Watch Review: Bravur BW002S-G-LBU1

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Company: Bravur

About the company:

PAST

Based in Stockholm, Bravur came to life in 2011 as two industrial designers and fellow friends decided to join paths. Since they had not found what they were looking for it simply had to be created. The thought was to design a personal embellishment to act as your everyday companion and part of your stylistic self. Something to endlessly covet and allure.

PRESENT

Bravur is an expression of true commitment to aesthetics and attention to detail. Style and distinction along with an aspiration to exceed in quality is the essence of our brand. Every object is designed with simplicity of hand but with evident and unitary elements composing the signature of Bravur – timepieces embracing the present. We do not claim that our watches can be worn in the cockpit of a fighter aircraft or boast about decades of heritage. Instead we are drawn to any kind of novelty, to the current and the happening. Our inspiration is brought out of design, art, fashion and other contemporary cultural movements. Because of its constant progression, culture works as our infinite source of inspiration, leading us into the future and what is to become the present. Nowhere is the artistic beat so apparent as in the urban surrounding, which is also our habitat. That is where we belong and where we create.

FUTURE

This is the unpredicted part of our existence, the one we cannot tell in advance or be completely in control of. It’s the part that makes us want to go further and explore what might be next. Something we can reassure is that Bravur will always remain a personal brand and our philosophy is simple: we aim to stay true to ourselves and the ideal of living and breathing the present. We are and will be – since now.

Model: BW002S-G-LBU1

Specifications:

Case: Stainless steel 316 L, diameter 38 mm

Dial: Graphite grey, with matte black applied hour indexes and date at 6 H

Strap: Burgundy vegetable tanned Italian leather strap with black contrast stitching and black edges. Silver stamp on backside.

Strap buckle: Deployment buckle, stainless steel

Hands: White/black

Movement: Swiss Made Ronda 785, 5 jewels, Gold plated, EOL, Quartz

Crystal: Domed sapphire with anti-reflective coating

Price: $575.00

Let us proceed to the review portion shall we?

Sometimes big works in the sense of size. If this wasn’t true then we wouldn’t have the saying “bigger is better or go big or go home” A lot of people strive in life to get that bigger paycheck, the bigger house, etc.. But big can also work when small. Subtle, small details can actually be big or huge, but aren’t noticed at first glance. Sometimes the smallest of details can lead to something huge. Like a tiny hair left behind on a crime scene. So bigger in the case of size doesn’t necessarily mean better.

Bravur understands that. Simplify. Organized. Classic. Modern. Zen. Subtle. All of these words can be used when talking about Bravur’s watches and Bravur has infused the BW002S-G-LBU1 with all of these qualities. Starting with the stainless steel case.

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The “big” 38mm case is made of 316 L stainless steel. Wait, did I just call 38mm big? Why yes, yes I did. The case design is extremely well done and posses a lot of character which makes a “big” expression of style on the wrist. The case can be divided into a top and bottom separation. First I will breakdown the top part of the case.

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Looking at the watch from the top, you immediately are introduced to the lovely domed sapphire crystal that is treated with an anti reflective coating. The crystal is nice & clear which makes it quite lovely at any angle. I really like that the crystal is domed and not flat on this watch. A domed crystal done in the right way can really add subtle personality to a watch.

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The thin stainless steel fixed bezel frames the dial in a beautiful brushed circle. The brushed finish continues down the side of the case until the middle of the case sides. The brushed finish is well done and I am happy again with Bravur’s choice with going with a brushed finish instead of a polished finish.

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When you get to the crown, I will point out a detail that took me a little time to notice but when I did finally notice this detail, it made me appreciate this watch even more. The crown is designed exactly like the case, in that top/bottom style. Part of the crown is brushed and the other part has great gear/machined edging just like the case. Absolutely wonderful. Not only are these details executed with percision, but they add so much to the overall appearance to this watch that it has that “big” personality but doesn’t scream it obnoxiously. It does it in a quite, cool guy way that makes you appreciate it so much more.

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The edging on the crown makes it so easy to grip and operate. Whether it’s when you are turning it to set the time/date or when you pull/push the crown in/out, the edging makes these tasks easy. I also found myself sliding my finger up and down the edging on the case. It’s quite addicting.

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Details like the crown/case design are a watch lovers dream. It’s this little but “big” details that set a watch apart from the others. It makes an ok watch, into a great watch. Details that you will find yourself gazing at over and over again. Details that you will find yourself paying more attention to than looking at what time it actually is. In fact during this review, I was wearing the watch, looking deeply into it’s eyes. As I broke this stare down, someone asked me what time it was. I didn’t know the immediate answer and the person asked “weren’t you just looking at your watch?” I replied yes, yes I was, but I was admiring it’s beautiful details. The person looked at me like I was crazy. I simply took the watch off my wrist and handed them it. “OHHHH, I completely get it now!” was the response as they handed it back to me.

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The beautiful and well executed details on the case don’t stop there, they continue onto the back of the case. There’s a really cool “rat pack” design that is etched on the case back. It’s a grid pattern with triangles with BRAVUR across the center. I love it, but what I love even more is another one of those “big” little details that make this watch such a hit. On either side edge of the case back is etched “Swedish Soul” and “Swiss Heart” which is a reference to the case/design origin and to the movement inside. I think this is so unique and cool. Well done Bravur.

The case back is held in place by 4 flat head screws. It’s details like this that make the watch interesting to look at from all angles. A detail that is also interesting to look at is the dial itself.  A nice blend of dark gray and black with a pop of white, all coming together into a stunningly refined dial. The white hands really do pop set against the dark grey dial. The open hand are amazing to look at and they also serve a purpose. That purpose being that is allows you to see the black minute track and numbers that encircle the dial.

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The hour markers are applied to the dial and add some great depth to the overall appearence. Above the 6 o’clock hour marker is a circular, unassuming date window that knows it’s place and doesn’t rudely or unwantenly intrude on the dial. The date window is small but that doesn’t inhibit the legibility whatsoever.

