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Ross Watch Review http://rosswatchreview.com Watch reviews of your favorite brands! Wed, 08 Feb 2017 20:10:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 15201594 Citizen Eco-Drive Chronograph Review http://rosswatchreview.com/2011/02/24/citizen-eco-drive-chronograph-review/ http://rosswatchreview.com/2011/02/24/citizen-eco-drive-chronograph-review/#comments Thu, 24 Feb 2011 17:11:11 +0000 http://rosswatchreview.com/?p=769

Introduction

Up for review today, the Citizen Eco-Drive Chronograph.  This watch is a quartz chronograph with a military/ rugged looks, but that’s just on the outside.  The really interesting bits are in the inside — the Eco-Drive system.  Citizen Eco-Drive Chronograph runs on a quartz chronograph movement that [...]]]>

Introduction

Up for review today, the Citizen Eco-Drive Chronograph.  This watch is a quartz chronograph with a military/ rugged looks, but that’s just on the outside.  The really interesting bits are in the inside — the Eco-Drive system.  Citizen Eco-Drive Chronograph runs on a quartz chronograph movement that is powered by a battery that is re-charged by sunlight.  Sun –> battery –> quartz goes tick.   The Citizen Eco-Drive line has been very popular for Citizen and with good cause.  They are low maintenance and with minimal re-charge times (mere minutes in sunlight yields a full charge that will last for 45+days at a minimum).

Case and Crystal

The case is a slender 10-11mm thick with a 41mm diameter stainless steel case.  The watch fits more like a 40 or even 39mm watch however.  The crystal is flat, mineral crystal and nothing special.  The case has a polished bezel and is brushed everywhere else that you see, giving this more of an “officer” look.  The caseback is also polished with the standard fair of Citizen Eco-Drive logo surrounded by stats on the watch.  In the pictures, the caseback is covered by a protective plastic film – sorry about that!  The chronograph pushers are solid non-screw type buttons that feel firm and give a confident feedback.  The crown is knurled and separated from the pushers by little blocks almost sticking out from the case.  I think the separation is a little over done and I would have liked not to see case protrusion between the crown and pushers.  The crown is not screw down, even though the watch still boasts a WR of 100m.  I have dunked it in water and it has survived.  I have no doubt this watch would survive light swimming, but it’s certainly no dive watch.

Dial and Hands

The dial almost looks dark green in some lights and dark gray in others.  The official stats are that it’s gray, but you could have fooled me.  The dial is a military/utilitarian styled dial with almost everything printed on the dial, not applied.  There are lume dots at every hour around the outside minute counter.  The chronograph rings are placed at 2, 6, and 10 with a date window at 4.  Due to dial thickness and the recharge system of Eco-Drive the date wheel is quite low in the case and appears far down into the date window.  Even though the date wheel is lower into the case, it is still easily visible with a quick glance.  “Citizen Eco-Drive” adorns the center top of the dial whereas “Chronograph 100m” gets shoved in between 8 and 9.  Needless to say this is one busy dial.  Every hour is marked with a large Arabic numeral non-luminous painted onto dial.  Chronograph dials will look busier than non-chronograph dials, but this chronograph is especially busy.  The only saving grace is that the actual dial base color/coat is flat and matte and uniform, giving a straight forward and clear base on which to print this massive amount of information.  Overall, it’s geared toward the casual obviously, but moreover it’s a functional and efficient timepiece that you can quickly and easily tell the time, chronograph timing, and date.  Well done overall.

Bracelet/Strap

The strap that comes on this Citizen Eco-Drive Chronograph is a fabric on top with leather back 2 piece strap.  The buckle tang fits neatly into the rather unique holes that are lined with a metal ring to prevent wear on the strap material.  A nice touch, but certainly adds a certain military/utilitarian je ne sais quoi.  A functional strap to be sure, but the case leaves room for a NATO or likely ZULU, which is nice to have that versatility if you don’t prefer the stock strap.  I’ve found that the leather on the back of the strap over months of wear will start to crack at the hole you use due to bending it back and forth while taking it on/off.  This hasn’t effected the functionality or looks (since its on the underside), but should be noted.

Movement

This Citizen uses the Eco-Drive Chronograph movement.  As discussed, this is a light re-charged, battery-powered quartz chronograph movement.  It’s therefore impeccably accurate because it’s quartz and also reliable because of the continuous light recharge of the Eco-Drive system, making this movement great for precise, reliable chronograph timing.  The subdials are seconds, 24-hour, and chronograph minutes.  The 24 hour counter is not connected to the chronograph timing, it just tells you what hour in 24-hour tems you’re currently in.  The second subdial is the standard running seconds sub-dial.  So the only two hands that are directly related to chronograph timing are the center large red seconds hand and the 60 minute register at 10 o’clock.  This limits the functionality of this chronograph really to 1 hour of timing max and the accuracy of the timing is only to the nearest second.  The movement has performed well and recharges quickly in my experience.  When low on battery, the running seconds starts to tick once for every 2 seconds, telling you it’s time to recharge.  This has only happened to me one time and it was in a dark watch case for a while.  A few minutes in the sunlight and it was fully charged.  Overall the Citizen Eco-Drive movement is a great technology and certainly welcomed by many who dread watch battery replacement and the always-inopportune dead battery syndrome with quartz watches.

Conclusion

The Citizen Eco-Drive Chronograph AT0200-05E is a wonderfully straight forward watch with a high-tech movement and a no-nonsense style.  I highly recommend this watch to anyone looking for a great quartz chronograph watch that is supremely easy to read and will stay ticking.  I think Citizen has really hit a home run with Eco-Drive and this chronograph is a prime example of how you can do it right.

