Watch Review: EVOX DV1-05

Today we will be looking at a new release the DV1-05, from a new company EVOX. From the website: “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.” Did EVOX live up to their promise? Let’s explore this watch and find out.

The watch is equipped with a raised, slightly domed sapphire crystal.

This version has my personal preference for a dial, which is glare resistant matte black. The applied markers and hands are coated with Superluminova. At the 9 o’clock position there is the orange bordered date window, a white date wheel with black print.

The case is 48mm x 15mm constructed out of 316L stainless steel black IP. The unique case shape is due to the large helium escape valve located on the right side of the case.

The watch features a large, oversized screw down crown that is signed with the EVOX soldier logo.

The screwed down stainless steel caseback features an embossed EVOX logo and some details about the watch, including the limited edition number out of 68.

The DV1-05 comes on an extremely soft orange silicone strap that is fitted with a case matching (signed) black buckle.

The DV1-05 is a nice debut piece for this new brand. Right now and for the next two weeks this watch can be purchased from http://www.evoxtime.com for $347 USD. There are a few areas for improvement in my opinion. The hour and minute hands are a nice size, shape and design while the second hand is undersized, has no lume and is mismatched to the hour and minute hands. In my opinion all watches that are specifically geared towards diving should have a lume coated second hand. My other area that would improve this watch in my opinion is to have eliminated the 1000m that is on the side of the case located where the helium escape valve is.

I do think that the watch features some details that make it a watch worth looking at, especially for those on that under $500 budget. The watch features a sapphire crystal, a large unique case, oversized screw down crown, and the 1000m depth rating. The bezel functions with precision, it’s easy to grip and lines up perfectly with the dial. At the 12 o’clock position on the bezel inlay is a lumed pip which is definitely helps when using the watch for diving or just timing in general.

Yes this is a large watch, but it wears comfortably especially because of the crown position on the left side of the case. This helps prevent anything digging into the back of your wrist/hand. The case is well constructed and extremely durable. As you can see in the pictures, the shorter lugs helps manage the 48mm case from wrist over hang. (I have 7 1/4″ wrists)

I wore the DV1-05 in several different environments during my review. It handled itself without fail in all environments from work, to the woods, to the water/beach. The dial was extremely legible no matter what lightning I was thanks to the large orange and white applied markers. The Miyota 8215 kept time within the movements time tolerance. The case and strap held up well as to be expected. Everything functions as I expect from a watch and quality control. Timing to the second would have been much easier had the second hand reached the chapter rings numbers. Despite the areas for improvement, the DV1-05 is a strong debut piece for the under $500 market. The DV1-05 is packed full of nice little details like the matching orange helium release valve to the orange on the bezel, the He stamped on the valve stem, just to name a few.

Pros:

Affordable preorder price

Well designed case

Legible dial

Everything functions without flaw

Cons:

Undersized second hand

No lume on second hand

Unique lugs makes changing to other straps difficult.

I want to thank EVOX. I also want to personally thank you for reading.

Watch Review: Advisor Ascent

On my journey to healing, I have found a lot of help thanks to meditation, exercise, self reflection and Buddhism. All of these have been an extremely helpful formula for me personally. There are days when I still struggle with PTSD, anxiety and panic attacks, but thankfully these things no longer control me. I wear a Tibetan skull prayer mala bracelet every day as a physical reminder to help keep myself centered. In Buddhism, the skull represents emptiness, which is regarded as a quality of this world. This usually means that has no character by itself. It is essentially saying all occasions are impartial – but we opt to magnify them. This is partially the reason why I was interested in seeing Advisors new Ascent watch, with this particular dial.

Without a doubt for me the open-heart layered skull dial is the attention grabbing center of attention on the Ascent. The brushed skull is set against a black background adding to the dials 3-dimensional appearance. The open heart is perfectly placed within the mouth of the skull. I am typically not a fan of skeleton dials or open heart but it works brilliantly here on the Ascent. Advisor kept everything else on this dial simple to allow the skull to be the obvious focal point. The gold hands are great accent details to the Ascent’s dial and case. The hands are not only perfectly sized to the dial but they are also coated with BGW9 lume. Protecting this dial and adding to the legibility is the scratch resistant sapphire crystal that is treated with an anti-reflective coating.

Advisor could have taken this dial one step further by adding lume to either the eyes of the skull or to behind the movement in “the mouth” of the skull. The details of the hands were done extremely well in terms of shape and overall execution. Both of the hands are segmented, almost in a cathedral style which adds to the completed look on the Ascent’s dial. The triangular tip of the hour hand, the sword shape of the minute hand and the arrow shaped second hand, all these details all the three to nicely accentuate each other. This dial is kept pretty clean as the text was kept to a minimum with just the Advisor logo and name located just under the 12 o’clock position.

The only numbers that can be found on this dial are on the rotating inner chapter ring. The top crown is responsible for operating the bi-directional chapter ring. I’m a little disappointed that this crown isn’t a screw down style crown, but it is full of beautiful detail as you can see from the pictures. Both crowns are easy to grip and operate because of both generous sizing and because of the edges of each crown. The bottom crown is screw down style and as you figured is responsible for setting the time and for manually winding the watch.

The case itself is 316L SS with IP rose gold plating and is 42mm x 13.5mm with a lug spacing of 22mm. The majority of the case has a brushed finish but does feature polished accents around the fixed bezel. The angular shaped edges of the bezel allow for the polished accents to be more pronounced especially when they catch the light. The angular shape of the lugs adds uniformity to the Ascent’s case, matching the angles of the bezel. The Ascent has a good hefty feel to it not anything like that toy watch feel of some titanium watches.

I absolutely love and appreciate the case back on the Ascent and you can see what I am talking about in the picture below. I am so glad that Advisor went this route and not with a sapphire crystal case back. A solid, engraved case back is much more interesting in my opinion.

The Ascent comes on a dark brown top grain calf leather strap and attaches to the wrist via a standard matching finish/rose gold coated pin style buckle. The strap and watch both wear comfortably on the wrist in all environments/conditions.

