Watch Review: Achtung Metal

2020 has definitely been a stressful, mess of a year. You turn on the TV and it’s nothing but depressing news. If you go anywhere, you are constantly reminded of the current state of life in 2020. If you are like me, you find yourself grasping onto those little things that bring even the most minuscule amount of happiness. That’s one of the reasons why Achtung watches bring a smile to my face. A company that releases small batches of unique watches that are designed to bring a smile to the wearer’s face. The kind of brand that makes the angry watch snob’s cringe, which is another reason why I enjoy reviewing the type of watches that I review. Reviewing watches is a fun release for me and is something that I do not construct in the confines of a stringent uptight format. I believe that Achtung uses the same carefree model when approaching their watches.

The Metal is one of the more recent releases in 2020 from Achtung. “Achtung [ahck-tohng] or [ahck-toong] is a Deutsche (German) word used to command attention, also implying “warning” or “alert”.” The Metal’s design is not a small by any means, it’s 53mm width is huge especially by today’s current trend of 40mm and under. Achtung watches are more of your Tokyo street style fashion and definitely not your stuffy-office type. When I first opened up the box for this watch, the initial thoughts were that it was like a G-Shock was on steroids which was cross bred with a 70’s super alloy mecha-robot. The case uses a mix of materials to make up the unique look of the Metal watch. A first for me on any watch, is the Metal’s fixed rubber bezel. A unique idea as you won’t have to worry about scratching this bezel. The rubber bezel acts like a shock absorber against those accidental “door knob hits” and other bumps that you come across during your watch wearing day.

The strap is attached to the case in a rather usual fashion. As you can see in the pictures the case was designed without lugs. It’s definitely a different approach on attaching a strap to a case but forget about any strap changes on this watch. You will be limited to the supplied silicon watch strap. Thankfully it is very comfortable and it is also color coordinated with the bezel. If you are interested in need of tracking time in multiple time zones then Achtung has got you covered. Located on the non crown side of the Metal’s case are two independently quartz controlled mini dials. A detail that I find uniquely cool but also quite useful. Being located in the US, I often find myself wondering what time it is in various countries that my friends and family are spread throughout the world. Instead of guessing, I just set each “sub dial” to the time zone that those I would be communicating with most that week. There are multiple scenarios when having close access to 3 different times can become quite handy. A unique but useful detail that I enjoyed playing around with. I was surprised how easy the tiny crowns were to use when setting the time on the “sub dials”.

As unique as the case is on the watch, it’s the dial that really pushes the unique. You definitely get a clear view of the dial through the large sapphire crystal. The dial is where my super alloy comment comes into play. The dial reminds me of the armor on those classic robots but the exposed gears remind me of the inner mechanics that are responsible for the movements of the mecha robot. I love the colors and the textures found throughout this dial. What I like about what Achtung did with this dial is the consistency throughout the chaos. There are large, very noticeable details on the dial such as the colored metal plates, some are plain and flat, while other have a bit more detail. Found on separate individual met plates is the type of movement, the water resistance, and the name of the brand. A very unique way to display this information upon the dial. Each metal plate is held securely in place by screws which doesn’t sound like anything out of the ordinary. The gear style border around the date window was a clever way to keep the consistency flowing. Often times a date window on a dial can disrupt the overall flow of a dial. There’s another detail I want to mention that Achtung has done to help that consistent flow continue throughout this dial. It’s quirky yet I find it quite charming. I appreciate that each screw is a different color but what I appreciate more in the commitment to detail is each screw has a different head. It’s an example of how a company put thorough thought into their design on their watch.