Quick Specs

  • Brand:  Citizen
  • Model:   Eco-Drive Chronograph, AT0200-05E
  • Crystal:   Mineral
  • Clasp:    Buckle
  • Case material:          stainless-steel
  • Case diameter:         41 millimeters
  • Case Thickness:       11 millimeters
  • Band material:         canvas/leather back
  • Band width:  20 millimeters
  • Band Color:  green
  • Dial color:     dark gray/green
  • Calendar:       Date
  • Movement:   Japanese-quartz
  • Water resistant:       100 meters.

Video coming shortly.

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Hamilton Jazzmaster Viewmatic Review http://rosswatchreview.com/2011/02/22/hamilton-jazzmaster-viewmatic-review/ http://rosswatchreview.com/2011/02/22/hamilton-jazzmaster-viewmatic-review/#comments Wed, 23 Feb 2011 04:54:31 +0000 http://rosswatchreview.com/?p=705

Introduction

It’s a Saturday night and you’re dressing up to a cocktail party with your lady friend, which watch do you go for?  I suggest the Hamilton Jazzmaster Viewmatic in rose gold.  An American-styled classic dress watch with enough flexibility to look great under a white cuff and a polo and [...]]]>

Introduction

It’s a Saturday night and you’re dressing up to a cocktail party with your lady friend, which watch do you go for?  I suggest the Hamilton Jazzmaster Viewmatic in rose gold.  An American-styled classic dress watch with enough flexibility to look great under a white cuff and a polo and jeans.  This is a true dress watch, classic dial with hands indicative of the Hamilton heritage.  This is a well thought out watch that lands itself in the go-to category for much fancy fair.

Case and Crystal

Rose gold.  What else is there to say?  Well, a lot, actually.  The rose gold is actually more subtle than one would think.  The large dial compared to bezel and case size make the rose gold appearance of the watch almost understated.  The case has design edges on the side, curving around to the top to make this not just another round case watch.  The crown guards build out of the case to protect the crown and look like an architectural design more than a watch case touch.  The crown has the signature H and is non-screw down, of course – this is a 50m water resist dress watch.  The Crystal — how sublime.  Sapphire for starters, slightly domed for the main course, and a slender profile to finish.  The case back is screw down, but with actual screws – go figure.  The obvious feature is the large sapphire glass display window allowing you to peer into the Hamilton decorated rotor of the ETA 2824-2 workhorse.  It appears to be a base 2824-2 with a custom rotor, but I could watch the balance wheel go all day long on this watch.  There are engravings around the caseback window that list all the important attributes “Sapphire Cystal | Swiss Made | H325450 | Water Resistant 50M | Stainless Steel.”  Wait, what’s that you say, Stainless Steel? I thought you were talking about Rose Gold this whole time?  Yes, this is not a multiple thousand dollar solid gold watch, it is stainless steel plated with rose gold.  A minor infraction I choose not to care about.  At 41mm, it’s a rather large diameter for a dress watch, but wears comfortably and slips beneath a cuff like it was meant to be there.

Dial and Hands

The dial is a luxurious silver with guilloche pattern in the middle, followed by a smoother sunburst pattern where the hour markers are, leading into a slightly different contrast sunburst pattern to house the minute markers.  The case is rather busy for a dress watch, to be honest, but only when you look closely.  Every 5 minutes has the arabic numeral printed on the dial with each 1/4 of a minute delineated with a straight line.  A bit too busy for a dress watch, but it’s so tiny that the business around the outside of the dial is quickly lost.  The main show comes when a circle is made by the rose gold + lume hour markers followed by the central guilloche pattern.  Hamilton takes an intimidating position atop a rectangle raised up in the middle of the guilloche, whereas “viewmatic” gets the lowercase treatment and is printed in the bottom middle.  The hands are a classic Hamilton tapered rose gold style with lume in the middle of the hour and minute and nothing on the straight arrow back second hand.  All in all, a little busy, but Hamilton makes it work with great dial pattern separation and room to work.

Bracelet/Strap

The strap is a croc pattern embossed calf leather with Hamilton “H” double push button, butterfly, deployant, rose gold clasp.  It is 20mm at the lugs and does not taper.  The contrast stitching is where this watch confuses me a little.  It makes it able to be worn casually, but detracts from the dress watch nature of this rosey devil.  I would certainly pick up a non-contrast stitch strap for dressier ocassions, but leave the contrast stitch strap on for more casual affairs — or for the jeans/polo look.  The leather is the typical fair and isn’t really anything special.  The deployant is a great touch and the Hamilton H on the deployant gives an up scale feel to the whole thing, no matter what strap you have on it.  That being said, the deployant’s clasp is a little big, but then again this is a “little bit big” dress watch and it works.

Movement

ETA 2824-2 with Hamilton Rotor.  What can I say?  It’s been a workhorse ETA movement that beats at 28,800 bph and creates a buttery smooth seconds hand that pretty much anyone can stare at for a good minute and not realize they were doing it.  My copy keeps about +4 out of the box.  These are easily regulated and serviced becuase they’re so common and robust.   A great Swiss movement.

Conclusions

Not a lot of men wear rose gold these days.  This watch could very well help bring it back.  It’s a classic dress watch mixed with some American heritage design and put together in a cost effective, high quality package.  The overall effect of this watch minimizes the rose gold by having a thin bezel and eye-capturing dial.  The Hamilton Jazzmaster Viewmatic in rose gold is a success on many levels and you will not regret the purchase.  Coincidentally I’ve also held and messed with the stainless version and it’s just as impressive, if rose gold isn’t your cup of tea.  If it is though, go with this Hamilton.

