Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Watch Sighting; Sutton Watch at Sears

Recently, my wife and I wandered over to our local Sears store to see what was on clearance.  Like so many Sears and Kmart stores around the country, our local Sears is closing and many items were marked down.  Unfortunately, we didn't have much in the budget to make any purchases.  However, I did see an interesting watch brand:  Sutton.  It sounds like an upscale name, but it is actually an affordable watch brand created by Armitron.  They offered this interesting looking diver-style watch at a very affordable price point.



I really like the look of this watch because it offers a classic, almost vintage, dive style look. It's unlikely that many people will be familiar with the Sutton brand. They will most likely just think that it is an upscale brand associated with a store or a boutique watch maker.  If the watch really is resistant to 165 feet that would be a nice plus.  At $34.99, I would definitely suggest taking a look at this watch.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Watch Sighting: Viewpoint Watch at Walmart

There is a new watch brand at Walmart.  It's called Viewpoint or V|P for short.  It's a Timex brand and it appears to be aimed at bringing interesting low-cost watches to the Walmart jewelry section.  The watch example that I've seen for the last few months has featured a dial with painted on and relief features that evoke the gearing of a mechanical or automatic watch.  However, as the low price watch $29.92, this is definitely a quartz watch.


I'm not a big fan of watches that don't put function first. When subdials don't work, I get a bit frustrated. Initially, I felt the same way about the Viewpoint watch. If it's not a mechanical watch, why paint gears on the dial? However, over the past few months, I've come to view the dial as a merely a design feature. It's just art--a painting of gears.



The thought that the gears are merely graphic design element has made me a bit more accepting of this watch. Someone who purchases this watch might at least remember and reflect that all watches were once mechanical marvels.


At less than $30, this watch does offer 30-meters of water resistance, a mineral glass crystal, and a metal bracelet.  That's not a bad value for a Timex product.  If you are wandering about in a Walmart and you like the look, check out the Viewpoint watch!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Wristwatch Review: Oniss "Meca" Stainless Steel & Leather Sport Watch

This is a review of the Oniss "Meca" Stainless Steel & Leather Sport Watch that I received due to my membership in Watchgang.  It's a bold watch design with an interesting style that some folks like and some don't.  The watch features a Japanese quartz movement.

Oniss "Meca" Watch Design


The design of the Oniss "Meca" watch features large readable hands for hours, minutes, and seconds, large numerals, and two large sub-dials that dominate the face of the watch.  One sub-dial provides the day of the week and the other provides the day of the month on a 31-day calendar.

Oniss "Meca" Quartz Stainless Steel & Leather Sport Watch

The hour numerals initially appear to be the typical chromed numerals that are featured on many watches.  However, on closer examination, the numbers are cut into the dial itself and reveal an underlying chromed plate.  It's an interesting design feature and a rich touch, but it doesn't serve to make the numerals more readable.  In contrast, the watch hands are supremely readable and I really like following the march of the bright second hand.

Numerals and Subdial Close Up of Oniss "Meca" Quartz Stainless Steel & Leather Sport Watch

This watch dial is protected by a mineral crystal which is slightly convex.  It feels like real glass, but can show a bit of glare from some angles.  I believe it gives the watch a bit of vintage flair.

Oniss "Meca" Quartz Stainless Steel & Leather Sport Watch

The Oniss "Meca" watch also has a few features that you would expect in a high end watch like etching on the clasp and caseback.

Buckle Etching on Oniss "Meca" Quartz Stainless Steel & Leather Sport Watch


Oniss "Meca" Watch Construction


The Oniss "Meca" has some features that are expected in a high end watch.  For example, this sports watch has a stainless steel case and is water resistant to 5 Atmospheres (50 Meters or 164 Feet).  However, to me, the stainless steel case seems very light and thin.  I think the case quality seems more akin to a cheap Chinese watch than a luxury European-style timepiece.  The watch does come with a genuine leather strap with a typical crocodile pattern.

Caseback of Oniss "Meca" Quartz Stainless Steel & Leather Sport Watch


Oniss "Meca" Watch Dimensions


According to the Amazon description, the Oniss "Meca" sport watch has a 45 millimeter case that is 11 millimeters thick.  The strap is 22 millimeters wide.  As previously noted, the watch has a very lightweight stainless steel case.  While it may not give it the heft of a luxury timepiece, it certainly makes the Meca a comfortable lightweight watch to wear.  In my opinion, this watch has winning proportions.