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The white hands are absolutely crisp and beautiful. A cool detail about the minute and hour hands is that they have a slit thorough the center of them that allows you to peer through to the dial itself. The gray dial is the perfect back drop for the black print minute track. This dial absolutely works together in a great harmonious fashion. For being such a simple dial, it has some great depth to it.

 

Powering the works inside this watch is a Swiss made Ronda 785. You won’t have to worry about changing the battery for 42 months. That’s a nice relief off the mind. The Ronda 785 has an accuracy rate of -10/ +20 sec/month. Reliable & longevity can easily describe this movement.

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I really like the color and style of the strap on this watch. The deep burgundy vegetable tanned Italian leather is absolutely beautiful and has nice black contrast stitching and black edges which matches the applied markers perfectly. The deployment style buckle is a nice touch. It operates flawlessly. The strap is extremely comfortable and lays on the wrist ever so nicely. There are no lugs on the BW002S-G-LBU1 so the strap connects underneath the case. Having a lugless case, allows the watch to wear smaller on the wrist and also allows for a unique look when it’s on the wrist. Very clean.

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The BW002S-G-LBU1 is a surprisingly well made watch. This is not a knock on Bravur that I am surprised that they made a nice watch. I am pleasantly surprised that what a nice offering this is and how the sum of all the great subtle details equals a brilliant finished product. This watch would make an awesome addition to any collection whatever your watch preferences are. It’s unique enough to give you a different truly unique wrist experience.

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Everything works together on the BW002S-G-LBU1. Even coming in at the 38mm this watch size is carried by all the quality details that make it up it’s wrist presence is much “bigger”. This watch is special. If you are looking for an affordable watch that is packed full of quality details and dares to be different in today’s market, then this is the watch for you. Personally I’m a dive|tool watch guy through and through, but this watch is that special that it’s an absolute awesome piece to wear on my wrist. Unassuming and unique.

I want to personally thank Bravur for this awesome opportunity. I also want to that you all for reading. See you next week.

Wrist is 7 1/2″ for reference:

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Watch Review: Aevig Valkyr

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Company: Aevig

Model: Valkyr

About Aevig:

PAST
Aevig was founded by Chip Yuen in 2013 after succesfully designing two projectwatches
for the worlds biggest online watch community, Watchuseek.
Aevig then continued with the Corvid fieldwatch and the retro diver Huldra.

PRESENT
Currently the popular Corvid returns in MKII form with minor changes visually.
The Huldra diver is sold out. Limited new stock eminent.
The Valkyr, a stunning retro sports watch available in six configs. Check it out.

FUTURE
Aevig, an ancient Norse word meaning ‘eternal’, continues to strive for perfection.
All designs are retro/vintage biased. Who can argue with timeless elegance. Contemporary styling with a nod to the past but with up to date materials and rich features.
In the years to come Aevig will gradually build a complete palette of watches ranging from dresswatch to chronograph. All with the same attention to detail and retro styling that
constitutes an Aevig watch.

Specs:
Material: CuSn8 bronze
Dimensions: 39mm width x 48mm length
Lugwidth: 20mm
Thickness: 14mm
Dial diameter: 32mm
Movement: Miyota 9015, automatic
Water Resistance: 100 meters
Crystal: double domed sapphire, AR coated on the inside
Lume: luminova BG-W9
Strap: premium leather rally strap

Some watches like to be babied and spend time safe inside a watch winder, scared to come out and play. Afraid to be worn, constant fear of being scratched, and would never think of being on the wrist during some outdoors activity. The Aevig Valkyr is anything but scared. This watch was made for adventure. I spend a lot of time outdoors and would never think of going without a watch. The great thing about the Valkyr can easily transition from the sports adventure right to the going out for beer.

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I knew that the Valkyr and I were going to bond from the get go especially when I saw the packaging. It’s a tin rectangular box that reminds me of the old tin robots of yesteryear.

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The retro style case with a modern edge is what caught my eye from the start. It reminds me of a kickass toy series my older brother collected when I was a kid called Micronauts. Futuristic 1970’s. The bronze case is boxy with sharp angles that gives the Valkyr a really unique appearance. The case dimensions on the Valkyr are 39mm x 48mm and is 14mm thick with a lug width of 20mm, so in other words the Valkyr isn’t styled after the “big watch” case trend of recent times. I do enjoy large cases don’t get me wrong, but it’s really refreshing to see a watch with smaller dimensions and a retro style.

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The case is made of bronze but not just your run of the mill bronze. It’s CuSn8 bronze which is a tough and rugged marine grade bronze. Some people think bronze watches are just a fad, but they have been around for a long time. Yes their popularity has risen over the past few years, but I don’t consider it a fad. Stainless steel is still the most common used material for watches, but bronze is a great material for one simple reason. It’s ever changing. As it ages, it forms patina which can change the look of your watch. If you don’t like it, simply clean the watch and return it to the shiny new appearance.

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Yes the case dimensions keep the Valkyr size modest, but it’s a lugless case as well which helps the Valkyr’s size modesty.  I like how the geometric shape of the case creates the illusion that the strap connects underneath the case. The angle of the lugs and case create a faux overhang that conceals where the strap actually hooks into place.

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As you would expect the crown is a screw down style that is signed with the Aevig geometric logo. The crown operates flawlessly. The Valkyr has this great ability of pulling details together which shows how well thought out the design was planned. The polished stainless steel bezel along with the crown matches the stainless steel case back offering just enough contrast that works so damn well.

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The screw down case back features a beautiful etched logo that has these really cool wings incorporated within the design. I absolutely love this detail.

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The fixed bezel is what really pulled me in to the Valkyr. The blue inlay is so attractive. The raised domed crystal makes looking at the dial from any angle an absolute joy. I found myself turning the Valkyr in every possible angle just in awe of how beautiful the crystal makes the dial appear.

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It’s stunning.  I’m a matte black fan for sure, but watches like the Valkyr with these hot blue dials are really making me crazy. In a good way for sure. The bezel and the dial match beautifully.