Quick Specs

  • Band Color:  Dark Brown Croc Pattern Leather
  • Band Width:  20mm non-tapering
  • Bezel Color:  Rose Gold
  • Case:  Rose Gold plated
  • Case Finish:  Polished + Stainless Steel
  • Case Thickness:  11mm
  • Case Width:  41mm; 43mm with crown
  • Clasp/Buckle:  Hamilton Deployant
  • Dial:  Silver
  • Hand Color: Rose gold
  • Movement:  ETA 2824-2

Video to come soon.

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Site News – Videos! http://rosswatchreview.com/2011/02/21/site-news-videos/ http://rosswatchreview.com/2011/02/21/site-news-videos/#respond Tue, 22 Feb 2011 01:37:02 +0000 http://rosswatchreview.com/?p=670

Videos will be coming shortly to www.RossWatchReview.com.  I will be producing HD 1080p video of details of the watches I review on my site.  Please stay tuned.  I will also be updating the current reviews with videos (if I still have the watch).

Thank you for reading,
Ross]]> Hello All,

Videos will be coming shortly to www.RossWatchReview.com.  I will be producing HD 1080p video of details of the watches I review on my site.  Please stay tuned.  I will also be updating the current reviews with videos (if I still have the watch).

Thank you for reading,
Ross ]]> http://rosswatchreview.com/2011/02/21/site-news-videos/feed/ 0 670 Orsa Military Review http://rosswatchreview.com/2011/02/21/orsa-military-review/ http://rosswatchreview.com/2011/02/21/orsa-military-review/#respond Mon, 21 Feb 2011 17:54:55 +0000 http://rosswatchreview.com/?p=606

[UPDATE – Video of Orsa is at the bottom of this post…]

Introduction

The Orsa Military Watch is a quartz driven military style with a smaller and thinner footprint that hearkens back to issued military watches of late.  The watch was/is offered by Orsa Watch Co. Even though this [...]]]>

[UPDATE – Video of Orsa is at the bottom of this post…]

Introduction

The Orsa Military Watch is a quartz driven military style with a smaller and thinner footprint that hearkens back to issued military watches of late.  The watch was/is offered by Orsa Watch Co. Even though this specific watch is no longer on their website, I believe they have a number left, so please email them to order (no, I don’t work for them and no, I don’t get any money from them for sales).  This watch is a clean and classic style. Let’s get right to it.

Case and Crystal

The case is 39mm diameter, 46mm lug to lug, 9.5mm thick.  This is smaller by today’s standards, but fits very well on my 6.75″ wrist.  The case is thin and you’ll notice that immediately, but it doesn’t feel fragile at all.  There is a lovely bead blasted coating over the entire case, including the screw-down caseback.  The crown does not screw down, it’s a straight push/pull type with two out positions.  The crystal is mineral and very slightly domed.  This slight doming increases visibility by reducing reflections off the crystal.  The lugs are 20mm and comfortably hold the NATO strap it comes on.



Dial and Hands

There are many dial colors available in this model.  This watch is the gray dial color.  It’s a matte medium to dark gray with ORSA at the top center with printed numerals and markers.  The dial has 24 hour markings inside of the main 12-hour markings.  The triangles at the hours are classically shaped and I personally love the way this dial looks.  For how busy the dial would seem with all this information on it (every hour has the Arabic numbers printed, every 24 hour is printed, and all minutes and hours have markers), the dial reads cleanly and is not distracting.   All of the hour indices have luminous material.  The hands are painted white with luminous material inside of them.

Bracelet

The strap that comes with the Orsa Military Watch is a nylon NATO strap in colors that generally “match” the dial color.  Hence the gray strap with my gray dialed Orsa.  The khaki dial Orsa comes with a khaki strap, etc.  There is really not much to say here other than it’s a cheap NATO that’s longer than the average NATO.  I almost immediately replaced with a higher quality ZULU and later with a silicone strap from Modena.


Movement

This watch uses a trusty ISA 317 Swiss no-jewel movement.  It has been performing extremely well for me and runs within the second every month.  This is a standard cheap ISA movement and it has a quick set date.  Gets the job done.

Conclusions

If you’re looking for an inexpensive military style watch with no frills, classic styling, and rugged quartz accuracy, consider this ORSA Military Watch at the top of your list.  It’s classic style, correct proportions, medium size case, light weight feel, and easy to read dial make it a perfect every day watch.

Quick Specs

  • Manufacturer: ORSA Watch Co.
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, sweep seconds, window type date display
  • Movement: ISA 317 quartz movement, Swiss made
  • Case: Stainless steel case, screw back, domed mineral glass, 5 mm crown non screwed, water-resistant 5 ATM
  • Strap and clasp: 20 mm NATO Mil series nylon strap
  • Dimensions: Diameter 39 mm, Height 9.5 mm, Lug to Lug 46 mm
  • Versions: Matte Black Dial, Matte Black Dial with Orange Numerals, Matte Grey Dial, Matte Cream Dial and Matte Green Dial

YouTube HD Link

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Bernhardt Binnacle Anchor Review http://rosswatchreview.com/2010/10/28/bernhardt-binnacle-anchor-review/ http://rosswatchreview.com/2010/10/28/bernhardt-binnacle-anchor-review/#comments Thu, 28 Oct 2010 16:42:40 +0000 http://rosswatchreview.com/?p=541

Introduction

Bernhardt Binnacle Anchor is the latest in Bernhardt’s Binnacle lineup and an absolute stellar value piece with a classic explorer style.  Bernhardt released this watch in mid-2010 and it has since become an extremely popular model in his collection.  The Binnacle Anchor clearly takes style cues from the Rolex Explorer [...]]]>

Introduction

Bernhardt Binnacle Anchor is the latest in Bernhardt’s Binnacle lineup and an absolute stellar value piece with a classic explorer style.  Bernhardt released this watch in mid-2010 and it has since become an extremely popular model in his collection.  The Binnacle Anchor clearly takes style cues from the Rolex Explorer classic 3, 6, 9 and no date features.  This is a modern update of the Explorer.  Be sure to check it out at Bernhardt’s website, for $199 it’s a best buy.  http://www.bernhardtwatch.com/binnacle.html.