There is no denying that large 53mm watch is packed full of unique personality. It’s a limited edition watch that targets a limited demographic. Beneath the unique exterior of the Metal is the function of this watch. There wasn’t any sacrifices made in terms of function for the overall uniqueness of this watch. Winding this watch manually via the oversized crown is done with smoothness and with ease. Despite the busy and the textured dial, telling time on the Metal is done without obstruction. The large semi-skeletonized hands are easy to see for telling the time despite the lack of numerals on the dial. Even at 53mm, this watch is actually comfortable to wear. No lugs means less wrist overhang for those with smaller wrists. The silicon strap conforms to the wrist with it’s pliable soft nature. The Metal watch is priced at $664 USD. Only 28 were made of each color variation. It’s a fun and unique watch to wear while making a bold statement on the wrist. You can purchase the Metal via https://achtungtime.com/collections/all/products/achtung-metal-orange

Thank you so much for reading. Thank you Achtung.

Watch Review Aevum Advance

Aevum Advance Specs

  • Case– Ion plated for hardness and brushed stainless steel 42×48 mm with 22mm lugs
  • Dial– Clean no-date sandwich dial with lumed hour markers
  • Crown– Screw down double gasket with cam gear design
  • Movement – NH35 automatic with 40 hour power reserve
  • Case back– Exhibition style to view engraved rotor
  • Lume– Swiss Superluminova BGW9 (blue at night)
  • Crystal – Anti-reflection coated sapphire
  • Water Resistance– 20 ATM or 200 Meters
  • Strap– 22mm genuine leather strap handmade by us in-house

https://www.aevumtime.ca/home.html

“We are petrolheads. We design and build our watches with passion, including automotive aesthetics in a way that includes all types of enthusiasts.” That is definitely the feeling that you get when unboxing the Aevum Advance watch. It’s a watch that is for watch and car fans alike but it doesn’t give that over the top gimmicky feeling. I initially took notice of the Ion plated brushed finish on the stainless steel. The Ion plating adds hardness to the case as a extra form of protection against scratches from every day use. The Advance watch is a moderately sized 42×48 mm with 22mm lugs which you can see wears well on my 7 1/4” wrist. The Advance case has a distinctive Italian cushion style shape which in my experience not only wear comfortable but also have good wrist presence. This holds true with the Advance and with the curved lugs, the watch hugs the wrist well.

The Advance is fitted with an exhibition case back that allows you to take a peek into the “engine” of the watch. The “engine” inside this watch is the NH35 automatic that when it’s tank is full has a 40 hour power reserve. The movement under the hood looks like your standard NH35 movement but Aevum added a touch of detail by engraving the movement’s rotor with their signature logo. Aevum is a Canadian based company and they show their Canadian pride on the case back with the cool engraved maple leaf 🍁

If/when you find yourself needing/wanting to manually wind the Advance via the screw down crown there’s a few things worth noting here. The screw down crown is protected by a double gasket system that helps protect the Advance by ensuring a water tight seal.(200m) Though the crown isn’t oversized, the design allows the wearer to easily grip and operate when screwing/unscrewing/winding. If you are like me, a crown should have an engraved detail and Aevum didn’t leave this box unchecked. Not only did they laser engrave the crown to look like an adjustable camshaft gear but they also cut the crown grip into half moon flat top teeth to mimic the look of a belt drive cam gear. When a design can seamlessly combine both function and detail, the end result typically is a winner. This is exactly what Aevum has achieved with the design of the Advance’s crown.

Aevum is consistent with including those “petrolhead” details without crossing the gimmicky line and they continue this as you move from the case closer to the dial. The chapter ring on the Advance is marked by a series of numbers which Aevum cleverly designed it to include cam timing degrees and crank positions. If you are wondering what TDC and BDC represent, I will explain what those abbreviations stand for. TDC is the abbreviation for Top Dead Center and BDC located above the 6 O’clock position represents Bottom Dead Center. In between these abbreviations along the circumference of the chapter ring are marked with numerical degrees. For those non-petrolheads, TDC is the point when the piston of the number one cylinder in an engine is at its highest point, and on the compression stroke of the engine’s four-stroke cycle. Bottom dead center is the point at which the piston of an engine is nearest to the axis of the crankshaft. On a vertical engine, this is the lowest point that the piston reaches. When the piston reaches BDC, it starts to move upwards.

