Watch Review: Moduco “Vitruvius” prototype

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Not to distant, in the near past, I used to not be a fan of surprises. I was the type of person who would skip ahead in a book to see how it would end. If I knew that you already watched a movie that we are watching together, that I haven’t seen, I would beg you to tell me what happens in the end. My begging wouldn’t stop until you told me. Yes, I was that guy!  The past few years this has slowly changed and I now enjoy being surprised by things especially movies, books , and TV shows.  I especially hate accidently reading a spoiler for a movie.

I am the same way with watches in the sense of being surprised. I make it a point to not read other peoples watch reviews especially if it is a watch that I may have the opportunity to review. This is also why I don’t go into detail about a watch’s packaging. I like you to be surprised when you get a watch in. Most of the time a watch’s package is an extension of the watch’s personality. Today I will be reviewing a new piece from Moduco. For this review I am using  the nickname for this piece the “Vitruvius” after the Roman architect you will figure out why as we go through this review together.

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Not only was I surprised by this watch but I was instantly facinated by it’s design architecture. Let me start with the finishes on this case which is a beautiful combination of Vertical, horizontal, diaganol brushed marks and matte blasted finishes with a touch of high polished thrown in for flavor. The diagonal strokes on the bezel are quite stunning. When looking top down on this watch seeing the matte blasted finished part of the case beneath the diagonal brushstrokes looks amazing. The very outer edges of the bezel is high polished offering just enough of a light catching effect this can also be found around the edges of the case back which gives a nice difinitive beginning and an end to the top and bottom to this case when viewing the case from a profile view.

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The next design aspect of the “Vitruvius” that I really enjoy is the cylinder shape of the case. Like a piece of well designed architecture, the outer portion of this case nicely arches from tip of lug to tip of lug. This portion of the case is sandblasted matte finished and borders /embraces the cylinder portion of the case. The cylinder portion of the case is beautifully finished with horizontal brushstrokes. I like how thick the cylinder portion of the case appears. The case back is held in place by six flat head screws which are not only functional but also add a nice bit ofdetail to the case back. I have always said that the case back is an extension of the watch’s personality and should always be utilized by the watch designer. Moduco certainly utilized this space wisely with some nice engraving and brush stroke finish.

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The crown is also another area that a company should use for the extending of detail and extending of personality. Normally my preferred method of this is when a company features a signed crown, but Modoco did something a bit different but did so in a way that holds true to the “Vitruvius” personality. The push/ pull style crown is not signed but features the same beautiful brush strokes that are found throughout this case. The crown is extremely easy to grip because of the gear style edges and the beveled angle of the gear edges.

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The short lugs allow the watch to wear smaller than the dimensions suggest. The squared angled lugs are part of the blasted finish portion of the case and definitely part of the architectural portion as well. The quick release spring bars easily attach to the lugs and hold the leather strap in place without fail. The brown leather strap features some nice white even stitch work. The buckle on the strap is a nice extension of detail that are also found on the case itself. The buckle is a combination of brushed and polished finishes. The buckle also has flathead screws that match the flathead screws on the case back. This is something I like to see when a company pulls in design elements and consistently distributes them throughout all elements of the watch.

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Moduco didn’t exclude the dial when distributing those details. I have to be honest here when I first saw this watch online it was the large oversized applied roman numeral XII that pulled my interest in. From the pictures that I did see of this watch on their website, I initially thought that the XII was painted white.  But to my delight, it is in fact brushed finished, which again brings all elements of this watch together into design mechanical harmony. Something that is truly a hard accomplishment to achieve even for seasoned watch designers. The dial can be seperated into a top and bottom layer. The top layer is matte black and features the large oversized applied XII. In addition to the XII,  Moduco and Swiss made are the only printed text on this dial. The XII gives a 3 dimensional look to this dial that creates a very cool effect.

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The hands also remain true and consistent to the design of this piece. Each hand is matte brushed finished. The hour and minute hand is semi- skeletonized with squared tip/ends and these hands also feature some lume. The hands are very legible because they are set against the matte black dial. The “sub-layer” of this dial features brushed metal that nicely shines through the cut out hour markers on the matte black top layer. The semi-skelontized hands tie into this dial design as well. This is what I truly appreciate about the “Vitruvius” is that you can tell each design element was well thought out and planned for. Not just overnight either, this watch took some long planning and it is evident when you explore this watch.

This watch will be available at campaign time:

Automatic: $599 instead of $999 for LIMITED super early bird (save up to $400)
Quartz: $299 instead of $499 for LIMITED super early bird (save up to $200)

I am pleasantly surprised on how well executed this watch is. The finish on the case is some of the best that I have seen on a watch in this price point and can even rival watches above this price point. Especially considering that it is done by hand. This case is a real piece of architectural artwork. I would like to see a screw down crown which is always my personal preference on a watch. This watch has some great wrist presence which also comes off as a watch in a higher price point, especially if you get the early bird savings.