Case and Crystal

The stainless steel case diameter is approximately 40mm excluding the crown.  Lug to lug length is 50mm and the lug width is 20mm.  The case has deeply polished sides and crown.  The crown sports the typical “B” for Bernhardt and is a treat to wind.  The case’s bezel is a smooth bezel at a slight angle and is polished stainless steel.  The lack of crown guards adds to the sleek appeal of the case lines and produces a very smooth continuous feel to the case edges.

One of the main features of the watch is the built in end link.  The end link is built directly into the case and is non-removable.  This produces a clean finished look when the bracelet or the included leather strap is attached.

The crystal is a flat, non-AR sapphire crystal.  It does the job very well and is clear and like all sapphire crystal will not scratch under normal wear.

Dial and Hands

The dial is a deep black with slight sunburst metallic pattern.  It’s a great piece and very different than a standard deep black dial.  There are over-sized applied markers at “12” “3” “6” and “9.”  All the hour markers get an over-sized applied shaped stick marker.  All the applied markers are lumed and glow very well at night, although they do lose their intensity rather quickly.  The hour and minute hands are straight sticks with lume in the middle – classic.  The second hand is straight polished silver with an anchor on the end — a very nice touch and something I always stare at when looking at this watch.  The dial text is classic and clean with only “Bernhardt” at the top and “Binnacle Anchor” at the bottom.  My only complaint with the dial is that the hour marker for 11 and 1 tend to meld with the “12” making the whole 11 – 1 area look like “1121” instead of hour marker, “12”, hour marker.

Bracelet

As you’ve read in other Bernahrdt reviews, the bracelet is a major factor in catapulting this piece out of the ordinary and into the extraordinary.  The bracelet is the most comfortable bracelet I’ve ever worn.  It’s has thick, solid ,screw links with a machined clasp with flip lock.  It’s in the oyster style, with the middle part of the link and sides of the links polished with the other bits brushed.  This is in keeping with the overall style of the watch as a sport/dress watch.  The bracelet has a straight end link to allow it to interface with the built in end links of the case.  This could have been catastrophic for this watch, but Bernhardt has pulled it off.  The bracelet fits snugly in place and looks amazing with the built in end links of the case.

The Binnacle Anchor also comes with a croc-pattern calf leather black strap with contrast stitching.  The leather used feel slightly plasticy, but does break in over time.  The contrast stitching keeps the sport feel of the watch.  The buckle is a tang style buckle with “Bernhardt” etched across it.  At $199, I’m surprised this watch comes with BOTH the stainless steel bracelet and the leather strap, but it’s a knock out combination making this watch easily one of the most versatile in my collection.

Movement and Accuracy

The Binnacle Anchor uses a Miyota 8215 workhorse.  It’s hand windable and non-hacking.  It has proven, in this watch and others I own, to be a dependable movement.  It gains about 10 seconds a day.  The winding is smooth and solid.  The rotor only winds in the counter clockwise direction; it spins freely when rotating clockwise.  The power reserve is about 40 hours on this model and it really does get the whole 40 hours.  Overall a solid movement used in many affordable watches with great success, as it is here.

Overall Impressions

Buy one, you will love it!

Quick Specs

  • 40mm (excluding signed screw down crown)
  • water resistance to 200 meters
  • 316-L stainless steel
  • sapphire crystal
  • stainless bracelet with screws
  • genuine 20mm leather strap with white stitching
  • Miyota 8215 automatic movement
  • built-in end piece for perfect fit
  • 2 year warranty
  • wood display box
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Seiko Super Oyster Bracelet Review http://rosswatchreview.com/2010/09/04/seiko-super-oyster-bracelet-review/ http://rosswatchreview.com/2010/09/04/seiko-super-oyster-bracelet-review/#comments Sun, 05 Sep 2010 03:12:15 +0000 http://rosswatchreview.com/?p=495

Intro

Are you looking for a high quality oyster bracelet for your favorite Seiko diver?  You have come to the right place.  This review covers William Jean’s super oyster bracelet.  This bracelet is clearly marketed to a Seiko audience, but can be ordered with a straight end piece and [...]]]>

Intro

Are you looking for a high quality oyster bracelet for your favorite Seiko diver?  You have come to the right place.  This review covers William Jean’s super oyster bracelet.  This bracelet is clearly marketed to a Seiko audience, but can be ordered with a straight end piece and then would fit most other watches.

Size

The pictured bracelet is 22mm at the ends, tapering to 20mm at the clasp.  William Jean also offers this bracelet is 20mm with no taper, and 18mm.  He also offers a 22mm size that tapers to 18mm.  I highly recommend either the 22mm tapering to 20mm or the 20mm no taper versions.  The links are 3.30mm thick.

Fit and Finish

The materials are clearly superior to other after-market bracelets of this type.  The bracelet is brushed everywhere except the sides.  It uses screws to secure the removable links.  The screws are very smooth and none were stripped and they held up very well to resizing and stress.  The clasp is a Seiko clasp copy that feels as smooth if not smoother than the OEM Seiko clasp.  William Jean offers the clasp in 2 or 4 hole micro-adjust version.  This version is the 4 hole microadjust version and is very easy to adjust.  There is no diver’s extension.  The clasp is a fold over push button with safety lock.  The end links are solid, but cut so they fit the Seiko divers’ cases.  William Jean can provide end links for most, if not all, of the Seiko divers.