The dial can definitely be the making or breaking point for watch. We have all experienced this whether it’s hands that aren’t proportional to the dial or a date window that is oddly placed or hour markers that are not cohesive to the rest of the dial design. Sometimes even the smallest of poorly designed/thought out details can’t be overlooked. Fortunately for Aevum and the Advance watch, the dial was well thought out and executed without any of those “deal breakers”. The sandwich style dial is a great starting point for creating an appealing to the eye kind of dial. The bottom layer is the layer that fueled by Swiss Superluminova BGW9 which in daylight is ivory in color and at night glows a beautiful blue. No matter what lighting environment that you find yourself in.

The large numeral markers that are perfectly paired with the proportional hands make the dial a pleasing to the eye focal point whether if you are looking at the time or just admiring your wrist candy. The text on this dial is kept to a minimum with just the Aevum name, logo, model name and type of movement. The color combinations used on the Advance assist in the overall pleasing aesthetics on this dial (black, white and a touch of red).

I am not a petrolhead by any means. Most of the time I hate driving all together but that doesn’t affect my opinion of this driving themed watch. Like I mentioned before, the “Easter eggs” found throughout this watch are not done in a gimmicky fashion. They are done very subtly and they are done with beautiful execution. The Advance is a watch that anyone can wear and if you are a petrolhead then you will just appreciate those details a little bit more. The only detail suggestion that I have is that the second hand needs some sort of lume treatment like the hour and minute hands. The second hand is not major in terms of disappointment but something that can just make the dial that much better.

The Aevum Advance is a watch that is extremely comfortable to wear. For those size conscious people the 42×48 mm falls in between the “happy spot” 40mm to 44mm. The design of the case and dial are tastefully executed. I personally would like the case back more if it was an engraved solid case back. That’s just a personal preference of mine that doesn’t affect the function nor the overall aesthetics of this watch whatsoever. The Advance comes in at a very affordable $280 usd price tag which allows the buyer to get a lot of nice details at a great price. With Christmas fastly approaching this would be a fantastic gift for that car and watch lover.

Thank you for reading and thank you to Aevum for allowing me to review this watch.

A year with the SeL Omnidiver

What a year this has been, a phrase that every single one of us can relate to. Each month that passes by it seems harder to find something positive to hold onto. Even if it’s the smallest, seemingly insignificant thing, recognizing it as something positive does help from becoming completely overwhelmed. I have turned to hiking, exercising, cooking and watches to help keep my mind focused on something other than the depressing current events.

I have spent the past year with the SeL Omnidiver and I wanted to do a short update on how the watch is holding up. I also wanted to give my impressions of the watch after spending a substantial amount of time with it in every environment/situation of my daily life.

There was only one area that I needed to contact SeL about in terms of service. I noticed that one of the bracelet screws was loose. Occasionally I would half-ass tighten it because I always was in a situation where I didn’t have proper tools with me at the time I noticed it was loose. Unfortunately I did end up losing that screw because I didn’t properly tighten it nor did I put loctite on it. I contacted SeL about it and a couple days later the replacement screws arrived to me, with extras just in case. I replaced the screw and I haven’t had an issue since. The customer service experience was absolutely flawless. This was just an example when brand history, advertising budgets, gimmicks, smoke & mirrors are outdone by actual care for your customers. I had a similar experience with a “big name” of the watch industry and they wanted to charge me $100+ for a replacement screw and another $50+ for shipping.

The Omnidiver was my companion this summer when I went to the beach for some much needed time away from reality. As I expected it handled itself without fail. I put the crown seals to the test by going into the water with the crown unscrewed. SeL tests the water resistance of their watches with the crown in the open position so the wearer can have peace of mind in case of the accidental exposure to water with an open crown. I wasn’t shocked that my Omnidiver held up in the water given the extreme testing/R&D that SeL puts their watches through. Seeing what Andrew puts the watch through to reach that fail point gives me complete peace of mind because I know that my Omnidiver isn’t going to fail me during my “every day life tests”.

