Watch Review: Minuteman JESTER ACTUAL

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About Minuteman Watch Co.

Here is some information about our brand and its efforts to raise funds for veterans.

We created our Minuteman brand for 3 key reasons.

  • To raise funds for charities that assist Veterans and their families.

25% of the profit from our net annual sales of  Minuteman products goes to charities assisting veterans & their Families.

  • To provide work for Americans whenever we can.
  • To provide a quality product that will stand the test of time.

All of our watches are proudly assembled in the United States by highly skilled American watchmakers.

Our MM0 series models are tested to higher standards than other watches which sell at our price poin. For example most brands offering water resistant watches at our price point only perform a dry vacuum test to check water resistance.

Each watch is shipped in a quality padded zipper case which is also made in the United States. We believe most watch boxes leave buyers with a dilemma.  Should I keep the bulky box which only is good for holding the watch that came in it or throw it away? Most watch collectors keep the boxes. As watch collectors typically have several wrist watches this leaves them with several watch boxes cluttering their lives. In answer to this, our watches come with the padded zipper cases which take up less room than your typical watch box. We also feel the cases can be re-used to protect a variety of delicate and precious items. In addition to this we believe that watches are also better protected in our cases than they typically are in a conventional box.

We continue to make refinements to our product, which results in a high quality product while still maintaining our pricing.

We would like to tell you why we created Minuteman. Speaking as the owner of Minuteman my father is a disabled Vietnam vet. This has brought my father & I into contact with many other veterans over the years. Some have gone to have great success after their military service. However, many do struggle greatly after their service. Suffering life long physical & mental issues connected with their service. This inspired us to create Minuteman.

We came to the realization that there are charities which do great work in helping our veterans. These charities need funding to allow them to continue the great work which they do. So we created Minuteman to help provide these great charities with much needed funding. In addition we believe in sourcing product and services in the United States when we can. Lastly, we believe in offering a quality product that will stand the test of time.

25% of our annual net profit from the sale of  Minuteman brand products goes to charities that assist veterans and their families. Our watches are built and tested in the United States by highly skilled American workers.

Thomas Carey
Owner Minuteman Watch Co.

Website link: http://minutemanwatches.com/jester_watch

MODEL: Jester Watch

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Proudly assembled in the USA by Minuteman Watch Co.
  • Individually serial numbered
  • Stainless Steel case with black PVD coating.
  • Stainless Steel case back.
  • 42mm width without crown.
  • Screw down crown.
  • 200 meter water resistant.
  • Comes with one American made Leather watch strap.
  • Sapphire crystal.
  • ETA 955.112 Swiss made movement.
  • Luminous hands and dial.
  • $399 USD

 

 

Sometimes a watch comes along that stands for something a little bit more. Minuteman watches create watches that stand for a little bit more. Like stated above 25% of the profit from our net annual sales of  Minuteman products goes to charities assisting veterans & their families. That is pretty awesome if you ask me. I have been slowly transitioning my focus of my reviews on companies that have heart. Companies that still have a strong passion to create watches without “the making money” part as their main drive. Of course companies need to make money to survive, I get that. But you can tell what companies aren’t 100% driven by just out to make the money. Minuteman watches is one of those passionate companies. They create watches with the WIS in mind and they listen to their customers for feedback when it comes to design input and suggestions. Which I believe is very important in the customer/company relationship. I have the utmost respect for companies like Minuteman for actually caring about what their customers think. Thomas has created something very special with Minuteman and the Jester Watch is here to receive the full review treatment.

THE PACKAGING:

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Simple and effective. The packaging on the Jester watch is very simple and also very useful. It definitely won’t take up more space than needed in your closet. Its a nice soft lined travel case that closes via a zipper. The black case is canvas on the outside and “furry soft” on the inside. I do appreciate packaging on a watch, but is it something that makes or break the deal for me? Certainly not. The packaging in my opinion is just an extension of the watches personality. Minuteman does a nice job of making their packaging useful. If you don’t use it as a travel case, it also makes for a nice storage place for your extra watch straps, strap changing tools, etc..

THE CASE:

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The case on the Jester watch is very sleek and stealthy. It keeps a low profile as well. The case is 42mm is black PVD coated stainless steel. I beginning to find that I am most comfortable in the 40mm-44mm case size range. There are some watches that I really like that go above the 44mm case size.

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The finishing on the PVD coating is high gloss giving the Jester watch a dressy flare. I do like the finishing on this case though a matte black finish I believe would go better with the overall design of the watch. The lugs have inner holes for the strap pins with no outside holes through the sides of the lugs. The lugs are slightly curved allowing the watch to sit flat on the wrist.