Overall Oniss Watch Review


The Oniss "Meca" is a challenge to review.  People offer opinions on it.  My wife says it "looks cheap" and compares it to watches that are typically found at Target or Walmart.  I think it's definitely better than a discount store watch.    The watch also draws compliments.  For example, the barista dude at my local Starbucks said--"Cool watch man"--when I paid for late night refreshments at the drive through.  As a dude, I find much to like about the "Meca."  It has the look of a sports car driver's watch.  The big sub-dials are classic.  It's a great "bang around" watch for casual wear.  However, it doesn't look quite high end enough to support my aspirations in a professional office setting.

Oniss "Meca" Quartz Stainless Steel & Leather Sport Watch

In some respects, it is unfair for me to compare this Oniss watch to the higher end timepieces that one might see in a horological magazine like WatchTime.  All of the watches that I recently read about in that publication cost in excess of $1000.  I do appreciate good looking quartz alternatives that come in at affordable price points.  Given the price of my WatchGang membership, this watch is coming in at around $50.  It offers a great look, but it feels like a watch that is worth $50 to $100.  Overall, I really do like the Oniss "Meca" and I wear it a lot.  But, at a minimum, I think it needs a more substantial case to come into the office.

 

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Wristwatch Review: Buech & Boilat Thresher Diver-style Watch

Watch styles come and go, but one style remains a constant:  the diver-style watch.  As part of my WatchGang membership, I recently received a new one from Buech & Boilat.  It's called the Thresher.  Mine came with a light green bezel and a dark green face.  While almost no one has ever heard of Buech & Boilet, the brand brings a lot to the table with the Thresher.

Buech & Boilet Thresher Diver-style Watch


 Who is Buech & Boilet?

According to the Buech & Boilet website, the company is a revival of an award-winning 19th century watch brand.  However, there isn't any mention of who the backers are or the executives running the company.  The brand doesn't have many mentions or much in the way of social media activity.  The watches pop up on Overstock.com, Amazon.com, ebay, and are distributed to WatchGang members.  I wonder if it is still running as a company.  That's a shame because the watch itself is quite nice.

Buech & Boilet Thresher

Buech & Boilet Thresher Features

The features of my Buech & Boilet watch are quite impressive.  The watch is powered by a quartz movement with Swiss Parts.  It has a stainless steel case and bracelet that are water resistant to 200 meters.  It has an etched caseback and crown.  The crown is a screwdown crown for improved water resistance.  It has a unidirectional rotating bezel with the customary dive-style markings with the first 15 minutes of the hour hashed.  There is a small date window at the 6 o'clock position.  There is plenty of lume applied to each marker.

Buech & Boilet Caseback

Buech & Boilet Thresher Dimensions


This watch has a 48 millimeter diameter case, a 20 millimeter band width, and is 13 millimeters thick.  There was plenty of space for even the largest wrists.  I had to remove two links in order to size the watch down for my wrists.  I found that the watch has a very hefty, solid, feel without being too heavy.

Thresher Shark:  Photo by Thomas Alexander [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Buech & Boilet Thresher Overall Impression

In this era of virtual watch brands and micro-brands, watch companies come and go, but their watches remain.  I hope Buech & Boilet is out there and working on new designs.  I really liked the Thresher diver-style watch.  It is a nice, solid, feeling, diver-style watch with a cool name.  I like dive watches to be named in a manly way after real things like sharks.  This watch looks good and fits my wrist well.  Plus, it actually has a rotating bezel.

Is this watch a good value for me as a member of WatchGang?

I'll bet that most people reading this review already have a Buech & Boilet Thresher and wonder if they are getting a good value for their WatchGang membership dollar.  I think that they are!  This watch has features that are similar to familiar watches such as the Invicta Men's Pro Diver Analog Quartz watch which sells in the neighborhood of $50 an up.  However, this watch doesn't have a cyclops magnifier over the date window.  Many diver-style watches such as my Pulsar don't even offer a rotating bezel.  Since my Pulsar was a $70 watch, I would estimate this watch could sell for $75 to $150 in a conventional retail store.  While few people have heard of Buech & Boilet, I find that the obscure brand adds a bit of mystique and exclusivity.  It is highly unlikely that you'll ever see someone else wearing this watch.  Too me, this watch is a definite keeper and was another pleasant surprise.

Compare this watch to -
 

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

Who is PUREDIAL?


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.

Conclusion


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.