Watch Review: Fonderia Navale Vintage

The Vintage is the little watch that could. A extremely wearable size, packed with good design details/specs and under the $400 mark. This watch is an excellent option for those who have been looking to get into the bronze watch arena but were scared off by the plethora of larger é sized watches. The Vintage is also a little more refined that previously released Pontvs/Fonderia Navale releases in the sense of case design and size. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the Vintage when I first heard about it. I was hesitant because I wasn’t sure how the DNA of their watches was going to translate into the more refined mold. It was definitely a pleasant surprise when I got to hold the Vintage in my hands. It’s a fun, easy to grab & go kind of watch. As you would expect, it is extremely easy/comfortable watch to wear no matter what the environment or the weather conditions are. It’s definitely a watch for all wrist sizes. It has enough personality to wear well on a larger wrist. These days too much emphasis is placed on case size anyway. I used to be a diehard 45mm and above kind of guy. I still love that size realm but I also can appreciate watches well below that too. If the design and quality is there, case size should not even be a deal-breaking issue.

The CuSn8 bronze case seemed to start the natural patina process on day one. Bronze cases are always changing and for me that is definitely one of the more appealing draws to bronze. I like how FN included a matching CuSn8 bronze buckle on the leather strap. A definite welcome addition of consistency. The curved lugs of the Vintage combined with the dimensions of the case allow the watch to nicely hug the wrist ever so comfortably. Fonderia Navale finished the case off beautifully by two details that might be my favorite on the Vintage. The raised sapphire crystal and the etched stainless steel case back are those two details. As you can see in the pictures, the crystal is quite spectacular as it sits higher than the bezel which is a nice nod to the dive watches of yesteryear. The etched scuba diver on the rounded case back finishes off the Vintage with a touch of thoroughness of vintage personality. The stainless steel case back screws into the case back. In addition to the scuba diver, there are details about the watch itself including the watch number xx/50, the model name and the water resistance.(200m)

The matte black dial is a heavenly place that quite often found my eyes getting lost on. The lack of glare on a matte black dial is a thing of beauty. The aged look of the hour markers and hands look great set against the matte black backdrop. I can really appreciate that FN opted for a no date dial. The flow of a dial is always disrupted by a date window, I don’t care what anyone says. There’s no way around having a date and keeping the dial completely symmetrical. Of course there are ways to lessen the “eye sore”, but that’s a conversation for another time. The Vintage has strong lume game as well, not only on the dial but also on the bezel inlay. I like the lume contrast between the yellow glow of the hands and the green glow of the markers. It’s quite beautiful.

The bezel and the crown are easy to grip and operate thanks to the machined edges found on both the crown and the bezel. I like the clean look of the crown side of this case because of the absence of crown guards. The screw-down crown functions with the smooth operation that you would expect on your watch. The bezel also has that same smooth operation that watches should always have. Careful watch making isn’t something that isn’t always a part of the final product, which is quite sad. A bezel should always line up with the dial, should be void of extra play and sit evenly against the case. Fonderia Navale made sure that the Vintage bezel meets all of this criteria. The crown always passes the quality control check list of easy grip, smooth operation when manually winding/setting the time and no wobble. No extra wobble means that there isn’t any unnecessary lining up difficulty when screwing the crown down.

The Vintage is an extremely affordable piece that is packed full of details that are a welcome “surprise for the price.” I will go as far to say that I can’t think of another watch that has this many nice details for the price. There’s a misconception that in order to be a “good” watch that it has to carry a certain price which is absolutely absurd. Quality shouldn’t be affected by the asking price. My greediness would recommend having drilled lugs Vs the quick release spring bars but that’s just me being selfish. The details teamed with the flawless operation of the details, makes the Vintage a no brainer for anyone looking for a bronze diver. I can’t recommend this watch enough without sounding like a complete fanboy. The Vintage is one of those watches that come along and catch you completely off guard. It’s a departure in a way from the Fonderia Navale DNA that I have come to love, but the execution of details on this watch are surprising. Surprising enough to make me enjoy this watch as much as I enjoy their past releases. I am enjoying watching the progression of Fonderia Navale/PONTVS.

The Vintage is a great bronze daily beater. It held up without fail during my hiking/climbing adventures and during my ice/snow adventures. All the functions worked flawlessly is every weather condition I was in and in every environment. From work to the woods to the water, it transitioned seamlessly. It truly impressed me which is why I can recommend this piece to new watch enthusiasts and seasoned enthusiasts alike. This version of the Vintage and the sunray dial version is available on the FN website: https://www.pontvswatch.com/products/fonderia-navale-vintage. There are two new versions coming soon, both with be limited to 15 each. (See below)

New dials coming soon

Thank you for reading. Thank you Fonderia Navale.

SPECIFICATIONS

Movement Automatic

Calibre

Seiko NH35A

Hand winding Yes

Automatic Yes

Glass Boxed Sapphire

Date No

Width (without crown) 40mm

Thickness 13mm

Lugs 20mm

Lug to lug 52mm

Water resistance 200m

Dial Black (Matte and Sunray)

Case material CuSn8

Band material Leather

Buckle Material CuSn8

Watch Review: EVOX DV3

About EVOX:

“Where heroes are made of, to fight, to conquer, to celebrate victory. To embrace victory, every timepiece is exquisitely designed and engineered to meet the demands of total defence of our homeland. We make sure our watches stay accurate and strong on your wrist. Our timepiece go through stringent test and quality control as in war, dependency and accuracy is of utmost importance to every combatant.”

Today we are looking at the third version of the EVOX DV series. The first two models were more on the “tactical” side of design where as the DV3 is more on the “dress” side of design. The polished and brushed stainless case has a more refined/dressy appearance than the two previous DV releases. The DV3 can be that watch that can be on your wrist at work and then easily transition to your outdoor adventures.

The dial features a combination of military time and lumed markers. I’m not sure how to feel about the random layout of the numerals on this dial. I think that it would have more symmetrical pleasing if EVOX eliminated the date window at 4 o’clock and added all of the military numerals around the dial. EVOX did get the hands perfect on the DV3 though. The shape and size of the 3 hands are proportionally correct to the dial itself which add to the over legibility of this watch. Legibility that is good in environments with ample lighting and in dark/lowlight environments. In those dark environments, it’s the application of superluminova on the hands and on the hour markers that allow the DV3 to retain that legibility. The shape/design of the DV3 hands are a design highlight of this dial. I like how the hour hand and second hands complement each other with the arrow shape design. The minute hand is outlined in yellow that not only adds a welcome detail of color but also helps in the overall legibility of the DV3.

EVOX kept the dial relatively simple, especially with the text on the dial. The basic 3 lines of text consists of EVOX, automatic and 300m. The DV3 is fitted with a fixed blue chapter ring. On the chapter ring there are printed white minute markers with numerals that are in 15 minute increments.

The DV3 comes in a generous 47mm x 10mm case that features a lug width of 24mm and a 54mm lug to lug length. The DV3 comes in on the larger side of measurements, but the thinner case allows the watch to hug the wrist comfortably without completely overwhelming the wrist especially for those case size conscious folks. The shorter curved lugs also assist in the DV3’s wrist hugging ability. As you can see in the pictures, the DV3 has two crowns. The crown at the 4H position is the one responsible for manually winding, setting the time and for setting the date. The other crown is the helium release valve. Both of the crowns are screw down and both function without any issues. The crowns are both easy to grip and to operate. That same ease of grip and operation is carried over to the uni-directional rotating bezel. The bezel operation is smooth and isn’t plagued by extra play/backspin.

The DV3 comes on a soft calf leather strap but I prefer it on the silicone strap. I work in healthcare and I try not to wear leather straps to work because of the constant hand washing. Leather and canvas are bacteria sponges in my opinion. Both straps are comfortable that conform nicely to the wrist. The straps come with a stainless steel pin buckle that is engraved with EVOX. Doesn’t everyone enjoy the ease of a quick strap change!?! Well EVOX has those of you who do, because the DV3’s straps are equipped with quick release spring bars. I guess quick release straps are the next best way to change a strap when I can’t have my preferred drilled lugs.

The DV3 is definitely the classy version of the DV series of watches and it also the most refined. Each of the DV watches are well made, but the DV3 is definitely the best in terms of finish. I like that EVOX went with a solid stainless steel case back with a cool etched picture. Once you have seen one NH35 movement, you basically have seen them all. I’m pretty much over the whole exhibition case back thing anyway. The DV3 is priced at $504. I think that the DV3 is appropriately priced for what you get Vs what other watches are out there at this price point. One can also appreciate the combo of reliable and affordable. A detail that I like about this dial is how it changes different shades of blue depending upon the lighting that you are in. The deep blue tones are quite beautiful.

EVOX’s devotion to improving is very apparent with this latest release. I know this is obvious but it’s really respectable when a company continues to strive to improve instead of becoming content with staying as is. The DV3 is an affordable diver that is built to be a strong daily beater. It held up well during my time hiking and climbing in the woods, sub-zero temperatures in the snow & ice, and on my wrist at work. The NH35 kept +18 seconds accuracy during my review process which above average for this movement range of -20~+40 seconds per day. Everything on the DV3 functions as it should this includes the bezel & the crowns. The lume is evenly applied on the hands & the markers and glows with some good longevity with a good charge from a strong light source. I would have liked to have seen a ceramic bezel inlay with lume treated numerals to take the details on the DV3 a step further. I would recommend the DV3 to those looking for an affordable diver that isn’t just another clone. The DV3 has some nice details including the small name plaques on either side of the case, the etched diver on the case back, the dual crowns, the unique case shape and the handset. You can see this version and the other variations on EVOX’s website: https://evoxtime.com

Thank you for reading. Thank you to EVOX.

Specifications:

MovementAutomatic NH35

Power Reserve Up to 40 hours

Water Resistant50 ATM, 500 meters

Limited Edition68 pieces

Watch Sapphire Crystal

Crown Screw-in, engraved with the EVOX logo

Case 316L Stainless Steel with Uni-directional rotating bezel

Dial Superluminova Index and Hands

Special Feature Helium Release Valve

Diameter 47mmCase

Thickness 10mm (With Bezel)

Lug Width 24mm

Lug to Lug 54mm

Strap Quick Release Calf Leather Strap (Silicone Strap Sold Separately)