Comfort

Wow, this guy is comfortable!  The micro adjust allows for a very precise fit.  The links are standard oyster style, being a bit longer makes them less flexible overall, but this shouldn’t be an issue for most and is simply a style preference than a comfort concern.  I highly recommend this bracelet.  It is designed for comfort and quality and performs both perfectly.

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Watchadoo Bracelet Review http://rosswatchreview.com/2010/08/16/watchadoo-bracelet-review/ http://rosswatchreview.com/2010/08/16/watchadoo-bracelet-review/#comments Mon, 16 Aug 2010 15:53:20 +0000 http://rosswatchreview.com/?p=461

Intro

Watchadoo bracelets have been gaining popularity in the watch community.  They are primarily sold through forums and on eBay.  Wathcadoo bracelets are 5-link across bracelets that come with straight ends in 18, 20, 22, and 24mm sizes.  These watches fill a void for very high [...]]]>

Intro

Watchadoo bracelets have been gaining popularity in the watch community.  They are primarily sold through forums and on eBay.  Wathcadoo bracelets are 5-link across bracelets that come with straight ends in 18, 20, 22, and 24mm sizes.  These watches fill a void for very high quality straight end link bracelets that can easily be fitted to a variety of watches.  Some watches come on sub-par, uncomfortable, or simply undesirable bracelets and Watchadoo fills the need for a superior quality bracelet that can be used with many watches at an affordable price.

 

Size

The 20mm and 18mm sizes do not taper.  The 22mm size, which is featured in this review tapers from 22mm at the lugs to 20mm at the clasp.  The links are 4.5mm thick.  They are solid, heavy links of stainless steel and are curved on the top and flat on the back.  The bracelet comes with two spring bars.  These spring bars are very hefty at 2.5mm thick.  However, they have standard size ends (the part that actually goes into the lug hole) sized at 0.8mm.  This is ideal for most applications as the 2.5mm thick bars are much more rugged, yet the smaller ends fits the majority of watches on the market today.  The ends will be too small for some Seiko models, but Watchadoo is geared toward these Seikos by making the end links of the bracelet 2.5mm, the same size as the Seiko “fat” spring bars.  So, you can easily put these Watchadoo bracelets on a Seiko with 2.5mm thick spring bars with the thicker Seiko end size.  I have been testing the bracelet using the spring bars that came with it and I must say the spring bars are very high quality.

 

Fit and finish

Fit and finish of this bracelet is amazing.  The links are heavy solid stainless steel and very well put together.  They move in relation to one another very easily, providing a comfort that is hard to beat.  One gripe, is that the links use the cotter pin style of attachment instead of screw-links.  I would have preferred screw links as they are a bit more secure.  However, I have had bracelets with screw links get stripped, which ruins that link, whereas if a cotter pin breaks, you can just replace the pin and keep going.  So I can understand if this was a conscious design decision, but I would still prefer a high quality screw link system, as the high quality screw links are unlikely to strip.  The end piece of the bracelet is slightly thinner than the 4.5mm links, which I do not like. I wish they were the same size, as it almost looks like the end sinks down a bit in relation to the overall bracelet.  Same thing with the last link that attaches to the clasp on both sides, those are also thinner than the overall bracelet links and I wish they were the same size for consistency and a uniform look.

Comfort

This bracelet is very comfortable.  No other way to put it.  The links are heavy enough to feel solid and secure on the wrist, but not too heavy as to weigh your arm down.  The links move fluidly and bend to your wrist’s contours perfectly.  My only gripe is the clasp.  This is the type of clasp that I’ve seen on $10 silicone straps and is a 3-hole micro adjust side-button release with security lock (see pictures below).  Whereas the clasp works just fine, it doesn’t have enough micro-adjust for my liking.  I wish it had 4 micro adjust holes, not 3.  Having only 3 doesn’t allow you to fully adjust the bracelet 1 whole link size, so there is a point where you could be between removing 1 link and being on the largest hole or leaving 1 link in and being on the smallest hole.  Actually this is exactly where my wrist was!  I have a 6.75″ wrist, and likely this isn’t a problem for most people.  But I am very demanding when it comes to bracelets and I think this is a flaw with this clasp.  I have since switched the clasp out for a Seiko 4-hole micro-adjust clasp, which can adjust a longer distance, and it fits like a dream.   Don’t let this discourage you from buying this bracelet, however, the clasp issue is really very minor and doesn’t effect the absolutely spectacular comfort that you get with this Watchadoo bracelet.

_

In conclusion, I highly recommend this Watchadoo bracelet for anyone not quite satisfied with their current bracelet or strap, or anyone who simply wants to change the look and feel of their watch with a very high quality, heavy, thick, stainless steel bracelet.  I should mention this bracelet comes in polished or brushed stainless steel, and I opted for the brushed version, but both are the same in every respect except finish.

_

~Ross

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Orient Mako CEM65001B Review http://rosswatchreview.com/2010/08/11/orient-mako-black/ http://rosswatchreview.com/2010/08/11/orient-mako-black/#comments Wed, 11 Aug 2010 16:45:52 +0000 http://rosswatchreview.wordpress.com/?p=109 Introduction

Orient is Japan’s largest producer of mechanical watches.  Orient designs and produces their movements in-house.  This movement design and production style is truly rare in the watch industry and sets Orient apart from a vast number of watch companies.  Orient was recently acquired by Seiko, but runs as an independent subsidiary.  Orient [...]]]> Introduction

Orient is Japan’s largest producer of mechanical watches.  Orient designs and produces their movements in-house.  This movement design and production style is truly rare in the watch industry and sets Orient apart from a vast number of watch companies.  Orient was recently acquired by Seiko, but runs as an independent subsidiary.  Orient has recently expanded into the United States with offerings from a number of their lines (Orient Authorized Dealer).  Orient names their watches with a letter and number combination.  However, some of their models have been given a proper name by the watch community.  The Orient CEM65001B has been given the name “Mako” and it has stuck (explanation of what these letters/number combos mean).  Now one of Orient’s authorized dealers even puts that name on their website.  Now, with that short introduction, let’s get on with the review.