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I don’t often review pre-campaign watches just based off of past experiences , but this is surprisingly one of the nicest executed watches that I have looked at in the  pre-campaign phase. If you are considering this watch and if the production pieces match this prototype then you should have No worries in terms of case design and execution. I will be updating this review once I get the opportunity to handle the actual production piece, but we will explore the automatic verison next. I will also be taking it on some outdoor adventures with a ton of pictures. 

I would like to personally thank you all for reading and as always your questions and comments are welcome below.

Thanks to Moduco for allowing me to explore their proto- type.

Specifications:

Case 44mm, stainless steel 316L, sandblast finishing
Bezel 41.5mm with vertical brushed sides, polished bevel and diagonal top brushed
Caseback Screwed case-back with vertical brushed sides, polished bevel and diagonal brushed bottom. Acid-etched marking
Crystal Flat sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating inside
Dial Matte upper layer dial. Cut out indexes shows lacquered sunray lower layer. High rise (1mm) vertical brushed applied XII
Hands Skeleton hands with vertical brushed finishing and Tritec Luminova C1
Strap Italian calf leather, COrdura textile, nylon nato, stainless steel mesh
WR 100meters / 330 feet

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Watch Review: Jorg Gray Covert

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Who remembers playing manhunt when they were younger? It was one of my favorite games. My favorite part was the hiding. I remember getting all my camouflage gear on. Using my compass, pretending like I knew how to use it to my advantage. Digging my self into some mud, bushes like Arnold did in Predator or Stallone in Rambo. Two guys that I definitely looked up to as a kid. Laying in the brush, trying to slow my breathing to a quiet, almost non existent sound and motion. Hearing nothing my my heart beat, crickets chirping and the sound of distant footsteps coming through the woods. The thrill of the chase, the thrill of childhood.

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When the Covert watch arrived I was magically transported back to those childhood games. All of the fun memories that went along with it, old friends, the endless laughter, the adrenaline rush. Oh man, what a rush to the senses. The dial was definitely the first thing that I noticed, how could I not right? The camouflage dial is definitely cool and was the key to triggering all those memories. Watches can definitely trigger memories in this sense and also in the sense of I can look at a watch in my collection and instantly remember memories of places/experiences that I went through with that specific watch on my wrist. JG definitely help grab ahold and pull out some great memories.

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The black case with the camo dial and green strap all goes together perfectly. Everything is very well tied together with a great military feeling. The 48mm case may sound large but it has a 12mm thinner profile and shorter lugs so it wears more like 44mm. What I like about the Covert case is the fixed bezel with the hexagon head screw detail that holds the bezel in place. The bezel gives the Covert a rugged look and feel. While I was hiking I hit the mud and some mud stuck inside one of the screw heads which you can see in some of the pics. Normally I don’t like my watches to get dirty, but the Covert wears it well just like Arnold did in Predator. I just wished that the crown on the Covert was a screw down crown. The push/pull action functions just fine, but on a watch like this I prefer that added insurance that a screw down offers.

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The camo dial is a definite highlight of the Covert watch and definitely adds to the covert theme. The orange chronograph hand is hard to ignore as orange being a bold color and the nice JG initial accent on the end. The orange hand also matches the military time hour markers that are printed in orange around the Covert’s dial. The high polished semi-skeletonized hour and minute hands also look good which in fact match the the high polished finishes found on the Covert’s dial as well, the date window border, the subdials borders/hands and the applied markers. All look nice, but I must say are an odd choice for a covert watch. Brushed, matte would have been a more consistent choice for the theme of this watch in my opinion.

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The dial and subdials are quite legible. The sub dials with their black background and white printed numerals remind me of a helicopters instrument panel. The sub dial located newr the 3 o’clock position is a small seconds dial and the sub dial at the 9 o’clock position is a 30 minute counter for the chronograph function. I have to nit pick the chronograph orange hand because it doesn’t line up perfectly with the 12 o’clock position which drives my OCD tendencies crazy. The hands and the applied markers received some lume treatment. It’s definitely not the brightest lume that I have experienced but it gets the job done.

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If you judge by the price tag of $395 USD, you probably can guess that the movement is going to be a quartz movement, a Ronda movement to be exact. Which is sealed behind the screw down stainless steal case back. If this was an automatic chronograph movement the price would be much more. The canvas strap on the Covert is my favorite part of this watch. It is very well made with some really nice padding and sticth work. The back of the strap has some super soft genuine leather that adds to the wearing comfort this watch possesses. The strap connects to the lugs via traditional spring bars and straps to your wrist via a traditional buckle system.

