Watch Review: REC P-51-01

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Company: REC Watches

Website: www.recwatches.com

About:
We wanted to redefine how a timepiece can tell a (fantastic) story, and relate to you not as a customer, but as an individual. Watch fanatics to the bone, we wanted to create something different, unpretentious, and ultimately something we would simply crave ourselves. Hence, instead of some obscure year of establishment or vague ‘inspiration’, every single REC timepiece is made by salvaging classic cars and icons, and transforming them into watch components – a concept which we termed “RECOVER, RECYCLE, RECLAIM”.

The result? EVERY single REC watch is visually unique – that’s right, no two are identical – include handmade components, and are born with the story from the object of which it was made. Now that’s what unique design and great stories should mean!

 

Model: P-51-01

Specifications:

Dimensions
CASE (w/o HC): 44.0(W)x44.0(H)mm
CASE (overall): 46.8(W)x50.6(H)mm
THICKNESS (w/o HC): 10.8mm
THICKNESS (overall): 13.8mm
OPENING DIAMETER: 38.0mm
STRAP WIDTH: 24mm / 24 to 22mm

Movement
MVMT REF: Miyota 9130
FUNCTIONS: 3 Hands / Date / Power Reserve 48h
Automatic & Hand winding
26 Jewels / 28800 Vibrations per Hour

Materials
CASE: All Stainless Steel
TOP GLASS: Sapphire crystal
BACK GLASS: Mineral glass
DIAL: Handcrafted Recycled Mustang Metal

Additional
WARRANTY: 1 YEAR FULL WARRANTY
WATER RESISTANCE: 3 ATM, 30 Meters
STORY: Scannable story card with small video documentary of the specific car that became your watch.

Price: $1495

Every once and awhile a watch comes by that tries to do something a bit different. Sometimes it works and sometimes unfortunately it doesn’t work. You have to give companies props though for originality. REC has attempted to do something different in deed. Repurposing pieces of classic cars and using those pieces in their watches. Today we have the P-51-01 which repurposes pieces from a 1966 Ford Mustang. A true classic and iconic car.

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It is hard to notice anything else but the dial first on the P-51. I mean it’s the coolest part of this watch I’m not going to lie. Don’t get me wrong, this whole watch has some cool things going on. The pure rawness of the dial is so beautiful and so amazing. You instantly notice the distressed style on the dial and you can see the history in each unique marking. When you angle the dial into different lighting you can really see the detail.  The vintage vin number plate and the REC name plate that are located on the dial add a great 3-D depth. I can’t even express how this dial looks in person, aside from the obvious repurposed dial the gauge style sub-dials are equally as cool.

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The small top dial is the power reserve at the set up is perfection. The PR is set up just like a fuel gauge on a car and this little detail is the second piece of awesomeness that drew me into this watch. It’s actually the first detail that made me notice the P-51 on Kickstarter and once I read more about what went into the design I was fully intrigued. I just knew then and there I needed to get hands on one.

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The bottom gauge sub dial is where you tell the time & date and the awesomeness continues on. The dial is set up like a speedometer right down to the font of the numbers which just scream muscle care goodness, it’s almost identical to the speedometer on the 1966 Ford Mustang. The orange hands add the perfect amount of color to the dial.  Both sub dials are bordered nicely by  dashboard style stainless steel. It’s stylistic of a vintage instrument panel from a 1966 Mustang and other muscle cars. All of these awesome details are done with percision and beauty, not gimmicky or cliche. The orange arrow at the 6 o’clock position is the pointer for the date wheel which has a opened style window. I really like that REC went with this style date window as opposed to a single date window because it wouldn’t be consistent with the vintage muscle car feel of the watch.

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The case on the P-51 is just as unique as the dial itself. If the dial is the dashboard, then the case is definitely the body of the car. A nice combination of high polished SS and matte black makes this case really special. The matte black portion of the case definitely pays homage the the 1966 Ford Mustang. On the non crown side of the case features REC in matte black, but what’s really cool is that Rec is bordered identical to the border of the Mustang logo on the front grill of the 1966 Mustang. It’s these little details that make the P-51 so special.

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The crown side of the case also features some those Mustang details that continue on throughout the P-51. On the rear panel of the 1966 Mustang just past the door you will see the same detailing that you will find on either side of the crown. The screw down crown is signed with the Rec gear logo. The black and silver color combo on the crown is great. This little crown is packed full of detail right down to the gear cog edges of the crown that make gripping it so easy.

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The short angled lugs allow the P-51 to sit comfortably upon your wrist. The lugs are spaced 24mm apart and are solid where the strap spring bars sit on the inner part of the lugs. This is my only area of where I think something different would have added that extra detail. I understand that the lugs are quite short, but if the lugs where just a bit longer to allow for drilled lugs with a octagon head screw bar to look like a lug nut, now that would be cool.

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I am glad that Rec went with a solid black leather strap on this P-51. A rally style strap would have been way too much and may have hinged on the gimmicky side. The smooth black leather strap is held together by some black stitching which I like the black on black look. That look continues down to the black tang style buckle. The buckle is signed with the REC logo, a nice little detail that can only be noticed when at certain angles.

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The engine inside the P-51, I mean the movement running inside this watch is the Miyota 9130. A good reliable power reserve movement with an accuracy rate of -10/+30. The 40+ hour power reserve will ensure your P-51 won’t run low on “fuel” and in case it does, the awesome fuel gauge power reserve indicator will let you keep on eye on it. Beating at 28880 with 26 jewels, and the custom rotor that all can be seen through the exhibition case back.

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You all know my feelings on exhibition case backs, but there are exceptions to the rule. Rec did something nice here with the case back on the P-51. First it’s held in place by 6 flat head screws with some nice grooves cut into the case back that run the length of the case. The exhibition window is beautiful on how it’s executed. Instead of taking up the entire case back and exposing the whole movement, Rec when with a small rectangle cut out that runs in the center of the case back allowing you to see just enough. You have a great view of the rotor, the beating heart and something extra. Underneath the crystal above the movement is the Rec logo, definitley something cool to look at.

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The P-51 merges two amazing hobbies together, classic cars and watches. They pull this off with flying colors. I’ve seen a lot of auto inspired watches, some cool, some gimmicky, but none have pulled off what Rec has. Adding history to the watch is something that makes the P-51 so magical. Using repurposed materials from the 1966 Ford Mustang is absolutely brilliant. Not only does it look great, but it gives the watch a cool back story too which is included in a scannable back story video giving the history of the actual Mustang that the pieces came from. I’d love to see this watch come with a strap made from repurposed leather from the interior of a Mustang.

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The P-52 is a unique watch that is definitley original. Even if you aren’t a car enthusiast this watch design is appeasing. I like the break from the norm, it’s very refreshing to say the least. It’s definitely a watch that will get some attention when it’s on your wrist. A great conversation starter for sure. The P-51 is a quality piece and well done from dial to case. I definitely recommend this watch to the obvious Mustang fans and to anyone looking for a piece of unique Americana history that you can wear on your wrist. The meticulous attention to detail on the P-51 is quite remarkable. REC really used the 1966 Mustang as a design inspiration, not just repurposing metal, but in the little details found throughout this watch. The best part about it is that it’s done with class and not gimmicky. Plus the video history of the car that pieces were used to make the P-51 is a great bonus.

I want to personally thank everyone at REC WATCHES for this honor and opportunity to do this review.

Thanks for reading.

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Watch Review: Panzera Pacific Decent

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Company: Panzera

Website: http://panzera-style.com/aquamarine-a45-02r/

About:

PANZERA was conceived by two Sydney based founding partners who were inspired to create contemporary versions of classic, “vintage style” watches.

The design objective: to capture the soul of classic watches and incorporate contemporary features; which can be observed from, size, dial design through to the latest mechanical movements, case materials and modern day functions. Lastly make them accessible to a large number of people at a sensible price point.

Our current range line-up was formed around the three conceptual elements of: AIR – LAND – SEA, which is represented in the PANZERA brand logo.

Model: Aquamarine 45

Specifications:

MOVEMENT
Miyota Japanese 820A
Self-Winding Mechanical
Day Function (English & Spanish)
Date Function
21 Jewels
21,600bpm

WATER RESISTANCE
200m
20ATM

CASE
45mm diameter
316L Surgical Grade Stainless Steel
Screw Down Case Back
Screw Down Double Crown
IP Black Matte Finish

The Panzera Aquamine 45 Pacific Decent(PD) is in today for review and I’m going to take a look at their latest edition to the growing collection. The PD is Panzera’s take on a dive style watch. The first thing of notice is the large vintage inspired case which comes in at 45mm. The case and bezel are IP black matte finished which gives the PD an under the radar type of feel. The matte black finish is well done and it looks stunning in natural lighting. The solid short lugs flow off the case nicely, and allows the PD to wear within the 45 mm case size. If the lugs were longer it would definitley change the way the PD wears on the wrist.

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It seems to be a common theme lately with dive style watches to have a fixed bezel. I personally prefer to have a unidirectional bezel on my dive watches. It’s a very used feature especially when I’m in the water. The fixed bezel comes up to meet the flat sapphire crystal which has a double coating of AR. The crystal is very clear and allows viewing the dial from all angles without distorting the dial.

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Crowns are one of my favorite parts on a watch case if they are done right. Thankfully Panzera doesn’t disappoint me here on the PD. The large crown is so easy to grip and unscrew thanks to the machined edges and what I really like is the smooth line that divides the the crown in half. There’s a really cool anchor logo on the crown that steps up the awesomeness. Best of all the logo lines up straight when the crown is fully screwed down.

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The solid screw down case back looks good as well. The Panzera name and anchor dress up the case back giving it a great piece of detail. Everything on the case is matte black finished this continues right down to the buckle on the strap.

Speaking of the strap, this strap is something special. When I first looked at it I though it was a standard black leather strap with silver stitching. Once I handled the strap I quickly realized that I was handling leather, but in fact I was handling a silicone strap. It’s silky soft to touch and the stitching is a nice touch of detail. It gives the appearence of leather and dresses up the strap beautifully.

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I love a interesting detailed but balanced dial, something that offers a bit of uniqueness without going over the top becoming a cluttered mess. The PD is balanced, with some great little details that make it different enough from other divers in its price range. The skeletonized hands were the first detail to jump out at me. The hands are quite beautiful and proportioned perfectly to the dial itself and wide enough where you can actually see through enough to see the dial underneath. I can’t say enough good things about the hands on this watch and the red tip on the second hand is just another testament of little details that can separate a watch from the other watches on the field.

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The little touches of red detail can be found throughout this dial and it’s something that adds a great deal of detail by going small like the number 12 and the small arrow on the date window. The day/date wheel is awesome because Panzera kept it small and also used black wheels with white printing. It’s spectacular when the hour/minute hands come across the day/date window and you can still read it because of the skeletonized hands. It’s just awesome. The rectangle shaped applied indices add depth to this dial which I think was a smart choice by Panzera because this dial is large. Large dials can look off if there isn’t the right amount of detail or if there is too much cluttered detail. Panzera kept it simple, but with enough little details to make this dial beautiful.

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A dive watch wouldn’t be complete without some sort of lume. The PD doesn’t disappoint either. Since the PD is null of a rotating bezel Panzera did include a lumed triangle above the 12 o’clock marker. On either side of the the triangle are 2 small circles as well. I really like this little added detail which gives you a good reference point in low lighting scenarios. The lume could be a bit stronger on the PD though, it’s good, but not great.

Ticking away inside the PD is the Miyota Japanese 820A. This movement has an accuracy rate of -20/+40 seconds per day rate. The power reserve is 40 hours and has 21 jewels. The movement is made by Citizen and is used often as an alternative to the ETA movements.

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The PD wears really comfortable on the wrist which can be attributed with the short lugs and the super soft silicone strap. I like the case shape on this watch as well. Gives it a bit of a break from the norm of other dive style watches. There’s a lot of things that really work well on the PD, the hands, dial, crown and the strap. All these details make the PD a great offering for someone looking for a dive style watch that thinks a little outside of the box.

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My only nit picky complaints on the PD is the lack of a rotating bezel or rotating inner bezel and the lume brightness. I think that both are important and useful details. They are not a deal breakers, but it comes down to personal preference and individual use of a watch. Coming in at $575 I personally believe that you get a good deal of watch for the price. An outside of the box(but not too much) dive watch with a good amount of water resistance of 200m and packed full a subtle details.

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I want to personally thanks Panzera for this opportunity to review this watch and thank you all for reading!

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Watch Review: AEGIR CD-1

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Company: AEGIR

Website: http://aegirinstruments.com

About:

I am Todd Caldwell, the founder of Aegir Watches and am a commercial diver working mainly in the offshore Oil and Gas industry in the North Sea. In recent years it was mainly in the bell bounce system employed by Noordhoek Offshore. It was here I came up with the concept diver due to not being able to buy a watch meeting all the criteria that I wanted from a dive watch.

So it started in 2007 and there were some setbacks, including a diving accident on the 21st of June 2008 during a submarine salvage involving a large propeller and myself on the vessel we were diving from, that was supposedly shut down. It added 18 months to the project, but all in all I can’t complain as that day ended better than it started.
Originally it was designed as one off project for myself and my diving colleagues and sales were never the motivating factor. In fact, it was not even to be a company. But things evolve and Aegir certainly has, and a company it has become. The project became more ambitious and another model was added, the CD-2.

Aegir watches are German and Swiss made. Every component has been sourced from these two countries, with the occasional exception, such as the handmade in the United Kingdom, Metta Catherina leather straps.

CD-1 Specifications

Case

German made 316L Stainless Steel. Brushed finish
7mm screw down, signed crown.

Movement

Soprod A10, Swiss made automatic, 25 Jewels.

Dial

Applique hour makers, filled with Superluminova BGW-9C1

Dimensions

42mm diameter, (Not including the Crown)
51.1mm lug to lug length,
24mm between the lugs (24mm strap width)
13mm in height.

Crystal

Sapphire, domed, anti scratch with anti reflective coating inside.

Bezel

Stainless Steel, fixed , Kolsterised to 1000 to 1200 HV0.05

Water Resistance

Rated for 701 meters

I love when a watch comes about that has a backstory of how and why it came about. Seeing the creator’s vision and inspiration is something that adds to coolness factor to the watch. “Ægir Watches CD-1 concept was born in the mid 90’s on a quay in Fort William Scotland, on a rainy summer’s day, but at the time I never realized it. It stayed in the back of my mind, and it was not until early 2007, that I decided on the design while waiting in the dive bell for the divers to return. And refined the idea over subsequent dives and many long hours of decompression before eventually handing it over to a designer.”

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You have heard the saying “less is more” right? AEGIR takes this saying quite seriously and run with it when it comes to the CD-1 watch. No over the top unecessary embellishments here. A straight forward, no nonsense professional dive watch. When the CD-1 arrived for the review what struck me first was the black and white combo that’s going on here. An almost glowing white dial with a deep black DLC case. The finishing on the case is very nice. I typically prefer a brushed stainless steel case, but AEGIR knows how to pull off the DLC finish.

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That is a common theme you will see throuout the CD-1, attention to meticulous finishing. Smooth and seamless would best describe the finishing on the CD-1. The crown guards flow out of this case with finesse. They are rounded pretty nice and remind me of a shark fin. They do a nice job of protecting the AE signed screw down crown. The crown operates as it should without flaw. One thing to notice is how long the crown stem is. The crown is easily gripped thanks to the wide grooves that encircle the gear styled crown.

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Now there are two things on the CD-1 that seem odd choices for a watch being labeled as a dive watch. One, is the sterile fixed bezel. It’s my personal experience that a unidirectional rotating bezel with a lumed triangle/pip/etc. is a must on a dive watch. Using it to mark the time entering the water or marking off how much time is left for oxygen in your tank. It’s a very usable and important addition for people who actually use their watches to dive with. The second detail that made me scratch my head is the exhibition case back. A detail I would expect to find on a dress style, ready for the office style of watch, not a tool/dive watch.

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These two details are not deal breakers by any means. They are just two details that made me stop and think about them a bit in terms of being a dive watch. The drilled lugs with hexagon head screw ensure a great hold on your watch strap. Speaking of straps, the Isofrane strap that is included is killer. One of the best rubber dive straps out there. It is not only comfortable, but it is so dependable and will not fail you in the harshest of conditions when in the water or on land.

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The dial is where the CD-1 really shines. The white dial is so ivory that it almost looks like it’s glowing. I’m a matte black dial guy all the way, but if I was going to go with a white dial, this would be it. If you are looking for a white dial, this is the watch you want. Seriously, I’ve never seen a nicer white dial on a watch. EVER. Even on watches that cost considerably more. The applied indices are equally as beautiful. An awesome large triangle marks the 12 o’clock hour and each hour is marked off with an applied rectangle. All but the 3 o’clock hour, which is a small square to allow room for the date window. The date window, along with the indices are lined with polished chrome which reflects light brilliantly.

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The hands on the CD-1 are undeniably awesome. The arrowhead hour hand is proportially thick to the rest of the dial. It’s a focal point of the CD-1 for sure. The minute hand shines on its own as well with a nice sword shape. The second hand features a lumed circle that really comes in handy for low lighting situations. The dial is extremely easy to read in all types of situations, from low lighting, murky water, extreme angles, etc.. This is thanks to the combination of the nice white dial and the lume that is found on the hands & indices. When fully charged this baby glows like a flashlight.

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Printed on the dial is 701m which represents the water resistance. 701 is kind of an odd and precise water resistance. There’s a reason according to Todd “701M was chosen as the water resistance for all of our models, bringing about some awareness to commercial diving in the process and most of all in homage to the insanely heroic chamber dive of Theo Mavrostomos in 1992 breathing hydreliox, which holds the record for the deepest dive.” I love a good back story of why things are chosen. Chosen with purpose & reason, not just because.

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The movement inside the CD-1 is the highly reliable Soprod A10. The Soprod is an excellent alternative to the ETA 2892. The A10 has a power reserve of 42 hours and is a 25 jeweled movement. During my review process the CD-1 was keeping +/-7 seconds which was recorded in various positions and environments. The A-10 held up with no problems whatsoever. I have had experience in the past with the A-10 and it’s a movement that I really like.

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The CD-1 definitely achieves what it set out to do which is a watch that can transition seamlessly from the ocean to the office and look great doing both. It’s a no nonsense watch that has what it needs with nothing added that doesn’t serve a purpose. The finishing is some of the best I’ve seen in this price range, and I can even say it’s better than some watches that cost double/triple of what the CD-1 costs.

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The dial is my favorite part of this watch. It’s extremely easy to read, the lume is great and the white just seems to glow on its on. My only nit picky gripes with the CD-1 are the lack of a unidirectional bezel and the exhibition case back. I understand a lot of people enjoy seeing the movement on their watch. On a dive watch I prefer a solid caseback which adds to the tool feel and less like a dress watch feel.

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The CD-1 is a great choice for someone looking for the guts/soul of a dive watch but wants a more refined look that can transition to suit attire without fail or looking out of place. The DLC finish really adds to that look giving the CD-1 a stealthy look & feel. I definitley would recommend the CD-1 to anyone that’s looking for that next step in the world of dive watches or to someone who wants to start with a dive watch that is a step beyond the beginners level. It’s a well designed and executed watch that is finished with percision. You will not be disappointed.

I want to personally thank Todd for the honor and opportunity to review this watch. And thank you to all of you for reading.

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Watch Review: Stuckx The Funky Bull

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Company: Stuckx

WEBSITE: http://webshop.stuckx.com/web-store/300077–funky-bull.html

About:

The Stuckx story is a simple one. Having been selling watches made by other great micro brands for many years, it was time to create a brand we could call our own. It was like an urge: once we had some ideas, we just had to follow through with it. We make watches to fulfil a dream and for the positive energy that gives. Watches that create a positive spark in our mind. We have a very intense relationship with our designer. We started with key elements that helped us define a direction: 70’s inspired, colors, both basic and more extremely outside the box, “challenging” designs. We asked him to not hold back, to draw what he thought was great. Together we selected the first concepts and work began.

At the end of the day we do not make watches for the masses. We target to sell to both watch collectors as watch newbies. We can live with a probable fact that not all will “dig” what we make. It goes with the territory. We cannot satisfy all. Or better said: we won’t. But if we cause some people to smile, to ignite “a spark”, we are succesful the way we want to be.

Model: The Funky Bull

Specs:

42 mm 316L stainless steel case in bullhead style
– Height approx 13mm
– Strap size 22mm
– Polished black ceramic bezel inlay, unidirectial turning bezel
– VK series Seiko/TMI movement. High quality mecha-quartz movement with mechanical pusher feel and smooth running chrono hand

316L steel case in brushed finish
Water resistance of 200 m
Sapphire crystal (flat)
Leather high quality strap with signed buckle
Available in 3 colors.

330 euros/approximately $360 usd

 

Ahhh the 70’s, vintage glory, that’s what the Stuckx Funky Bull is all about. Capturing that vintage flavor while committing to the diving goodness. The brushed stainless steel case shape is definitely unique and it’s hard not to notice that first. The case is thicker at the top and curves down thinner as it approaches the 6 o’clock position. This shape lets you get a nice angle/view of the dial when it’s on your wrist. I was actually very skeptical about the case shape until I strapped it to my wrist. I’ll talk more about that later though.

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The bullhead shaped case is with the crown and pushers on top above the 12 o’clock position is very unique indeed. The screw down style crown operates pretty easily. The crown is unsigned which I believe is a detail that is a must have. 99.9% of the time a crown should be signed with something thoughtful. It could be as simple as the company logo, but something simple makes a big addition. It’s actually easier to operate the chronograph function with the stop watch style button layout. Another interesting tidbit about the case is there are only 2 external lugs which are located on the bottom of the case. The top of the case is where the strap under-mounts via lugless style. This definitley lends itself to the unique style and shape of the watch. It’s quite refreshing to see something different when it comes to a dive style watch.

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The screw down case back is pretty plain. The only action going on back there is some small engraved info about the watch that is around the edges. I am a little disappointed with the lack of engraving on the actual case back itself. Solid case backs is an excellent place to showcase a nice ocean themed engraving or a company logo. Something here is always better than nothing.

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The unque case shape and the killer unidirectional rotating bezel make up for this though. The polished ceramic inlay on the bezel is beautiful. The bezel only features an orange triangle at the 12 o’clock position. The bezel has virtually no extra play which is a bonus. That being said the bezel is hard to rotate because the rounded bezel edges. But what’s really cool about the bezel is the cut outs of the ceramic that actually line up where the indices on the dial are. You can’t really notice that the bezel has the cutouts by looking at it, but running your finger across it makes the difference. That’s how I discovered it actually. That’s why I like spending a good amount of time with watches I review, it gives me the chance to discover all the unique details that make the watch great or in some cases not so great.

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Looking through the flat sapphire crystal you will see a funky dial that’s packed with that vintage dive watch charm. The bronze/orange dial dances when it hits the light going from an lighter shade of orange to a deep brown/bronze color. It’s one of my favorite little charming details on the watch. Something you will also notice on the dial are the 3 sundials the sub dial at the 6 o’clock position is a little harder to notice though. The sub dial at 9 indicates chrono minutes, sub dial at 3 indicates seconds and finally the sub dial at 6 indicates chrono hours. The sub dials at 3 & 9 are inset and feature some really nice subtle texturing which adds to the depth of this dial.

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The applied indices are have polished edges that really enjoy catching the light. The center of the applied indices are black. The applied markers and the hands have some lume coated on them. The glow when charged is pretty faint though, but the orange triangle on the bezel glows a cool shade of yellow. The shape of the hands are a great throwback to the vintage dive watches of the seventies. Thin,polished, long and square. The hands are absolutely beautiful. Even the hands on the sub dials are well done as well, especially the sub dial at 9 which features a red tip.

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The black inner chapter ring features a tachymeter measurement tool which comes in handy. To use the tachymeter to measure distance take note of your traveling speed. Start at the zero seconds and when the tachymeter reaches the speed that you are traveling that will be your end spot. So if you marked your traveling speed at 50 mph and the tachymeter reading reaches 50 then you have traveled 1 mile. Every time the the tachymeter reaches the 50 after its another mile traveled.

The movement Stuckx opted for in this watch is the VK series Seiko/TMI movement. Which is considered a hybrid meca quartz movement and has a  battery life is of 3 years. The fly back feature on this movement is pretty precise. By pressing the pusher on the left of the crown starts/stops the Chrono hand and the pusher on the right flies it back to start in a blink of an eye. I am one of those people who actually use the chronograph function on my watches, especially at work where I have to time to the exact second. The Funky Bull came in quite handy during my reviewing process.

The nice and soft black leather strap looks like the perfect match for this watch. I love have soft it is to the touch and how is wraps around the wrist with no raised buckling from strap stiffness. The brushed tang style buckle is signed with Stuckx. Simple but gets the job done. The unque shape of this case teamed with the super soft strap really allows the Funky to sit great on the wrist. I love how the watch angles itself towards you by being raised higher on the top of the case and gradually slimming down to the bottom. The Funky Bull is so comfortable on you will forget it’s there from a comfort perspective.

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The Funky Bull is a refreshing take on a dive watch but using that vintage charm of the dive watches from the 1970’s. The case shape is so unique and doesn’t really shine to its potential until it’s strapped on your wrist, that’s when the real magic happens. It looks so damn cool when it’s on that its hard not to contort your wrist in all angles/directions to see how it looks each way. The dial is another highlight of this watch. The color is so raw and beautiful. It’s an earthy rust color that never gets old especially when it hits certain lights. I also like the applied indices and the applied Stuckx logo on the dial. There is a ton of depth on this dial.

The Funky Bull does have a few areas for improvement though. From a personal preference nit-picky perspective the crown and caseback should feature some nice engraving, I’d even be happy with both featuring the Stuckx logo. From a functional perspective the room for improvement is the lume and the bezel edges. Brighter lume is a must have in today’s market, especially on a dive style watch. Bezel operation is also important on a dive style watch, and there is no way with diving gloves on that you would be able to rotate this bezel.

The refreshing Funky Bull is a very nice and affordable offering from Stuckx. It’s packed full of vintage charm details. I would definitley recommend the Funky Bull to someone looking for an affordable dive style watch that is a very nice break from the same old same old. It’s a watch that has strong wrist presence that is surely noticible by watch enthusists and by “Joe Public”

I want to personally thank Stephan and Stuckx for this honor and opportunity. And for putting up with my persistence😉

Thank you all for reading. I’ll be back soon.

 

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Watch Review: Chotovelli & Figli Petrolhead

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Company: Chotovelli & Figli

WEBSITE: https://chotovelli.com/collections

About:

Our Company Chotovelli and Sons is a third generation
Watchmakers from Torino. We manufacture Luxury Pilot Watches designed and inspired by Gauges and
Speedometers made by Italian car and aviation industry .

It all started in the late 1920’s with Simone Chotovelli
the first Chotovelli Watchmaker.His craftsmanship
in repairing and restoring old mechanical and automatic
movements was Well known. In 1967 he passed the
knowledge and know-how to his son Yitzchak Chotovelli
who continued the wishes of his father and by that carried
on the legacy to become a well established watchmaker.

In 2005 Sons and daughter of Yitzchak embarked on
a venture to revive the family tradition launching a unique
Military Pilot Watch collection,unsurpassed in craftsmanship
premium quality and exceptional eye for detail.

Model: Petrol Head

Specifications:

Aisi Stainless steel 316 L
50.2 Diameter / 17.1 mm Thickness
MOVEMENT SPECIFICATIONS
CAL. 2115 ANALOG QUARTZ MOV’T

BY CITIZEN WATCH CO., LTD. JAPAN

10-1/2”’ / 4.15 mm

MANUFACTURED IN JAPAN

Italian Calf Leather strap
Hardened Sapphire Glass
Engraved 8 mm crown on the 3 O’clock Position
Glossy finish Black Dial with Luminous Hands and numerals
100M /10ATM /330Ft

$355.00 USD

Sometimes a watch comes along that is just fun and that’s what the Petrol Head from Chotovelli is all about. An auto themed watch that is definitely geared towards car enthusiasts. From first glance you will notice is the large case size which comes in at 50.2mm by 17.1mm thick. It definitely will get noticed on the wrist. The large 8mm signed crown is quite impressive and operates as a standard push/pull style. The brushed stainless steel case features an engraved CHOTOVELLI on the non crown side.

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Thankfully the lugs are quite short so the watch doesn’t wear larger than its dimensions. I have 7 1/2″ wrists and the wears comfortably. The drilled lugs have decorative screw heads and standard spring bars that hold the straps on. A little disapointing that they aren’t actual screw bars. I think if you are going to go through the process of making decorative screw heads, just commit all the way to make them true screw bars.

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The fixed sterile stainless steel bezel is very nice and is my favorite part of the case itself. It’s not flat and has nice angled edges. It looks great especially when it catches the light and it allows the sapphire crystal to sit well below the bezel keeping the crystal protected. The screw down case back features some nice engraving. The engraved airplane is pretty sweet and right underneath is engraved CHOTOVELLI. What I also like about the case back is the 6 holes that encircle it. It would have been really awesome if there were screws in each of those holes. It would have added to the whole auto theme of this watch.

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The dial of the Petrol Head is where this watch really shines. The large gloss black dial is extremely easy to read. I absolutely LOVE the fuel gauge set up on the dial. At 10 and 2 there is an E and F that obviosouusly stand for empty and full just like a real fuel gauge. I also like how they are positioned at 10 & 2 which is the correct hand placement on a steering wheel. Immediately taking me back to drivers education class in high school. There is a confidently place small date window at the 3 o’clock position. Because of the large dial on the Petrol Head the date window is non-obtrusive.

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The dial also has some great color pops and stealth colors throughout it. The white hour hand and red minute/second hand to start really makes telling the time easy despite only featuring actual numbers 20 & 40. The numbers are printed in dark grey so at certain angles they actually blend into the dial. The red fuel pump at the 12 o’clock position is the highlight of the dial for me. It just adds such a great detail that makes the auto theme perfect on the Petrolhead.

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The citizen made movement inside the Petrolhead has a -/+ 20 seconds a month accuracy rate. I personally would have liked an automatic movement inside with a dashboard style indicator to show remaining power reserve. That would have played nicely into the theme of this watch.

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The Petrol Head comes on a nice black leather strap with white stitching. The strap is very soft straight out of the box. I like how thick the strap is makes it feel quality and not cheap like it won’t last. The brushed stainless steel tang buckle is unsigned. The strap works well on the watch and I think it’s the perfect strap choice. A NATO style strap would also work really well on this watch.

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The Petrol Head is a really fun watch to wear. It’s a large but comfortable watch that has great wrist presence. It’s the perfect watch for auto/race enthusiasts. My older brother is a car fanatic and he absolutely loved this watch when he saw it during my review process. Even if you aren’t a car enthusiast the Petrol Head is just a watch is a nice break from the seriousness that some watches have or try to have. The dial is hands down my favorite part of this watch. There are so many little fun details that holds true to the overall theme of the watch. I like how committed Chotovelli was to holding the consitancy throughout this watch.

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The large crown is also a great highlight of this watch. What would have been cool is if it was engraved with some kind of auto themed logo other than just the Chotovelli engraving. The dial, crown and commitment to the auto theme are definitley pros on the Petrol Head. The cons are the faux screw bars for the strap and I would have liked to see an automatic movement inside of this watch. I think having a mechanical/auto movement inside would have taken the auto theme commitment over the edge into greatness.

I want to personally thank Chotovelli & Figli for the opportunity to review the Petrol Head. It was a really fun watch to experience. I also want to thank you all for reading. You make what I do so worth it.

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Watch Review: Deaumar Ensign Prototype

 

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COMPANY: Deaumar Watches

WEBSITE: https://deaumar.com

ABOUT:

“NEVER TRUST A BALD BARBER”

This can be true of many aspects of life. It can be especially true of the world of watches.
There is a “gold rush” on at the moment. Many people seeing readily available watch designs available and are creating cheap and quick rebrands (putting their logo on the face of an otherwise stock watch), then putting them on Kickstarter as “redefining minimalist / luxury / Swiss…watches”.
These people talk about their “love” and “passion” for watches.

MODEL: Ensign

SPECIFICATIONS:

Custom 316L Solid Surgical Stainless Steel “Cushion” Shaped Case – With drilled lugs to enable easy strap changing. Screw down signed crown and screw down steel caseback.
Seiko (SII) NH36 (OEM version of the 4R36) Automatic Day / Date Movement – 24 Jewel – Hacking & Hand-winding. Charges by the movement of your wrist, never needs batteries.
Steel bezel with ceramic insert and superluminova triangle.
Slightly domed, scratch resistant, Sapphire Crystal Glass with Anti-Reflective coating.
Applied indices with C1 Super Luminova Lumed Markers.
120 Click Uni Directional Rotating Bezel.
Custom “H” link solid steel strap with Solid End Links (SELs) and 2 piece solid clasp.
200m / 20ATM Water Resistance.
Case Width – 42mm Excluding Crown.
Lug Width – 22mm.
Lug To Lug Length – 47mm.
Height – 14.3mm – including slightly domed sapphire crystal.
Weight – 170g.

One day I was standing in my friend’s tattoo shop and I came across a great sign. It stated “good tattoos aren’t cheap and cheap tattoos aren’t good”. True words. Some would also believe that this applies for watches as well. There’s a certain stereotype that when a watch is inexpensive that it’s no good. Certainly there are watch snobs that truly believe this. Today I will be exploring this offering from Ensign. It’s definitley on the affordable side coming in at under $350 USD. Let’s see if it comes at a cost?

Upon first look at the Ensign it’s hard to ignore the shape like a form fitted dress. The “cushion” shaped case is something that is out of the norm and it works well here. The case comes in at 42mm x 14.3mm, a good size in my opinion. Anything under 42mm is not in my personal sweet spot, so Deaumar gets points in my book. A start in the right direction for sure.