Currently the preorder price for this model is $310 and if you prefer the more classic style dial, that preorder price is $280. What should you expect for that price? I think if you are spending your hard earned money on any product you should expect quality first and foremost and if the quality isn’t there, then save your money for a quality piece. I definitely understand and respect wherever a person may fall into the financial affordability for watches. Not everyone can drop “big name” price amounts on a watch. The Ascent has some very nice details and specs for its price point. It also has some areas for improvement, not deal breakers, but areas to give a more finished product.

This watch is done in what Advisor refers to as a compressor case. Please note that the Advisor Ascent contains none of the actual compressor “technology” which would make it a true compressor case. Check out my review of the OWC 6538 for an more in-depth explanation of how a true compressor case works. https://www.google.com/amp/s/timetoblogwatches.com/2017/08/07/watch-review-owc-ms-6538-james-bond-crown/amp/

Thanks for reading my review and thanks to Advisor for the opportunity to explore the Ascent watch.

https://www.advisorwatches.com

Case Design: Custom-Made Case  

Case Material: 316L Stainless Steel(IP Plating with Rosegold)

Case Back: Screwed Down Embossed with Individually Numbered (limited to 150 pieces) 

Case Diameter: 42mm

Height: 13.5mm

Lug Width: 22mm

Dial: Open-Heart Layered Skull Dial

Bezel: Bi-directional Rotating Bezel

Date: With Date Function Index & Hands: Applied Index (BGW9 Luminous)

Crystal: Scratch Resistant Sapphire with Anti-Reflective Coating

Crown: Screwed Down

Movement: Automatic 82S0 (Miyota)

Water Resistance: 200m / 600ft

Straps: Top Grain Calf Leather

Watch Review: Fonderia Navale Stella

Variety is definitely the spice of life and when it comes to watches this is no different. I recently read something about bronze/brass watches being played out which I thought was a bit drastic. Why should we be limited to stainless steel and titanium? I personally love having a variety of choices in my collection and bronze/brass cases offer that variety in more ways than one. That variety can be taken further in terms of patina, forced, natural, or even if you prefer no patina, the fact that you can change the appearance of the case offers variety. I don’t consider bronze/brass watches as a trend, I consider them just another welcome option to case material.

Today we are looking at the newest dive watch offering from Fonderia Navale, Stella. For those of you who’s mind went to a Streetcar Named Desire you are not alone. But as iconic as that movie is, Stella in this case has a much older origin. Stella is the guiding spirit of the sea that is represented with Polaris the brightest star in the Ursa constellation. Polaris is notable for currently being the closest bright star to the North Celestial Pole. The pole marks true north, which makes the North Star important in navigation.

So let’s start with the immediate obvious here, that obvious being the case. Stella’s case measurements are 44 mm excluding the crown – lug to lug 53 mm and she is made up of CuSn6 bronze. When I received Stella she already had a good start on some natural patina. I personally love any kind of patina, therefore this was a welcome sight. The case is packed full of personality through design details.

I have to say that the fixed bezel is what truly caught my attention here on Stella. The bronze bezel held in place assisted by 6 steel screws. The steel is a nice contrast to the sea of bronze that makes up a majority of Stella’s case. Stella has a fantastic industrial shape to her case that makes her have a no nonsense appearance. At the ten o’clock position is the tin phosphor bronze screw down crown, measuring 10.5 mm. The material used was a conscious decision for the simple fact to avoid galvanic oxidation which would potentially negatively affect crown function/operation. The crown is extremely easy to grip and operate because of its generous size and edge design. The signed crown is nicely protected nestled close to the large angular drilled lug and single crown protector that extends out from the case itself. I personally love the crown itself and it’s placement on the watch case. Definitely works for me.

The screw down case back features a lovely compass rose that has been etched onto the stainless steel. A question that I have been asked quite a bit is why do bronze watches have stainless steel case backs? For those who haven’t experienced bronze/brass touching against the skin for extended period of time, the material will often cause greening on the skin. Certainly not life threatening but can be an annoyance to some people.

 When I saw the initial pictures of this dial, I wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to like the shade of green FN chose once I would see the watch in person. The green actually works really well because of all the other accenting details on this dial. I wasn’t sold on the green initially in person either. The oversized white and orange hands help in breaking up the sea of green. The oversizing of the hands and hour markers allow for Stella’s easy legibility. The flat sapphire crystal makes viewing Stella’s dial extremely easy from different angles. I definitely grew to appreciate the dial because of what FN did with the overall design. The textured dial combined with the applied markers, assist with keeping the dial from becoming a flat & monotonous bore.

The orange border around the chapter ring offers a nice touch of contrasting color to Stella’s dial. The chapter ring features a very legible white printed minute track, allowing for ease of timing even when your wrist is at awkward angles. Personally I could live without a date window on any watch and I could have done without it here on Stella. Date windows interrupt the flow of a dial in my opinion.

Stella comes on a brown leather strap with a standard pin style buckle. The strap has a good amount of padding to it which adds to the comfort of Stella when on the wrist. The patina/off white stitching on the strap is a nice little accent of detail that pulls together the strap and watch with continuity. I like that companies such as Fonderia Navale continue to bring out bronze/brass watches because variety is much appreciated. What is also appropriated is Fonderia Navale’s commitment to improving quality with each of their releases. Stella is by far their best piece to date in terms of overall quality and overall design. Stella keeps beating thanks to her heart which is a Citizen Miyota Parashock movement. This piece would be darn near perfect in my opinion if the date window was eliminated. My favorite details are the ones found on the case itself. The thick, drilled lugs, the bold fixed bezel, the oversized crown, the caseback, all work perfectly together. For just under $500 you definitely get your money’s worth here.

Thanks to Fonderia Navale and thank you all for reading!

Watch Review: Feynman One Classic

There are so many unique designs in the watch industry that catch my attention for good reason. Unfortunately there are also designs that are not so unique that blindly follow the herd. Yes the submariner is iconic but extremely boring which makes 99.9% of sub inspired watches even more pedestrian/boring.

These boring, uninspired designs allow watches like the Feynman’s One Classic to standout. The OC is a great example of what I say about the how too much attention is paid to the size of a watch case and not to the actual design. The OC caught my attention immediately not because of the 39mm x 12.5mm case size, but because of the case and dial designs. The gray dial is simplistic yet has enough smaller details that add up to make a bigger impact.

