What attracts you to buy a watch? The brand name? The company’s history? Price? When I was fairly new to watch collecting what I looked for was a company with a long running history and also I only looked at certain brands. As I became more immersed within the watch industry and community I discovered that my narrow vantage point was causing me to miss out on some pretty fantastic pieces. Some up and coming watch brand owners, watch enthusiasts befriended me and began my education on smaller, passionate brands. There is so much passion in some of these smaller brands that is quite infectious. The more immersed I got, the more enthusiastic I became. Igniting a re-energized flame inside of me making me become much more excited about watches and much more excited to experience watches. And I haven’t looked back since…………….
Today, I will be looking at a watch from a passionate watch maker, and the watch is the Aquator Corps. I discovered this watch on Instagram. The clean dial immediately caught my attention in the pictures that I saw. The large yellow hour markers where very hard to ignore. I really liked was how the Corps did a different spin on the numeral layout by including only the even numerals. It creates a new and unique balance to the traditional watch dial layout that I have become accustomed to. They color of the numerals does change depending on the lighting. Sometimes they appear to be yellow, while other times they take on a more orange appearance.
The Corps dial includes a nice, detailed seconds/minute track that is reminiscent of the old military field watches which adds to the overall old school tool watch feel that encompasses the Corps. The sword style hands completes that feel. The attention to detail on these hands is what impressed me the most. Each hand touches the markers that they indicate. For example the hour hand touches the hour markers, the minute hand reaches the minute markers and the long second hand reaches the second markers. This really assists you when you need percission timing in the field. Whether your field is the office, or if your field is out in nature, the Corps will assist those timing needs. This dial has what you need, no more, no less. This holds true with the text as well, where all you will find is ‘Aquator’. Simple, balanced with a lovely vintage feel, sums up this dial.
The 45mm case is also simple, yet full of that vintage charm. A combination of brushed and polished finish. The Corps features a fixed bezel which allows the dial to be the full focal point. The main star of case on the Corps has to be the engraved case back.
The case back was a surprise to me when I received the watch. I had no idea what the solid, screw down case back was going to look like. It also revieled to me some specs on the Corps that I was equally surprised by. Shockprotected, antimagnetic, perfect additions to a tool/field watch in my opinion. I don’t baby watches by any means and the Corps exceeded my expectations on how it handled itself while I was hiking, trudging through waste deep mud and water. It never faulted.
The short, curved lugs allow the Corps not only wear comfortably but also allows for comfort as well. The Corps comes on a thick, padded, handmade leather strap. This strap has the look and feel of a high priced, well crafted custom strap that I have come to love over my years as a watch collector and enthusiast. Vintage looking leather with small, white stitching, with a slightly distressed finish. I love swapping out straps on all of my watches, but honestly I don’t think that I could change this strap, it completes the look of the Corps and stays true to that vintage feel that encompasses this watch. To complete the look of this strap, it has a nice polished buckle signed with an engraved ‘Aquator’.
The screw down crown functions well as one would expect from their watch. Now this is the only area of the Corps that my suggestions come into play to improve upon the design. I would have really liked to see a larger crown for easier operation in the field. I also would have liked to see the crown signed with the same logo that is engraved on the case back. This really would have finished the Corps case brilliantly in my opinion.
Ticking away inside the Aquator Corps is the swiss ETA 2836-2 workhorse and highly reliable movement. We all know this movement so I don’t need to bore you with what you already know. I will say though that this movement in the review piece times in at +7 seconds per day.
The Aquator Corps is a well made watch that will surely handle any adventure. It handled everything that I dished out at it. When I was climbing, I banged the mineral crystal pretty hard against a rock, I thought for sure when I turned my wrist over that it was going to be chipped or shattered, but much to my surprise it didn’t have any mark on it after I wiped off the dust from the rock. The Corps is a nice interpretation of a classic field watch. It comes in at $599 which you do get a lot of nice specs for your money. I know some people will have a problem with the choice of the hardened mineral crystal as apposed to sapphire crystal.
When I saw the dial for the first time at night, I was truly wowed as everything that is printed on the dial, is coated with lume. Glowing a lovely shade of green. I would definitely recommend the Corps to anyone looking for nice, hand assembled field watch. You definitely won’t find another one like it on someone else’s wrist, a unique wrist experience.
I want to personally thank Aquator and you all for reading. As always, I welcome your questions and comments below.