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The Covert is a nice companion piece for those little adventures that you really don’t mind if you get your watch dirty or scratched up. In fact as I spent time with the Covert I kept thinking how awesome this watcg would look with a distressed case. It handled everything that I threw at it during my review from ice, snow, mud, water, etc… Like I mentioned earlier I would have loved to see a screw down crown on this piece which would ease the water exposure fear a little bit more even though it has a 100m WR rating.

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The Covert does come with a few areas of improvement such as the lume quality. I also would have preferred matte finish on the dial to make it more true to the theme of this watch. The case design is solid and the canvas strap is fantastic. I also really love the camo dial with the little accents of orange.  It wears great on the wrist with a low profile and the shorter lugs doesn’t make it feel like a 48mm watch. I also like how the button pushers for the chronograph are designed to look like crown guards as opposed to traditional pusher that you typically see on chronograph style watches.

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The Covert is a nice offering from JG. I would recommend it to someone looking for a weekend beater watch that can handle a camping or hiking adventure. It’s definitely not a wear with a suit kind of watch. It’s a watch that just is asking to get dirty, to have some outdoors fun.

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I want to personally thank you for reading my review and as always your comments and questions are welcome below.

I would also like to personally thank Jorg Gray.

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Watch Review: Vario Eclipse

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Ever since I was young I was always drawn towards anime. Pun slightly intended. Even if you didn’t directly release that you were watching anime, in a way you were. Especially if you were watching Voltron, Thundercats, etc… As I got older I got more and more into anime, which paved the way for my love & appreciation of the sub-culture, all of the Asian cultures, which all of it truly fascinated me and still does. It gave me a bigger and deeper understanding of the world around me. Opened my eyes to other cultures, other experiences.

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One of my favorite things of the watch community and having my blog is all the people I get to meet from all different cultures, countries, religions, races. We all come together and share a common love of watches. I have been fortunate enough to build some amazing and cherished friendships along the way. I really appreciate that even though I am sometimes a world apart, we have been brought together by time itself in it’s mechanical form. Just as the mechanical robot Voltron brought unity to the galaxy, it seems to me that watches possess that same power. The power of unity within the watch community. I am truly blessed to review watches from all over the world, I get to see the beauty of the world through time itself.

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“Chinese mythology speaks of a great hero that shot down nine scorching suns to save the human race, and in return for his deeds received an elixir that would make him a god. He offered to share it with his wife, who took it in secret and ascended to the moon by herself, but a hound, loyal companion to the hero, took what little elixir remained and followed her, swallowing both the wife and moon causing the first lunar Eclipse. The celestial army recognized this as a great feat of loyalty and bravery. The hound was made a celestial being and allowed to guard the heavenly gate.”

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Today we will be exploring the Vario Eclipse watch that arrived all the way from Singapore. I included the above story from Vario’s website because not only did I think it was incredibly interesting but it is also prevalent to a design element of the Eclipse watch itself. Vario has done something that I have been a fan of for a long time. The extended the Eclipse’s personality to the solid case back. The case back features a hollering wolf, a full moon and Chinese characters that translate to “Heavenly Hound devours the Moon” The case back is what drew me to this watch actually and it is what I immediately went to when I received this watch.

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The stainless steel case back is held in place by four flathead screws which is a look that I like to see on watches because not only does it serve a functional purpose but it also adds some detail. The crown is another example of that same function & detail combination. The crown on the Eclipse is much smaller than crowns I am typically accustomed to, though it is proportional to the 38mm case. Even with it’s size, the crown is very easy to use when winding the watch. The crown is a push/pull style. As you know I think that screw down crowns are my preferred choice, but given the size of this crown, it would be a little difficult on then operating end of things had it been a screw down crown. The crown is signed with the Vario ‘V’ logo.

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The long rounded curved lugs give the Eclipse some vintage charm to go with it’s 38mm charm. One design choice of Vario’s that I can appreciate about the lugs is the fact that they drilled. Again, bringing some detail/function to the Eclipse. Drilled lugs make changing the strap a breeze. If you use the right tool, you even cut down on scratching the lugs even more. The 20mm lugs have a spring style bar holding the strap. I like the look of the lugs on the Eclipse, they remind me of vintage fenders from a classic car.

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Just as the lugs have that smooth, rounded fender feel, the rounded edges of the case itself has that same look and feel. The high polished finish of the stainless steel case really seals that look and feel. Follow the case curves up to the dial side and you will see my next favorite design detail on the Eclipse, the double domed sapphire crystal. There is something about double domed crystals that I love running my thumb across the crystal and looking at its profile. The crystal completes the look and feel of the Eclipse’s case.