The dial of the OC is made up of textures and layers, giving the dial depth despite it’s overall simplicity. The black honeycomb style of the lowest section of the dial creates a nice backdrop for the sharp, silver steel hands. The hour and minute hands are sized perfectly for this dial allowing for ease of legibility and for overall aesthetics. The seconds are counted by their own sub-dial which is located at 7/8 o’clock position. The position of the sub-dial is a welcome break from the typical and symmetrical choice of placing it directly center at the 6 o’clock position. The curvature of the second hand is quite a small yet beautiful detail. The gray and black color scheme of the dial is broken up with the welcome addition of the blue pinion cap.

Feynman allowed the textured details to create the overall unique beauty of this dial instead of packing it full of unnecessary printed details. There are very simple printed numerals on the very outer minute/hour track and on the inner track as well. Simple Roman numerals representing 12 & 6 on the outer track and Arabic 12 & 6 on the inner track. The exclusion of a date window helps keep the chi to flow throughout this dial brilliantly. One detail that is responsible for the initial grabbing of my attention is actually the small plaque at the 4/5 o’clock positions on the dial that has Feynman simply printed in black. I also appreciate the contrast in printing the second track in black on the silver backdrop and the white printed track on the dark gray backdrop on the dial and the chapter ring.

The highly decorated details of the mechanical ETA “Peseux” 7001 movement can be viewed via the OC’s exhibition case back. Mechanical movements will always have a soft spot in my heart because they remind me of my grandfather’s pocket watch. The case back isn’t the only detail on the OC case that is worth mentioning. The uniformity between the case side and the signed crown are some details that are definitely worth mentioning because they certainly are attention grabbers. The lines of both the diamond shaped crown and sides of the case are quite beautiful especially when the light catches them perfectly.

The angles of the solid lugs are just as unique as the other details found throughout the OC. Unique uniformity. The brushed finish on the lugs plays nicely off of the brushed finish on the fixed bezel. Light also plays nicely off of the polished portions of this case. The genuine lizard leather strap allows the OC to wear with all day comfort and the texture/color accents this piece perfectly. The OC is a versatile watch because it can easily transition from work to play. I definitely recommend this piece to anyone who is looking for a break from the monotony of watch clones that are over saturating the industry right now. The quality of this piece is fantastic and Feynman’s attention to detail is apparent throughout this watch.

https://feynman.watch

Case Diameter

39mm

Lug to Lug

45mm

Case Height

12.5mm

Lug Width

20mm

Case Water Resistance

100m / 10atm

From the Feynman website:

 

Who we are

Primarily, watch lovers. Feynman is a collective of collectors and artisans, who share a common passion for watches. We believe in the art of Mechanical Timekeeping, and work towards sharing our reverence with the world, starting with the communities closest to us.

What we aspire towards

1) Creating mechanical timekeepers for watch lovers

2) Inculcating an appreciation of watches in new watch collectors

3) Spreading the passion for mechanical timepieces

What we are inspired by

The prevalent beautify that is all around us, in both natural and urban environments, extracting aesthetic inspiration from all that is beautiful in our surroundings. We seek guidance from natural design principles, as well as architectural practices, creating silhouettes which are aesthetically pleasing, coupled with synergistic colour palettes, to create designs which will stand the test of time.

 

About the Feynman One collection

In the inaugural release, Feynman introduces the Feynman One, a mechanical hand-winding timekeeper which seeks to revive our interaction with our watch. The Feynman One is a modern interpretation of classic silhouettes and design cues, creating an entirely new visual take on the dress watch.

With the Feynman One, we were able to achieve our idealised vision of a modern dress watch, with a multi-layered dial design, unconventional case, and a venerable Swiss movement.

Watch Review: Bausele Pilot

Recently it was the anniversary of the Normandy invasion during WWII as I read articles and gazed upon the pictures, it caused me to do some deep reflecting. As I reflected I thought about the bravery, courage, fear, that the people involved in the invasion must have felt. I sat in astonishment as I read facts that these articles brought awareness to. An example of this was that Hitler was staying in his Bavarian home at the time of the invasion and his generals were afraid to order reinforcements without his permission and they were also afraid to call him to wake him, thus giving the allied forces the ability to overtake the beaches. The other thing that I learned that astonished me was that the weather almost canceled the allied invasion but the weather report stated that there was a 12 hour window in the weather that they acted upon. It amazes me that given the limited technology in the 1940’s, the weather report was that accurate, that trusted. I love history and it never ceases to amaze me as I learn about the past. Bausele did exactly that, reflected upon the past, learned from the past and set out to use this knowledge of the past to infuse it into our modern world.

The Bausele pilot watch is a blend of designs of yesteryear and designs of our modern world. The dial is the perfect visual example of what I am speaking of. Inspired by the watches of aviation pilots back in the day the 12 on the face of the watch is situated at the traditional 2 position, allowing the advantage of telling the time without having to move your wrist. The same applies in the modern era of performance cars and motorbikes” Pilot watches of yesteryear had dials positioned in this manner so that the Pilot didn’t have to remove his hands during flight to tell the time. Especially when timing is absolutely crucial during a military mission. Once this watch was on my wrist it makes perfect sense. It took a minute to become used to this layout, but once I did, I was hooked. The large metal hour markers lend assistance to the ease of reading the time. I absolutely love how the silver catches the light and allow the black printed numerals to have an almost 3 dimensional appearance. There is an incredible amount of detail/depth on this dial but not too much to allow unnecessary busyness/clutter.

The Guilloché detail that is beautifully decorates the hour markers, it can also be found on the top side of the movement which is visible through the circular cut out in the center of the dial. The red X detailing on the dial is quite magnificent as it perfectly lines up with the hour markers at 11, 1, 5, and 7. Bausele commitment to uniformity can be seen in the use of red found consistently and subtlety. The second has my ideal length because it reaches the outer edges of the dial and with it’s red tip it makes it easy to time to the exact second. The tip of the second hand always matches the red stitching on the Kangaroo leather strap. Bausele got all the hands on this watch consistently perfect in my opinion because the hour hand reaches the hour markers and the minute hand reaches the minute track. The hands being generously sized makes telling the time extremely easy which when telling time matters especially when all you have is seconds time to glance at the dial.

