Watch Review D. Freemont Airbatic

Company: D. Freemont

http://dfreemontwatches.com

Company information:

The Swiss are legendary craftsmen… all d.freemont watches are Swiss made in truth and by definition. There are many component manufacturers supplying the watch industry in Switzerland, and the choice of suppliers is in the hands of the designer; although, all Swiss components and craftsmanship are at least the best the world has to offer. We, at d.freemont, go a step further to seek out only the finest. Our reputation is important and we share pride in your selection of a d.freemont watch.

Many considerations must be carefully analyzed -the choice of the movement is paramount…technology first. The style, no matter how impressive, must be complimented by the “engine” of the watch. The d.freemont watch is always presented with a full disclosure of the internal parts. We are pleased to inform our customer that we have quality watches utilizing state of the art features, such as low friction movements and synthetic lubricants. Our suppliers must conform to the highest quality standards; standards which we verify throughout the production sequence. We have abandoned the traditional assembly by in-house labor to the more controlled method of contract craftsmen and finishers.

Watch Model: Airbatic Auto and Manual

Price: Auto $1400 Manual $1450

Auto specs:

Stainless steel case –
40mm x 9.5 mm
Custom coin edge bezel
and acorn crown
Sapphire crystal
ETA – extremely decorated
25 jewel automatic movement,
Water resistant to 150 ft
leather strap
Deployant buckle
Custom leather travel case
Dial – brass base with copper applied markers
Luminous hands – choice of standard or broad arrow.
Each watch is numbered.

Manual Wind Specs
The Airbatic Manual wind uses the ETA 2804 17 jewel movement which is thinner than the automatic version

The watch case and dials are identical in both versions, however the case back on the manual wind reduces the watch thickness by 2mm… making it one of the thinnest watches available.

The Packaging:

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The packaging for the watches is a simple travel case that is sealed by two zippers. Simple and effective. The case gets the job done. Each watch is held in its own compartment. The top of the travel case is signed with the D. Fremont logo to add a nice touch of detail to the black leather travel case. The leather is extremely soft on the outside of the case and the inside of the case is soft velvet like material so that your watches will remain safe and scratch free during travel.

The Case:

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The first thing I noticed with these watches is how thin they are. The manual watch case is 2mm thinner than the automatic movement. The coined edged bezel is beautifully done and has been one of my favorite bezel styles on a dress watch for a long time. It’s a timeless and classic look and it catches the light ever so nicely. The sides of the case and top of the lugs are highly polished as one would expect with a nice dress watch. The lugs are slightly curved and relatively short which allows the 40mm diameter case to sit nicley on the wrist. The lugs do not have holes on the outside as the strap pins slide into the holes on the inside of the lugs. The acorn style crown is easy to grab and it is a push/pull style in functionability when setting the time. The sides of the case are rounded out which adds a nice smooth detail like the fenders of a classic car. Both the manual wind and automatic watches have exhibition case backs which allow you to view the movement in both watches. The caseback on the manual version features the following text sapphire crystal 2804 Swiss Made Stainless Steel 5ATM. The automatic features the same text, but the only difference is that the auto features 931 not 2804.

The Dial:

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Both watches have grey dials with high polished gold numerals marking each hour. The markers and numerals are applied and raised a detail that I really think adds a lot of detail to the simple dial. The seven o’clock marker is void of the number 7 and in its place is the D. Freemont logo. The text on the dial reads d. freemont and the name of the model AIRBATIC which is located above the 6 o’clock hour marker. Next to the 6 o’clock is ‘swiss made’. All the text on the dial is black, including the bird logo under the 12 o’clock hour marker. The hands of the watch are outlined in black and have luminous coating on the hour and minute hands. The seconds hand has a lumed arrow head tip which makes seeing the time at night easy and glides around the dial with a nice sweeping movement. These lumed hands remind me of dress watches from the 1950’s and 1960’s. The dial of course is easily read due to the nice sapphire crystal on both watches. The seconds markers are on the railroad track style which again I will say is a detail that adds to the vintage look and feel of this watch.