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Complementing the double domed crystal is the convex sunburst blue dial. It is extremely satisfying to watch the blue change color as you change the lighting. The Eclipse is a simple yet charming 3 handed watch, with a overall clean/sterile dial. The only text that appears on the dial is an applied crome ‘Vario’ that nicely matches the high polished hands. The hands have a very long sleek design, especially the seconds hand which looks like a needle. With no numerals on the dial, Vario utilized printed white line markers, with longer markers at the traditional 12, 3, 6 and 9 positions. Keeping true to the clean aesthetics, the Eclipse’s dial is free of any date window.

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Ticking away inside the Eclipse is the Miyota 6T33 hand-wound mechanical movement, which has an accuracy rate  -20~ +40 seconds per day and an power reserve of 40 hours. The twead strap that is included with the Eclipse is very cool and unique, the first strap of it’s kind that I have come across. It definitely possesses that vintage professor charm.

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The Vario Eclipse is a charming little watch that possesses a bit of a mythological enigma surrounding it. Coming in at 38mm it is the smallest watch that I have reviewed. I didn’t know what to expect when it came in, but I was pleasantly surprised though how charming 38mm really is. This is also my first time reviewing a watch with a mechanical hand wound Miyota movement.

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I have two suggestions for design details that I think would improve the Eclipse. Since this watch is themed around Chinese mythology involves the sun and the moon. We see that the sun is represented by the sunburst dial, but it would be cool to have some lume to represent the moon. If not on the hands, the case back or crown would be my next choice. A engraved moon on the crown treated with lume would be awesome. The crown is my second suggestion, an oversized crown would greatly improve winding and setting the time, especially because you have to solely rely on the crown to wind this watch.

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Now my final suggestion/recommendation is more of me thinking outside of the box and being a complete watch nerd. But it would be really cool if the case back was hinged, opening up to reveal the mechanical movement. The case back could be the moon and open up the back to reveal a wolf printed on the underside of the crystal.

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This is a good watch for a daily wearer for the office or for play and it comes in at $300. This watch can also be worn by men and women. Every day I see more and more women getting into watches which is awesome to see. Vario is off to a good start with their Eclipse and I am curious to see what the future holds for the brand.

I would like to personally thank you all for reading and as always your questions and comments are welcome below.

A special thanks to Ivan from Vario.

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Specifications

Case diameter: 38mm
Height to apex of crystal: 10mm
Case thickness: 7mm
Crystal: 3mm double dome sapphire (anti-reflective coated on inner surface)
Case material: 316L stainless steel
Dial: convex sunburst dial  blue
Strap: 20mm harris tweed strap
Movement: Miyota 6T33 hand-wound mechanical movement (4 Hz)

Watch Review: Formex Element

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I have a question for everyone, do watches still manage to surprise you? Are you surprised by certain design choices, dial layouts, case shape/size, material used, overall quality etc….. There are a ton of re-hashed designs that we see over and over again, so of course in those instances the only surprise to me is that someone thought that we needed yet another re-hash design.

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I personally don’t have a problem with homages because let’s face it, it gives an affordable option to buyers who have a limited budget. I do like original, unique designs, but these often prove to be a risky move for companies because there is a limited market for these type of watches. Sometimes a company can merge familiar design elements with their own unique design elements which can create something worth looking at and experiencing.

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Speaking of elements, today we will be looking at the Formex Element watch. The stainless steel case immediately received first notice. Formex patented suspension case is always something unique to see and hold. I really like the look and feel of the 46mm x 14.5 case when it’s strapped to my wrist. It feels substantial and quite solid.

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Most of the Element’s case has a brushed finish with small pops of high polished accents that are found on the lugs, crown, button pushers and case suspension posts and screwheads. The combination of finishes creates a very completed look to the case and allows the right amount of light to catch those high polished accents.

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Another detail that is carried throughout this watch that also adds to the complete/finished appearance of the Element is the brush lines. The brush lines look amazing and allows two worlds to merge as one on the Element. I like that this watch can easily transition from the office/dress attire to the weekend jeans and t-shirt attire, and looks great both ways.

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But getting back to the brushed finish, it can be found on the case itself, the fixed zirconium oxide ceramic and on the dial itself. This consistent detail that is carried out throughout the watch is a testament to Formex dedication to delivering a quality, well finished piece. I really like how the bezel looks like it was freshly cut with the brushed look on top and the polished look around the outer edges. This is another detail that Formex planned out to balance the Element in that dress watch/tool watch harmony that really works well together. While I am speaking of harmony, the Element’s patented suspension is supported by pentagon head screws. The pentagon  shape can also be found on the crown. I love to see carryover of details throughout a watch’s design.