Case and Crystal

At 41.1mm without and 45.6mm with crown, the Orient Mako will fit almost any size wrist comfortably without being too small or big.  The case is stainless steel with brushed uppers with polished sides, crown, and pusher.  The crown is at the traditional 3 o’clock position and is smartly protected by the case.  The crown adjusts the time and date, but there is a separate pusher that controls the day complication.  Both the crown and the pusher for the day screw down, making this watch ready for diving.  The crown and pusher screw down very smartly and give you a solid feel with smooth threads. With 200m water resist, this is considered a dive watch.  The bezel is 60-click uni-directional.  The bezel arrives rather stiff, however in a later post, I will explain how to adjust this so it rotates more easily.  There are minute markers on the bezel from “0” to “10.”  The bezel has a beautiful black shine to it and the numbers and minute markers are in silver.  The bezel’s edge is of the coin edge variety with slightly bigger indentions every 10 minutes on the 5’s (e.g. at 5, 15, 25, etc there is a larger indention in the outside of the bezel).  This design makes the bezel easy to grip in any condition.  The lugs curve downward to hug the wrist and this does a great job in keeping this watch centered on the wrist.  The lugs do not extend far from the case.  The lug-to-lug measurement is 47.1mm, which is a great size for smaller wrists and not too small for larger wrists.  I think Orient really hit a home run with the size of this case.

The crystal is a flat mineral crystal that sticks up above the bezel by about 0.5mm.  It has no AR coating and no date magnifier.

Dial and Hands

The dial is listed as black, but is actually a dark gray, which appears black in most lights, but in direct sunlight or other bright lights you can tell it’s actually a dark gray.  The dial has cutouts for day and date.  There are applied numerals at “12” “6” and “9.”  Other markers are applied stick markers that come to a point at the end.  All the numerals and markers are filled with luminous material that does a great job keeping bright throughout the night.  The hour and minute hands are sword style with luminous material.  The seconds hand has a red tip, pointer style.  The second hand has no luminous material and is a flaw, in my opinion.  The second hand could easily be coated on the end with luminous material for easy night viewing or deep water viewing.  There is a chapter ring that has a dash for every minute, which is a nice touch as it moves these hash marks from the dial and gives the dial a little cleaner look than being directly on the dial.  This also gives the dial a larger feel because the chapter ring is black to match the black dial, making the whole thing look continuous.  Orient’s logo, name, and “Automatic” are top center with “Water Resist” and “200m” at center bottom.  For me, this is the right amount of text on a dial, not too much, but still gives all the important details.  Overall the dial and hands give this watch a traditional diver’s utilitarian feeling with excellent legibility.

Bracelet

The Orient Mako comes with either stainless steel bracelet or rubber dive strap.  I recommend going with the stainless steel bracelet and will focus this review on the bracelet, not strap.  The bracelet is an Oyster style bracelet with hollow end links and push-button with safety fold clasp.  The end links do not extend the lug length any and the bracelet can fall directly down from the spring bar.  This makes the bracelet very comfortable in daily wear.  The links themselves are solid stainless steel with pin style connectors, not screws.  The pin style is common and has performed well.  The bracelet is oyster style with 3 links across.  The bracelet is brushed stainless steel on the top and bottom, but has polished sides.  The polished sides match the polished sides of the case itself and goes very well with one another.  This continuation of the brushed top and polish side gives the Mako a more refined dive look.  The clasp is stamped with Orient’s name and Logo and has 3 micro-adjust.  The micro-adjust total adjustment is shorter than 1 link, so there could be a sizing issue with finding the exact size for your wrist.  Overall the bracelet is a solid performer and feels thick and solid.  The lack of another micro-adjust hole in the clasp bothers me, but won’t bother most people.  I’m directly between adding 1 link and being on the smallest microadjust and removing 1 link and being on the largest microadjust hole.  This problem occurs because the micro-adjust don’t adjust the length of one link and will rarely be a problem for people, even though it is for me.  I should note, the bracelet does not have a diver’s extension.

Movement and Accuracy

Orient uses their Caliber 46943 in the Mako.  This is a robust movement that beats at 21,600 bph.  It has a quarter-section rotor that winds the automatic movement bi-directionally (the rotor winds the movement when it swing clockwise and when it swings counterclockwise).  The quarter section rotor is not very common in mechanical watches, with the typical being a half section rotor.  The rotor size means that the Mako’s rotor is lightweight and easy to move and winds the system very efficiently.    I have tested 3 Makos and the accuracy ranges:  -7 sec/day, -2 sec/day, +0.5 sec/day.  All of these are from the factory accuracy, without regulation at all.  They are good numbers, except I would like to see the -7 sec/day be a bit better.  However, -2 and +0.5 are incredible for this class of watch.  This is well within COSC specs, although I should be clear that the Mako is not a COSC certified watch.  The movement is held in place with a metal movement ring and is truly built to last.  The movement does not hack or hand wind, which I find annoying, but really is more of an inconvenience than a flaw.  However, those of you that like to set their watches to the second to atomic clock time would be annoyed with the lack of hacking.