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What I love about the dial on the Valkyr is that it’s has just enough to make it simplistic but beautiful. Symmetry works so well on this dial. As you can see there are no numerals on the Valkyr dial. Aevig achieved something really special on the dial of the Valkyr through well thought out small details that work in a big way. What do I mean?  Just look at the way the applied hour markers along with the minute and hour hands match the color of the case perfectly. Then take the red second hand which matches the red on the applied logo under the 12 o’clock hour marker, but it doesn’t stop their because the inner geometric Aevig logo is also the same bronze color. Everything pulls together brilliantly with this dial like the Aevig logo.

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The movement inside of the Valkyr is the Miyota 9015 which is known as a premium movement and is also known for being a rather slim movement which allows the Valkyr to have that low profile. The 9015 has an accuracy rate of -10~30 seconds per day. This movement also has an installed shock absorber device which is really helpful since this watch is made for adventure.

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Holding true to the sports watch theme the strap makes no exceptions. When I see this strap it just scream Speed Racer to me. It’s a premium rally style strap done in a rich brown genuine  leather. Right out of the box the strap easily conforms to the wrist. The precise white stitching instinctively matches the white ring along the outside edged of the dial. The strap has a traditional tang style buckle that is unsigned.

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In the style of Ouroboros, the Valkyr has no beginning or end, it all works together seamlessly. This watch is seamless. Every detail of this watch has been thought out to the extreme. This unassuming watch came along and quite frankly has impressed the hell out of me. Everything works together in perfect design harmony. Futuristic vintage. Sounds like an oxymoron but really futuristic vintage is the best way to describe this watch. The Valkyr has that vintage sports watch look, but posses futuristic geometric symmetry.

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I would not change anything about the Valkyr. It’s a refreshing and unique watch. Functionally this watch is flawless. Every once in awhile a watch comes along that makes me treat it like a piece of art. What do I mean by this? Let me explain. An artist creates a piece of art. There are so many hidden emotions and ideas that are involved with creating that artwork. Unless the artist explains what was the inspiration behind the artwork, we the public don’t really know. To be fair to the artist, can we really judge the artwork? I personally say no we can’t. So here we have the Valkyr and it is Aevig’s artwork. I feel like I can’t critique anything from a design perspective because it is a truly unique and a truly beautiful watch. I can suggest this to be changed or that could be better, because Aevig has created a piece of art that is perfect in the eyes and mind of the artist and this art appreciator.

Anyone that is looking for a watch with a cool vintage vibe that has futuristic touches, then this is the watch for you. I highly recommend it based on its uniqueness, high quality and wearability.

I would like to personally thank Chip from Aevig for the honor of this review. Right now Aevig has a new watch that is up for preorder and it is quite stunning. If interested check it out at Aevig.com.

Thanks for reading!

7 1/2″ Wrist shots and additional pics:

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Watch Review: ELYSEE YACHT TIMER

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Compay: Elysee

Website: http://www.elysee-watches.com

Model: Yacht Timer

Specifications:

Case Stainless steel grey ionised (IP/PVD)
20 ATM Water resistance
Dimension Diameter Ø: 45 mm
Height: 17 mm
Movement ISA 8270
Quartz
Function Chronograph
Countdown with measurement of time
Lens Sapphirecoated nonreflective lens
Dial Black
Clasp / Buckle Pin-buckle
Strap Silicon strap
Lug 22 mm

 

When you can combine two of my loves, one being the sea and the other is watches it makes for a combination I can’t resist. For a long time the water and watches have been something that have gone together like peanut butter and jelly, like Luke to Vader, like….well you get my point. So for Elysee to combine the sea and watches together was not a hard decision. Laying eyes upon the box you can see that something special is waiting right inside. Elysee is a German company that roots stretch back to the 1920’s. The Yacht Timer is proudly marked Made in Germany.

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As soon as you first handle the Yacht Timer you can feel how robust the case truly is as if you couldn’t tell just by looking at it. It’s solid and well made.  The finishing on the case immediately stands out because of the ionized PVD finishing on the stainless steel which gives it that cool grey color. The grey color adds to the overall look of this watch which I would describe as a refined military style. It can definitely be clasified as a tool watch. There are several details that will support my refined military description and I will touch on each of them throughout this review.

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The crown on the YT is surely fit for a king. You will not have any trouble unscrewing or screwing down this crown what so ever. Size has something to do with that and so does the nice machined edges. That beautiful detail of the knurled edged can also be found throughout the YT which is on the small button pushers the operating the chronograph and if you take a glance at the bezel, you can see that same finishing on the edges. I really like the look it gives the watch and I also like how easy it makes rotating the unilateral direction bezel.

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There are two things that I also want to mention about the crown that takes this crown from good to great. These details are more of a personal nit-pick of mine that companies often lose points from me for. Elysee has lost no points on the YT because the awesome etched name and logo that decorates the crown so nicely. The other pleasing detail is that when the crown is fully screwed down, the logo lines up perfectly. If you are going to go through the trouble of making a signed crown, for the love make sure it lines up straight when it is screwed down.

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I like how the case back is finished to match the rest of the watch. Sometimes a watch case has a different finish than the case back which is usually just polished stainless steel. Elysse made sure everything looked uniform on the YT.

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The 45mm case is a size that I honestly believe is a perfect size for this style of watch. This watch was made for adventure on and in the water so a robust case was definitely the right choice. Robust carries throughout the YT including the thick, curved lugs. The lugs angle out slightly which act like crown guards for the button pushers.

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Now when you have a nice, robust case, I would surely expect a big, legible dial to follow suit. Elysee has not disappointed my speculation here whatsoever. When I first glanced at this dial, I was blown away by what I saw. Large military stenciled numerals.

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One of my all time favorite dive watches features large military stenciled numerals and I couldn’t believe that they weren’t coated with any lume, but Elysee has not disappointed me, the white numerals are coated with lume. The great thing about the YT is that is costs only a fraction of what the dive watch without the lumed numerals does.