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The non crown side of the case is smooth and plain, while the other side of the case contains the crown. The crown is a screw down style non signed crown. I am a little disappointed to see that the crown is unsigned. Having the tiny bit of detail on the crown makes a big difference in the overall design detail of the watch. The crown is easy to operate to screw and unscrew. When the crown is unscrewed and pulled to the first position this allows you to set the date, pulling the crown to the last position allows you to set the time. Everything here functions smoothly and perfectly.

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The case back is something special. The stainless steel case back is engraved with the Minuteman solder logo. The engraved patriot is very well done and it is my favorite part of this watch. It adds so much personality to the watch and it’s just so kick ass. Around the patriot logo are small stars and around the very edges of the case back it states “Proudly assemble in the United States of America by patriots for patriots.”

The outer most edges of the screw down case back has notches and in between those notches is some info about the watch-200 meters water resistance, stainless steel, serial number, Minuteman Watch Co, Swiss movement, and Sapphire crystal.

THE DIAL:

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The dial on the Jester is my second favorite part of this watch. The matte black dial features white numeral and indices with a touch of red that really adds a nice detail. At the 12 o’clock poison is a double 0 instead of 12. Right underneath printed in white is Jester Actual Special Edition. Above the 6 o’clock marker printed in white Minuteman Co. USA. With the double zero at 12 its continued around the dial with 01, 02, 03, etc. This is a cool and unique choice that works brilliantly on this watch, really adds a tactical feel to the overall design aesthetics.

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The outer chapter ring features white printed numerals 05 through 60. The second hand actually extends to the chapter ring a little extra detail that I appreciate when watch designers do this. It makes precision timing of seconds much easier.

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The hour and minute hands are black and white with bright glowing lume coating. The long seconds hand is black with a small red square containing lume and a long red tip.

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When the watch is charged from a bright light source it glows a beautiful green glow. All of the hour markers and indices glow, as do the 3 hands.

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At the 3 o’clock position is the date window. The 3 o’clock hour marker was not removed for the date window which keeps a nice uniform flow on the dial the date wheel is white with black printed numerals. The choice of the white date wheel works well as it matches the white hour markers keeping a zen style flow on the dial itself. The dial works so well on this watch, simple, beautiful and extremely readable.(The sapphire crystal gets some credit for that here)

 

THE MOVEMENT:

Inside the Jester Actual watch is an ETA quartz movement. It is the 955.112 swiss ETA movement to be exact. Below are the stats on this movement. There isn’t much that I can add about the movement that isn’t listed below.

  • Hours, minutes, sweep second.
  • Date, corrector.
  • Stop device and interrupter.
  • Battery End-of-Life display (E.O.L.).
  • 7 Jewels.
  • Autonomy theoretic of battery :
    78 months (battery 40 mAh) or
    108 months (battery 55 mAh).

THE STRAP:

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The black genuine leather strap is handmade in the US. The strap features white stitching that is quite even throughout and the strap also features some nice texturing. The unsigned tang buckle functions as it should and easily fits into the holes punched on the strap.

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The strap features two leather keepers, one fixed and one free. The strap is non tapering 22mm from lug to buckle. The strap is nicely padded and is soft/pliable allowing it to hug the wrist nicely.

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The under side of the strap is stamped with 22mm, Handmade in the USA and Genuine Leather. It’s a really nice, well made strap.

CONCLUSION:

If I were to judge this watch based only on what it stands for alone, it would get my instant seal of approval. Unfortunately that wouldn’t be very useful for you guys, would it? This watch comes in at just under $400 USD. What you get at that price is a watch that goes through some testing that only watches that are thousands of dollars more. Here is a explanation of the tests performed from Minuteman’s website:

  • Dry vacuum test: Most brands offering water resistant watches at our price point only perform a dry vacuum test to check water resistance.
  • Wet test: We test to 300 meters despite the fact our MM0 series is rated for just 200 meters. This exceeds ISO standards.
  • Humidity test: Our watches must meet Rolex standards. This particular test is very important to us as we have found after many years of selling various brands of watches through our retail company, that most leak issues are actually due to a humidity issue, rather than an actual leak.

 

The engraved case back is another nice addition to the watch that makes the $400 asking price a bargain for what you get. The PVD coated steel case is smooth and applied evenly throughout. The LUME lasts through the night on a single charge from a strong light source. The addition of a screw down crown to increase the water resistance is a strong selling point for me.

