resistance is a generous 50 meters. The brown strap is genuine leather with a soft suede exterior look and feel and a smooth leather back.  Stitching runs all along the borders of the strap.  The strap is secured via a standard buckle.

Timex Expedition Scout Watch Dimensions

The watch has a perfectly proportioned 40 mm diameter case.  This is large enough for easy reading without being oversized.  The watch strap is a little narrow, but is long enough to fit my rather large wrists.  At no point, will you look at this watch and wonder if it was designed for a woman.

I find this watch to generally be very comfortable for daily wear.  If the watch rubs anywhere, it is at the clasp buckle.

At night time, the dial can be illuminated by pushing in the crown.  However, as you can see from this night time shot, the watch is quite readable when illuminated by street lights.

Update 1/6/18

For some reason, a few days after I initially posted this review, the indiglo feature of my Timex stopped working.  The watch itself still runs just fine, but the dial no longer illuminates at the push of a button.  This is a bit of a disappointment since the backlighting is useful from time to time and it is a major selling feature of the watch.


Overall, I still like the looks of this Timex Expedition Scout watch.  I really like military-style watches and this Timex delivers that look at an affordable price.  The failure of the indiglo feature is the first problem I've ever had with a Timex and I may try to get a replacement via the warranty.  This watch retails for $59.99 at Kohls before applying Kohl's cash or various discount coupons that come with catalog mailings.  If you play your discounts and sales right, you can get this watch (with Indiglo backlighting) at a very affordable price point.  If your backlight function goes out, this watch is more like a $15 to $20 timepiece.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Star Wars Stocking Stuffer Watches

The key to giving a watch as a little extra stocking stuffer is to choose a watch that will be fun for the recipient.  The world is awash in inexpensive watches that celebrate sports teams, superheroes, and movies.  For example, kids aged 6 to 60 might find a Batman watch or a Star Wars watch a lot of fun.   I recently spotted a number of Star Wars watches at Big Lots for very low prices.  For $10-$15 you simple can't go too far wrong.

Obviously, these little quartz watches aren't the finest of Swiss timepieces.  But, for a young Star Wars fan, they would probably be very cool.

Older Star Wars fans may find more expensive Star Wars watches appealing.  Nixon produces an excellent looking line of Star Wars watches for adults.

If you don't want official Star Wars logos on all of your gear, you might try the Casio Tough Solar in white.  It looks like a great Storm Trooper watch, but it doesn't have anything to do with Star Wars.

If you want the Storm Trooper look or you actually want to see Bobba Fet, watch makers have you covered.

 I was able to find one inexpensive kids watch on Amazon.  It's not a huge watch, but it would be a huge gift for a young Star Wars Fan.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

A Guide to Military Style Watches

The military style watch has been gaining popularity in recent year.  Our nation and the western world has been at war against Islamic terrorism for 16 years and there is little sign that the struggle will ever end.  As the Army recruiting commercials say, "every generation has heroes," and perhaps all of us want to identify with those heroes and show our support.  Military-style watches are practical tools for today's warriors and a fashion homage to our heroes for the rest of us.

What time is it? - Photo by U.S. Army Europe Images from Heidelberg, Germany (What time is it  Uploaded by GiW) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Most military-style watches are generally based on standard issue military watches from the Vietnam era.  They consist of a simple analog dial displaying the 12 and 24-hour times against a plain dark background and feature a drab canvas or leather strap.  Many military-style watches feature a white triangle at the 12 o'clock position.  While the SKMEI military-style watch below features numbered minutes prominently, many do not.  This is a typical example of a military inspired watch.  Amazingly this one costs less than $10.

Some military style watches forego the 24 hour markings in favor of a simplified dial.  One of my favorite affordable military-style watches is this simple Timex Expedition Vintage Metal Field Watch.  It's very simple and it fits the military theme well.

If you are looking for another inexpensive option, this U.S. Polo watch is a nice simple and inexpensive example.  While war is no polo match, this watch has the big readable numbers, 24-hour time, and that ever present triangle.  You can generally find US Polo watches priced for less than $25 at traditional retailers like Kohl's or Sears.

You'll find some watches are even more simplified with markings inspired by World War 1 era aviation watches.  This Invicta 1461 is typical of that genre of watch.  On a more expensive end of the spectrum, Bell & Ross followed its smash hit instrument panel watches with a very sparse and utilitarian World War I inspired pilots watches.  These watches are great for those of us with older eyes because we don't have to explicitly admit that we need an Easy Reading Watch.