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Speaking of disappointments when it comes to watches, it hurts me when I see a great looking watch that has hands that clearly don’t belong on the watch. Especially when they are too small. The white sword style hands on the YT are a perfect fit. They make reading the time easy both day and night thanks to the lume. The long chronograph hand does not feature any lume, but it has it’s own unique detailing because it is done in red. This adds a nice touch of color to the dial and it’s also cool because it matches the red indices on the bezel.

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You will notice there are two sub dials at the 2 and 10 o’clock markers. One sub dial is a small counting seconds dial and the other is used for counting hours passed when using the chronograph function. Around the inner chapter ring you will see it features some text and some numbers. What is this for and how does it work you ask? Well, it is a countdown of up to 10 minutes to the actual start of time measurement can be set – a function often necessary in water sports. The Yachting Timer gives a beeping signal every minute for your information up to the end of the countdown. Once the countdown is complete, the actual time measurement begins automatically this can last for up to 96 hours. Correction during the countdown and during the period of time measurement is possible with this watch. It’s pretty damn impressive that it can count up to 96 hours.

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Yes the YT is a big watch, but it wears great on the wrist and part of that credit can be taken by the soft silicon strap. It conforms to your wrist without any uncomfortable buckling that ofter happens with rubber straps. I am a huge fan of Isofrane dive straps, but they are the easiest straps to slide in and out of the keepers. The silicon strap easily slides in and out of the keepers and the signed tang buckle. The wide pin of the buckle also fits into each hole on the strap easily.

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The movement inside of the YT is the ISA 8270 Quartz movement.  This movement was on obvious choice for the YT due to its unique functions that are designed for Yacht racing. What makes this movement so cool is that it allows the possibility of recalibrating the count-down at every minute up to departure. So if you wanted to recalibrate at the last minute before you depart, you can. What this cool and precise function allows is you can readjust at any time during the 10 minute count down. Allowing you to get as close to the full minute as possible. When used in racing, this will allow the best possible start and also be synchronized with the timing officials of the race itself. A great start can certainly make or break a race.

There are beeps for each elapsed minute that alerts you during the 10 minute count down. Obviously you are busy preparing at the start of the race, so you can’t keep an eye on your watch every second. Having the beep indicator allows you to know each elapsed minute and allows you to concentrate on starting the race instead of having to look at your watch.  Once the race starts and you have departured, the sub dial at the 10 o’clock automatically shifts to the racing timer mode you will know this by the sequencing of the beeps. The hour timer automatic switch is used to measure the time of  your race and will continue to count up to 96 hours. That’s a crazy long time.

7 1/2″ wrist shots:

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Conclusion:

The YT from Elysee is a nice watch that is a departure from typical watches that are designed for use in and around water. It’s not a typical dive watch in terms of the specific features. The timing feature is geared for Yacht racing, but it certainly can be used for other timing such as timing for a road trip, or time spent in the water during snorkeling or skin diving. The YT is water resistant up to 20 bar which is over 600 ft so it can be used for diving. The triangle on the bezel located at the 12 o’clock position is lumed so it’s definitely a handy feature for diving.

For $438.00 you do get a lot of great features that you typically find on much higher priced watches. The signed screw down crown and screw down pushers are very well designed and very cool to look at. The balanced dial is absolutely beautiful and extremely legible. The bezel operates smooth and butter with very little play and best of all the triangle lines up with the 12 o’clock hour marker and so does the 30 on the bezel with the 6 o’clock hour marker. The large sapphire crystal that has AR coating in almost transparent at times. This dial is also extremely legible when under water. I tested it several times in all different weather and lighting conditions when I was diving with it.

The case ionized PVD finishing is so well done. It’s hard to pick a favorite part of this watch because everything works so well. The case design is flawless. I would love to see this same design in perhaps an automatic non-chrono version, it would be a great addition to the Elysee collection.

I would recommend the YT to someone that is looking for a varient to the typical dive style watch. It’s a good watch for any outdoor adventure on land, and even more so when in the water.

I want to personally thank Elysee for this honor, I thoroughly enjoyed doing this review. I also want to thank you my readers, for all the continued support.

 

 

Watch Review: Detroit Watch Company M1 Woodward

 

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Company: Detroit Watch Company

Model: M1

About:

For the past 11 years, I have been developing and designing original timepieces for various watch brands complementing my career and passion for designing cars over the past 30 years. Together with my wife Amy, also a designer for the past 25 years and a Michigan native whose family is from Detroit, it has been our dream to ultimately create our own timepieces thus the Detroit Watch Company was born.

From original sketch to timeless design, the Detroit Watch Company celebrates the history of Detroit with each timepiece characterizing a time and a place in Detroit and honoring all that is enduring about the city and Detroiters.

Together, Amy and I have partnered to create a watch brand like no other, bringing together our passion for design, love of timepieces, and our esteem for the city of Détroit as founded by a Frenchman, Antoine de la Mothe, sieur de Cadillac.

Patrick & Amy Ayoub

M1-Woodward Avenue is a highway notably referred to as Detroit’s Main Street and follows the route of the old Saginaw Trail that linked Detroit with Pontiac, and at the time, Flint and Saginaw.
Woodward Avenue was created after a devastating fire in 1805 and is one of five principal avenues in Detroit devised by Augustus B. Woodward as part of a street plan intended to make Detroit the Paris of the West, by emulating it’s wide avenues.

Woodward Avenue was the location of the first mile of concrete roadway in the entire country and in 1970, bore the M1 designation. Woodward Avenue is synonymous with cruising. As early as 1848, carriage drivers would race up and down Woodward Avenue after the roadway was converted from logs to planks.

By 1958, Woodward Avenue was the place to be for unofficial car racing and today continues to celebrate Detroit’s automotive history with a Dream Cruise, taking place during August of each year.

The Detroit Watch Company celebrates Detroit’s M1-Woodward Avenue history with the introduction of the M1- Woodward Chronograph series of exclusive automatic timepieces

The M1-Woodward Timepiece as exclusively designed by the Detroit Watch Company. Polished 44mm case. Automatic self-winding movement with day date window. Crown with black and white Detroit Fleur-de-Lys. The Woodward chronograph caseback displays all cities Woodward Avenue crosses from Detroit to Pontiac. Calf Leather band with deployment buckle.