The Movement:

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Both movements are nicley decorated as you can see through the exhibition caseback on both of the manual version and automatic version. Both versions have blued screws and red jeweled heads. The seventeen jeweled manual movement based 2804 ETA has some nice hand machined finishing. It is signed with the d.freemont logo and also features N 73. The automatic version is a 25 jeweled movement with a signed rotor with the d.freemont logo and N.7. Both watches can be wound via rotating the crown which is very smooth and easy to do on both versions. The watches appear to keep good time as well.

The Strap:

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Both of the watches come on simple leather straps. For the price of the watches, I would expect something of a higher quality. The buckle feels very thin and fragile though it operates as it should. I am a huge fan of custom leather straps and have come accustomed to that quality of a product, so I am a bit biased when it comes to straps on a watch. The stainless steel buckles on both watches are signed d.freemont. The auto version has a brown leather strap with brown stitching and the manual version has a black leather strap with black stitching. Both straps have raised padding and taper down from 20mm to 18mm at the buckle.

Wrist Shot: For reference my wrists are 7 1/2″

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Overall Thoughts and Conclusion:

Both versions of the AIRBATIC are very nicely done. They are nice throwbacks to the dress watches of the 1950’s and 60’s in my opinion, but with modern 40mm cases. They are very comfortable to wear and operate. I feel that they are good watches to wear to the office or out to dinner. They are definitely not a weekend watch if hiking or outdoor activities are on your agenda. I feel that for what you get though, they are priced a bit on the high side. Though the movements are very nicely finished and which I believe is the highlight of the AIRBATIC watch. I would recommend these watches to someone who is looking for a good watch to wear to the office. I think that the manual version is my favorite of the two. The manual movement just adds to that vintage feel and for some reason I hear Dean Martin music playing when I wear this watch.

A very special thank you to David from D.Freemont for allowing me to do this review. 🙏🙏🙏

Pros:

Nicely decorated movements

Vintage feel with modern size

Good watch for the office

Very comfortable to wear

Easy legibility

Well constructed and finished case

Cons:

Price

Strap and buckle

Rotor on the automatic version is very loud when it rotates.

Watch Review: Mondaine Automatic SBB CFF FFS Railroad Watch Evo Big

Company: Mondaine

Background:

Mondaine Helvetica
Originally known as Haas Grotesk, Helvetica® was created at the Haas Type Foundry near Basel in 1957 by Swiss graphic artist Max Miedinger and Haas business manager Eduard Hoffmann. Their goal was to design a typeface that was “well conceived, discreet enough and tempered, matter of fact, soft and flowing with harmonious and logically structured forms.”

Official Swiss Railways Watch
The simple design, the unmistakable easy-to-read face, distinctive hands and the famous red seconds hand have made the Mondaine collection successful the world over. Ingenuity and simplicity are the elements, which often distinguish an attractive piece of design from a truly iconic design classic.

Model: Evo Big

From the Website:

Evo Big
A132.30348.11SBB
Generous both in terms of design and functionality, the Automatic of the Mondaine Official Swiss Railways Watch unites tradition and design.The rounded case made of polished stainless steel is 40 mm in diameter. The transparent case back allows to see the movement which will delight all watch enthusiasts. A discretely integrated yet easy-to-see date and day display is just one of the features of the model.

Model number A132.30348.11SBB
Function DayDate
Movement (manufacture. Ref.) SW220-1
Movement (type) Mechanical
Case size/diameter (mm) 40.00
Case material Stainless Steel polished
Case back See Through Caseback
Crown Regular Gasket
Crystal/Glass material Hardened Mineral
Water resistance (m/ft/atm) 30 / 100 / 3
Strap/Bracelet material Genuine Leather
Strap width at lug (mm) 20.00
Origin Swiss Made

THE PACKAGING:

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The packaging is simple and elegant, refined and perfectly accents the overall theme of the Evo Big. The watch comes is a pretty cool souvenir bag which I really think was a nice touch to the typical packaging we see with most watches. The bag features an image of the Mondaine watch face on one side and on the other is labeled Swiss Souvenir. Inside the cloth bag is the watch box labeled with the Mondaine name and Swiss Watch, all done in the color theme of the Evo Big watch. Everything matches and complements each other extremely well, nicely done Mondaine!