The matte black ceramic case is beautifully badass. It’s extremely light weight, durable and stealthy. The case is quite simple in detail which plays well off the many details of the dial. One cool detail that I love on this case and it’s a detail that I have never seen on a watch before. Inside of the crown is red sand from Australia, home to Bausele. It’s such a unique and thoughtful detail that sets this piece apart for other pilot watches at this price point.

The watch wears extremely comfortable on the wrist with no wrist overhang whatsoever that the smaller lug to lug length. The lugs are slightly curved and are not drilled, but the kangaroo leather strap features quick release spring bars. The caseback displays the automatic movement via the sapphire crystal perfect for the people who like to watch the rotor spin.

Adding detail to the caseback are the 6 flat head screws that hold it in place. Some more detail worth mentioning here is that the crystal has the Bausele logo and name printed on the inside. Thankfully Bausele was mindful to give us some added detail to look at on the movement with the guilloche art that finishes the look brilliantly and it can be appreciated from dial side as well. Consistency through details.

I absolutely appreciate Bausele’s take on the pilot watch. They have taken all the good details of pilot watches of the past and merged them perfectly with modern details. It is a great little package with lovely details found at every angle. It’s nice that Bausele didn’t just rehash a pilot watch that we have seen a million times before. I am not a purist by any means and my blog is not for the purists out there. Most people understand that, unfortunately the fuck knobs at watchlords will never understand this. But hey, keep holding onto the 90’s with that 20 members forum. But I do appreciate the added traffic they give me to help bring you all my reviews. It’s only fair that I mention those miserable cynical fuck knobs.

Bausele has definitely given us a great option for an alternative to all the Bell and Ross clones out there. They used imagination and creativity which is sadly lacking in the watch industry. It’s all about the rehash right now and it’s so mundane. If I had to change anything on this piece I would have had drilled lugs with flat head screw bars to tie in the screws on the case back. I would have made the case larger as well despite the current trend going with smaller cases again. But there are a lot of great design details on this watch that the size really doesn’t matter honestly.

Bausele has produced a winner in my opinion. The ceramic case is badass which made my choice harder because the white dial version of this watch is beautiful in it’s own regards. I want to personally thank Arron from Bausele and of course I want to thank you all for your continued support. I couldn’t do this without all of you.

https://www.bausele.com

Watch Review: Achtung Shuttle

I have always been drawn to the Eastern cultures for as long as i can remember. Even as a small child I was drawn to cartoons/shows like Tesujin 28, Mazinger Z, Ultraman, Godzilla, etc…. I was in consistent awe of these shows, blown away actually. As I got older, it wasn’t just the shows that gave me these feelings. The cultures, the religions, the people, began to as well. Absolutely beautiful and awe inspiring. It eventually inspired me so much that I started and continue to practice Buddhism, meditation, martial arts.

Today’s review watch is definitely influenced and inspired by the culture of where it was conceived. The Achtung Shuttle is that watch and you can immediately take notice of it’s unique design. The large black case commands instant attention right out of the box. The red and black color combo has always been one of my favorite combinations since I was a kid. Voltron and Snake Eyes(his tattoo) immediately jumped into my mind.

The angles of the case give the Shuttle that space themes industrial feel. The case has these dramatic angles that being paired with the overall thickness adds some serious wrist drama that easily makes the Shuttle a conversation piece. Not to mention the two smaller dials that are located on the non-crown side of the case. I got the initial inspiration feeling of a cockpit instrument panel when I saw these smaller dials. Now the main dial is powered by a Miyota automatic movement and the two small dials are powered by Miyota quartz movements.

The two sub dials can be designated for multiple time zones if you do a lot of traveling for example. For me personally, I used them for my profession for timing my patients treatments. Operating the small crowns are a little tricky, especially for my wide fingers. Eventually I did get the hang of manipulating them, pulling them up first, them rotating the crown to set the time. The main crown is definitely easier to operate because of it’s edges and because of the size of the crown.

This watch is appropriately named because it’s the size of a shuttle, a 53mm diameter. 15mm thick shuttle to be exact. The red silicone strap does a nice job of balancing the large watch on your wrist and luckily the shuttle isn’t a watch that carries around much weight. This is definitely a good thing especially if you are one of those people who don’t like wearing a heavy watch. It’s a fun watch to wear, I really enjoyed pairing it with a cool t-shirt, jeans and some raw sneakers. It adds that extra detail to the outfit.

Speaking of details, the case has some nice little details that are definitely worth mentioning here for example the double screws that are strategically located at 12, 3, 6, 9 on the fixed bezel. I like the detail created by the 2 sub dials on the side of the case and that Achtung added some engraved detailing in between. For those of you that enjoy looking at the movement inside of your watch, the Shuttle will definitely tickle that fancy with a sapphire caseback.

The dial is as robust and full of detail just like the case itself. The hour markers are beautifully integrated into the chapter ring, with 4 large sections that ‘jet out’ which feature multi-color numerals 2, 4, 8, 10. The shape this creates on the dial is pretty awesome in my opinion, especially at the 3 and 6 locations on the dial. Don’t worry if you are the type of person who likes all 12 numbers represented on the dial, because Achtung has you covered. The rest of the numerals are printed in small white print along the inner sections on the chaper ring. Achtung choice of hands for the shuttle are perfect in design. They complement the depth of this dial brilliantly.

The hour and minute hand are matte finished with lumed white tips, semi skeletonized, and the second on is a beautiful shade of blue, simply straight featuring a “honeycomb” style center. It may be a very small detail, but it definitely has a big impact in my opinion. A common theme found throughout this watch which makes me truly appreciate this piece.

The deeper and longer that I immerse myself into the watch industry and community, I find my tastes changing/evolving. I also find myself becoming bored with the same old tired designs. These countless sub mariner clones make me wanna vomit from the absolute lack of inspiration and lack of individuality. That’s why my blog will always feature the obscure, unique, not for everyone kind of watches. These types of watches intrigue me, inspire me and completely earn my respect for the out of the box approach to design. The limited edition of 28 Achtung Shuttle falls into this category. I appreciate it’s large, robust design.

Achtung has really been focused on improving the quality of their pieces and it is quite apparent in their Shuttle watch. Is it perfect? No. Is there room for improvement? Yes. I would have made all 3 of the crowns larger to assist with ease of operation. The strap integration is extremely limiting where you can’t change up the look with strap changes which is kind of a big deal to me. Changing the straps always breaths new life into a watch. Are any of these deal breakers? Not to me honestly because the pros heavily outweigh the cons on this watch. $664 USD gets you a extremely unique and limited watch that is full of character. It’s a watch that has individuality and will definitely be a killer accent piece for those who love mixing it up in their personal style. I love matching my watches with my skateboarding hats and sneakers. That’s my jam. Perhaps the Achtung Shuttle will accentuate your style jam.

https://achtungtime.com/products/shuttle-red-and-black

Thank you all for reading and for the support. Thanks to Alex and Achtung.

Watch Review: Unity Black Pearl prototype

I find that affordable diver’s that have their own personality make for great daily wearers/beater watches. They are the perfect watch for those who don’t cry with that first scratch or with that inevitable door knob/door frame bang. These watches are typically durable, typically are able to make seamless transitions between settings and typically are comfortable to wear. They definitely fall into that no muss no fuss category in my opinion. Today I am going to explore the Black Pearl prototype dive watch from Unity Watches.

The 43mm x 14mm Black Pearl falls into the middle of most size preferences of the current watch wearing community. It’s a pretty universal size in my opinion. Maybe it’s just me, but the Black Pearl initially appears smaller that it’s dimensions. This piece will definitely fit under a long sleeve shirt cuff. The relatively short lugs help keep the Black Pearl balanced and centered on the wrist. The 300 meter diver has an AISI 316L combination finish of brushed and polished. The bezel is also identical to the case in terms of material and finish. The bezel operation will feature unidirectional rotating action on the production pieces. The bezel also features diver friendly lume on the faux pearl and on the bezel markers. Obviously comes in handy while diving and in every day use when in low-light environments/situations. I personally prefer that companies treat the bezel markers with lume.

Before moving onto the caseback on the Black Pearl, I want to mention the screw down crown. The crown features the Unity logo which is done with a deep engraving adding a nice touch of design detail to the profile of the cushion case. The crown can be easily gripped thanks to the deep gear toothed edges allowing you to unscrew/screw/operate with fluidity. The screw down caseback is pretty badass in my opinion. Old school diving helmet, tridents, sharks, Sailor Jerry goodness decorates this caseback. ‘Born to Dive” is also engraved which is a simple but old school brilliant detail.

Simple, legible and function, that sums up the dial quite well. Set on a black backdrop which is appropriate for the Black Pearl. The dial features lume treated applied markers which are a combination of circles and rectangles. The chapter ring is tied in nicely with the large white minute numerals and line markers. One detail that I could live without is the date window. Some love that detail on their watch and some hate it. 🤷🏻‍♂️ A detail that I do love on this dial is an important one in my opinion, a detail that can make or all too often break the deal for me. That detail/s being the hands. Unity has done a fantastic job selecting the right size and shape for the Black Pearls hand set.

The Black Pearl is a great little diver that has a quality designed case, a simple legible dial and a tough movement. What do I like about this watch that makes me think it’s a good recommendation? It has a reliable movement, great legibility in all environments, inspired caseback, and a nice designed case. All these details in my opinion also justify the affordable $650 price tag. The Black Pearl held up well during my review especially wear it was designed for, the water, but more importantly for most the Black Pearl kicked ass in every day life. Indoors and outdoors. The campaign is live on Kickstarter right now which you can checkout by clicking on the link below.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1542410278/black-pearl-300-meters-the-definitive-dive-watch?ref=project_build

Thanks for reading my friends.

BLACK PEARL 300 METERS

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

AT UNITY WE`VE DEVELOPED A NEW DESIGN, OUR FIRST DIVING WATCH “BLACK PEARL” 300 METERS. BASED ON A SIMPLE AND FUNCTIONAL WATCH CONCEPT FULL OF DETAILS AND WELL DONE AND ACTUAL DESIGN. WITH 43mm OF DIAMETER & 45mm LENGTH BETWEEN SCREW BARS THE RESULT IS A WATCH VERY EASY TO WEAR, SUITABLE FOR ALL KIND OF WRIST.

CASE

CASE MECHANIZED FROM SATINLESS STEAL. AISI 316L WITH BRUSHED AND POLISHED FINISHED. DIAMETER 43 mm / LENGTH LUG to LUG 51mm / BETWEEN SCREW BARS 45mm / THICKNESS 14mm INCLUDING CRYSTAL.

BEZEL

BEZEL MECHANIZED FROM STAINLESS STEEL AISI  316L WITH BRUSHED AND POLISHED FINISHED. PEARL AT 12 HOURS WITH WHITE LUMONIVA. MARKS IN BLACK COLOUR FULL OF WHITE LUMINOVA.

BACK CASE

BACK CASE MECHANIZED FROM STAINLESS STEEL AISI 316L WITH BRUSHED FINISHED.

CROWN

POSITION AT 4 HOURS. STAINLESS STEAL SCREW CROWN WITH TOOTHED SURFACE AND BRUSHED FINISHED. WATERPROOF 300 METERS.

AUTOMATIC MOVEMENT

AUTOMATIC MECHANICAL MOVEMENT ETA 2824-2, CALIBER 11 1/2. OSCILLATION FREQUENCY 28800 A/h. SWISS MADE.

DIAL

BLACK BRILLIANT BACKGROUND WITH ROUND APPLIED INDEXS WITH POLISHED FRAME & FULL WITH WHITE SUPER LUMINOVA. WINDOW DATE AT THREE HOURS. APPLIED LOGO DETAIL.

SAPPHIRE CRYSTAL

FLAT SAPPHIRE CRYSTAL WITH ANTIGLARE COATING. THICKNESS 2mm.

HANDS H&M

H&M STEEL HANDS WITH RODHIUM BATH & MINUTES WITH RED FRAME BOTH WITH C1 LUMINOVA. SECONDS HAND WITH RED TIP AND C1 LUMINOVA.

STRAP

TWO STRAPS; SOLID METAL BAND WITH MATTE FINISHING & BLACK CANVAS WITH RED LEATHER BASE. WIDTH  22 MM. BUCKLES WITH ENGRAVINGS.