Specifications

  • Swiss Automatic Movement
  • Self-Winding and Manual Winding
  • Sellita Caliber SW500/Eta 7750 Automatic & Manual Winding. Display by means of hands; hour, minute, second. Day-date display in window. Chronograph. Shock-absorber-Incabloc. 28800 Vibrations Per Hour, 4Hz. 48-hour power reserve
  • 30 min subdial counter
  • Hour subdial counter
  • Small second subdial
  • 25 Jewels
  • 44 mm Diameter
  • 14.5 mm overall height
  • 22 mm lug width. 20 mm at deployment clasp
  • Sapphire Crystal with Anti-reflective coating
  • Calf leather band with deployment clasp
  • Water Resistant 5 ATM
  • $1850 USD

 

The Packaging:

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As with most watches I receive they come in a traditional inner/outer box set up. The M1 Woodward Watches come in a nice black box set that features an inner box and an outer box. The outer box is hard black cardboard that features a large silver Detroit Watch Company D logo. The inner box is vinyl coated  and is stamped with Detroit Watch Company and the D logo. The important cargo inside is attached to a watch pillow and is additionally protected by foam padding. In addition to the obvious all important watch, it also contains two booklets, one is the specifications & instructions and the other is the warranty & instructions. Both booklets feature some beautiful pictures of Detroit Watch Company watches. The last page of the Warranty book features the warranty card, and information when the watch was assembled. I like this information, it adds personality to the watch. When I read the date, I immediately personalized the date because it is very close to my birthday and that is what I think adding the assembly date does. Anyone can immediately personalize an important date that is close to the written date and it also allowed me to visualize the finishing touches being done to the watch on that date. I love it.

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Some watches come with extras and sometimes they are just little cool additions that end up in the drawer and then other watches come with something that is just way too cool to store away. The M1 is that latter part. Each watch comes with a framed artist sketch of the M1 watch. It is so well done that you could display on your office wall or within your home. I think that this is such a well thought out and quite frankly these are an AWESOME addition. Being the watch lover that I am, to see this hanging on my wall or sitting on my desk would bring a smile to my face every time I would look at it.

 

The Case:

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The case on the M1 is polished stainless steel which gives the watch a dress style appearance, but the case thickness also gives it a rugged edge. I do prefer watches with thicker cases so this case is right up my alley. You know how chrome pops on a classic car, well that’s how the polished stainless steel pops on the M1.

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I always appreciate a signed crown and it’s a detail that I expect on a watch. But it really makes my day when a company takes a signed crown a step further. That is exactly what DWC did on the M1. This crown features the Detroit Fleur-de-Lys logo. Oozes cool.

I like a crown that is easy to grip and thanks to the gear style edges that are larger and further spaced apart operating this crown is smooth as butter.  Pictures honestly don’t give the crown justice until you see it in person. As with most dress style watches, the crown operates as a push/pull style crown and serves as the operating center for winding the watch when it is fully pushed in. Setting the time and date and winding the watch is done by the central crown. The crown is not alone here on this side of the case, there are 2 button pushers to keep the crown company. Starting and stopping the chronograph is done by pushing the top pusher and the bottom pusher resets it to zero.

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When I look at the lugs on the M1 it’s hard not to think of the fenders on a car from the 1950’s. Angles and curves that seamlessly flow. Oh so sexy. The round fixed bezel beautifully frames the dial like a dial from the dashboard. Like the exterior of a vintage car, the interior was also a thing of beauty, especially the dashboard which was the main focal point of the car, just as the dial of a watch which this frame accents.

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Keeping true with the M1 style, the stainless steel case back features an engraved M1 street sign. As you would expect the engraving is well done with precision that is very smooth with no sharp edges whatsoever. How the case back is secured to the case it reminds me of a tire with the lug nuts because it is held in place by by 6 flathead screws that encircle the outer edge.

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The Dial:

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The M1 comes in beautiful 3 color variations for the dial as you can see in the pictures, blue, black and silver. I can appreciate a dial that is full of detail that has a lot going on but you can tell that the design process was planned out well. Despite of everything this dial has going on it is arranged in an organized manner. I spent a lot of time actually just looking at all of the many details. The color combinations really work well together and you team that with the great texturing, you end up with one killer dial or three in this case.

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The M1 of course gets it’s name from an automobile inspired theme, so measuring average speed & distance makes perfect sense and this can be achieved by using the chronograph functions. How many times have you worn a chronograph style watch and not used the feature? I will explain how to use this awesome feature which is not hard to do at all.

If you want to use the tachymeter to measure distance, you first need to know your traveling speed. Start at the zero second position, and end once your tachymeter reading is your traveling speed. For example, if your speed is 60 mph, once the tachymeter reading reaches 60, then you have just traveled 1 mile. Simple right?

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Look at the hands on the M1, they are absolutely stunning. As you glance around the dial from the main 3 hands to the sub dials hands you can see all the detail on them. Hands can really make or break a dial. As they can be too small, too short, too plain, etc… Not the hands on the M1 and to be honest they are some of the nicest hands I have seen on a watch. Detailed with accents of color just add to the legibility and to the overall beauty of the dial. It’s such a disappointment when a dial is flat and has no depth. The M1 dial features text/numbers that are printed, but the small seconds sub dial at 9 & the indices at each hour are applied. This depth keeps the M1 from becoming flat like a tire with a nail in it. Car detailing is a fine art, as is the guiloche concentric circles that are located in the sub dials at 12 and 6.

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I have reviewed and experienced quite a few dress style watches and it’s not out of the norm for there to be no lume on the dial. I was very happy to see that the M1 does in fact have lume. The applied hour indices and the hour/minute hand have lume which glows a pretty green glow when charged up.

