COMPANY: James Caird
At James Caird Timepieces we love that an automatic watch is a perpetual machine, moving and beating constantly to keep the hands in motion. So when we created our watches, we took that spirit of perpetual motion and designed a watch for the person in perpetual motion — a watch that could look sharp at the office and perform on the trail. When you wear a James Caird Timepiece, you can dive into the deep end, sweat it out at the gym, dig in the dirt, and then head out to dinner and know that your watch will never stop. Because a James Caird is automatic, it’s motion is powered by your motion, so you’ll never replace a battery again.
We have worked for over a year to create a watch that we believe can be your only watch. We’ve incorporated the best features of traditional diver-style timepieces — durability, wearability, utility, accuracy — and added thoughtful details — steel outlined hands and indices and unique dial colors — to ensure your James Caird Timepiece will stand the test of time.
We are not just another micro-brand. Our experience comes not only from years of collecting, but time spent at Lititz Watch Technicum, where only 14 students out of thousands of applicants are accepted each year to learn the art of Swiss watchmaking. Our timepieces are not stock – they are designed specifically to include the best elements of both timeless and contemporary watchmaking to ensure they will look good and wear well for decades to come, and all at an affordable price.
Our name comes from the epic story of Ernest Shackleton’s antarctic expedition in 1915. After abandoning their ship when it became hopelessly entrenched in ice, the crew boarded two lifeboats and sailed to Elephant Isle. The one remaining lifeboat, the James Caird, transported half of the crew to South Georgia, through some of the most treacherous seas in the south ocean. Thanks to the James Caird and Shackleton’s leadership, every member of the crew survived.
Our watches strive to be as timeless as Shackleton’s story and as durable as his lifeboat, the James Caird. For more on Shackleton’s voyage, check out The Endurance by Alfred Lansing.
We want you to be fully satisfied with your timepiece. If you aren’t, we will work to make it right. All of our watches have been tested for quality assurance and are manufactured with the utmost care.We pride ourselves on delivering both a high-end product and high-end service, and we strive to ensure we are doing so everyday.
CASE: Brushed Stainless Steel 42mm, 13mm thick
MOVEMENT: Seiko NH35
LUGS: 22mm lugs with holes for screwed strap bars
CRYSTAL: Flat Sapphire
DIAL: Matte black with C3 Lume
STRAP: Green NATO style
Kickstarter has paved the way for watch makers and watch enthusiasts looking to get into the business. Every day new campaigns pop up. It’s hard to keep track of them all and it’s even harder to know which ones are worth your time and more importantly your money. I came across James Caird one night while I was looking at watch pictures on Instagram as I often do to relax at night. There was something that caught my eye. Yes you can say that the design is nothing new, but there was something special about this classic designed diver. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I found myself coming back to the Endurance pictures over and over again. I needed to get hands on with the Endurance to see if it was something special or just another fly by night Kickstarter watch. Let’s explore the Endurance to see what it is all about!
The brushed stainless steel case comes in at the “new classic” size of 42mm by 13mm thick. It’s a good size because it universally fits most wrists no matter the size. Not too big and not too small. The finish on the Endurance is to my personal likings. I prefer brushed over polished because I like a more tool looking watch over the polished dress look. But it’s all about personal preference. The finish is well done, uniform throughout and very smooth. The lugs are also brushed and have a good amount of curvature that allows the endurance to sit on your wrist comfortably.
The crown is definitely a great detail on this watch for a number of reasons. Being labeled as a diving watch of course you would expect the crown to screw down and James Caird gets it right thankfully. I also like that the crown is located at the 4 o’clock position, it just offers a bit of change from the norm and you won’t have the worry about the crown digging into the back of your wrist. The nautical star that is on the crown is a nice touch and it’s a great detail that ties in nicely with the theme of the watch & the origin of the James Caird name. The gear style edges make the crown very easy to grip. The crown could have been just a bit bigger though. This has more to do with personal aesthetic preferences and has nothing to do with function. No worries here because the crown functions as it should.
The solid case back also features a nice engraved nautical star. I love this case back and I am so glad that James Caird decided to go with a solid case back instead of an exhibition case back. This watch wants to be your adventure watch and claims to be able to handle your adventure. An exhibition case back just doesn’t scream rugged, adventure watch to me. The nautical star is well done and ranks itself as one of my personal favorite solid case backs that I have seen. It is simple but makes a big impression.