Is there anything that I would change on this watch? Yes, but it’s just personal preference nit picky on my part. There isn’t anything wrong with this watch whatsoever. That being said what I would change is I would add a signed crown. I think it’s a small detail that adds a great deal to the overall to design of this watch. The other thing that I would personally change is the PVD finish, I would change from high polish to a matte black.

If you are looking for a tactical/tool watch, that has a dressier edge to it, then the Jester Actual Watch is for you. It’s a great watch for the price and plus part of the money made from the watch sale goes for a great cause.

I want to personally thank Thomas and Minuteman Watches for allowing me the honor of doing this review.

WRIST SHOT: Reference 7 1/2″ wrist

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ADDITIONAL PICS:

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Watch Review: OWC Mil-Sub

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Company: OWC

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Website: http://www.orangewatchcompany.com

 

We Make – Specialist luxury diving Watches, MilSub & Time Pieces

OWC – Orange Watch company – is a small watch company making classically inspired and original watches and time pieces.

Our passion and vision is to build the best watch we can at the price point without excess. We focus on value and hence we only deal direct. We deliver value by not allowing retailer or authorised dealer margins.

We are driven by the Bauhaus and our mantra “Less is More”. Hence our watches are fit for purpose, conservative and competent.

We value technical ability above fashion, quality above hype and traditional values over marketing. We are “Old School”. OWC Watches evolve. But change only when we have to.

We are not limited or restrained by illogical and emotional attachments to local, state or national borders. Hence we source globally from suppliers who offer quality and value.

OWC produce “montres sans frontières” (watches without borders).

We inspect each part and assemble each assembly from its component parts (excluding movements). Each watch is individually tested, inspected and timed. OWC assembles watches in small numbers locally and in Switzerland.

OWC interprets, refines and evolve and we think we make a better watch.

Our range of luxury precision watches in our opinion, more than exceed specifications of many watches costing far more. We marry inspiration with contemporary specifications.

Biography

OWC – Orange Watch Company – was born out of passion, frustration and the obsessive compulsion of one man – Daniel Fock – who is now following his dream and the legacy of his “overgrootvader” Willen Hugo Fock who studied at the Ecole d’Horlogie in Neuchâtel in the early part of the 20th Century.

Willem Hugo Fock at the watch school Geneva-1924

Dan grew up in the USA, Singapore & Australia, he has a Masters Degree and spent far too much time in Banks and Corporations both here and abroad.

He has now planted his Dutch roots in a special place called Orange (a rural centre famous for cool climate wines and now watches). He has started a family, not of Orange Men, but of Orange Women, with a wife and 3 daughters. Life is a little slower and simpler, with the day punctuated by school drop off and pick ups.

It is a marriage of global experience tempered or sometimes lead by his obsessive compulsive nature to make what he likes to call, bespoke small production runs of time pieces. He has become the “Time Lord of Orange”. (Apologies to the BBC)

Dan’s initial focus has been on the ISO range of watches – In the Spirit Of. Other more “Orange” designs will flow from the OCD (Orange Centre for Design) where he will create “classic” designs all with an Orange flavour.

Production and design is influenced (obsessed) by the Bauhaus, Fibonacci and the Robert Browning mantra “Less is More”. Hence OWC time pieces are clean, fit for purpose, overly engineered, inspired by divine order, CNC executed, juxtaposed with hand assembly and human testing.

Model: Mil-Sub

Dive watches are a love of mine that is no secret. I am obsessed with the sea and all things sea related. There is something magical about the deep, unexplored depths of the ocean. I just imagine all the old shipwrecks and treasure that lay on the floors of the deep. OWC has created a nice treasure of their own which is a military submersible dive watch or MIL-Sub for short. During my review process I have had the opportunity to speak with owner Dan Fock. He is very passionate about watches and you can truly see that when you hold the MIL-Sub in your hand. The Mil-Sub caught my eye when I was relaxing one night on my couch, perusing the on IG and FB. Looking at watches really helps me to relax. I manage to get an hour of TV a week in and I don’t even want to try to calculate my time that is devoted to watches. There was something fascinating about Dan’s watch that really got my attention. As we delve into this review you will see what I am talking about.

 

PACKAGING:

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The packaging is very unique for the Mil-Sub. It is a large, heavy engineering grade acetyl puzzle case. Puzzle case you ask? Yes, a case that you need to solve in a way before you open it. I am not going to explain how to open it, because it is part of the fun trying to figure out how you are going to get into this box.

The box is black with an orange circle with the letters OWC. This case is very thick and heavy duty. It feels like it could withstand a bomb blast and not even be scratched. You can be assured that your Mil-Sub is protected well while it is in this box during the shipping process. The box is held together like a puzzle, with pieces that interlock. This style of box is a first for me and it is very unique indeed.