The grit, dirt, sand that built up on the bracelet was so easy to clean out and it never compromised the wearability of the Omnidiver. The only issue that I came across was when I took off the watch at the beach. An minuscule issue came into play when attempting to put the watch when some small pebbles prevented me from closing the wavelock clasp. The small pebbles and sand were no match for a quick bath in the water and just like that my clasp was closed tightly as it should be.

I am actually surprised how few scratches I have acquired on the case, bracelet and clasp. Scratches don’t bother me whatsoever as watches are made to be worn not to be babied. The clasp is especially shocking to me because I have worn watches for far less time, in less harsh environments and the bracelet clasp looks like it was put through the garbage disposal. I attribute the Omnidiver’s condition to SeL’s use of superior quality materials. (Ti-6AL-4V) “Titanium is not all the same. We use a domestic (US) produced lab certified alloy. The lab certification adds expense in itself BUT the requirement that the raw materials are certified before melting, along with the entire process to guarantee the alloy composition is very expensive. Buying uncertified material from overseas is a gamble. Sometimes it’s what it should be, sometimes not. The result is that our titanium is almost twice as expensive as non-certified alloy. We will not represent an alloy to our customer as Ti-6AL-4V unless we’re absolutely certain it actually is.”-Andrew McLean CEO SeL Instruments

Andrew, SEL’s CEO was on a mission to make a watch that wouldn’t fail even under the most harsh circumstances/conditions and I firmly believe that he succeeded. I said it before and now I am saying it with 100% confidence that the bracelet on the Omnidiver is the best in the business in terms of durability , quality and design. The case is of equal durability and I don’t think that there’s anything that my daily abuse could damage it. There is zero fear of door frames or door knobs when the watch is on my wrist. Let me elaborate a bit further on what I mean about zero fear. There has been situations with almost every watch that I have owned when I have either hit it against something with enough force to cause me to oh fuck immediately looking at my wrist to access the damage. The Omnidiver is the first watch that doesn’t cause me to immediately look at my wrist because I know that it’s pretty much bombproof so whatever shit I am going to put it through the watch is going to handle it.

The Omnidiver is one of the toughest watches I have experienced to date. During my time with the Omnidiver it gave me a greater appreciation for what this watch truly is and a greater appreciation for the amount of R&D that went into making the Omnidiver a reality. After a year of abuse, everything on this watch is functioning just as it did the first day I received it. The silicon nitride balls within the bezel has kept the rotation smooth and importantly without any of that annoying extra wiggle/play. I am also extremely pleased that the Omnidiver’s bezel has zero separation between the case/bezel, something not even the bezel on my Rolex DSSD or SD43 could accomplish over time of use.

After major daily use of the Omnidiver, there are some areas that can be improved upon which would make an already great watch even greater. Those areas are a small mix of my personal preferences and of areas that can improve function. One example of an area of improvement on function is the crown. The crown is well protected within the end link of the bracelet and case, but protection has disrupted ease of grip. If the crown was made larger with different machined edges then I believe this would solve that issue. What I think is damn near perfect on the Omnidiver is the case size, the bracelet, the bezel, the hands, the lume, and the crystal. The Omnidiver is my ideal tool/dive watch which has delivered what so many of the popular “big names” of the watch industry could not deliver. I am certainly not bashing those brands by any means but unfortunately those brands has shifted focus to fashion accessories/status symbols/ luxury item and have moved away from designing an actual tool.

With that being said, I will be sending in the Omnidiver for an update soon. It’s going in for a bit of a makeover to make it more to my personal preferences. That process will be well documented here and on my social media outlets. I am also looking forward to some snow and ice pictures/exposure. This winter is reportedly going to be colder and snowier than average according to the farmers almanac! 🤞🤞🤞

Thank you all for reading!

Bezel and bracelet operation after a year of use