Watch Review: Kaventsmann Hadal II

How do you choose your next watch to buy? Do you base it on the brand? Perhaps your decisions are based on certain specifics on design, such as case material, case size, bezel (ceramic insert, lume, ect) For me personally I base it on the overall physical design. As many of you know my personal preference tends to go towards those unique pieces, those outside of the box thinking types. Of course there are some traditional designs that I do enjoy still as well, rare but I do. There is definitely a love affair that I have with bronze. As I have surely mentioned in the past, what I truly appreciate about bronze is that it doesn’t like to stay stagnant in it’s life. This is something that I have come to put into motion into my everyday life. In my opinion no other material used for a watch case ages as beautifully as bronze do. Even scratches are a thing of beauty on a bronze case. Then the real thing of beauty comes through, patina, bronze’s life partner. Patina is natural beauty at its absolute best which adds a depth of character to a watch case that no other material can even come close to.

Today’s bronze bombshell is no other than the Hadal II handmade awesomeness from the masters at Kaventsmann. For those of you unfamiliar with Kaventsmann, here is a bit of information about them from their website: Kaventsmann was founded by maverick watchmaker Michael Fernandez who started his new venture of creating his own watch in a small garage.

The watches are entirely handmade in Berlin Germany, the work of just one man wanting to hand build a watch for his father’s birthday.

While studying engineering & construction technology he started to build watches in 2011.

His first watch model in 2011 the “Bathyal” made of Bronze CuSn8 passed a pressure-test of 280bar.

In 2012 he developed the deepest dive-watch made of Aluminium with a pressure resistance of 300bar. This prototype was also known as C-4 proofed watch, it was tested by some guys in Fort Bragg.

In March 2017 we passed a pressure test up to 1200bar /12000m /39370ft with our Kaventsmann HADAL II Bronze, the deepest Bronze watch ever.

In September 2017 we passed the 2nd pressure test to 1200bar , this time with a watchcase completely made of high strength aluminum, the deepest Aluminum watch ever.

In German, ‘Kaventsmann’ is a term used colloquially to describe hefty objects. It is also used to describe rogue waves, relatively large and spontaneous ocean surface waves that occur far out at sea.

Since 2017 Immelmann and Kaventsmann produce together in one workshop to put their knowledge together.

Only a few watches leave the workshop each month.

The Hadal II has a commanding presence as soon as you lay your hands and eyes upon it allowing a quick understanding why it holds the record for deepest diving bronze watch at 1200 bar. I will save some of you time right here, right now, if you are one of those people who put your watch buying decision on the size of a watch, you can stop reading and move on to save yourself some time. If you admire handmade horological creations that follow a personal individualized journey, then please keep reading. Everyone can buy what speaks to them by all means, but my reviews for with those like myself who appreciate the unique, small brands that still have that passion for creating unique pieces, sharing that horological love, unlike the big brands that the soul drive is for the almighty dollar.

The Hadal II is a bronze beauty and beast measuring an impressive 49mm x 25mm. Like anything in life there are those negative stubborn people who actively choose to live a sad existence just to troll while wearing their horse blinders, with the belief that think simply buying a watch is contributing something positive to this hobby and that bashing anything that they don’t like is a real contribution. For you open-minded folks who like to expand their horological palate and appreciate listening to other things besides their own voice let us continue exploring the Hadal II together, shall we?

The main part of the case on the Hadal II is a handworked solid piece of bronze. The caseback is stainless steel and is secured by several hex nuts creating a tight seal. Like the case itself, the caseback is also quite clean, void of unnecessary jibber jabber. I am definitely a sucker for an oversized screw down crown so of course the Hadal II crown is amazing in my opinion. My only complaint about the crown is when it’s fully open it has a bit more wiggle/wobble that I prefer my crowns to have. Other than the extra play, the crown is extremely easy to grip and operates smoothly for winding/time setting. Kaventsmann was definitely mindful when designing this watch as evidenced by the position and placement of the crown. This piece is remarkably balanced in terms of how it wears with comfort despite it’s size and weight. Even with the location of the crown Kaventsmann was still conscientious of protection with the crown guard and lug as the active protectors. The shortening of the drilled lugs allowed the Hadal II to sit well on my wrist without much overhang.

The massively thick tempered domed plexiglas crystal gives a great porthole view into the Hadal’s dial. The crystal is amazing without a doubt but the dial is even more awe-inducing. Typically blue is not my first choice of a dial color but this blue works extremely well on this piece. The sandwich style just adds to my personal appeal that attracts me to this piece. The style gives depth and the orange color of the bottom portion of the sandwich looks like rust. That rust color emanates an unmistakable sunken ship soulfulness. The raw brushed minute and hour hands truly accentuate that feel and the shape/size fit this dial unbelievably well. The length of all three hands meets my personal approval which allows optimal dial legibility and hitting all their designated positions also aides in functional timing. Legibility/functional timing can be done with ease in all environments, lighting situations and wrist angles.

The Hadal II is a fantastic horological beast in every way. This watch definitely had adopted the mantra of “go big or go home!” The German craftsmanship can be easily found throughout the Hadal II. Kaventsmann created the Hadal for those of you who have an obsession with deep diving watches. Theses watched are very rare with only 10 of each variant made and as you would expect with a quality handmade piece price is also a factor. If you are unable to find one on the secondary market, head over to Kaventsmann website as the new Triggerfish watch is up for preorder. Yes the crown stabilization could be improved upon, but let your mind be eased by the lifetime warranty that Kaventsmann watches hold.

Strap: made of AK47 assault rifle leather sling, manufactured in Hungary…

Best history of Dobra straps from the master himself.

Used by a great warrior, an ex USMC, now special commando forces, the guy who gave me the Kaventsmann Acanthurus and his Zlatoust Diver as a gift to show me how much is appreciating my straps…

So a sling that came from war and returned to war after being transformed in a strap… A strap that is not afraid of water, sweat and blood… A strap that will never let you down in the most rough situation…

The brown leather strap in the pictures are that creation from Dobra. It’s one of the best made straps that I have ever owned. Handmade with hand tools, no fancy pretty boy machines here. 8mm thick, yet this strap is ridiculously comfortable on the wrist. It was tested in all environments from below zero temperatures, around water, 24 plus continuous wear on my wrist at work, at play (hiking, fishing, working out) Dobra’s work is so important to him that his straps carry the weight of a lifetime warranty. He is a true artist and a real life badass.

