Watch Review: Fonderia Navale Gondar

919C747B-F820-4177-975B-AA467043C361It’s a shame that the bullshit money making trend is shifting to smaller case watches and if that wasn’t bad enough the overflow of the constant rehashing of the same “sub mariner” looking watches is making a rather boring sea of watches. Being inspired by a design is completely different than a soulless rehash. That’s why I have such a high respect for the people behind the company of today’s watch for this review. Marching to the beat of their own drum, taking a chance and going against the grain is highly admirable and extremely refreshing.

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Raw, badass, industrial, large, simplicity all can be used to describe the watch that we will be exploring here together. Completely the opposite of what the industry is brainwashing people to believe is the current trend. When watch design becomes more about making money than bringing out a inspired piece, there is no horological magic. “Tribute to Gondar was an Adua-class submarine built for the Royal Italian Navy (Regia Marina) during the 1930s provided support to SLC units Siluro a lenta Corsa of the Flottiglia XMAS.” When I held the Gondar for the first time, I almost felt that special magic emanating from the watch itself. The case itself was “carved” from a single block of bronze is absolutely magnificent yet so simplistic. This is hands down the exact situation for the definition of when less is more. I took a great deal of time examining this case when I first opened it up from the box.

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The bronze that is used for this case and crown isn’t just your standard run of the mill bronze either, it is Naval Grade Bronze (CuAl5) which definitely adds to the badassery of this piece. The crown immediately stole my heart. It has everything that I personally look for in a crown design, oversized, easy to grip edges, signed, functionality in all weather situations. I also like that the crown in solid and not hollowed out some some crowns are which makes them look & feel cheap. This crown almost has it all, I have to knock off a point on the crown because when it’s fully opened the crown has a little wobble play to it. Fondale is aware of this and they have assured me that they are working on improving this. The crown guards nicely protect this crown and I love how the guards flow from the side of the case.

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The Gondar has a fixed bezel which is the perfect choice in my opinion because it holds true to the simplistic essence of the vision and design of what this watch was to be. I like how the bezel curves up to the single domed sapphire crystal and borders it quite beautifully. Total badassery can be used to describe these lugs, thick, drilled lugs which feature solid screw bars. I love the extra security that a screw bar offers over that of a standard spring bar. A slight curve that ends with a raw, rugged squared edge on the lugs, adds a real toughness to the appearance of this watch. This is a true example of a no nonsense watch.

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The Gondar’s 34mm diameter dial definitely holds true to the design vision in regards to that simplistic magic. It’s a real three hand beauty of a dial. There isn’t anything unnecessary bullshit crowding this dial or distracting from it’s flow. This dial has a nice texture to it which is created by the grained Enamel. As you can see it’s a California style dial which works well with this watch. I have never been overly fond of California dials, but it truly works here and I don’t think I would like any other style on the Gondar as much as I like this dial. The markers have a nice legibility to them both in day and at night because they are printed with Swiss Super Luminova C3 lume. The green dial is kind of magical in the way it plays with the light in terms of how the color comes across, from appearing black to seeing the true green pop on the dial itself.

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It was great to see the hands choice that Fonderia Navale went with for the Gondar. The hour and minute hand contain functionality and aesthetics. In terms of functionality the hands are the ideal length and width for this dial. The reach to their intended destination without stopping short like Frank Costanza. A splash of color was worked into this dial thanks to the red seconds hand with it’s stylish arrow head tip. As I mentioned earlier this dial doesn’t have any unnecessary BS on it that would take away from the simplistic beauty of this watch. You have Fonderia Navale, Gondar, 200 metri, automatico, nothing else. I am glad that Fonderia Navale decided against a date window, this dial doesn’t need one.

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The crisp white hour markers look great against the green dial, which are extremely legible. One thing that I would like to mention about the green dial is that the shade of green is spot on. It’s nicely changes color with the lighting and angles in which you view it in. It changes from green to almost black, which in my opinion is how a different color dial should be.(unless it’s yellow, orange or white). Take a look at the picture above and you can see what I mean.

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I was really surprised by how well this watch kept time. During this whole review process, I kept it timed against a Rolex DSSD and the Gondar kept pace with the DSSD. I honestly didn’t expect this kind of precision and it really is an added bonus especially for the Seiko NH35 automatic which I have had quite a bit of experience with.