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The crown is a push/pull style crown which functions well and functions as it should. This is my main focus of a suggestion to make the Element even better. A screw down crown would be my recommendation to improve upon an already well designed watch. This detail would be especially important if you are using the Element more on the adventure side of things as I have during the review process. A screw down crown was my only area of concern during my snow filled adventure. Definitely not a deal breaker but it would definitely be an awesome added detail.

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The dial has some nice carry over of details that can also be found on the case itself. If you hold the Element to certain angles you can see brush marks on the dial that match the fixed bezel and the brushed stainless steel on the case, all of which looks pretty fantastic. Formex even took things a step further with the hands of the Element. If you look at the macro picture below you can see that the hands are a nice combination of polished and brushed finishes. I have personally never seen hands with this combination and the Elements hands look absolutely stunning.

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I want you to also take notice of the border around the date window, again carryover of detail. Look how nice the brushed finish looks as it borders the date window. Formex really dedicated themselves in some serious thought and planning in the design process of the Element, and executed their plan with complete dedication throughout this watch.

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Exploring the dial of the Element allows you to take notice of the depth that has been created by all of the different textures, materials and overall layout. The sunken subdials with their guilloche style background are quite balanced in both size and placement on the dial itself. The balance is maintained through the fact that all of the applied markers are present on the dial. Once again Formex attention to detail shines through on the applied markers, because we find that lovely combination of brushed and polished finishes.

The Element showing off it’s super luminova charm. 

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Ticking away inside the Element is the tried and tested ETA Valjoux 7750 movement that allows the fluidity of the hands movement. The chronograph flyback action is very crisp and returns to start in perfect alignment. The button pushers also operate smooth and functions without fail.

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I am not normally drawn to chronograph watches, but the Formex Element made me seriously look at this watch and more importantly made me appreciate this chronograph. The case is a real work of art which is comprised of 38 individual pieces. The hand finished components of this case is what makes it truly come alive with the combination of polished, brushed and blasted. Formex did not cut a single corner in the design and construction of the Element. I only found one area for improvement that I mentioned above.

If you click the above images you can see the rugged yet incredibly light-weight folding clasp which is made of carbon fiber composite with a stainless-steel cover. The clasp has an easy to use and easy to find a perfect fit thanks to the patented fine-adjustment. In my cold weather adventure I needed a tighter fit and was able to adjust it easily to find that perfect fit. What I found pretty cool was when I returned in doors and sat by the fire to warm up, I was once again able to adjust the fit to compensate for the warm swelling of my wrist. The leather strap itself is soft and very pliable.

Formex has designed a very well rounded and well done watch. A watch that I wouldn’t think twice about recommending to someone. The suspension case allows for the watch to conform to your daily adventure for optimal comfort and for optimal protection as well. There are so many little details that I found myself gushing over both personally as a watch nut enthusiast and professionally as a watch reviewer/blogger. The lugs alone are a true work of art and they will stay scratch free with strap removal because of the quick release strap bars/pins.

The dial is very legible and is a work of art just as the case is. The little accents of red found throughout this dial just add to the real depth of the dial. The white printed second markers on the rehaut on the Element gives an ideal border to the dial. The greyed flat sapphire crystal that is found on the exhibition case back gives just enough view of the legendary ETA movement. The Element handled my adventures without fail. I can say with confidence that it will handle your adventures as well.

Apart from creating and manufacturing an amazing watch, it was Formex’s goal to offer it at an unprecedented value for money (hence their tagline “the most affordable high-end watch in the world”). Formex achieved this by a decision they made about a year ago to focus exclusively on a direct-to-consumer distribution. Because Formex is able to sell directly to the customer, they are able to cut out any retailer margins and offer their watches at an affordable price compared to that of a retailer’s price. I know a lot of you like to try on a watch before you buy it. Formex helped solve that issue by developing their own app that allows you try on their watches virtually on your wrist.

More about the Formex TryOn App here

https://www.formexwatch.com/en/release_tryon_app/.

From Formex: “Deciding for an online only distribution channel, we also tried to eliminate all the drawbacks of online shopping and price all our watches INCLUDING shipping, taxes & duties, 30-day free returns and a 3 year warranty. With that, you’ll end up paying exactly what you see on our website and won’t receive a unpleasant bill from customs. Selling direct only also allowed us to be in direct contact with our customer and get direct feedback on product quality and durability – plus our customers really appreciate it to talk directly to the manufacturer in all stages of buying and owning a Formex watch.”