Of course, sometimes there is no substitute for the real thing.  The Marathon Watch company currently makes military specification watches.  These watches have tritium tubes that provide lighted markings without having to be charged via a light source.  They are also made for the extreme conditions that soldiers may actually face.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

A Guide to Dive or Diver-Style Watches

If you are looking for a gift watch for man this Christmas, you can't get much more manly than a dive or diver-style watch.  Dive watches embody manly virtues like strength and endurance.  They are also available at a wide variety of price points.

Insignum Dive Watch

Some of the fundamental questions to ask before giving someone a dive watch for Christmas are --
  • Is the gift recipient actually a scuba diver?
  • Does the person snorkel or swim?
  • Will the person wear the watch into the ocean or a pool?
Casio Dive Watch
Why all the questions?  It's simple, the specifications for a real dive watch are much more rigorous than the specifications for a diver-style watch.  The world is awash in affordable watches that look like dive watches and there are many solid watches that are rugged enough for swimming.  But, real dive watches are made to withstand high pressures of the depths.

A real dive watch will be able to withstand pressures of at least 1 atmosphere (100 meters or 330 feet).  Serious dive watches are marked as dive watches and often can withstand pressures of 200 or 300 meters.  Generally, dive watches will have screw down crowns that prevent water from infiltrating the watch through the winding stem.

In my collection, I have one dive watch that can survive depths of up to 200 meters.  However, I have many attractive diver-style watches that look great, but are actually not rated for diving.

If you are looking for an entry-level dive watch, the Casio MDV106-1A is a great choice.  It is water resistant to 200 meters and it has a screw-down crown.  It has a uni-directional bezel for tracking elapsed time.  It's a good choice for a watch that will actually spend time in the water or performing other rugged duties.

If you want to stay affordable, there are many good dive watches from companies like Invicta.  However, if you want a real dive watch that looks good at an affordable price, you might try Momentum dive watches.  Ultimately, the standards for dive watches are set by brands like Omega and Rolex.  But, there are a lot of fun watch brands to explore along the way.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

A Few Tips for Giving A Watch This Christmas

If you are giving a watch this year for Christmas, here are a few tips that might make the whole process easier.

1. Consider the Needs of the Wearer.  Any watch give as a gift should match the wants and desires of the wearer.  If they are an outdoorsman, a dressy watch that looks great with a suit might not work.  If they are an older person, a busy watch with subdials and small day and date windows will be hard to read.  Think of the age, gender, and personality of the recipient when you select a watch.

2. Value Matters.  When giving a watch for a special occasion, the brand and value of the watch will matter.  There are lots of cheap Chinese watches from no name brands in the marketplace.  A $10 watch is fine for personal use, but it's rather chintzy for a gift.  Instead, give a watch from a name brand with a solid reputation whether it is Timex or Tissot.  A little research can tell you if a new brand has a good reputation.

3. Seek Something Unique.  The world is awash in watches.  To find something unique, you may have to research smaller watch brands like AVI-8.  Orient might be a good alternative to Seiko.  These brands have good reputations and bring something a little different to the market.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

A Guide to Neo-Classic Watches for Men


The next step up from the minimalist watch is the neo-classic watch.  Just as mid-century modern architecture and decor has become a thing, so have straight forward watches that are simple and functional.  They remind us of the watches that our fathers or grandfathers wore in the 1970s or 1980s.  I would submit that my classic Citizens Eco-Drive dress watch is an excellent example of a modern neo-classic watch.  It looks almost exactly like the kind of Citizen watch that would have been worn in the 1950s through the early 1970s.  But, underneath, it has a modern solar power plant that charges it up and keeps it running for a very long time.

Citizen Eco-Drive Dress Watch

Not every neo-classic watch is powered by the sun, but every neo-classic watch evokes a past era of classic watch design.  The watches of the 1960s and 1970s were basic and functional.  Today, these watches make great dress watches or business casual watches.  They are great in situations where you don't want to bring focus onto your watch.  When you just want a sensible, simple, and elegant timepiece, neo-classic watches are excellent choices.

Pulsar Men's Stainless Steel Dress Watch

Whenever I have a job interview, I choose a neoclassical watch like my Pulsar.   It's simple, easy to read, and it comes from a reputable manufacturer.  Here is a very similar Pulsar watch on Amazon for an amazing price.

You'll find many neoclassic watch designs from discount stores like Walmart on up. When giving such a watch as a gift, you'll want to make sure you select a brand that recipients have heard of and respect. Brands like Pulsar, Citizen, and Seiko excel as respectable manufacturers that most people have heard of and enjoy.