Another nice surprise here is the 145 x 83 by 4mm thick leather strap. It is custom made quality that any watch/strap enthusiast will immediately recognize and appreciate once you run your fingers across it and especially when you strap it to your wrist for the first time. I was really surprised on how well the Gondar feels on the wrist. For the size, weight and dimensions it wears extremely comfortable but also allows you to appreciate it’s solid build. Don’t let the BS dictate what size watch you have to wear because you will miss out on some extraordinary pieces such as this. How do you complement a nice, custom strap? Well take a look at the pic below and you can see how Fonderia Navale did exactly that.(reminds me of King Neptunes trident)

Included Bronze Buckle

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The Fonderia Navale Gondar is a work of art that is inspiration driven. As a watch enthusiast and as a watch reviewer, there are pieces that come along that really make me fall in love again with horological art. They rekindle that passion within me and reconfirm why I started reviewing watches in the first place. The Gondar is without a doubt one of those watches. Fonderia Navale has delivered a very special watch here in their Gondar. It makes me sad that deep down I have a feeling that watches like this are going to become rarer to come across in the industry that is becoming overrun by uninspired, lack of creative vision watches.

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The bronze case is such a strong highlight of this watch, I spent a great deal of time just admiring the single block of bronze that was carved into this case and then given a brushed finish to complete the look of this piece.  The textured enamel green dial just adds so much to this watch yet retains that simplistic magic. I have had the honor and opportunity to review quite a few bronze watches which were all nice, quality pieces, but the Gondar is one of the nicest I have experienced. The passion behind this watch is so evident, designed by someone who has a strong love for watches that found it more important to share that passion, that love instead of following crowd just to make a buck. If you are looking for a bronze piece, I highly recommend that you start looking here first. You get a lot of watch for your money here.

Thank you all for reading and as always your comments and questions are welcome below.

A very special thanks to Fonderia Navale for this opportunity and honor to explore this inspiring piece.

More pics below. Field test and pics will be added this week.

FONDERIA NAVALE
Production 100 units (50 blue dial/50 green dial)

SPECIFICATIONS:

Case diameter: 44 mm excluding the crown – lug to lug 56 mm
Movement: Seiko NH35 automatic
Case material: Naval Grade Bronze (CuAl5) for heavy-duty applications
Crown: Naval Grade Bronze (CuAl5) screw down crown 10mm
Crystal: Sapphire single Domed
Dial: 34mm diameter grained Enamel with printed Swiss Super Luminova C3 lume .
Water-resistance: 200 meters / 660 feet / 20 ATM
Case back: Stainless Steel
Strap: 24mm brown leather 4 mm thick.

Price: $410

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CUSTOM BUCKLE FROM STRAPS MONSTER 8F5F38E9-C983-497A-AB51-8CD7587D2E8BDFDC5262-B9BC-4747-BDA8-C3F8F13096D45262DF92-FD30-4163-8938-C7007974FB275CF1BB36-F33C-4C28-BE1F-15CF886A3031

Watch Review: MTM Special Ops H-61GIID

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MTM Special Ops Watch | H-61 Hypertec Watch

I have been fortunate to have this watch in for review as it is my 4th review of a MTM Special Ops watch. On a personal level I do tend to gravitate towards tool watches and dive watches. I spend a lot of time outdoors hiking, climbing, etc… so I like to wear the appropriate watch that I know can handle what I dish out. I certainly don’t worry about hitting my watch into rocks or getting it covered in mud, that’s why I always chose a watch that can handle it. Unless it’s a dress watch, all other watches in my collection know that they aren’t going to get babied. That’s why I can appreciate what MTM does because they make watches that are meant for adventure.

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Today we will exploring the MTM H-61 watch together. The Hypertec series is part of MTM’s luxury line. Though it is part of their luxury line, the Hypertec series are still made “combat ready timepieces are GSA approved, Mil-Spec compliant and limited edition. Each MTM military watch is individually numbered and fabricated from a solid block of Titanium or 316L stainless steel.”

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What I thought at first when I saw the black PVD case was how cool would this watch look with a distressed case and bracelet, like it was begging “please abuse me”. I never purposely abuse watches, but I certainly don’t baby them. Scratches and dents tell a story and I would never deny a watch of having an opportunity to tell a story.