The stainless steel bezel is quite solid. It has very little play and is pretty firm when you rotate it. The edges of the bezel makes for an easy grip when you do go to rotate it. As a dive watch, the essential triangle with the lume faux pearl makes allows you to properly mark off time which is important on long dives to keep track of oxygen usage/time. The bezel lines up pretty good as well with the dial which is something that I always look for on a watch of this style/design. The silver numbers on the bezel are crisp as can be with nice sharp edges. The unidirectional rotating bezel ratchets amazingly and is music to the watch enthusiast’s ear.
The dial is classic on the Endurance, nothing out of the ordinary but still a classic beauty. I’m such a sucker for matte black dials as they are so incredibly easy to read, with very little to no glare whatsoever. The black is also the perfect backdrop for the white details on this dial. I like that James Caird chose the hour indexes that they did. They could have went with the easy and obvious, but instead went with triangles and rectangles instead. These little details throughout the watch is what makes the Endurance refreshing while stayin with that classical design. The applied markers give some depth adding detail to the dial. The dial would not be as easy to read if it wasn’t for the nice sapphire crystal.
The dial on the Endurance is really clean and uncluttered. The text is kept to one line under the 12 o’clock position and 3 liner above the 6 o’clock position. I questioned the date window at the 4 o’clock position at first. Not the location but the color choices. I thought to myself why did they go with the white wheel and black text? I didn’t get it at first. But after spending some good quality time with the Endurance my lightbulb came on. The white date wheel matches great with the rectangle hour indexes and actually allows the date window to blend in more.
The sword style hands are sized so perfectly to this dial and overall size of this watch. Just as the edges of the hour indexes, the sword hands are polished. A detail that actually works well here because of the matte black dial. The reason is that it keeps the bling factor in check and keeps the Endurance classy, not blingy. The second hand reaches to the chapter ring. This is a huge plus in my eyes as it allows precise timing right down to the second, no guess work here. All of the hands and indexes on the Endurance feature C3 lume making the dial easy to read just as easy to read at night as it is to read in the daylight. Even the tip of the second hand has lume.
One of my favorite details on the dial is the inner chapter ring. I absolutely love that James Caird decided against the usual plain steel chapter ring, but instead they added minutes/seconds markers on a black background. It looks great, adds more function and adds another detail to the classic design adding something more instead of less. I also like the nautical star that’s printed on the dial inbetween the James Caird name.
The movement ticking inside the Endurance is the reliable Seiko NH35. The 24 jewel movement has an accuracy rate of -20~+40 seconds per day and a power reserve of over 41 hours. The movement also has shock absorber for balance staff. It’s a good movement and especially if you factor in the price of the Endurance.
Keeping the price in mind($199-$225), the Endurance comes on a simple, but nice green NATO style strap. I do like bracelets on dive watches occasionally, who doesn’t. I understand why James Caird went with the strap choices that they did so that they kept the Endurance in this attractive price point. The green NATO is well made, softer than most and is a bit thicker as well. So you aren’t getting a cheap strap here by any means and not to mention that it’s held in place by double sided screw bars not typical spring bars.
The Endurance doesn’t break the mold of unique style design, but it does do something to separate it from other Kickstarter choices out there. James Caird added nice, subltle details throughout the Endurance. These details are throughout this watch and they are really nice. I’m actually quite shocked that they are able to offer this watch at this price point considering all of these details. It’s quite impressive to say the least. I’m also impressed that I can’t really nit pic about anything either.
Here’s the detail perks that the Endurance steps up and makes it a real value:
Tight rotating bezel
Screw down signed crown
Engraved screw down case back
200m water resistance
Seiko NH35 Movement
Screw strap bars
Seriously, I have had watches that cost triple that the Endurance does and didn’t feature half of those perks. This watch really is a no brainier. It’s a great weekend adventure watch, a daily “beater” that has style. And at $225 how can you lose? James Caird are extremely passionate about watches and they are down to Earth people. They have a clear vision with the Endurance and in my opinion they have executed it with percision. I am impressed with the Endurance. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for an affordable dive watch. It won’t break the bank, it looks great on the wrist and it is packed full of some nice details. If you are interested in the Endurance you can check out James Caird’s website or their Kickstarter campaign at:
I would love to personally thank James Caird for this opportunity for this review.
Thank you for reading!
WRIST SHOT 7 1/2″ wrist for reference: