Model: TCD-01 GMT
Case Material: Titanium – Beadblasted
Case Diameter: 42 mm
Case Thickness: 11 mm
Lug Width: 22 mm
Lug-to-Lug: 50 mm
Bezel: Titanium – Black PVD – C3 Lume – 120-Click Unidirectional
Dial: Matte Black with Superluminova C3 Markers
Crown: 8×3.5 mm – Signed
Crystal: Sapphire – Slightly Domed
Movement: Ronda 515.24D – GMT-by-Disc @ 12H
Bracelet: Titanium – 22 mm Tapers Down to 20 mm – Solid End-Links
Bonus Strap: 22 mm – Nylon Mil-Strap
Water Resistance: 30 ATM (300 m)
“Helgray was founded on the belief that classic style shouldn’t be restricted to impractical and expensive old watches.”
The TCD-01 GMT certainly upholds one fact about Helgray’s quote first and foremost, the price. It comes in at $299. I was intrigued by this price as I was reading the specifications about the watch before it arrived. I wondered to myself can Helgray really deliver a watch with these specifications, at this price point and can it look good on top of this? When I first opened up the packaging the beadblasted titanium case certainly looked nice. The finish on the case appears to be even throughout and well done. The dark grey case color gives the TCD a tool/tactical watch appearence. Size of the case: 42mm by 11mm with 22mm lugs it certainly comes in at a size that a lot of people consider their “sweet spot” Not only does the case material and finish impress me, but the fact that it comes on a titanium bracelet as well equally impressed me. Keep in mind the price point as we navigate through this review, $299.
Being made of titanium allows the TCD to wear very light. The bracelet has a deployment style clasp with 4 hole micro adjustment to fine tune the fit. I like the way the crown looks and how well it functions. It has small gear style edged and is signed with an engraved Helgray logo. The crown is also nicely protected by standard crown guards. The crown sits flush with the crown guard with only a sligh rise above because of the domed shape. While on the subject of domed shape, the sapphire crystal is also slightly domed. The crystal is protected by the PVD finished titanium bezel. The unidirectional rotating bezel has nice tight 120 click action. The indices on the bezel are coated with C3 lume. The bezel is very nice both in appearance and function with no play whatsoever. One minor flaw is that the triangle on the bezel doesn’t quite line up with the 12 o’clock hour marker. The knurled edges on the bezel look awesome adding to the tool watch style.
The screw down case back on the TCD features an engraved Helgray logo and some standard infor about the watch. A pretty standard case back. The TCD has a WR rating of 300M which is not too shabby if you ask me. Again keep in mind that this is a $300 watch and already we have seen some pretty good things that are commendable at this price point. So far I’d say the TCD is a pretty descent value.
There are things about the dial on the TCD that work and there are some things that don’t work. Let’s get the things that don’t work on the dial out of the way so we can talk about the good things, ok? There is a bit too much going on with this dial to give it good balance. There is a GMT window below the 12 o’clock hour that displays 3 numbers at once. I would have liked to see a single number display for it would have balanced better with date window at 6. Having a date window and a GMT window on the same dial creates chaos instead of balance. Both wheels are white with black printed numerals. It would have looked more pleasing to the eye if the wheels were black with white printed numerals. The date window at the 6 o’clock position completely elimated the number 6 which looks off balance with the 12, 3, and 9.
Now let’s talk about the details on the dial that actually work. The off white hour and minute hands are skeletonized and are coated with C3 lume. They look great set against the matte black dial and match perfectly with the hour indices. The red second hand offers a bit of color/detail and matches nicely with the red printed 300m. I like that lolipop second hand is partially skeletonized as well. Yes it would have been nice to see a lumed lolipop, but this detail matches the hour/minute hand. I’m glad that Helgray kept the text on the dial simple and limited it to their logo, name and 300m. The circle hour indices look great and are my favorite detail on this dial, aside from the hands.
Inside the TCD is the quartz movement the Ronda 515.24D – GMT. This movement has a standard battery life 45 months.
It’s pretty accurate as one would expect from a quartz movement, which during my review process it didn’t lose or gain any time.
The TCD has a lot to offer for its $299 price point. You get a nice beadblasted titanium case and bracelet. You also get a nice nylon Mil-strap. The PVD titanium bezel feels quality and looks great as well. The screw down crown also looks nice and functions without flaw. The busy dial is a bit disappointing as it could have been cleaned up a bit with a few simple changes, but also keep in mind that this is a $299 watch. The matte black dial is beautiful and the off white hands and indices look awesome both in daylight and at night thanks to the C3 lume.
This is the type of watch that I can wear to chop fire wood while wearing it, change the oil in my car, throw on with jeans & a t-shirt to meet my friends up at the local bar with. In other words, it would make a great daily beater that you don’t have to worry about damaging. One reason is because being made of titanium and two, you didn’t break the bank to buy it. On the bracelet it dresses up well and you could even transition it to the office.
If you haven’t experienced a dive watch before and want to get in to see what they are about, this would be a good choice for you. You do get a lot for your dollar here. I really like the overall look of this watch as it reminds me of German made tool watches.
Thanks to Helgray for the opportunity to review the TCD. Thanks for reading, if you have any questions or comments please post them below.