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The black pvd case and matching bracelet finish is done with precision and is even throughout. One noticible improvement is the bezel function, it is much tighter with far less play than any other MTM watch that I have experienced. The bezel is extremely easy to grip and operate in wet and dry conditions. I like that the bezel has engraved numbers on it, but without any type of filler. This keeps a stealthy appearance to the watch and if you are using this watch in a combat type of situation the last thing you want is a lighthouse glowing on your wrist. I have read some criticism of the lume on MTM watches, but like I said those who are using these watches in combat situations the lume is more than enough of what’s needed, flashlight lume is definitely not an allie.

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The Hypertec has two crowns, a larger screwed down crown which is responsible for setting the both time features and the date, the smaller crown is responsible for rotating the inner chapter ring. Both the crowns are easy to grip and function with a precise crispness that you would expect. Something else that I have come to expect with MTM watches is the drilled lugs with solid screw bars. I like how the bracelet doesn’t have solid end links. The angled, squared lugs teamed with the bracelet style gives the H-61 a real rugged appearance. I appreciate that MTM went with a matching caseback instead of going with a stainless steel case back. This caseback features an engraved MTM logo which is very cool in my opinion. The caseback screws down and locks into place adding a bit of extra security.

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This version of the H-61 has a day/night style brass dial, which the day portion is the textured bottom half of the dial and the night section is the matte black top section. All of the main numbers on the dial are slightly raised which like the textured portion of the dial, also adds the the depth of this dial and adds to the legibility. The legibility on this dial isn’t an issue regardless if the numbers were raised or not because the numbers are large and have a green tinted white color which of course has lume treatment applied. If you look carefully you will notice smaller grey numbers printed next to the main numbers, these smaller numbers are for the small red hand which is for 24hr function. I have always appreciated a 24hr dial, especially when its split into a day/night style dial like the H-61 is.

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A few of the other details on the dial that are definitely worth mentioning starting with the date window located at the 3 o’clock position. MTM got this detail 50/50 and by that I mean they didn’t eliminate the 3 on the dial which keeps a nice flow of symmetry, but I suggest that they should have used a black date wheel with white numbers instead. Another suggestion is that insted of removing the 6 o’clock marker for the applied logo, I would have moved the applied logo to under the 12 o’clock position, kept the 6 o’clock marker in place and placed all the dial text above the 6. The hands on the H-61 are great and I wouldn’t change anything about them. MTM went with matte style hour and minute hands with lume treatment, as for the seconds and 24hr hand they both are red with a gloss finish. All the hands extend out reaching their intended destinations making it easier for the wearer to use the functions.

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The H-61 is MTM’s answer of merging civilian life with the tactical life, a watch that can make a seamless transition back & forth between the two. The bracelet can easily transition as well, but there are a so many options for straps, and options for the case, dial as well. You can go full on dress style or full on tactical style and even go middle of the road. The control is in your hand and you can play around on MTM’s website to see what all the combinations will look like. The H-61 is also MTM’s way of making a more affordable option to those who have been interested in MTM, but didn’t want to go in fully to the tactical route, which can be pricey for the everyday watch enthusiast. Though the H-61 is an affordable option make no assumptions on the quality, all of that MTM rugged quality has not been sacrificed here.

Thank you all for reading and as always your comments and questions are welcome below.

Thank you MTM.

 

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SPECIFICATIONS_
MOVEMENT | Swiss Quartz, 24 Hour/ GMT Indicator, Date Window
CASE | 316L Solid Stainless Steel
BAND | Choose From 30+ Different Types/Colors/Sizes
FINISH | Available Black PVD, Brushed Silver, and Sand Blasted Gray
BEZEL – OUTER | Unidirectional Ratcheting Bezel
BEZEL – INNER | Dual Directional
CROWN | Locking, Screw Down
GLASS | Sapphire Crystal; Anti Reflective & Scratch Resistant
DIAL | Brass – Available in 7 Colors to Choose From
HANDS | Super Luminous
WATER RESISTANCE | 330 Feet / 100 Meters W / Locking Case Back
CASE SIZE | 42 mm (12 mm Thickness )
WEIGHT | 4.7 oz.
BATTERY | Silver Oxide, Manufacturer Rated 4 Years Maximum
WARRANTY | 3 Years
PACKAGING | Securely Shipped In Its Own Watertight Tactical Case