I want to personally thank you for reading and as always your questions and comments are welcome below.

I would also like to personally thank Formex as well.

3/13/18 UPDATED PHOTO SHOOT, THE ELEMENT TURNED LOOSE IN THE URBAN JUNGLE.

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5F5A05AA-F94B-447A-8B3D-12805652CBB3A2313AA7-E8B8-4328-872F-2C002221CFD95A9D835D-2180-48D7-BCA4-A206CFDFEFA2FC9BD392-162E-477A-B0B2-5C665208A678A09CB66F-6540-4530-B361-A9AD84FD662CDB2C8779-DA47-4546-BB36-EC6AB17CCF93FA71BE93-11D1-4174-A5DB-CE819014BA51DEE58AB2-1671-48F6-BC4F-F6D183319E4A6F009BCC-97B7-42AC-ABD9-B4437FF227385FB92AA9-9CF3-4E1D-8D2D-66E05BC1CC87A566AFA4-9E8F-4A6B-8EB3-2A4D3822D1AC1577A6F6-FE41-4B89-B3BB-46716077514C1FAB6CE5-F3DE-4DBE-94FA-8D1316AFC19A95B741FC-CDF7-4578-8883-F34C06FF5CB0

Specifications:

Movement
ETA Valjoux 7750 (13 1/4”) Automatic, Chronograph with weekday and date display. 42 hour power reserve

Case
Diameter: 46mm
Height: 14.5mm
Specials: Patented case suspension
Waterproofness: 10ATM (100 m)

Material
Case: Stainless Steel 316L
Container: Titanium Grade 2
Bezel: Zirconium Oxide Ceramic
Glass: Sapphire crystal with anti-reflection treatment
Strap: Black Italian calf leather with embossed croco pattern and black stitching
Clasp: Folding clasp with carbon fibre composite frame with fine adjustment function and stainless steel 316L clasp

Dial
Black satin-finished base with machined indexes, 60 second scale on the flange and super luminova on hands and indexes

Price: $1490 USD

 

 

Watch Review: Andersmann Classic

5106E999-B0C8-4782-BEC8-8F3134D75DABI want to talk movies here for a minute. I am sure some of you are like myself when you see a movie and you absolutely love it, sometimes blown away by it. Watch it over and over again, never growing tired of it. Then you hear the sequel announcement. You get super excited to see where the movie will go next, watching the trailers, looking at pictures from the set, building your excitement, counting down the days until the release. Then the big day arrives, you see the sequel, but instead of loving it, you walk away disappointed. It is hard for movie makers to capture the magic of the first film, I have seen it happen over and over again. But there are those rare occasions where the sequel is actually better than the first movie. A real rarity but it does and has happened. Sometimes an even rarer occurrence happens when the movie is actually better than the book, and even rarer than that, is when a reboot is better than the original.

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Where am I going with this you ask? Well, sometimes the movie scenario that I just explained happens within the watch world as well. I had the opportunity to review watches from Andersmann in the past. It was a rare occurrence because I completely skipped the first movie, reviewed the sequel, and the 3rd in the trilogy, the Deep Ocean. Which completely blew me away. I was nervous when I saw the Classic for the first time and when I read the specs. Smaller case diameter and thickness had me worried if I am going to be honest here. I was excited but also nervous.

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The watch arrived in the Andersmann traditional water tight black plastic case. When I opened the case part of my nervousness subsided. The Classic has a 44mm blasted finish grade 2 Titanium case. The 12.4 thick case has layers to it with a slightly curved DLC Titanium middle layer. The curved lugs follow this curved line and extend slightly out past the case edges. The shorter lugs cut down on the wrist overhang on the Classic. I like how the shorter lugs match the smaller crown guards which gives the case a more conservative appearance. The classic is probably one of the most comfortable watches that I have worn. I can see the appeal of a lower profile watch now.

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I know I have mentioned this quite a few times in past reviews that I am not a huge fan of exhibition case backs, but Andersmann did some that made me appreciate this case back. The first detail is the sapphire window has been greyed a bit which gives the ETA movement a more mechanical look, a robotic look, a cool Transformers look. Andersmann used a darker metal finish for the signed skeletonized rotor which looks great set against the guilloche finish of the movement behind. The case back has another detail that I like, which is how the case back is held in place with the help of 4 hexagon head screws.

