Seiko and Citizen know it to be true; a turquoise dial watch is actually very cool, the choice of those who dare to be different. You can still buy a Seiko 5 or Presage today with a mix of blue and green on the dial and we are big fans at NWC magazine.
But can you get the same joy from an Ali Express budget automatic from Paulareis, at just £19.15? Well, yes and no.
Let’s start with the positives on this one, which was bought from Timerunner store. There were some random polystyrene protectors in there, but the watch was packed inside a basic plastic sleeve – no box.
To be fair, this is bargain basement level watch buying, so no fancy box is fine.
The steel case and bracelet feels good, nicely polished, no sharp edges. The clasp has a foldover strap and presses down with a satisfying click. Feels secure. I took out one link and moved the clasp in along for a perfect fit. This watch is 40mm across which most enthusiasts agree is the ideal size.
The dial colour is stunning, it really stands out. There is a touch of lume on the quarter hour markers as well. Solid caseback, with a Rolex style splined backing plate.
Pretty certain our old friend the Chinese DG movement is inside the case.
Pull out the crown to position one and you can wind the watch. It ran for 27 hours left alone on the workbench. Wearing it all day, even mainly deskbound, put enough extra in the balance spring to power it through the night a day later.
Feels like a mineral crystal, which sits a little bit high by the way. Not sure if that’s a good thing or whether it might be vulnerable to little nicks and scratches.
The bezel is almost the same as a Seiko SNK series watch, it has that chamfered smoothness that’s just good to touch. Plain n simple, classic design.
The crown is difficult to align on the tube when pressing in, before screwing it down. It doesn’t realy want to screw all the way on the thread. On the upside, it’s a fairly small crown so it doesn’t dig into the back of your hand like some do.
Most irritating was the condition of the watch. It was dirty underneath the protective stickers, especially inside the clasp.
I took it apart to clean up properly as I adjusted the clasp, but still, not a good indicator as regards quality control at the Timerunner outlet.
It sits a bit high on the wrist at around 14mm, but I don’t really mind – it isn’t a huge lump of a thing like the 43mm Pulsar quartz chronograph I bought last year.
You cannot complain too much for the money. Yes, a turquiose Seiko 5 is a far superior timepiece in terms of build quality, resale value and you get all that lovely box, paperwork n guarantee. But it’s also £250.
This watch is under twenty quid – you know, a chippy tea price for the family on Friday.
I’m amazed that the factory in China is making any money and even more impressed that overall, this Paulareis offers everyday automatic timekeeping for a car boot sale price.