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 <a href="http://MTM Special Ops Watch | H-61 Hypertec Watch">MTM Special Ops Watch | H-61 Hypertec Watch

Watch Review: Tsikolia GT-40

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Recently I have found the need for speed. Disclaimer kids don’t try this at home. Let’s just say I have been enjoying the triple digits during commuting back and forth. Really makes me miss my Roadrunner, but it’s probably a good thing that I don’t have it. I would probably have no watch fund thanks to speeding tickets. When I was a kid I had a Gulf racing jump suit. That thing was completely badass and I wish I had one as an adult. Sometimes driving I feel like Speed Racer in the Mach 5 and when the watch arrived for today’s review I knew exactly what I had to draw for the inspired art project. Especially after opening up the box and seeing the dial for the first time in person. It immediately brought back memories of me in my Gulf jumpsuit cruising on my Spiderman bicycle.

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The Tsikolia GT-40 is the watch we are exploring together today and I must say that the dial is a real stunner from first sight. The colors straight out of the Gulf racing team and Ford GT-40 that won the LeMans in 1967. The winning car was the Ford GT-40 Mk IV with a 7 liter, 427 cubic inch engine. Pure badass, like me in my Gulf Jumpsuit. The GT-40 influences can be found throughout this watch. Gimmicky? Absolutely not. Personally I am not a chronograph fan, but this watch is definitely making me reconsider. The color combinations on this dial are classic and absolutely work in the dial’s overall aesthetics. Seriously, how can you not like this classic colors? Race/car fan or not, these colors are iconic.

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I really appreciate the dial layout on the GT-40 and how balanced it remains dispite how busy it is. Tsikolia wanted all of the subdials to be visible and easily read so their obvious choice was to go with skeletonized hands. When using the chronograph function, the hands respond with crisp movements and return to exactly where they should, lined up perfectly. The colors that were chosen for the hands were also an obvious choice here, blue and orange, even down to the subdial hands. The subdials are responsible for seconds, 1/10 seconds and minutes when the chronograph function is initiated. I absolutely love the oversized 40 minutes marker which is functional of course but also aesthetically awesome. The other minutes are marked off by the same round style markers that are inspired by the style of numbers/display from the original GT-40 car.

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The different layers of the dial creates a nice depth to the dial and gives me the feeling of gauges on the dashboard of the GT-40. The orange racing stripe at the 12 o’clock position and 6 o’clock position is tastefully down with sense of precision and elegance just as you would expect it to be on an actual car itself. There are tiny screws on the very edge of this dial that offer a slice of detail that wasn’t necessarily needed, but works brilliantly. The screws are perfectly aligned with the minute/hour markers. When I look at this dial, I can see the hard work that went into the design process and into the execution of the design in the finished product. The date window is one of my favorite parts of this dial because how it functions on two separate date wheels. As you rotate the date via the crown, the first number remains 1 for example until you get to 19, when if flips to 20 both numbers then flip. I love this.

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The brushed stainless steel case is the result of a combination of automotive meets horology. Immediately noticible is the how the lugs are designed and how the strap is an undermount style connection. Tsikolia explains the design/shape of the case as “Overall shape of the case is same as car’s bonnet and fenders. If you look at top and side view you can find that. It was taken from the ford gt40 drawing.” It creates a very unique look and definitely gives this watch some interesting wrist presence. The influence from the GT-40 doesn’t stop there either, the chronograph pushers are the same shape as the headlights. I know that the pushers look nice, but how do they function? Crisp and without fail. The GT-40 wears very comfortable on the wrist and does wear slightly smaller that the 47mm suggests.

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The case back has some nice detail to it and also a tie in to the GT-40. The center of the case back is exactly how the center of the GT-40’s steering wheel is set up, right down to the screw heads. Not only does this look nice but also adds a bit of added security in holding the polished stainless steel case back in place. Even the strap continues on with the GT-40 tie in detail, the holes on the strap aren’t just there by accident, the holes are identical to the same holes that are on the seats of the GT-40. The cool thing about all these details are they are done with class and elegance, without coming across as blatant car details. They are done with horological precision with the GT-40 as inspiration. The strap is padded and of course comfortable, not just a few hours comfort, but all day, 24 hour comfort. The blue stitching was a real nice touch of added detail and to carry the watch’s personality over to the strap itself.

