Friday, April 26, 2019

Watch Review: Kenneth Cole Reaction Camouflage Watch

On a recent trip to a Ross discount store, this Kenneth Cole Reaction watch caught my eye.  It had a flat black case, a black leather strap, and a darkly camouflaged dial with blacked out numbers.  Readers of this blog know, I love stealthy commando-style watches.  Since this Kenneth Cole watch was priced at less than $50, I had to add it to my collection.

Kenneth Cole Reaction Watch on Amazon

Kenneth Cole Reaction Watch Design

This watch has a flat black case and genuine leather strap.  The case diameter is 49 millimeters.  It is 12 millimeters thick.  The Amazon specifications list this watch as having a 22 millimeter strap, but I found that mine was actually 24 millimeters.

Kenneth Cole Reaction Watch Construction

This watch feels pretty solid with an alloy metal case and stainless steel caseback.  However, macho looks aside, the Kenneth Cole Reaction is clearly a fashion watch.  It is only rated as water resistant to 30 meters.  That's enough water resistance for a little rain and hand washing, but not much more.

This is not really a tactical watch.  However, it isn't priced like one either.  The quartz movement is powered by a standard SR626W battery.  The camouflage paint job on the dial is well done, but a little dark.  

You can see the detail in bright sunlight, but it is very dark in lower light conditions.  I would have also opted for wider watch hands so that the time was a tad more readable at a glance.

By far, the weakest link in the design is the synthetic leather strap.  I found it to be a little short with my wrist barely fitting with the use of the last hole on the strap.  

With a very minor flex of the wrist to do something as mundane as picking up a television remote control, the strap failed.  It was almost the most ignominious end to a promising addition to my watch collection.  What if I had been fast-roping out of a helicopter or rappelling down from the ceiling of an art gallery?

Fortunately, I pressed on and replaced the failed strap with an inexpensive black nylon NATO watch strap.  In my opinion, the new strap greatly improved the look of this watch.  The new strap is more utilitarian and brings a more purposeful military or "tactical" look to the timepiece. 

Now that my Kenneth Cole Reaction watch is back in action, I can go back to my imaginary life as a cat burglar on the French Riviera.  This watch fills the "stealth watch" void in my collection perfectly without busting the budget.

 Overall Kenneth Cole Reaction Watch Review

Overall, I really like the look of the Kenneth Cole Reaction Camouflage Watch.  It does look cool.  However, I was disappointed in the durability and length of the original leather strap.

The NATO strap greatly improved the look of this wath and brought it back into my collection for about $10.  However, that is $10 I would rather spend on something else.

While I still enthusiastically wear this watch and love the stealthy looks.  However, I would give this watch a 3 out of 5 star review for the feeble faux leather watch strap.  It may still be a good value to add to your watch collection depending on the price.