THE WATCH OUT OF THE BOX:

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There is something magical about the simplicity of the Evo Big that instantly drew me in from first glance. The colors of the watch seem to mysteriously dance off of one another. The big, and beautiful white dial is so clean that the black hour and minute markers just pop off of the dial. The lollipop style red second hand is bold, but refined at the same time. The black hour and minuted hands feature square tips which I am a huge fan of. I think they are bold and accent the dial perfectly. There’s nothing that bothers me more than a watch that hands are too small for the rest of the design of the watch, Mondaine got it right. Well done indeed Mondaine. The dial features the text MONDAINE SBB CFF FFS just under the 12 o’clock marker and the text Automatic right above the 6 o’clock marker, and right at the 6 o’clock marker is Swiss Made. There is a day/date window at the 3 o’clock position featuring black text on a white date wheel. The dial can be perfectly viewed thanks to the hardened mineral crystal.

The case polished stainless steel which is in a generous 40mm diameter. I have become pretty fond of 40mm cases as of late. I used to think my sweet spot for case sizes was 44mm, but I am finding myself loving 40mm. I have 7 1/2″ wrists and 40mm just seems to hug my wrist perfectly. The rounded, curved lugs also add to the comfortable wearability of the Evo Big. A design element of the case that I really love is how the case sides are rounded out. This adds to the overall look of the watch, and allows the watch to wear a bit bigger than 40mm. The crown is a pull out style and is nicely signed with a M outlined in red. This is a really awesome detail, simple yet full of expression. I think all crowns on watches should be signed with some sort of decoration whether it be the companies logo, or name or a simple letter, it just a simple detail that can truly add to the overall look of a watch. The crown is easy to grip and operates flawlessly, very smooth to operate and navigate to set the time and date.

The caseback features an exhibition style crystal to view the watches movement. The rotor for the self winding mechanism is signed in black text Mondaine and 26 Jewels Swiss Movement adding detail to the movement without overcrowding it. It’s a very nice and pleasing to look at movement. I go back and forth on display case backs, I sometimes like them and sometimes I don’t. It comes down to my thought, is this the right style of watch for a display case back. In terms of this watch I say 100% yes. If this were a dive style watch, I would say absolutely not.

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The Swiss made movement inside the watch is SW220-1. It’s an alternative to the ETA movements, and my experience with the Sellita movements are they hold their own against ETA. It’s an accurate movement and keeps great time. It’s a very suitable movement for the EVO Big.

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WRIST SHOT:

reference my wrist is 7 1/2″ wrist.

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THE STRAP:

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The strap is genuine leather and in stamped with the Mondaine name, as is the tang style buckle. The strap is simple, smooth and very comfortable to wear. Keeping true to its design elements the strap nicely accents the watch. It’s not overally padded and the smooth exterior of the band matches the black of the hour markers.

OVERALL THOUGHT AND CONCLUSION:

The Evo Big is a great watch, that is simple in design, yet it is packed with personality and style. It keeps accurate time and is very comfortable to wear. There isn’t one thing that I can find wrong or nit pick about on this watch. It’s well designed, affordable, and reliable. If anything, I guess I would like to see a screw down crown and the only reason for that is my own personal preference. If your looking for a throwback style watch to the Railroad watches of yesteryear with a modern touch, well the Evo Big is the watch for you. I would definitely recommend this watch to my friends.

A special thanks to Mondaine for this oppurtunity to do this review. It was a true honor.

ADDITIONAL PICTURES:

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