Stretching your dollar, getting the most for your money, bang for your buck, I am sure all of these sayings we are quite familiar with. There is always a saying that I have been hearing lately as well that I am not that familiar with “good watches aren’t cheap, cheap watches aren’t good.” This stems from some people’s apprehension of going for a microbrand purchase. I have friends on both sides of this fence and as we delve into today’s review hopefully both sides will gain something for this.
Today I will be looking at Helm’s latest release, the Khuraburi. It is their follow up piece after the widely popular Vanuatu. The Khuraburi’s dial immediately grabs my attention from the initial unboxing of the watch. The unique hour markers are undeniably attention grabbers. They are nice and wide, extremely legible both in daylight and at night. Now Helm keeps the legibility train rolling here on the Khuraburi by adding large, wide hands. I think that the applied markers and the hand combination works great in terms of functionality and visual aesthetics. If you are using this watch in the water you will have no problems reading this dial, whether in clear or murky water. The double-domed sapphire with internal anti-reflective coating.
I like that the hour and minute hands have a nice, thin black border around the edges which gives a good contrast. What I also like what Helm did on this dial is that the hour markers at 12, 3, 6, and 9 are split, and the rest of the numbers are solid. This detail comes in handy when you need reference points in low lit or at quick glance. The second hand is sized perfectly as my personal preference which means it extends out to the minute/second track. This comes in handy when using the Khuraburi to time things to the exact second.
Something that I want to mention that lays credit to Helm’s thought process in this dial design is this: as I mentioned earlier the hands, markers are wide, so Helm opted to keep the rest of the dial clean/simple. They achieved this by not only keeping the text to a minimum but the also printed the text in a dark grey that is visible in certain angles/lighting and disappears in other angles/lighting. The lume treatment on the Khuraburi is definitely flashlight quality as you can see in the pic below which was taking after about 30 seconds under a light source and in partial light. You can imagine what it looks in complete darkness and with a stronger/longer charging.
The case of the Khuraburi is almost as unique as the dial and the bezel does an excellent job framing this dial. The bezl functions way better than one would expect at this price point. Not only does it line up perfectly with the 12 o’clock marker, but there is absolutely no extra play whatsoever. Nice tight 120 click action. The sapphire crystal insert looks great and allows the C3 to glow clear like a flashlight at night.
316L Stainless Steel
Insert: Flat Sapphire with C3 Luminous Markings
120-Click, Unidirectional Rotation
Diameter: 43 mm
Removable / Replaceable: Yes
The rounded sides of the case give the Khuraburi a nice finished look. The Khuraburi is also a good size that will appease fans of both larger cases and smaller cases. Coming is at 45mm with the crown, 16mm thick and 49mm lug to lug. The Khuraburi has great wrist presence and great wearability both in and out of the water. The Khuraburi has curved lugs that are drilled which makes strap changes a bit easier with less chance of scratching the lugs with the right tool.
The screw down crown located at the 10 o’clock position offers a unique look and change of pace from the typical 3 o’clock position. The 316 L stainless 8mm crown is easy to grip and use with both dry and wet hands. The crown is finished off with the Helm logo making have a completed look and feel. Which coincidentally matches the screw down case back which features a larger Helm logo smack dab in the middle. Without any crown guards this gives the Khuraburi’s brushed 316L stainless steel case an overall clean appearance. The case is guaranteed WR to 990 ft.
The movement ticking away at 21,600 beats per hour is the automatic Seiko NH38. With a projected accuracy rate of -20 ~ +40 seconds per day and a power reserve of 40 hours, you won’t have to worry about accuracy or winding this watch very often if you have it on your wrist for a few days. The Khuraburi used for my review was timed at +10 seconds per day while it was on the beach, in the ocean, hiking, rock/cliff climbing and chilling at home.
Seiko Instruments NH38 (Automatic Mechanical)
Hacking and Manual Winding Functions
Accuracy: -20 ~ +40 seconds/day
The Helm comes with a nice assortment of options for attaching the Khuraburi to your wrist. It comes with a SS2 brushed stainless steel bracelet with matching brushed finished clasp. The 22 mm bracelet tapers to 20 mm at clasp. The bracelet has a maximum Length: 190 mm (7.5″) and a minimum Length: 110 mm (4.375″). The bracelet is well made, solid and adds some weight to the Khuraburi, total weight with the bracelet is 225 grams. The clasp on the bracelet is solid. I had the same type of clasps on a watch that cost $4,000 and the clasp on the Khuraburi’s bracelet is so much better in terms of thickness and stability. On the included nylon strap it weighs in at 125 grams.
NS1 Nylon Strap comes in your choice of 4 colors and it features stainless steel Buckle and keeper rings. The CS1 canvas straps pictured in some photos is also available but separately If you purchase the canvas strap with the Khuraburi, Helm offers a discount for the canvas strap. I am a sucker for canvas straps, so it was a no brainer for me personally. The canvas strap looks fantastic and is well made.
$300 for the Khuraburi total package. You can decide for yourself if you think this is a good value for your dollar. My personal feelings are that this value is hard to beat for what you get in terms of the extras and in terms of the overall quality of the Khuraburi. I have had the opportunity to review each of Helm’s previous releases and I can say with all honesty that each release is an improvement from their last offering. The lume on the Khuraburi is unbelievablely good on both the dial and on the bezel.
I can with confidence recommend the Khuraburi to anyone looking to enter the microbrand world, anyone looking for a great “daily beater”, or to seasoned “vets” of the watch world looking for a fun watch to wear. My personal highlights of the Khuraburi are the crown and bezel, both look great and more importantly function perfectly. The area of improvement if I am going the nit picky route are the end links in terms of the middle of the end links don’t match the angle of the middle of the actual links and the sides of end links are finished a bit rough. Other than that, I can’t really find any other areas for improvement at this price point.
Thanks to Helm and thank you all for reading. As always, I welcome your comments and questions below.