Sunday, April 30, 2017

Wristwatch Review: SKMEI Military-style Watch

I recently ordered a new Ola Oficina  SKMEI Men's Analog Luminous Hands Day and Date Black Watch With Black Leather Strap (SK9113A) from Amazon.  Just two days after I placed my order, this box arrived on my doorstep.  If you are accustomed to a 3 week wait for an inexpensive watch to arrive from China, the quick turnaround time was a pleasant surprise.

Unboxing the Ola Oficina SKMEI Men's Military-style Watch

Unboxing the SKMEI Military-Style Watch
I had a small unboxing ceremony.  To find a smaller cardboard watch box and a bit of plastic bubble cushioning material inside.  There was plenty of room in the Amazon box for the watch to slide around.  But, there really wasn't anything to damage the watch which was snug in a cute little cardboard box.  For less than $10, I didn't expect to find a fancy watch tin.  But, I thought Ola Oficina did a good job in creating very polished and presentable cardboard packing.

SKMEI Watch Design

While this watch has a very utilitarian name, I prefer to think of it as a SKMEI Military-style watch.  The timepiece is basically inspired by a classic military camp-watch inspired design.  It has a compass-like dial with minutes marked in 5-minute intervals and inner rings with 12 and 24-hour time markings.  The watch has a fairly readable panoramic date window at the 3-o'clock position.

SKMEI Watch Dimensions

This SKMEI watch has a 43 mm diameter case, a 13 mm thick case, and a 22 mm wide genuine leather strap.  While the watch seems perfectly dimensions, the watch strap is just a little short for my approximately 8-inch circumference wrist.  It barely fit with the buckle grabbing the very last hole on the strap.

Surprisingly, the SKMEI watch strap and watch seem close to the size of one of my favorite Nautica  watch and strap combinations.  However, the leather strap of the SKEI just doesn't stretch as much as the slightly longer plastic or resin strap of the Nautica.

SKMEI Watch Construction

To reach a less than $10, Ola Oficina had to make some hard decisions about materials and construction.  However, this watch offers an alloy case, a plastic bezel, and an acrylic crystal. The manufacturer even claims that the watch is water resistant to 50 meters.  Like many low cost watches, there is minimal lume on the watch hands, but none on other markings.  The SR626SW battery is a commonly available watch battery that should pose no challenge to change.  The leather strap is genuine and thick.  Some Amazon reviewers thought it was stiff, but I found it short, but easy enough to work with and soft.  I found that the acrylic crystal had a slight tendency to pick up fingerprint smudges that were easily wiped off with a shirt tail.

Overall, I'm pleased by my purchase.  For $10 or less, I had very low expectations.  However, I found this watch to be similar to the commodity quartz watches that you'll find in many department stores.  In my opinion, it is a little bit nicer than the no-name watches that you'll see at Walmart or Target.  If you are looking for cheap bang around watch, you might give SKMEI a try, they have a ton of different models available from a variety of Amazon sellers.

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