CASE:

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The case on the Mil-Sub is solid stainless steel with a nice combo of brushed and polished finishing. The sides of the case on both the crown side and non crown side is where you will find the polished finishing which nicely continues onto the sides of the links on the bracelet. A very nice detail that I quite enjoy and what makes it even better is that the top of the lugs are brushed which continues down the top of the links on the bracelet. Very uniform and precise. The finishing on the case of the Mil-Sub is very well down. Done so well in fact that the quality of finishing can be found on watches that cost 5X as much as the Mil-Sub. It is 40mm and it definitely wears true to its size.

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The crown has a high polished finish that ties into the case sides. Matches beautifully. The crown is a screw down style crown that flawlessly operates both screwing/unscrewing and when setting the time and date.  The crown is signed with a raised OWC and it perfectly lines up when the crown is completely screwed down. The crown is very easy to grip because of the gear style machining that encircles the entire outer edges. Don’t worry about protection because the crown has two body guards in the form of polished finished guards that seamlessly extend from the case.

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The lugs are relatively short and this is a good thing for sure. Watches that have overly long lugs run into aesthetic problems. For example, the end links that connect to the case via the lug holes become excessively long and quite unpleasing to the eye. Longer lugs also make the  case over hang the sides of the wrist which won’t allow the watch to sit nicely or comfortably on the wrist. The lugs on the Mil-Sub are perfect in length and have a nice slight curve shape to them and also have holes that come all the way through the outside of the lugs where the screw in bracelet screws attach the bracelet to the case.

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The case back is held in place by 6 screws that are securely fastened to the case. The screw heads match all the screw heads that are found elsewhere on the Mil-Sub. Another nice small detail that is usually only found on higher priced watches. The case back is simple on on this watch and I really think it works well. It contains a small amount of information which included OWC watch company, the movement inside, the serial number and the origin of the movement. I really love the simplicity of this case back for some reason. The engraving is a throwback to the engravings found on dive watches of the 1960’s. Awesome stuff. The case is a compressor style case. This means that due to it’s layered structure as pressure increases, the layers are compressed together. OWC really evolved the compressor principle by placing a retaining ring for the crystal, teamed up with the six screws on the case back, allows both the crystal & case back to move inwards as pressure increases. This actually increases the water resistance of the case itself.

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The ceramic bezel on the Mil-Sub is also awesome. A detail that is gaining popularity with me is when a bezel has lume on it. The lume on the bezel of the Mil-Sub is like a flashlight at night. Beautiful like a firefly dancing across the yard in summer time. The bezel features the numbers 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 and a nice triangle at the top center. Large rectangle indices are located on the numbers in between and smaller hash lines are in-between those making for a lovely display when charged by a light source before entering the dark. The 60 click unidirectional bezel rotates very smooth. It sits tight against the case itself and all the indices line up with the dial perfectly. You can tell that a lot of care, thought and quality went into the build of the Mil-Sub. The case is solid for sure. Well done OWC.

THE DIAL:

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BMA sums up the dial on the Mil-Sub. What does BMA stand for you ask? Black Matte Amazingness. A real technical abbreviation in know throughout the watch industry. The execution of the dial on this watch is brilliant. Nothing is overdone on the Mil-Sub that is part of the wonderful appeal of this watch to me. Simple details that work together in harmony. The dial itself is matte black with a combination of circle and rectangle hour markers. There is a large triangle at the 12 O’clock hour and large rectangles at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions. The other hours are marked by circles. All of the hour markers are coated with lume(super luminova) that glows bright and beautiful. When fully charged it will glow throughout the night. Quite possibly the brightest lume that I have personally experienced.

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Along the outer edges of the dial is a treat that might be my favorite part of the dial. There is white “train track” style minute markers with military time hour markers. Giving this watch a real tool watch/military feel and style. This detail is very fine and doesn’t overtake the dial by any means. It is large enough that it can be read, but at quick glances it almost blends into the inner stainless steel chapter ring becoming a stealthy feature.

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Under the 12 o’clock position you will find the OWC logo which is an orange circle with OWC printed in white across the center. Above the 6 o’clock position you will find a 2 line printed info which is 300M and Automatic. Neatly tucked between the 4 and 5 o’clock positions is the small date window. I applaud OWC for not taking out one of the hour markers to include the date window. This keeps the balance and harmony flowing throughout the dial. The date window contains white  numbers printed on a black wheel. Here we find another well thought out detail on the Mil-Sub that maintains that simplistic  harmony that makes it so incredibly hard not to love this watch.