Thanks to Michael for creating these beautiful beasts of the deep! Thanks to Dobra Strap’s for the badass custom AK-47 strap.

Thank you all for reading.

http://kaventsmann-uhren.de

Badass skull ring from

http://intothefirejewelry.com

KAVENTSMANN Hadal II 1200 Bar

HANDMADE IN GERMANY

CASE – BRONZE

MOVEMENT – AUTOMATIC ETA 2824

DIAL – Royal Blue with Orange markers

CASE BACK – STEEL WITH INSCRIPTION

BEZEL – FIXED

CROWN – SCREW DOWN

CRYSTAL – TEMPERED DOMED PLEXIGLAS 15mm thick

LUGS – 24MM

WATER RESISTANCE – 1200 bar

DIMENSIONS – 49mm X 25mm THICK NOT INCLUDING CROWN, CRYSTAL OR LUGS

Watch Review: Schaumburg Viperfish

The Breitling Seawolf Avenger was the watch RESPONSABLE for opening my eyes to the world of dive watches. Of course I had a fondness of dive watches before, but the Avenger was definitely a world opening experience. I can still remember the feeling of holding it’s hefty stainless steel case in my hand. As I dove deeper into the world of dive watches I discovered all kinds of mystifying watches, I also discovered how many clones of dive watches. Quite a dead sea fille with unimaginative, uninspired rubbish. Even the big players in the watch world just rehash old designs over and over and over. I find myself becoming bored with the same crap dished out year after year with the almost unnoticeable changes that companies boast about at Basel each year. That is why when Shaumburg Watches explained to me their idea for a new dive watch, that instantly captured my attention and of course my interest! I must admit my friends that I was split down the middle though, 50% intrigued and 50% hesitant. Other thoughts and feelings that came to mind such as, worried, unsure……

Anything out of the norm intrigues me more so than ever this year which made me want to see this piece in person ASAP. But the other 50% was……If you look at the first pictures within this review maybe you may already know what my 50% hesitation was about. In case you don’t know, I will gladly explain. The skeleton dial was what initially caused the hesitation to swirl like a whirlpool within my head when Schaumburg told me their plans. We all know that I can’t stand a sapphire crystal exhibition case back on a diver, so when the information presented that the experience will now be on the Viperfish’s dial I wasn’t keen on this design choice. But you say, “Stephen you tell us all the time that different is a good thing”, and you are definitely right to want to throw that into my face like a cream pie.

Schaumburg had a few magic tricks up their sleeves, not gaudy like a certain mind freak but more liKe tongue in cheek Penn and Teller style. What Schaumburg did with their dial is definitely different, but they also insured that they gave us the wearer something that is worth looking at. They didn’t just give an off the shelf movement with nothing “pretty” to look at. I never understood the point when companies boast about having an exhibition case back but just use an off the shelf movement with nothing done to it. What’s the point right? The whole point in my opinion of the crystal peering “window” is to give you something interesting to look at. This is what Schaumburg’s achievement was here, which in my opinion was done well. Schaumburg added a real nice pallet of color on the movement which begins nicely smack in the center. The red immediately pulls the eye into the dial and into the movement. I admit that watching the movement in action did remind me of the magic of my grandfather’s pocket watch. That pocket watch was the start of my fascination with watches. So having that reminder here on the Viperfish held an extra bit of personal magic for me.

Ok I will end the trip down memory lane here for all of you interested in the quality and execution of this watch. The moderately 45mm x 14.8mm PVD steel case has nice heft to it where it doesn’t feel cheap yet still remains comfortable on the wrist. The matte black sandblasted finish gives the case a magnificent appearance to the Viperfish. In my opinion it creates the perfect set up for allowing the dial to be the center of attention. You may wonder why this model is named the Viperfish. Well, use the picture below as a clue why and also use the Viperfish itself for another clue. This feature was extremely pleasing to the eyes at night, which was so relaxing to watch the beating heart with a soft glow. That beautiful glow is extended onto the hands of the Viperfish with the center of the minute & hour hand that is coated with Superluminova and bordered with brushed steel. Schaumburg insured dial legibility in low lit environments by also coating the generous sized markers and on the lollipop style second hand. After all this is a dive watch so underwater legibility is important to those you will actually dive with this watch.

The case on the Viperfish has some subtle details that cannot go without mentioning here within this review. Some examples of these details I am referring to can be found on the lugs. The PVD case does a fantastic job of hiding these details which made me want to spend more time examining this watch. As I spent more time with this watch the details began to reveal themselves slowly. At first glance the lugs reminded me of the sexy fenders from a 34’ Studebaker with their distinctive curvature and openness adding to the side profile beauty of the Viperfish. The torque screws that assist in holding the lugs in place are an excellent example of Schaumburg’s conscious effort to go up and beyond in the execution of engineering mindfulness. I want to point out another example of this mindfulness, located at the screw down crown a there is smaller torque screw assisting in holding the crown guard in place. These details add in the overall aesthetics of the Viperfish, but more importantly they add strength reinforcement.

This is what I am talking about when I say that I love when companies think outside of the box when designing watches. I don’t review watches that are intended for the great masses, I review watches that are geared for those who appreciate the different. If you are looking for a German made quality dive watch that isn’t a clone/homage/tired design, then the Viperfish may be the watch you are looking for. Everything on this watch not only looks great, but also functions without fail, each detail big or small is purpose driven. The Viperfish wasn’t drawn up over night, nor was it inspired by another watch, it is a well planned out unique design. Some very sad and very unhappy people recently pointed out to me that all my reviews are positive in nature and why don’t I ever give a bad review. The answer is quite simple, I don’t review uninspiring watches, nor do I review watches that are crap. Why waste my time or your time on those watches? In order to create, one needs to be inspired, at least that is how I work. Of course this is the same group of unhappy individuals that also said there are too many pictures in my reviews and that the pictures are over staged. Last time I checked, a watch review should have a lot of pictures and they should be well planned out. Who wants a review with limited shitty pictures? Well besides the mentioned sad individuals.

