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.

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