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The Strap:

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Each dial variation comes with a different color strap. The leather strap is very soft and is a perfect addition to add to this classic style of this watch. The strap features white stitching that holds the double layer of leather together. Each stitch is perfectly spaced and is straight as can be. The leather is soft from the get go and forms nice to the wrist when its strapped on.  As with a dress style watch one would expect a signed, deployment buckle. The M1 abides and the reason why deployment buckles are so nice is because they add longevity to the strap.  You initially fit the strap to your wrist size by snapping the pin/clasp into the hole that best fits your wrist size. Then whenever you put the watch on your wrist it’s done by sliding the strap over your hand and then fold each side of the butterfly clasp until it clicks into place.

The Movement:

Inside the engine compartment of the M1 is the Sellita Caliber SW500, which has a 48 hour power reserve and an accuracy rate of +/- 15 seconds per day when I timed it for my review purposes. Of course you have the option to manually wind the watch via the crown or allow the rotor of the automatic movement wind it if you are feeling lazy.

Detroit Watch Company does use the Sellita Sw500 but only if/when they are run out of the inventory of the the ETA 7750. A little known fact is Sellita was contracted out for many years to build the 7750 for ETA. Sellita has become a good alternative since the ETA changes in supplying. Sellita was founded in the 1950’s and have been manufacturing their own automatic movements since 2003. Essentially the ETA 7750 and the Sellita SW500 are the same movement.

 

7 1/2″ Wrist Shot:

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Conclusion:

The M1 is clearly an automotive inspired watch, but it is executed in a classy way, and is in no way cheesy or gimmicky whatsoever. This watch is packed full of beautiful details and each dial color variation offers a different look and feel. The black dial has that formal feel that will work perfectly those special occasions out on the town, the silver dial will work for the business casual events/at the office, and the blue dial is the weekend warrior that works with a t-shirt and jeans when you take the convertible out for a spin.

Everything functions on these watches flawlessly. This watch has some excellent wrist presence for sure. If you are looking for a limited edition watch that features some great attention to detail and features then the M1 is for you. I personally wouldn’t change anything on the M1. It is a very attractive watch. The price might scare some potential buyers off. Is this watch worth the price? I honestly can’t answer that. You know the saying an item is only worth, blah, blah, blah……But what I can answer is that the M1 is a well made watch, that is very beautiful to look at and great to wear on the wrist. The finishing on this watch are extremely nice. The case construction is solid, there isn’t anything on this watch that feels “cheap”. The button pushers on the chronograph function crisp and when you reset the chronograph it returns to zero, lining up as it should. The watch is hand assembled right here in the US. I certainly would be happy with this watch if I were to purchase one.

 

I want to personally thank Patrick and Michael for the excellent communication and for allowing me the honor of doing this review. Photographing these watches was an absolute joy.

Thanks for reading!

Additional Pictures:

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Watch Review: Gruppo Gamma Divemaster Prototype

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Company: Gruppo Gamma

Model: Divemaster D-01N

Website: http://www.gruppogammawatches.com

From the website on the Divemaster:

The 1950s was one of the most exciting periods in dive watch history – in 1953 Blancpain introduced the Fifty Fathoms which was issued to the US and French naval divers, Zodiac introduced the Sea Wolf, and in 1954 Rolex introduced the Submariner. Ironically, it was also in the 1950s that Panerai stopped producing dive watches for the Italian frogmen.

Retrospective but adventurous, the Divemaster draws inspiration from these legendary watches in much the same way that different watch designs in times past have influenced one another.

The Divemaster is equipped with tool     watch capabilities for real world challenges. Robust automatic movement from Seiko SII, encased in surgical grade stainless steel case with double-domed sapphire crystal and engineered to a depth rating of 300 m/ 1100 ft. Unidirectional 120-click bezel to mark elapsed time, with sapphire inlay for scratch resistance and luminescent markers for visibility in the dark.

I have here the new Gruppo Gamma Divemaster prototype with the DLC finish case. As this is a prototype piece, there will be several changes from this to the finished product that will be out late Fall of this year. Right now the preorder is up on Gruppo Gamma’s website and you can get the stainless steel Divemaster for $399. When the preorder comes to a close the price will be $499. I know that the title says watch review here, I am approaching this like a watch review, but I am not going to make any suggestions or critiques because the production version will be different. Once the production model is out, I will be releasing a “true review” of the Divemaster. I will explain to you all the differences you will see between this prototype and with the actual production model.

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The packaging is different on the Divemaster and I noticed it right away. It is still a travel style case, but on steroids. The travel case is much beefier and thicker than before. It’s not as wide as the old style case but you notice the thickness immediately. This gives you more insurance that your watch will definitely be well protected during shipment. Another difference that I noticed is that the skull logo is missing from the lid of the travel case. In it’s place is a stamped Gruppo Gamma. I really like this new style case.

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Inside the case is the traditional set up with the addition of a padded dividing wall that is in-between the pocket for extra straps and the watch itself. Just by the touching the inside of the case you can actually feel how well protected your watch is.

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From the first glance, you can see that the case has a very nice DLC finish to it. As with the Gruppo Gamma watches that I have reviewed in the past, the cases are finished pretty amazingly, especially when you factor in the price. Everything is evenly coated from the bezel, the crown, the lugs and case and yes, even the screw heads of the strap bars match. This case on the prototype is 18mm thick from case bottom to top of the vintage dome sapphire crystal. Now on the actual production model it will be 16mm from case bottom to the top of the double domed sapphire crystal. Yes, the crystal on the production version will be a double domed sapphire crystal. A change that I am very excited about. The vintage dome really distorts the dial from certain angles and it was actually a challenge to photograph without having glare, reflection and too much distortion.

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That beautiful glisten you see eminating from the bezel on the Divemaster is sapphire crystal and it is in fact lumed. I posted a picture of the lume below so you can check it out. The bezel rotates extremely smooth with nice clicking action. As with most dive watches, the Divemaster has the customary screw down crown that operates flawlessly. The non crown side of the case features a helium release valve. For those of you that don’t know the valve is necessary when commercial diving inside of a diving bell for a duration of time. During this time helium may build up inside of the case and to keep the case from breaking apart the valve is there to release that gas pressure.