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There are a few choices that you can pick from on the Mil-Sub. This version for review contains the sword style hands. The sword style in my opinion gives the Mil-Sub it’s own identity.  The polished hands also are coated with lume which glows as bright as all of the other lume on the watch. The long second hand extends to the “train track” style minutes ring. The tip of the seconds hand is coated with lume as well and it has an arrow style tip & tail.

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BRACELET:

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Just as the rest of the watch, the bracelet does not disappoint on the Mil-Sub. The links are thick solid stainless steel. Each link is held in place by screws that are very secure. During my time with the Mil-Sub none of the screws loosened up which is very common on bracelets with screwed links. Dan takes a lot of pride in his screws and you can read all about this on OWC website. The bracelet is a combo of brushed and polished finishing just like the case on the Mil-Sub. The bracelet clicks into place thanks to a very sturdy butterfly style folding clasp. The Oyster style bracelet has a very silky smooth finishing on it that feels like butter between the fingers. This adds to the long list of details on the Mil-Sub that you typically find on much higher priced watches. The last link has OWC engraved on it in the same unique font found throughout this watch.

MOVEMENT:

Ticking inside the watch is the Sporad A-10 automatic movement. It can easily be compared to the ETA 2892-2. During my review process and accuracy testing it was -/+2 seconds per day. It’s considered a higher grade movement by many in the watch community and it is not known to have the winding problems the ETA movements have been know to have. Everything that you need to know about this movement is below:

The A-10 specifications:

  • Diameter: 25.6mm 
  • Height: 3.6mm 
  • Date: Quickset 
  • Jewels: 25 
  • Power Reserve: 42 Hours 
  • Frequency/Hr: 28,800 
  • Hacking: Yes 
  • Shock Absorber: Incabloc 
  • Regulation: 4 Positions 
  • Swiss Made

CONCLUSION:

This watch is a solid offering from OWC that is made with such care and attention to detail. It really stuns when handling it for the first time. You would think that is was a watch from a much higher price point. In fact, this watch impressed me so much that its quality is easily on par or better than watches that I have handled at the $5,000 and above mark. I am very impressed by this watch and everything that it encompasses in terms of it’s movement, case, finishing, dial, the bracelet, there is not a single detail that I would change here. Why? Because every detail on the OWC Mil-Sub was planned, thought out with extreme care and executed without flaw.

The highlights of this watch for me would have to be the lume and the dial. The lume is so bright and lasts so long when charged it’s hard not to love it. This may sound strange, but the OWC logo is my favorite detail on the dial. In fact, the logo is what caught my eye first when I came across the Mil-Sub for the very first time. I can’t explain why I love it so much or why it caught my eye, but I can tell you that I really enjoy looking at it.

I would definitely recommend this watch to anyone who is looking for a watch that has all the finishes of a high priced dive watch but doesn’t want to break the bank. The Mil-Sub comes in at $1100 USD delivered and you get your moneys worth here. It is the perfect watch that can transition from the office right to date night and into the weekend outdoor adventures right to going out to the bar with your friends. In other words, it works well in all settings.

I want to personally thank OWC for allowing me the honor and opportunity of doing this review. I was pleasantly impressed by the Mil-Sub and it far exceeded my expectations.

Thanks for reading my friends.

 

MODEL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Diameter (no crown) 40.5mm
  • Thickness 12.9mm
  • Lug Gap 20.0mm
  • Lug-to-lug 51.0mm
  • Crown 7.0 & 8.0mm
  • Crystal (sapphire) 4.5mm
  • Bracelet 20.0 x 4.0mm (non-tapering)
  • End links Solid
  • Bezel 40.5 – 41.5mm
  • Bezel Insert Ceramic or steel
  • SuperLumiNova Luminescence (if applicable)
  • Base model $725 USD ST-1812
  • A-10 Sporad $1100 USD

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Additional Pictures:

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Additional Information from OWC:

Torx Design

Torx head screws are technically superior to the other designs. (They also look cool).

Torx screw head/drivers were developed by Camcar Textron in the late 1960’s. Torx heads are characterised by a 6-point star-shaped pattern. ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) specification ISO 10664:2005 – specifies the shape and basic dimensions of the hexalobular internal driving feature for bolts and screws, including the gauging method.

Torx screw are found in engineering, electronics and applications requiring precision and high torqueing abilities. Sometimes related to applications requiring “tamper resistance”, since they are not as widely used as more common types.

Design Considerations

Torx head screws resist cam-out better than other types like Phillups head or slotted head screws.