The Viperfish exceeded my expectations of design because I honestly didn’t think that a skeleton dial was going to interest me, especially on a dive watch. I was pleasantly wrong and that’s why I love having an open mind. Open mindfulness allows you to see the world in a beautiful and positive light. The Viperfish bezel is probably my favorite detail on this watch. It functions with smooth fluidity but it also looks killer. I love the textured detailing and I love where the brushed stainless steel meets the black PVD. Absolutely lovely. The SW-20AS movement keeps excellent time in all positions, during all my indoor and all my outdoor activities and it also handled below zero temperatures. It is beautiful and it is badass, just like the Viperfish itself.

Thank you so much for reading.

A very heartfelt thank you goes to Schaumburg for the honor of this review and for creating watches that inspire.

Specifications

* Case: PVD steel, matt sandblasted, Case back covered with Superluminova

* Case diameter: 45 mm, hight: 14,8 mm

* Water resistance: 500m / 50atm

* Sapphire crystal with AR coating

* Bezel dot: ceramic superluminova

* Base movement: automatic SW-20AS,skeletonized, red minute wheel and rotor

* Function: hour, minute, second, date,

* Strap: hightech & leather

* Option: steel bracelet

AQM 5 ViperFish

https://youtu.be/_ax2Vp77hA0

Inspired by the Viperfish the bizarre noctilucent predator of the deep sea. A diver’s watch that shows how she works during the day or night over or under water.We asked ourselves, the AQM 5 should just be a diver’s watch. The mainstream market for diving watches is large but often lacking in creativity. Why not a diver’s watch that opens your heart to the beholder. A diver’s watch that shows how she works during the day or night over or under water. The AQM 5 ViperFish has a skeletonized movement that has been perlated and rhodium plated. The movement is backlit by the Superluminova-coated caseback at night. Individual elements such as the hour wheel and the inside of the rotor have been red coated. So you see through the sapphire crystal as the rotor permanently rotates its rounds. Looking at the AQM 5 on your arm is an experience that almost makes you forget the time to read.

Watch Review: Zoid Zoomeister

I was hanging out with my kids at a local bookstore last weekend. Kids being kids(myself included), we all wanted to look through the toy section. I recently got my kids into Dragon Ball Z, which started after I took the to see the Brolly movie. As we strolled through the toy section I began to realize how many of the “new toys” there were from movies/cartoons/comics that I loved as a kid. Seeing these toys of course made me feel extremely nostalgic but it was the joy in my kids eyes that was the most awesome part of this trip. Reliving my childhood through their eyes cannot be explained in words. There was a gigantic lego Voltron, Star Wars models, Marvel/DC super heroes, classic movie monsters, Dragon Ball, Astroboy, Transformers………My oldest son picked out a Rubiks cube and my youngest son picked out a Gundam robot. It was the Gundam robot that made me realize something about today’s review watch which I will elaborate more on throughout this review.

The unique Zoomeister/ Blue from Zoid arrived on my doorstep and as soon as I opened the box I was instantly delighted at what I saw. The design is completely different from anything else that I have reviewed which of course immediately grabbed my attention and interest. For starters, the majority of the case is made up of crystal which allows you to view the inner workings of this watch from all different angles. Now Zoid inspiration for the Zoomeister is automotive inspired, but my personal interpretation of this watch is rather more of a futuristic robot inspiration. Voltron, Gundam, Soul of Chogokin, are just some of the inspiration I take from my interpretation of the Zoomeister. Now this is a large rectangular shaped case but the lug design and crown placement allow the Zoomeister to wear much smaller than the (48mm x 42mm, Case thickness: 9mm..)As you can see in the pictures the crown in located above the 12 o’clock position saving space and saving from any discomfort on the back wrist/hand.

I also like how Zoid has the lugs cut into the strap itself, and secured it with a functionally strong screw bar and an aesthetically cool oversized screw-head. You can see these sort of examples throughout this piece, which makes this Zoid’s best piece to date in my opinion. I love the details found on the inside of it’s crystal case. In each of the four corners there are piston/shock absorber style stainless steel securing pins. These are definitely some of those details that reminds me more of the oversized robots of my childhood and not that of automotive inspired. The same can be said for the cut outs in the textured dial which allow you to view sections of the automatic miyota movement. The colors on this dial, along with the texture and layers give an amazing amount of depth to the dial. This is where I truly came to appreciate the majority of this case being made of crystal which allowed me to really view this dial and all of the inner workings of this watch.

I love the blade style hour and minute hands along with the added skeletonized style of the lume treatment. The orange second hand is also beautifully done in length, shape, color and overall design. The cut outs on the second hand really make it a nice focal point on the dial. I also want to mention how this hand color matches the orange accents on this dial which are located not only at the hour markers, but also on the Zoid name & logo internally but also externally on the strap. Zoid did an absolute fantastic job of matching the colors throughout this piece. I can appreciate the uniqueness of this watch and I definitely applaud Zoid for going the individuality route, instead of blindly following the masses of watch clones out there. I personally will always be attracted to the out of the box style choices. I definitely understand why the highly popular and expensive brands don’t change the looks of their watches over years and years. Do I agree with it? No, but based on looks alone, the unique watch will always get my vote. A purist I am not.

Zoid’s limited edition of just 18 Zoomeister blue is an excellent unique piece that was made for the individual who wants something different. I personally don’t have any issues with someone who loves the traditional or with the companies that also go that design route. I simply don’t buy them. It’s that easy. Like anything, there are always those negative individuals that will insult brands and designs like the Zoomeister for being different, unique, out of the ordinary. My reviews aren’t meant for those individuals nor are these styles of watches. Save the negative breath, and simply move on. The world already has enough negative winds blowing throughout it, don’t add to it.

The Zoomeister is a great watch that is very well made in terms of overall finishing/completeness of the details. Like I mentioned earlier, this is Zoid’s best work up to date. The finish and quality on this watch exceeded my expectations. I love the functionality of the oversized crown, strap/lug designs and I love the aesthetics that give this watch it’s wrist presence. It’s just a fun watch to wear. For those individuals that share my love of the unique, this just may be the watch you have been looking for. It’s packed full of wonderful little details internally and externally. It’s one of those watches that you will find yourself staring at your wrist throughout the day, and still not be aware of the actual time.

https://zoidhours.com/collections/zoomeister/products/zoomeister-blue