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The case and the dial match brilliantly, a well planned out detail that really gives the Classic a well finished appearance. Let me explain what I mean. The dial is a sandwich style dial with a black textured top layer and a grey DLC core layer. This process is a more timely and costly process but it adds so much to the overall appearance of this dial. The black textured portion of the dial matches perfectly with the DLC Titanium middle portion of the case and the dial markers perfectly match the blasted grey Titanium case. Which brings the a mechanical harmony to the watch itself. Even the printed text on the dial and the printed numbers on the chapter ring are printed in mathching grey which shows Andersmann commitment to detail, right down to the fine printed Swiss Made.

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The hands were a part of the Classis that I wasn’t quite sure of when I first saw the pictures of this watch. In my opinion watch hands are an important detail and can certainly be a deal breaker for me when deciding on a purchase. But again, Andersmann’s attention to the little details put my worries to rest once I received this watch. The matte finish of the hour and minute hand match the case and dial markers. The finished squared tips of the hands are a nice throw back to some vintage dive watches of the past. The shape, color, length and tip on the second hand gives a nice pop to the dial of the Classic.

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In some pictures that I have posted a few have complained about the location/inclusion of the date window. I honestly have no problem with either. No hour markers were excluded which keeps balance. It blends into the dial since it is on a black date wheel with grey printed numbers that match all the grey that is on this watch. Another instance of how Andersmann is passionate about delivering a watch that is well made, consistent and full little charming details.

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The FKM rubber strap is so soft and pliable right out of the box. It conforms to the wrist perfectly, smooth to the touch, and equipped with one large rubber keeper. The strap has a traditional tang style buckle that is signed with Andersmann which is engraved very clean and smoothly.

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Details can really add up into something special and that is exactly what we have here with the Andersmann Classic. What I can really appreciate with this watch and with Andersmann in general is that each watch has been improved upon and this is apparent every time I get a chance to spend time with one of Andersmann’s watches. Often companies stick to a formula that works, but never improve upon that formula. Andersmann changed up formula from their comfort zone of 47mm dive watches and took a chance by changing it up to 44mm with a much thinner profile, fixed bezel, layered case with DLC titanium center, DLC core layer dial.

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The Andersmann Classic comes in at just over $1350 which some might consider on the high end, what I can tell is that Raymond’s passion for dive watches is self evident when you look at every detail of this watch. Absolutely no corners were cut in terms of design and quality. I can say that I could not find anything wrong with the classic to nit pick about, if I can to reach for something the only things I would suggest is to upgrade the Titanium from Grade 2 to Grade 5 and offer a no date option.

This watch is an easy recommendation for someone looking for an upgrade to the standard microbrand dive watch with a highly reliable movement and a tough as nails case. There are 3 versions of the Classic available is the yellow isn’t your cup of tea.

I want to personally thank you all for reading and as always your questions and comments are welcome below.

A very special thanks to Raymond Chan of Andersmann Watch!

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Specifications from

Classic 300m ANN0131 (Free Shipping)

CASE : Diameter 44mm, Multi-Layers Titanium-Bead blasted/ Middle Layer DLC

CASE LENGTH : 51mm

LUG WIDTH : 24mm

THICKNESS : 12.4mm

MOVEMENT : ETA 2892 A2 with engraved logo on the rotor

CRYSTAL : See-through 1.7mm sapphire crystal at the back / Double curved sapphire crystal on top 3.8mm thick with anti reflective treatment

BUCKLE : Titanium Tongue buckle with engraved logo

All the CLASSIC watches and their parts are assembled and manufactured by reputable manufacturers in Switzerland. Here are some of the outstanding features:

CLASSIC watches can descend up to 300 meters underwater
Watches are equipped with a first-rate ETA2892-A2 movement, guaranteeing its accuracy and reliability
Both the base and top are made of sapphire crystal, revealing the delicate movement while offering strong protection
They feature a sandwich dial
Details

FUNCTION : Hours, minutes, seconds 42 hours power reserve

BACK : 1.7mm sapphire crystal

DIAL : Grained texture/Sandwich

WATER RESISTANCE : 300m

STRAP : FKM rubber strap125/80

LIMITED PRODUCTION : 80 pieces

REMARK : All watches come with box with warranty card.

Watch Review: Redux Courg A-11

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I had the opportunity to review the first production COURG when it was first released via it’s original Kickstarter campaign. I thoroughly enjoyed the COURG and thought it was a strong first release. There were a lot of details that really impressed me coming from a “new face” on the watch scene. As many of you know there are quite a bit of new companies popping up as well as Kickstarter campaigns.

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I learned from past mistakes about funding certain projects, but the Courg is one that I was overally impressed with and happy that I did help fund it. There were areas for improvement with the Courg that I reviewed from the first batch of releases. I was talking with Elbert Chu from Courg and as I was talking with him I wanted to see how the Courg changed since the original release. So I am revisiting the Courg, but this time with the grade 5 Titanium case and the A-11 model.