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After spending some great quality time with this watch I can honestly say that this watch is very tastefully done and does not come across gimmicky at all. The GT-40 details are done so cleverly that unless you are an expert on the details of the car itself, you wouldn’t notice that they were inspired by details from the Ford GT-40. I realize how much time Tsikolia put into designing this watch and you can see that hard work in the final production piece. This is one of the most well done car inspired watches that I have had the honor of experiencing. I easily rank it with the Jaguar inspired Bremont or the Spykar inspired Chronoswiss.

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This watch is an absolute pleasure to wear on the wrist comfort wise and aesthetically, especially with this dial. All the colors and layers work so well together as this dial really reminds me of a painting from the mod era. This watch is a definite must have for fans of the Ford GT-40, racing fans, or someone looking for a different Chronograph experience. The only thing that I could find to nit pick about is that I think that the strap and lug space could have gone up a size. Not a big deal or a deal breaker, but I had to find something to nit pick about. This watch definitely deserves a test drive.

Thanks for reading and as always your comments and questions are welcome below.

Thank you Tsikolia Watches.

Specifications:

47mm SS case. Sapphire crystal with AR coating. WR 5ATM, Genuine leather strap. Movement ronda 5040B

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Watch Review: Deltat Heavy Armor

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How to stand out in this day and age is something that the watch companies are figuring out, the that decide not to follow the flock that is. There is a fine line of being unique and being gimmicky. Now if a watch embraces that gimmicky attitude from the get go, I can completely respect that. My respect will always be earned more so when a company purposely ventures away from the same old designs. When a company goes that unique route and is able to pull off something that I haven’t personally seen before, then I give my respect as both a watch enthusiast and as a watch reviewer. This was something that I was quite excited to distinguish between when I started seeing pictures of Deltat’s Heavy Armor watch. I knew that I had to get hands on with this piece as soon as possible.

When the watch arrived in it’s cool orange plastic case I had the feeling that I was in for a real treat. Upon opening the case, I was greeted by a nice layout and presentation the watch, extra strap, metal warranty card, tools and a little book with the heavy armor logo on it. I would be lying if I said that the bezel wasn’t going to be my first stop once I got into this box. The bezel on the Heavy Armor is obviously where Deltat drew it’s inspiration for the name of this watch. I opted for the blue dial, with the bezel with the blue accent.(the multi-color bezel in the pics is to show all the different options on the other models available, THEY ARE NOT INCLUDED). It is an understatement that this bezel is rugged and bad ass, it looks like it can be in the frontlines of an epic futuristic battle. When I saw the pictures of the bezel showing off all the bezel options for all the models it instantly inspired for my art piece for this review, VOLTRON! Like Voltron, protected by Heavy Armor by the Black, Green, Blue, Red and Yellow Lions.

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The Heavy Armor includes 3 tools, two for changing the strap and one for changing the bezel armor plates. It does take a little getting used to when manipulating the small tool and screws, but it’s not a huge learning curve. I changed out the plates a few times now and without scratching anything. Every combination that I have done, gives the watch a different look, but every look is consistently awesome. I think this is a completely unique idea and it works in the favor of this watch both functionality and aesthetically. It not only offers added protection through the “beefier” armor plates, but it also improves the overall look of this piece as well in my opinion. Gives it an edge over the traditional dive watch aesthetics.

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The crown is definitely worthy of some attention as well on the Heavy Armor watch due to the striking blue gear that creates an all around excellent gripping surface for unscrewing and screwing down this crown. The crown functions great and can be easily gripped with dry, wet and gloved hands without any slip. The crown is signed with the Deltat logo which is bordered by little holes that look pop riveting from a futuristic robot such as Voltron. This crown officially makes it on my top 10 favorite crowns of all time list. Praise the watch gods that Deltat let the fact that we can clearly see that there is an automatic gas release valve on this watch and not have to have printed anywhere on this dial.

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Another point that I like about the case design here, is the curved lugs are drilled with solid screw bars which are holding the strap in place. Deltat was thoughtful enough to include two tools that make changing the strap a breeze. It is an inconvenience when a screw bar has a unique head on the screw and the company doesn’t include the tool. The screw down case back is solid which again earns points in my design book, I just wish that the helmet logo was engraved on the caseback which would have added some coolness points in my book of nit picking.