Phillips head design causes the driver to cam-out, preventing overtightening. Cam-out, while seemingly possitive, risks damage to the driver, screw head, workplace and application. Torx heads are desing to prevent cam-out

One can understand during the widespread automation of the early 20th Century, cam-out can be beneficial to speed up construction. With the development of torque-limiting devices and automatic tools that precisely measure and stop at the desired torque, this benefit has diminished.

The Torx design facilitates the application of higher torque with a similar sized tool without damaging the head, tool and application compared with other designs.

In a hex head design, if the radial force is too great for the material, the corners will be rounded off and the part/tool may fail. In the Torx design, the internal sidewalls are straight and internal facets angles are much smaller than in the hex design and this is greatly minimised.

Hence for a given torque, the potential for damage is much lower. This allows the head of the fastener to be smaller for the same required torque. This is an advantage where space is limited.

Practically, the Torx design facilitates the application of higher torque on the same fastner before the occurrence of cam-out. Simply put, the Torx head is more precise, avoids cam-out, requires a smaller driver, reduces damage to the tool, fastener and application.

The Downside

There is always a price to pay for good design. But we think this is worth it.

Those unfamiliar with the Torx design have a disproportionate expectation of the necessary torque required to secure the fastener. While not an issue with automotive sized fasteners that most of us are familiar with. But with small precision horological sized screws this can be an issue.

In practice this means those unfamiliar with the required torque, will apply far too much torque to Torx heads. Worst case, the head will be sheared off and/or the thread is damaged – this happened with our case backs from an unnamed Swiss Assembly house. So it can happen to the experts, (we will not use this house ever again).

As a side note, our Compressor Case has been designed to move. That means it gets more water resistant the higher the pressure. This means that all our case/bracelet screws, retaining rings, etc. do NOT need to have the f@#* tightened out of them.

Compressor Principle

The underlying hydrodynamic theory is that: as a vessel is subjected to pressure the structure is compressed. If the structure is made of layers, the layers will be compressed towards each other.

The basic principle of a Compressor Case is that the case back can move towards the middle case, thus increasing water resistance.

Parts of the Compressor Principle can be found in many watches: Bulova and Russian watches with their 2-part case backs; the original Omega Seamaster ProPlof with its crystal retained by a ring allowing it to be compressed with rising pressure (but the back was solid and did not move).

E. Piquerez S.A. (ESPA) filed a number of Patents for a “Fluid-Tight” watch case. As I understand from the documents, the case back screws down against a spring assembly located inside the rim of the case back. The case back is “tight” before fully compressing the O-ring. This allows the case back to move inwards as it is exposed to water pressure at depth. Theoretically, increasing the compression pressure on the O-ring for a more water-tight seal. It also minimizes stress on the O-ring by keeping it at lower compression levels until full compression is needed.

OWC takes the theory to the next level. Our crystal has a retaining ring and the case back is retained by 6 screws. Both crystal and case back move inwards as pressure increases and makes the case more water resistant. Simple but effective.

Watch Review: SevenFriday V-Series

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Company: SEVENFRIDAY

WEBSITE: http://www.sevenfriday.com

MODEL: V3/01

Price: $1550 USD

It can be rather scary to come out with something outside of the box from the everyday norm people are accustomed to. The risk is increased considerably having that 50/50 chance of success or failure. If people always went on the side of caution the world would be a very boring place full of the same old, same old. SevenFriday took a chance a few years ago, and it paid off for them. They create watches by thinking outside of the box and the new V-series is no exception to their original, unique way of thinking. The new V-series is the result of Industrial design going to a Rock and Roll show and has a deep conversation with a mathematics major. The combination  brings  about the SevenFriday V-series. The industrial case with the Rock and Roll attitude and mathematics inspired dial is a truly unique experience on the wrist. Each of these worlds work in perfect harmony and give the wearer something new to look forward to. You’ll see exactly what I mean as we delve deeper into this watch.

THE PACKAGING:

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The V3/01 comes in a very cool and large wooden crate. The dad from the Christmas Story would be very excited to see this packaging come to his door. All I can here is his pronunciation of “Fragile, must be Italian”. Seriously though, I love the packaging for the V3/01. The lid slides off/on very easily. On the inside of the lid is instructions on how to connect the watch to the SEVENFRIDAY app, more about this feature later in the review. Inside of the wooden crate is a red polishing cloth with black printed SEVENFRIDAY. The warranty card is inside the packaging along with the operating manual and a SEVENFRIDAY sticker sheet. The wooden crate is very well constructed and solid. It definitely keeps your watch well protected during the shipping process. I actually prefer the crate style wooden box as opposed to the “dressy style” black watch boxes. Several watches that I have reviewed lately come in these very cool wooden crate style boxes. The outside of the box features black and red print on all of the text, which is all very well done. No smeared ink or sloppy print. SEVENFRIDAY did a very nice job on the packaging.