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The drilled lug holes are also a bonus because it makes for easy strap/bracelet changes. The curved profile of the case runs right into the lugs which gives a great profile aesthetic and assists with the whole “cushion” shape.The signed crown(Deaumar logo) screws down and up with ease you would hope to find when operating a watch with this style operating system. Though the case has no crown guards, due to the 4 o’clock location part of the lug acts like a mini crown guard.

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Like most of you, a bezel is something that can be a pretty awesome detail if it’s done correctly. From the overall design appearance to the addicting sound it makes when you rotate it around. The Ensign bezel possess all the things that make a bezel great. It’s 120 clicks are music to the ears. It sounds solid and it also has very little play. The bezel is very easy to grip. The stainless steel bezel with a ceramic inlay is as beautiful to look at as it is hearing the clicks. At the 12 o’clock position there is the welcome addition of a lumed triangle. Rising slightly above the bezel is the slightly domed and scratch resistant, sapphire crystal glass with anti-reflective coating. When dealing with dive style watches, I expect and prefer a domed crystal. And of course it has to be sapphire.

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As of late, I have been all about the solid case backs. I can’t explain why, but I am. The Ensign case back is screw down in function and high polished finish is appearence. There’s nothing fancy about the laser etching on the back, just some info about the watch and the Deaumar logo. The case is a nice combo of brushed steel and polished steel. Working together in good harmony. Making the Ensign a watch that can accompany you to work and to play.

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Especially with the stainless steel bracelet. I like when a bracelet and a case share like elements & design aesthetics. Brushed steel is what makes up most of the bracelet with subtle hints of polished finish on the sides. I’m glad that Deaumar decided to go with a mostly brushed bracelet because a full polished bracelet would look to blingy coming off cheesy.

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The dial is a real stunner. It leans more on the side of dressy than it does on the tool side. I’ll start with the dial itself which is black, not matte but gloss. There are a lot of dress qualities about this dial which make you forget what the price of this watch really is. The dial gives you the impression that the Ensign costs much more than it actually does. Even before you see the Ensign just reading the specification you would just expect this watch to cost more.

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The applied indices look really good. The polished edges of the indices nicely tie into the polished hour/minute hands. The hour and minute hands like the indices are coated with C1 Super Luminova which has a beautiful bluish tint. I love the way it looks in complete darkness. Ohhh that glow. There are some nice touches of color splashed throughout the dial that add to the depth.

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Starting with the most obvious of course is the red arrow second hand. A detail that I really like in addition to the red, is that the arrow head tip has a tiny bit of lume on it. A must have in my opinion, especially on a diver. The other color splashes on the dial come in the form of the white and red text printed on the dial. The day/date window at the 3 o’clock position adds to the dial rather than does it break up the flow. I’m not a fan of date windows but Deaumar did a nice job here. There’s a flow of consistency in the details here. The border of the date window matches the borders of the indices, and the shape mimics the shape of the 6, 9 o’clock markers.

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The dial really has some great depth and detail. The applied markers give a 3 dimensional edge, teamed with the color splashes, the shape/color of the hands, all bordered by the lovely bezel. But that’s not all that borders the dial, there’s a nice inner chapter ring with white hash marks that really makes this dial sing. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s pretty impressive giving the asking price of $332 USD.

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Ticking away inside the Ensign is the Seiko NH36. A safe and reliable movement featuring a day/date function with a central minute/hour/second hands. With a power reserve of 40 hours, 21,000 beats and an accuracy rate of -25~+35 per day. Can’t really add anything about this movement that hasn’t been said before.

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The Ensign is quite the affordable and solid offering from Deaumar. Ceo and owner Tony V. knows his watches and is a very passionate member of the watch community. I believe this is a vital position to hold because it allows watch brand owners to keep an ear to the ground to see what the watch community likes and dislikes. It allows them to deliver a good quality and wanted product.

Now keep in mind that this is a prototype and the final production piece will actually be better. I like everything about the Ensign especially considering the price. It’s affordable without sacrificing quality. You get a lot of bang for your buck.

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What would I personally change about the Ensign if I could? The pins that hold the links on the bracelet. I would change them to a single sided screw down style. They just stay in place better and make sizing the bracelet much easier. I’d also make the crown just a bit bigger so it’s easier to grip. A full brushed case would be my preference. I prefer a more tool looking dive watch as opposed to a dress style. Something that you can easily do with some home modification.

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What’s nice about the Ensign? The bezel appearance, design and solid function. It’s my favorite part of this watch. 120 clicks of pure music to the ears. The applied indices are really nice as well. The price. You can’t ignore the fact how affordable this piece is. If the prototype is this nice, I can’t wait to see the final production piece. Speaking of, once they are released I will update this review to show the final piece that will be the true Ensign.

I want to personally thank Tony for this honor and opportunity to look and explore the Ensign.

Thanks for reading!

Wrist is 7 1/2″ for reference:

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