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The one thing you will notice on this case is that there are no crown guards, the crown screws into the case directly. The case has an awesome appearance without the crown guards.

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The prototype’s crown is signed with Gamma IIII, the production model will be marked with a I because it is the MK I Divemaster.

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The case back is stainless steel and features an engraved Gruppo Gamma. All of the Gruppo Gamma watches that I have featured here have had the skull logo. What I like about what Gruppo Gamma has done here is they have given this case back a vintage feel that surely matches the rest of the look of this watch. Keeping true to the Blancpain, Panerai vintage inspirations of the dive watches of the 1950’s etc… The Divemaster is not a copy of any watch, what it is that Gruppo Gamma drew in inspiration from these watches of the past to give way to their own unique interpretation. This watch is nothing short of awesome.

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There will be two dial variations on the Divemaster, a sandwiched style dial as I have here on the prototype and a printed dial.  On the finished production models you will see a silver second hand on the D-01 and the D-02 but for the D-01R and the D-01N the second hand will remain red. The other difference that the second hand will have on the actual production model the lumped triangle will be larger. Printed on the dial is Gruppo Gamma and 500m water resistance, on the production model will say 300m.

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I really like the seconds/minutes track on the Divemaster. The addition of the circle border really adds a nice finished detail to the dial versus just having hash marks to mark the seconds/minutes.

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The hour and minute hand along with the hour markers are coated with lume. The lume is evenly coated and has a good glow to it.

The movement inside of the final production will feature a Seiko NH35 movement which was chosen for a number of reasons over the Miyota movement. Those reasons are price, availability, which means that if GG went with the Miyota movement the Divemaster would have been more money and not available until next year. Keep in mind you are getting a lot of watch for the money here. GG case designs are solid and quality. You will not be disappointed with the finished product.

 

Wrist 7 1/2″ for reference

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The strap on the prototype here will not be what the finished production version will have. GG is currently developing a new style strap for the Divemaster. I can honestly say that all the GG watches that I have reviewed are very comfortable on the wrist and the Divemaster follows suit. Now the final production version will have 2mm shaved off the height, which will slightly change the overall weight of the Divemaster, but it won’t sit quite so high on the wrist. I know some of you prefer a thinner style watch so the final version will appease those of you.

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What I really like of the Divemaster watch is………well everything to tell you the truth. The bronze vanguard is my personal favorite GG watch. The Divemaster comes pretty damn close, I will reserve my pick once I review the final production model. Having said that, I am blown away already by the prototype. A prototype I say! I can only imagine what the final production version will be like.

The Divemaster is a well thought out and planned nod to the dive watches of yesteryear, but with a modern touch that Gruppo Gamma has executed brilliantly. Honestly you do get a ton of watch for your money here and if you are interested in preordering the Divemaster saves yourself a $100 clams, you can head over to their website to preorder it http://www.gruppogammawatches.com

I want to personally that Noaki and Gruppo Gamma for the honor of taking an early look at the Divemaster watch. I also want to thank you all for reading, without you my words would be empty.

Production Specifications:

Class: Mk I Divemaster, Diver
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, elapsed time
Diameter: 44 mm excluding crown and lugs
Lug-to-lug Distance: 52 mm
Thickness: 14 mm excluding domed sapphire, 16 mm including
Lug Width: 24 mm
Weight: 140 g with strap
Water Resistance: 30 ATM
Other Features: Helium release valve

Case: DLC $419 USD
Movement: Seiko SII NH35A (4R35), automatic, 21600 bph
Crystal: Sapphire, double domed with underside anti-reflective coating
Bezel: Stainless steel, with sapphire insert and C3 luminescent markers
Dial: Black, 2-layer with C3 luminescent markers
Hands: Silver color, with C3 luminescent markers
Crown: Stainless steel, screw-in
Caseback: Stainless steel, screw-in

 

The he main changes between this model and the final production model are as follows:

1. Case will be about 2mm slimmer.
2. Double dome sapphire crystal used, instead of vintage dome. Curvature is similar.
3. On D-01 and D-02 the seconds hand will be stainless steel silver color. On D-01R and D-01N the seconds hand will be red. All hands (H, M, S) will be matte finish.
4. WR will be 300m instead of 500m and there will not be a soft iron inner case (hence case not as thick).
5. The rubber strap (Isofrane style) will be standard issue. Leather strap will be Ghibli II Tan, minimal stitch, 24x22mm.Picture Gallery:

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Watch Review: Erroyl Heritage

 

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Company: Erroyl Watch Company

About ERROYL from their website:

ERROYL is a Canberra, Australia based watch company that launched in 2014. ERROYL is focused on producing affordable luxury automatic watches designed for elegance and crafted with precision. Often the term affordable luxury is overused in this day and age but this is a term that perfectly suits ERROYL. Commitment and attention to detail is at the heart of everything ERROYL does from the detailed design stage, production, quality control and packaging. Focused predominately on mechanical dress watches, ERROYL are dedicated to offering  automatic watches of the highest quality that imbue elegance, respect and longevity. This is evident in the attention to detail and finishing of their Heritage and Regent Collections which have been sold to people in over 50 countries around the world.
Model: Heritage
Specifications:
  • COLLECTION: HERITAGE COLLECTION
  • MOVEMENT: Japan Miyota Cal. 9015 Automatic and Hand Wound Movement with Date Complication
  • POWER RESERVE: Approximately 42 hours (manufacturer’s specifications)
  • CASE: 316L Stainless Steel (surgical grade)
  • CASE DIAMETER: 40mm
  • CASE THICKNESS: 10mm
  • CASE COLOUR: Stainless Steel
  • CASE BACK: Sapphire Crystal Exhibition Case Back
  • LUG WIDTH: 20mm
  • LUG TO LUG WIDTH: 46mm
  • CRYSTAL: Flat Sapphire Crystal with Anti-reflective Coating (underside)
  • DIAL: White or Black (Sunday effect), Applied Indices with a Concentric Circular Guillouche Design
  • HANDS: Faceted Dauphine Hands
  • STRAP: Black Premium Alligator Pattern Leather Strap (20mm at lugs tapering to 18mm at buckle)
  • BUCKLE: Stainless Steel Butterfly Clasp (deployment buckle)
  • WATER RESISTANCE: 5ATM (50m)
  • WEIGHT: 63 grams
  • PACKAGING: Luxury Leather Presentation Box
  • WARRANTY: Two Year Manufacturer’s Warranty
PACKAGING:
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The Heritage watch comes in a series of nice, simple black boxes. The outer box  is made of reinforced textured cardboard that has the ERROYL name and logo on the lid printed in silver. The inner box is a leather like material that is stamped with the ERROYL name and logo. On the inside of the box is lined with a tan seude like material. It is very soft. There is a sleeve that holds the warranty card and the sleeve has the ERROYL name and logo printed in black. Also included with the packaging is a lint-free polishing cloth, warranty card, certificate of authenticity, and the operating manual. It is a very nice set up.
CASE:
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The 40mm case is made of 316L stainless steel (surgical grade) with a polished finish and sapphire crystal. The case stays true to the dress styling by keeping a thin, low profile. A detail that works well in dress apparel because it can easily slide under the cuff of a button down shirt.