THE CASE:

H 44.3MM X W 49.7MM-53.2mm including the crown, 11.3mm thick.

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The first things that I noticed about the case is the size and shape. The V3/01 has a rectangular shape with rounded sides. Something that is also noticeable relatively quickly is that it has no lugs. This little detail allows the v3/01 to wear much smaller than it’s dimensions imply. I actually like the size of the case and how it sits on the wrist. Excluding the lugs was a great idea by the designers.

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The case on the V3/01 is stainless steel gun metal PVD. The first thing that I thought of when I picked up the V3 to look at it was Darth Vadar. The case has a very industrial sci-fi feel to it and the gun metal PVD drives that home. The finishing on the case is perfectly done and ever so even. The color of the case really allows the dial to pop on the v3/01.

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On the non crown side of the case you will notice two small raised arrows. When I first saw the pictures of the v3/01 I wondered what these arrows were all about. Well I quickly found out. There are 2 oval cut outs where the arrows point to. Inside those cut outs are small round buttons. When the buttons are pushed they activate the quick release strap pins for changing out the straps. It’s a pretty cool feature that makes strap changing even faster. The pins sit inside a cut out on the under side of the case. What also makes the strap changing process much easier is that no tools are needed for removing or replacing the strap. When placing a new strap into place, you want to place the pin in the solid hole first, then there is the other strap pin hole that is notched out that allows you to click the pin into place. The notch eventually depresses the spring inside the strap pin allowing it to slide into place. Once you here it click into place you know that the strap is locked in.

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On the other side of the case you will find the crown. The crown is a push/pull style crown. When pushed in fully it can manually wind the watch by turning it. The winding motion of the crown is very smooth and turns with ease. When you pull the crown out all the way this allows you to set the time. The crown is very easy to grip and use because of its nice size and the cut out machined edges.

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The case back is high polished stainless steel with a plethora of engraved information. The case back on the V3/01 is pretty sweet. It gives you a lot of information about the v3/01 such as its movement, water resistance, case size, strap size, origin of the design & concept, where it was constructed and the origin of the engine of the watch. Each of these places are pointed to on a nice little map that is featured on the case back. A unique and cool idea.

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THE DIAL:

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Speaking of cool ideas, the dial on the V3/01 is something that is cool and something that will make you think. When I first saw pictures of the new V-series I had to really look hard as I tried to figure out how one would tell the time on this dial. First of all the dial features one hand. One very long and cool looking hand. The hand has a red tip, cut out middle and a large round base that attaches to the center of the dial. The cut out allows you to see through the hand for an uninterrupted view of the dial. The single hand acts as the minute hand. Where are the hour hand and the seconds hand you ask? How am I going to tell the time on the V3/01 you ask? Well it is actually quite simple.

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The hour and seconds are displayed on disc wheels. As a date wheel operates inside a watch, the hour and seconds wheels operate on the same principle. They rotate around and allow you to see the hour and the seconds. But there is a catch. A very cool catch. On the hour wheel there are numbers 0+, 4+ and 8+. Along the top of the dial are numbers, 0, 30, 1, 30, 2, 30, 3, 30, 4. Confused yet? Well let me explain. Looking at the dial right now the 4+ is aligned with the 2 which means its 6 o’clock. You simply add 4+2 which equals 6. Yes, you have to work a little to tell the time, but it’s so unique and original that it is really fun.

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In between each of the stationary numbers on the dial starting with the 0 there is a small line, then a small line marked 30, another small line and then the number 1. Each small line represents 15 minutes. So when the hour wheel is making it’s rounds, you can see what the minutes are in 15 minute increments without having to reference the minute hand. Which makes telling the time when you are in a hurry for a quick glance very easy.

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The seconds wheel operates on the same mathematical addition format. The wheel features 00, +20, +40. The stationary portion of the seconds system on the dial features 00, 5, 10, 15, 20. As the seconds wheel makes it’s rounds you add the number on the wheel with the number on the dial to find out what the seconds are. For example if the wheel states +40 and is aligned with the 10 on the dial, then it reads 50 seconds. It sounds confusing and at first it is. But you learn very quickly when you wear the V3/01. It also makes a great conversation piece when people look at your dial and ask how do you tell the time on that? It’s great.

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Now that I have explained the time telling experience on the V3/01, let me break down the rest of the dial for you. There is a lot going on the dial of the V3/01, but there remains a harmonious balance. In the upper left hand corner of the dial there is a day/night indicator. During the night time hours they are represented by a black background with a off white circle that represents the night sky and full moon. During the daytime hours it is represented by a light blue for the daytime sky. I really like this addition. It’s not something that one may necessarily need, but having it is really cool.