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Deltat knew how the bezel was going to be a major focal point on this watch so they went with a simple dial design and execution that works in a harmonious complementary way with the bezel. The blue sunburst really plays well with lighting and the added texturing to the dial really makes it quite apparent. A design feature that I appreciate is how the applied markers and polished hands nicely complement the screws that hold the armor plates in place. Same can be said for the cool red helmet logo on the dial is a great accent piece to the dial itself but also is complementary to the red seconds hand and red armor plate. Deltat sized the hands to this dial with precision, as each hand is legible for time telling and each hand reaches it’s  point of reference nicely. I especially like when a seconds hand reaches the seconds track and I like when the minutes hand reaches the markers/indices.

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The Heavy Armor watch is definitely worth taking a look at because it offers something truly different in design and doesn’t come across as gimmicky in my opinion. The build quality on this case is Deltat’s best to date, as this piece is solid and withstood the abuse I dished out at it. This watch offers a different approach to design and it makes the experience with this watch quite refreshing. I am to the point in both my professional watch opinions and my personal watch opinions, that I am so bored with rehashed designs, with no company infused originality. Yes I know designs have all been done before, but making a homage piece and just slapping your company name on it offers me nothing but an empty soul of a watch. I applaud Deltat’s approach to a dive watch.

As always thank you for reading my review and your questions & comments are welcome below.

A special thank you to Deltat.

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Review Tests Passed:

*Easy grip and function of the crown, bezel with/without gloves on in wet and dry conditions
*Movement accuracy rate -17 seconds per day
*Dial legibility test in light and environments
*Lume duration test 8 hours
*Temperature test 24 hrs in below 30 degrees
*Comfortability test (rubber strap) in work environment, outdoors.
*No scratches on case, bezel or crystal during all tests(indoors and outdoors)
*crown comfort(no digging into the back of the wrist/hand

SPECIFICATIONS:
Movement:
Japan Time Module (Seiko) Automatic Movement Cal. NH35

Manual/Automatic winding
24 jewels
21,600 vibrations per hour
more than 41 hours power reserve when fully winded

Hands:
Lumed Hour, Minute hands
Hacking seconds

Case:
44mm diameter
49mm lug center to lug center
16.5mm thick
316L Stainless Steel
Brushed finishing
Screw-down 316L Stainless Steel Bottom Cover
Automatic Helium Escape Valve

Dial:
Lumed index

Crown:
8.9mm diameter screw-down crown

Crystal:
Sapphire Crystal with anti-reflective coating

Water Resistant
1,000m/3,300ft (100ATM) Water Resistant

Bezel
120 clicks unidirectional bezel
Changeable Armor Plates
Comes with two sets of Bezel Plates

Straps:
22mm width
One set of 80/120mm rubber straps
One set of Nylon Strap

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Watch Review: Zoid Dragon

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I have definitely been the type of person that doesn’t take himself too seriously for as long as I can remember. One of my quotes that I say on what seems like a daily basis is “life is too serious”. Which is usually quickly followed up by “you have to laugh and have fun”. It’s true. It drives me batty when I see people that take everything so seriously, I even see it within the watch groups on social media. Watches are meant to be fun, this crazy hobby is meant to be fun, you know? That’s what I see Zoid Watches doing, they are having fun with their designs and with this hobby and from my perspective as both a watch enthusiast & as a watch reviewer It is truly awesome to see.

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Today we will be exploring the Zoid Dragon Watch which is a piece that I needed to see in person when I heard about it. I have been a HUGE Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z fan for a long time. I was into the character designs well before I knew the storyline and well before it made it’s way to broadcast television. I grew up before the internet so you youngsters have it soooooo easy. I had to search for Dragon Ball stuff in obscure comic shops. When I saw the model that is in for review, I immediately knew that was the one. Fast forward to when the watch arrived, which was packed more secured than a gold bar from Fort Knox. It took me some time to get into the watch itself which made me feel like the dad from Christmas Story when the leg lamp arrived.

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It was the classic story of survival of the fittest once I did manage to get to the watch, who would win my attention first? The dial or the case? I have to say that both fought equally hard because both the case and the dial on the Zoid Dragon are badass. Let’s get one thing out of the way before we move any further into this review. This watch is not meant for everyone. (It’s a limited edition of 8) Ok, now we can move forward. We will tackle the case together first which is a brushed stainless steel case with black PVD plating 50mm x 12 mm case, which makes this watch have quite the demanding wrist presence. The finish on the case is nice and even and gives this massive watch some stealth mode. If I had to put this watch into a category that had a well known company’s inside of it, the Zoid Dragon would be in the company of U-boat and Graham. The 22mm lugs have a good amount of curvature and I think that it’s quite impressive considering the thickness of the lugs.

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The massive bezel is extremely easy to take grip of and operate thanks to the no slip edges. The Dragon’s bezel does have more play to it than I am accustomed to which is a minor thing but worth mentioning. The crown protection system is quite unique and adds a bit of a menacing look to the Dragon Watch. You gently pull on the top of the crown protector which is the piece that looks kind of like a trigger, which releases and opens on a hinge revealing the push/pull crown. The crown itself is easy to grip and operate because of the knurled edges. It’s quite an elaborate looking crown/protection system which is more for looks than function, but nevertheless it does look cool. If you are interested in viewing the Seiko NH37 movement then you will be pleased to know that the exhibition caseback is your viewing window. The stainless steel caseback is held in place by 6 screws. One thing I would have liked to see on this piece is a solid caseback with an engraved dragon or something along the lines of the dragon mythos.

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Now onto this dial, about time right? You may wonder what the textured dial is all about which turns out to be graphite lava emulsion and the dragon itself was precision cut with a laser. I like the texture of this dial because it gives the dragon itself a very cool 3-dimensional look. How the colors were applied to the dragon is quite fascinating to me because of how small the dragon actually is. Let’s face it, the dragon is the highlight and main focal point on this dial, so one would only hope that is would be executed with precision. Zoid made the right decision going with skeletonized hands for this piece so the view of the dragon would not be completely obscured.

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There is a 24 hour sub dial that is off to the side of the 4 o’clock and 5 o’clock position, but more towards the center of the dial. It’s a unique looking feature but one that I don’t think I would utilize much on this piece. I like how the date window is located off to the 9 o’clock position as opposed to the traditional 3 o’clock position. The triangular shaped applied markers are quite awesome in my opinion because they remind me of Dragon teeth and they glow nicely in low lit situations.

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Massive case + unique dial = crazy fun wrist presence. This watch offers a very different style of wearing due to it’s shear size and beautiful dial. Like I mentioned earlier this watch isn’t for everyone, especially those who are wrist uptight aka why there are so many boring, unimaginative watches flooding the market right now. I personally love experiencing different watches from different countries, different imaginations, different forms of inspiration and execution. This is what the Zoid Dragon is all about. For those of you who share my opinion on watches, then this might be a watch that you may want to give a second look. Since I was a little kid, I have always had a special place in my heart for Anime style cartoons and this watch speaks to me on that level as well.

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The bezel is definitely my area of suggestion for improvement a little tighter with less play and it will be just right. My other nit picky suggestion would be to incorporate the crown and crown protection system to work with a more involved button system, making more functional that aesthetics. I can recommend this watch to those that share my feelings on Anime, unique watches, etc. It is an extremely fun watch to wear and a watch that has crazy wrist pressence.

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The watch comes in at $985:

Dragon/ Green

Specifications:

* Case: 316L Stainless steel case and brush finish with black PVD plating.
* Movement: Seiko NH37 Automatic time module with self winding mechanism and up to 40 hours power reserve.
* Water Resistance: Up to 50m/ 5ATM
* Winding cown: Pull out crown with custom embossed ZOID logo.
* Dial: Graphite lava emulsion with laser cut dragon outline.
* Hands: Custom hands applied with super luminova.
* Hardened sapphire crystal.
* Strap: Genuine calf leather with embossed croco pattern and hand-stitched details.
* Buckle: 316L Stainless steel with Black PVD plating Special cast buckle with laser engraved logo.
* Case back: 6 piece screw case back.
* Case size: 50mm
* Case thickness: 12mm.
* Fits wrist up to: Diameter of 75mm.
* Limited edition of 8 pieces. (Every backcase is engraved with a serial number for example, “Dragon No. 01/08). 