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The front crystal sapphire is coated on the inside with anti-reflective. The case back is an exhibition style with a sapphire window to allow you to view the automatic movement inside. Both crystals are clear as can be and really allow you to view the dial and the movement with ease. The case is held in place with 6 flathead screws something that I like. I like it because it gives the case back additional detail. Over the years exhibition case backs have lost their appeal personally. The addition of these screws give the case back a detail I can appreciate and truly dig.

The signed crown is one of my personal favorite details on the heritage. I am an absolute sucker for signed crowns and ERROYL did not disappoint me here. The crown is signed with the ERROYL logo. What I like about what ERROYL did is that it’s an actual engraved logo rather than a laser etching. From my personal experience laser etched crowns eventually rub off over time.

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The crown is a push/pull function. When the crown is pushed in fully, it functions as a manual way to wind the watch. Pulling the crown out to the first click/stop allows you to set the date my rotating the crown. To set the time pull the crown all the way out. The crown is easy to grip thanks to the machined gear edges. I would have liked a slightly bigger crown here for an increased ease of operation.
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The slightly curved lugs are absolutely beautiful. They are are long, but not too long and the polished finishing along with the angles really make the case pop.
THE DIAL:
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Simplistic beauty! The dial is where this watch really shines. Erroyl executed this dial with absolute precision. The white dial is textured with small concentric circles done through technique of guiloche. The textured dial, with the applied markers adds depth to this simple dial.
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There are Roman numeral hour markers at XII, III, VI, and IX. The Roman numerals are applied to the dial not painted on the dial. The accompanying hour markers are applied to the dial as well. All of the markers are polished which light catches them it is very beautiful.
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There is a small date window at the III marker. I appreciate the fact that Erroyl did not eliminate an hour marker to include the date window. The date wheel is white with black printed numbers which make it very easy to read when the watch it is on the wrist.
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The dial has some black printed text on it as well. Under the XII marker is the Erroyl crest logo and Erroyl name. Above the VI marker is printed AUTOMATIC. The printing is done in a fine black print that keeps the dial simple and does not overwhelm the dial. This is a dress style watch so there is no need for over the top text on the dial.
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The dauphine hands on the watch are stunning. The hour and minute hands have spear head shape that have a beautiful center crease that adds an angled down effect on either side of the crease. The hands both come to sharp points, a detail that makes these hands stand out in a great way. I like how long all the hands are on the heritage, often hands are either too narrow or too short, but that is not the case on the heritage. The seconds hand is a long needle like hand that extends to the printed seconds markers. There is no lume on the dial which absolutely makes sense in the style that Erroyl was going for here.
THE STRAP:
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The strap is top notch on the Heritage watch. It is a genuine leather strap with a butterfly style deployment buckle. The black leather with alligator grain texturing is a perfect addition to the overall dress style Erroyl is trying to achieve with the Heritage watch. The strap is padded well but not to much so it retains the low profile. The stitching is executed with the precision of a custom strap maker.
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The deployment buckle functions flawlessly. One detail that takes this buckle a step beyond is the engraved ERROYL shield logo. I personally prefer this style of buckle because it helps preserve the life of the strap by reducing the amount of bending and creasing as you would with a tang style buckle.
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The wrist side of the strap is stamped the ERROYL name & logo and  the model name E30 HERITAGE. Deep stamping works well because it won’t fade as easily as light surface stamping.
THE MOVEMENT:
Ticking away inside of the HERITAGE watch is a Miyota 9015 Japanese movement. This movement has an accuracy of -10~30 seconds/day. Coming in at about 42 hours power reserve when full wound either via the crown or from the rotor in the automatic movement. This is a reliable movement that comes from Citizen. The rotor of the movement has the ERROYL name & logo printed on it. A nice little touch of detail to dress up the otherwise standard movement.
WRIST SHOTS 7 1/2″:
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CONCLUSION:
The ERROYL HERITAGE is a nice little dress watch. I often get caught up personally in a particular style of watch, that can end up making me miss great watches like the HERITAGE. This watch can easily be worn to the office or on a date night. You can even dress it down for weekend wear by throwing on a NATO style nylon strap. The watch is very comfortable on the wrist from all aspects, size, weight, and case design.
There are a lot of little details that put the HERITAGE up a few marks in my book, for example the engraved ERROYL shield logo on the buckle, the applied hour markers, the strap & buckle, the signed crown. ERROYL really stepped things up with these little details.
I have to mention due to my unique style of reviewing watches that during the time of putting the HERITGE under the microscope, ERROYL has come out with an updated model. The main changes to the updated version are as follows:
-Premium leather strap
-the printing of the word Automatic and ERROYL logo is now embossed.
-removal of the III and IX from the dial
-Addition of the option to purchase the HERITAGE White with a brown strap.
I want to personally thank ERROYL for the honor and opportunity to review the HERITAGE watch.
Thank you for reading!
ADDITIONAL PICTURES:
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