There is some text printed on the dial of the V3/01. Just above the 6 o’clock position on the dial layout, is printed Automatic 21600 which is a reference to the movement inside this watch. At the 9 o’clock position is a cool black metal plate that has SEVENFRIDAY printed on white underlined with a red line. Below that red line is v-series/12961s 01-A.

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What is unique about the dial of the v3/01 is all the different layers of the dial. There is such depth to this dial. The large case allows this dial to truly shine with all it’s detail and layers without becoming overcrowded. You have a layer with applied stainless steel hour indices, another layer that is on a raised metal plate that has black printed seconds on it, a deep layer that has a cut out which allows you to see part of the balance wheel oscillating below. The hour and seconds wheel create some more layering, along with the day night metal plate that is attached by a hex bolt. The upper most layer has the indices for the minutes that the long minute hand extends out to.

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The dial of the V3/01 is such a beautiful focal point of this watch. I found myself just gazing at all of the motion and action that was going on. It is fun to tell the time on, but I found it mesmerizing to watch the action of everything working together perfectly. The dial is one of my favorite parts of this watch because of the layering, all of the action and the overall uniqueness. The dial is easily viewed through the nice raised hardened mineral crystal. The argument has been heard a million times sapphire crystal vs hardened mineral crystal and which is better. I have experienced both and I can honestly say both are equally good. I never had either scratch on me.

THE STRAP:

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The stap is where some more of that Darth Vadar feeling comes into play here. The black leather strap features some nice stitching and padding details that are really nice and a step above the traditional stock strap. The strap tapers from 28mm at the pins to 24mm at the end of the strap.

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The underside of the strap is stamped with the SEVENFRIDAY logo, genuine leather and handmade. Each of the stitches on the leather strap are even throughout. The top of the strap is smooth black leather and the underneath of the strap is super soft almost suede feeling grey.

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The strap size comes off the case perfectly and if it were under 28mm it would not look right on such a large rectangular case.

THE MOVEMENT:

The movement inside of the V3/01 is the Miyota 82S7. This movement has a power reserve of 40 hours and an accuracy rate of -20/+40 seconds per day. Miyota makes reliable movements and have been doing so for awhile. When ETA tightened it’s belt, watch companies looked for alternatives. Miyota is one of those alternatives.

Not that this is part of the movement but I did not want to exclude this part nor did I know where to put it. So since it is inside of the watch I will put it here inside of the movement section. Inside of the V3/01 is a NFC technology chip for use with the Sevenfriday app. Unfortunately at the moment Apple’s IOS does not allow scanning of the chip at this time, so I am unable to explore this feature any further. If this should change on the IOS, I will update this section and further explain/explore all that it has to offer.

 

 

CONCLUSION:

This watch plays into a lot of my loves in life and it was really hard not to like it. I honestly could not find anything to nit pick about on this watch. When you have a unique watch like the V3/01, you have to approach it differently. I am not saying this allows you to be lax in your overall review process, but you have to approach it from an out of the box approach. It is not a traditional watch by any means. I found it very refreshing from top to bottom. I respect what SEVENFRIDAY’s design team has done here. I see some of the bigger names in the watch industry rehash the same designs year after year. Yes, I can respect that they are iconic pieces, but at some point you have to expand your designs and come up with something new & original. That is why I can applaud what SEVENFRIDAY does. They develop original designs that you can clearly see that a lot of thought and passion have gone into their watches.

No these watches are not for everyone, but if you are looking for a watch that pushes the barriers of conventional watches, then the V3/01 is the watch for you. It harmoniously combines different worlds into one. Art, industrial and mathematical. This works beautifully.

Some might be fearful of the size of the case on the V3/01. You really shouldn’t be for a few different reasons. One reason is that the lugless case allows the watch to wear much smaller. Its actually a very comfortable watch to wear. Another reason is that the dial has so much going on that if the case was smaller, the dial would be squeezed in tighter and make it overcrowded. The dial has so much detail and personality that taking any of that away would take away from the overall harmony that is so magical in the way it all works together.

 I want to personally thank SEVENFRIDAY for giving me an opportunity to review another one of their unique watches. It is always a refreshing review. Thanks to all of you for reading my review.
Until next week my friends!

 

Wrist shots on a 7 1/2″ wrist for reference. SEVENFRIDAY also has a printable watch and strap so you can cut it out to see what it would look like on your wrist. Very awesome.

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