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“The COURG A-11 pays tribute to the WWII American fighter pilots who strapped these timepieces to their wrists and helped lead to the Allies’ victory.” This is what really drew me in to the A-11 model. Since I have been young, I was always intrigued with learning about WW2, so the A-11 was the ideal choice for me. The dark grey grade 5 Titanium case is recognizably darker than the grade 2 that I reviewed almost 2 years ago. Titanium does change color as natural oxidation process occurs and on the A-11 it looks awesome, adding to that rugged, I can handle the mission look.

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There’s a funny thing about the magic of the Courg, the case size is well below where I personally like my watches to be. It comes in at 39mm without the crown, height of 13.7 mm, lug-to-lug 46.6 mm, and 20mm lug width. The Courg is simple, but it is packed full of personality that it has big wrist presence. What I noticed about the A-11 versus the first production model is that every on the A-11 is more crisp, more exact. I first noticed this on the bezel markers and the edges of the bezel, even the engraved case back looks more clean which makes reading the model information much easier. Plus it looks cool!

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“When we embarked with the goal to build the perfect timepiece forged for every adventure, we turned to mission critical pilot instruments, which helped the Allied air corp and troops win World War II. We selected the time-tested and proven A-11, a classification of original American designs based on a military spec for aviator wrist watches.” The rounded, curved lugs have a nice finished appearance. The drilled lugs are functional with making strap changes easier and you are less likely to scratch the lugs as well, especially if you use the right tool. While we are on the subject of function, the signed screw down crown is very easy to grip and operate. When manually winding the Courg it is much smoother that the first run Courg.

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“Manufacturers painted the dials black and used white numerals and markers for high contrast visibility. In addition, manufacturers were not allowed to mark the dial, thus giving the watch a clean logo-less finish.” The matte black dial on the A-11 is simple, legible and full of vintage charm. Just as the dial  from the vingtage inspiration, the A-11 dial has no logo, no name, just the essentials, white printed hour, minute, second markers. The white hour and minute hands on the A-11 also have that vintage charm, with their shape/overall design. The hour & minute hands look great, but I have to say the second is my favorite. The lollipop shape and the pop of red color just makes this dial.

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Ticking away inside the the A-11 is the Seiko NH35A. The same movement as inside of the first run models. The new strap for the Courg is awesome. The American clay colored leather strap is a nice new addition to the Redux family. The hardware is made of Titanium and is signed giving it a nice finished appearance. There is a great information section on Redux’s website about the process of making the strap, etc…. the link is below:

Clay Color Two Piece American Leather Strap 20mm

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The new strap gives the Courg a whole new look and feel. The A-11 is an awesome little watch with big personality given through it’s combination of well planned out details. If you are like me you have a sweet spot for watch sizes, mine happens to be 43-47mm, so the Courg comes in at 39mm. I absolutely love the look and feel of the Courg on my wrist, which speaks to how special this watch is. I am pleased to see how the Courg has improved. The bezel lume triangle lines up perfectly with the 12 o’clock hour marker. The bezel still has a little extra play in it, but it is much better than the first run model. The lume is much improved as well as you can see in the pic below.

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This model goes for $450usd and it is a nice package. The grade 5 Titanium case is tough as nails and it’s dark grey color gives off a stealthy appearance to the Courg. There are so many things that I like about the Courg that it makes it very easy to recommend to someone who is looking for a military inspired pilot watch infused with some DNA from a dive watch. I have tried several Kickstarter watches, and this is by far one of the best that I have reviewed.

I want to personally thank Redux and you all for reading. As always your questions and comments are welcome below.

SPECIFICATIONS

COURG A-11

Case, Case Back, Crown, Bezel: Titanium grade 5
Case Back: Deep corrosion etched, screw back
Crown: Screw down, with RDX logo
Dial: Matte Black with vintage white numerals with RDXb1 blue lume
Hands: Lumed with RDXb1 blue and C3 green
Functions: Hour, minutes, seconds, date
Rotating Bezel: Uni-directional 90-click (Ti.Gr5) C3 lume marker
Water Resistance: 20 ATM (Ti.Gr5)
Movement: Automatic Seiko SII Instruments NH35A (21,600 bph, 41 hour power reserve, 24 jewels)
Time Set: Hacking
Movement holder: Brass
Date: White on black calendar wheel
Lugs: Drilled with shoulderless pins
Weight: 1.8 oz. (51 grams, ~20% lighter than steel equivalent)
Dimensions:
Width (w/o crown) / 39mm
Height / 13.7 mm
Lug-to-lug 46.6 mm
Lug-to-lug (strap) 20 mm
Lug width 3.4 mm

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