Overall Impressions

The Orient Mako is a solid watch that exudes quality from the moment you pick it up.  There are a couple flaws, namely the bezel is hard to turn from the factory and the bracelet lacks the proper amount of microadjust.  The lack of hacking and hand-winding will be considered by some a flaw, but these are movement design choices made by Orient and are not flaws.  My Makos have been in salt water, fresh water, swimming, boating, etc and have held up perfectly.  I would like for Orient to put a sapphire crystal on this watch, but I know that would increase the price out of the ultra-affordable range into the affordable range and they would lose some customers.  At $190 new and with frequent discounts putting this watch around the $100 level, anyone would be very hard pressed to find a better 200m rated dive watch, or any type of watch, that compares to the quality of the Orient Mako.

Technical Specs

Power Reserve: Approximately 40 Hours
Crystal: Mineral
Movement: Orient Caliber 46943
Clasp: Fold-over with Double Push Button Safety
Crown: Screwed-down
Water Resistance: 200m
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 41mm
Case Thickness: 13mm
Dial Color: Black
Bezel Material: Stainless Steel
Bezel Function: Unidirectional
Calendar: Day/Date
Band Material: Stainless Steel
Band Length: 22mm

~Ross

Some other colors:


]]> http://rosswatchreview.com/2010/08/11/orient-mako-black/feed/ 3 109 Bernhardt Sea Shark Review http://rosswatchreview.com/2010/08/10/bernhardt-sea-shark/ http://rosswatchreview.com/2010/08/10/bernhardt-sea-shark/#comments Tue, 10 Aug 2010 15:22:00 +0000 http://rosswatchreview.wordpress.com/?p=29 Case and Crystal

The case is rugged, but refined 42mm diameter without crown.  It is brushed everywhere, giving it more of a tool watch look, but the lines are smooth with no sharp edges anywhere.  The curved lugs make this watch really hug your wrist and feel more comfortable.  The crown is signed [...]]]> Case and Crystal

The case is rugged, but refined 42mm diameter without crown.  It is brushed everywhere, giving it more of a tool watch look, but the lines are smooth with no sharp edges anywhere.  The curved lugs make this watch really hug your wrist and feel more comfortable.  The crown is signed with the signature Bernhardt “B” and is screw down.  It’s smooth and confident with the threads very well done.  The crown is protected by crown guards, which are unobtrusive and a good feature on a dive watch.  The watch is rated to 200m and is very solid.  The bezel is a 120 click uni-directional with a rather unique style of minute markers.  The bezel ratchets very smoothly, but is a little jittery when you press down on it.

The crystal is flat sapphire with no AR coating.

Dial and Hands

The dial comes in a variety of colors.  My specific one is the dark black.  The indices are applied onto the dial and have super luminous material painted on the top of them.  The indices are in a “shark tooth” pattern, hence the name “Sea Shark.”  The 9 and the 3 balance the dial very well and add visual appeal to the shark teeth indices.  The minute and hour hands are silver with luminous fill.  The minute and second hands do not reach all the way to the minute registers around the outside of the dial.  The second hand is a lovely stark white with no luminous material.  I would have liked some luminous material on the second hand, but in every day use this isn’t a major factor.  The dial has “Bernhardt” printed onto the dial at the top and “Sea Shark 200 Meter Water Resistance” at the bottom.  It’s a bit too much text for my liking and I think it should have stopped at “Sea Shark 200M.”

Bracelet

The bracelet again is where Bernhardt truly sets themselves apart.  Since this bracelet is the same exact bracelet as on the Binnacle GMT, I will reiterate what I said in that review.

Wow. This is a chunky, solid end link, solid link, screw-link bracelet. This is the best bracelet I’ve worn in a long time (and I’ve worn a ton!). The links are screw links with the link that’s attached to the end-link having a screw and the normal number of links for adjustment. The clasp folds are machined, not stamped, and fit neatly together and secure closed with a flip lock closure. There is no diver extension on this bracelet, as it’s not a dive watch. There are 4 micro-adjust holes on the clasp, which allows for a wonderful range of precise adjustment. I’m a micro-adjust freak and I feel like Bernhardt has it perfect on this watch. The mirco-adjust can adjust a whole link’s length, so you can get the exact right fit and will never be between adding a link back in and having it on the smallest micro-adjust and removing a link and having it on the largest micro-adjust hole (this has happened to me on other bracelets).
The bracelet is 20mm at the lugs and tapers slightly to 18mm at the clasp. The bracelet is solid link and all the links are 4.35mm thick (very thick). As a comparison, the invicta 8926 has 3.6mm thick links, most Alpha bracelet links are between 3.2mm and 3.7mm thick, and Orient Mako bracelet = 3.55mm thick.
The links are drilled so the screw links go all the way through, as in you can see the screws on both the side with the screw head and the other end (see pics). Some people don’t like this (they want the end of the screw to be contained in the solid link), but I love it and it doesn’t detract, it adds to the look of the bracelet.

Movement and Accuracy

Bernhardt used the workhorse Miyota 8215 movement in this watch.  This has proven to be a solid movement running about +8 sec/day.  The movement is a 21-jewel uni-directional winding automatic running at 21,600 bph.  The movement does not hack, but does hand wind.

Overall Impressions

Bernhardt really struck the right balance between quality and affordability with this watch.  At $199 new, it’s a great value.  This is an extremely comfortable watch that comes in many dial color choices.  Bernhardt’s customer service is beyond belief and the company and it’s owner Fred Amos will go the extra mile to make sure everything is perfect with every order.  This is a solid dive watch that you can feel confident wearing anywhere.  It’s a bit larger at 42mm, but is well within keeping for the trend to larger watches.  My 6.75″ wrist sometimes has a hard time with the size, but the curved lugs and fabulous bracelet make this watch comfortable and well placed on the wrist.