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Watch Review: Trifoglio Italia Millimetro

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So much in our lives can be translated so differently because of our own personal interpretation. I find it fascinating when two people can look at a piece of art and come away with two completely different interpretations of that same art piece. This is something that I also find very interesting with watch design. Give two designers a blank canvas and ask them to create their interpretation of a watch and I guarantee both designs would be completely different, neither design better than the other, but still they will be completely different. That’s a beautiful thing that I see in watch designs every day, designers personal interpretation of what a watch is and means to them. It fun to watch the progression when the vision is taken from the design phase to when it is made into an actual production piece. Today I will be exploring a piece that is just that, the Trifolgio Millimetro watch.

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What I found immediately interesting is my interpretation of this watch at first sight when I opened up the box. The dial and time telling display is very new and unique to me, but for some reason this watch has an old world feel to it. This is the type of watch I would imagine to be found inside a piece of antique furniture that was bought at a second hand shop. The watch placed in the furniture and forgotten about for generations.

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The dial is made up of 3 different discs which are responsible for displaying the time components. I will break it down simply working from the inner most disc out, the smallest disc displays the seconds, the next disc is the minute display and the outermost disc is the hours. Keeping this mass of rotating numbers in a readable, time telling order is the job of the little “hoop” located at the 12 o’clock position which is printed on the underside of the crystal. Initial look at the dial you feel overwhelmed with all the numbers, but it’s quite easy to understand the working of the dial. The white discs with black printed numerals really help the legibility of this dial as well.

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I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about the case material (Stainless Steel 316L in IP Rose Gold) for this watch, but I was actually pleasantly surprised by how well it works. I believe that the case material and finish adds to my own personal interpretation of how this piece has that old world feel which is almost like this watch is an old type of measuring device used to aid in exploration. The brushed finished helps the rose gold in a positive manner in terms of overall appearance because if Trifoglio went with a high polished finish it would have changed the whole look and feel of this piece in my opinion.

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I appreciate the consistency of flow on this piece in terms of the case, crown and strap buckle, all match perfectly. I did have a little difficulty operating the crown because of it’s size, though a larger crown would assist this, but I believe it wouldn’t look right on the watch itself. The smaller crown doesn’t go without a touch of detail though, the push pull style crown is signed with Trifoglio’s logo. Even the stainless caseback has a vintage feel to it with it’s simplicity and with the fonts used for the engraving.

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The Millimetro is a watch with a very interesting and unique way of telling time which I can appreciate especially for Trifoglio’s interpretation of the watch dial. At $395 the Millimetro is an affordable piece that has a place in a collection that is missing that unique watch. It is definitely a conversation starter as well. During this review I had many interesting conversations about watches with people asking questions on how I use the watch to tell time. These interactions were actually quite fun, who doesn’t love talking “shop” about watches right? I am definitely interested to see this watch on different straps, not that there is anything wrong with the brown leather strap the watch came on in terms of quality and design. I just like to see how a watch’s appearance can change with a simple strap change, a distressed, aged leather would be my first choice.

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There isn’t much of a learning curve to telling the time on this piece and quite honestly once you get the time set correctly you are pretty much good to go. I expected a bit more initial difficulty but there really wasn’t which is a good thing. The Millimetro wears very comfortable at 42mm x 8mm, and wears true to it’s measurements. A highlight of this piece aside from the dial of course, is the acrylic domed crystal has such vintage charm. I really appreciate what this piece is and it is a very refreshing watch in terms of design and execution. I was definitely surprised on how much I like this piece, this like grew as I spent more time with this watch. It’s definitely a unique and different piece, which when opening the watch box to pick a watch for the day, the Millimetro would definitely standout.

Thank you all for reading and as always your comments and questions are welcome below.

Thanks to Trifoglio.

 

http://www.trifoglioitalia.com

 

Specifications​​​​

Case Size: 42mm
Case Thickness: 8mm (Excludes Domed Crystal)
Case Material: Stainless Steel 316L in IP Rose Gold
Crystal: Acrylic Domed
Dial: 3 Independent Rotating Discs
Movement: Miyota 8215 (Automatic)
Strap: Genuine Italian Leather in Brown
Strap/Lug Size: 20mm
Strap Length: 125mm x 75mm
Water Resistant: 5ATM
Warranty: 2 years

 

 

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