Quick Specifications

  • size: 42
  • 316-L surgical stainless steel
  • sapphire crystal
  • 200 meters water resistance
  • Super Luminova on hands and indices
  • Miyota 21 jewel automatic movement
  • screws in bracelet for sizing

~Ross

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Bernhardt Binnacle GMT Review http://rosswatchreview.com/2010/08/09/bernhardt-binnacle-gmt/ http://rosswatchreview.com/2010/08/09/bernhardt-binnacle-gmt/#comments Mon, 09 Aug 2010 16:37:01 +0000 http://rosswatchreview.wordpress.com/?p=64 Case

At 39mm without crown, the case feels like a normal 40mm diver. On my 6.75″ wrist, it’s perfect. The lug size is 20mm and the lug-to-lug size is 47.6mm. The case is made from 316L SS and is brushed everywhere. This is a GMT watch and has a non-rotatable 24 hour bezel [...]]]> Case

At 39mm without crown, the case feels like a normal 40mm diver. On my 6.75″ wrist, it’s perfect. The lug size is 20mm and the lug-to-lug size is 47.6mm. The case is made from 316L SS and is brushed everywhere. This is a GMT watch and has a non-rotatable 24 hour bezel that is brushed with engraved black numerals for all the even hours and lines for the odd hours. The crown is signed with the Bernhardt “B” and is large and easy to grip. The threads of the screw-in crown were a bit stiff when I first received it, and I lubed it with a very small amount. This watch is 200m rated and has a screw down caseback with all the normal info on it. The lugs are curved down a bit making the case sit comfortably on the wrist and makes the watch case look flush with the wrist.

Crystal

The sapphire crystal extends above the bezel slightly.  This exposes the crystal to direct hits on the edge of the crystal, which could chip the side of the crystal, however this has never been a problem for me on this watch.

Dial and Hands

There is a dark gray dial with painted on hour indicese and 12, 6, 9 numbers. The dial has distinct cues from the Omega Railmaster. The painted indices are thickly lumed, so thick that they stick up from the dial quite a bit. There is minimal text on the dial only “Bernhardt” up top and “Binnacle” and “GMT” at bottom, with the GMT in red, rest in white. There is a date window at 3 o’clock with a white box around it, framing the date.  I’m not quite sure the exact style name of the hands, but they are easy to read and all Silver/lume except for the 24 hour hand, which is all red with lume. The second hand is the traditional ball near the end style. The date wheel is white background with black text and the standard wheel for the ETA 2836.

Bracelet

Wow. This is a chunky, solid end link, solid link, screw-link bracelet. This is the best bracelet I’ve worn in a long time (and I’ve worn a ton!). The links are screw links with the link that’s attached to the end-link having a screw and the normal number of links for adjustment. The clasp folds are machined, not stamped, and fit neatly together and secure closed with a flip lock closure. There is no diver extension on this bracelet, as it’s not a dive watch. There are 4 micro-adjust holes on the clasp, which allows for a wonderful range of precise adjustment. I’m a micro-adjust freak and I feel like Bernhardt has it perfect on this watch. The mirco-adjust can adjust a whole link’s length, so you can get the exact right fit and will never be between adding a link back in and having it on the smallest micro-adjust and removing a link and having it on the largest micro-adjust hole (this has happened to me on other bracelets).

The bracelet is 20mm at the lugs and tapers slightly to 18mm at the clasp. The bracelet is solid link and all the links are 4.35mm thick (very thick). As a comparison, the invicta 8926 has 3.6mm thick links, most Alpha bracelet links are between 3.2mm and 3.7mm thick, and Orient Mako bracelet = 3.55mm thick.

The links are drilled so the screw links go all the way through, as in you can see the screws on both the side with the screw head and the other end (see pics). Some people don’t like this (they want the end of the screw to be contained in the solid link), but I love it and it doesn’t detract, it adds to the look of the bracelet.

Movement

ETA 2836 modified for the GMT hand. The ETA 2836 is a very reliable swiss made 28,800 bph movement that normally has 3 hands and day/date. Bernhardt has modified the movement by making the day wheel (which flips over 1 time every 24 hours) into the GMT hand, which makes a complete trip around the dial in 24 hours, allowing you to track a different time zone. The ETA 2836 movement needs no more discussion, as it’s a common and reliable workhorse of the ETA lineup and a top quality Swiss made movement. This movement is easily regulated to within COSC and mine runs slightly faster than COSC right out of the box.

Accuracy

Out of the box it was +12 sec/day.  These ETA movements are typically more accurate this than.  That being said, I’ve successfully regulated this ETA to within +2 sec/day.

Overall Impressions

This watch exudes bang for the buck quality.  If you’re looking for a travel watch (gmt), daily wear, or watch to wear with anything from jeans to a suit, this is the watch for you. This is a limited edition watch, limited to 50, however these pieces pop up for sale every now and then and would be a great addition to your collection.  Bernhardt also makes a variety of other watches that have similar features and price, like the globemaster and corsair and the more affordable seashark — please check them out as I’m sure they possess all the positives of this watch with a slightly larger case size.  Bernhardt is also coming out with another 39-40mm range size watch, the Binnacle Anchor, which is great for the smaller wrist sized individuals among us.   The Binnacle GMT was the first watch I owned from Bernhardt, but not the last.

Quick Specifications

  • 39 mm (excluding crown)
  • water resistant to 200 meters
  • 316-L surgical stainless steel
  • second time zone
  • ETA 2836 movement (modified)
  • 4th hand sets independently
  • solid end links/ solid links
  • screws for adjustment of bracelet
  • screw down crown and case back
  • case and bracelet in all brush finish
  • hands and indices are coated with super luminova
  • wood display box

~Ross

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