Tag Archives: automatics

Can A $25 Automatic Watch Do The Job?

We only ask the question because we bought a Tevise look-alikey Rolex Datejust for that sum of dollars on AliExpress recently.

UNBOXING

You have to be impressed at the overall package for the money. An outer carboard box, inner VIP owners card, little guarantee/user booklet, with some english words in there, plus a Tevise tag. There are various protector strips on the links, the crystal, caseback and clasp too.

Maybe it’s just my eyesight but the dial and the date window cyclops lens didn’t seem to be 100% aligned. The little shield at 12 o’clock just looked like it was set at 11.59?

FIT N FINISH

Removing X4 pins was easy and then the watch fitted my slim wrist. Pulling out the crown it became obvious that you have to manually advance the hands to advance the date, which is fair enough at this price level. The crown action was a little bit stiff and the same could be said for the winding action, but yes, you can wind it up as well as do the famous Seiko shake.

It does sit quite high on the wrist as the case measures approx 14mm high.

The foldover clasp is pretty basic to, with a firm press needed to get the clasp to fix upon the pin. Push button release worked fine.

The gold painted case and bracelet looks kinda average. This hasn’t got the luxury sheen of the Tudor look-a-like I bought for £31 last month from AliExpress. It probably won’t be long before dings and scratches show on this watch, or the paintwork rubs off.

TIMEKEEPING

I fully wound the watch, set it against my phone and checked back the day after. Given I was mainly deskbound, there wasn’t much wrist movement to charge the movement, so it was a relief to see it was still spot-on the day after.

Looking at the movment under a loupe you can see this is a fairly basic engine and interestingly the rotor barely moves from side-to-side. It doesn’t spin freely like some of the DG Chinese movements do.

The decorated Tevise rotor is a nice touch, as is the see-thru caseback. You would not expect that on a watch that retails for under £20, including postage to be fair.

VERDICT

Does it look like a Rolex from a distance? Nah, too goldie lookin’ chain mate.

Yes, this does the job of telling the time and as it is an auto, you never need a battery, so you’re helping planet earth in that respect. But this feels like a watch from the communist era. There are lots of brands on AliExpress selling automatics for under £60 that offer a look and feel that go way beyond this Tevise. Splash out if you love an automatic we say.

After two days one of the bracelet pins fell out and on inspection it lacked two spring-loaded ends on the pin. I often find one deeper spring end and one shallow end, where there is very little `give’ allows the pin to pop loose – which it did, repeatedly. Luckily I have hundreds of spare pins and a crimping tool to make a replacement pin fit more securely, but if you don’t, then that’s something to bear in mind.

Just want a basic timekeeper? Well the Tevise is incredible value for the £18 price tag.  The auto movement might need some winding help but once running, it’s accurate enough.

Given that you can buy a Casio quartz from Argos for under £20, or a Sekonda/Lorus for about £25-£35 in the H Samuel Sale, there are better ways to spend your tight budget.

Namoki MODS: Sale On, Plus Capt Willard On The Way

Namoki MODS has a sale on right now, with some handsome SKX dive models on offer for around £270, plus UK import duty n VAT etc.

What we love about these watches is that you can customise the watch with Batman blue/black bezels, different dials etc – whatever you like from teh extensive Namoki range. Or just buy the watch complete, good to go.

The Captain Willard SKX is due later this month. 46mm case width, gold, steel or black case finishes.

More here at Namoki MODS.

Prim Pilot S E Offers Auto Movement, Sharp Dial Design

Czech watch manufacturer Prim has a new Pilot S E model, which is available in a variety of striking dial designs and colours. The Miyota movement powered watch has a 42mm case, 22mm lug width and retails at 635 euros.

Dial designs include brown with a yellow second hand, and our fave is the blue dial with red second hand, which looks the biz. A traditional Pilot style black dial with bold white numbers is also in the line-up. You will have to pay import duty and VAT if buying in the UK, which is probably about 25% in total – we still cannot get a straight answer on the charges, which vary according to the value of the watches and the delivery service used. Yes, the delivery companies are charging new paperwork fees on EU imports too.

Ltd Edition Nomos Automatics Offer Understated Elegance

There is something to be said for the classic, minimalist timekeeper. A watch that just has bold hands and markers, maybe a sub-second dial, and does the job. No fancy bezels, no chrono pushers. Just a 1960s gents watch, utilitarian and elegant at the same time. Versatile even. At the same time, enthusiasts want a watch that can last a lifetime, made to high standards with accuracy as the foundation stone. Nomos Glashutte are on the case, here’s the word from their press office;

Distinctively fine watches have been produced in Glashütte for 175 years—an anniversary the watchmaking company NOMOS Glashütte celebrated with the release of two special limited-edition models.

And now the third is here: Club by NOMOS Glashütte comes in three new colorways, each limited to 175 pieces. The three names: Club automatic onyx, Club automatic navy, Club automatic olive. This popular model with domed sapphire crystal glass is available in beautiful shades of green, blue, and black (galvanized).

Club Navy Automatic

Within these timepieces, the NOMOS movement DUW 5001 is at work—the first self-winding caliber from the watchmaking company, introduced in 2005. The diameter measures 40 millimeters. All three watches are also easily legible at night. NOMOS Glashütte has crafted these long-lasting timepieces with the next generation of watch owners in mind. People, in other words, who will need a good watch on the wrist for decades to come.

First, there was Ludwig – 175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte, which celebrated the town’s heritage as the center of German watchmaking. Then came Lambda – 175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte, which represented the very best of Glashütte handcraft. And now there is an entirely different watch: An automatic model with an in-house built caliber and the proprietary NOMOS swing system adjusted according to chronometer standards. Available for an entry-level price which many people will find attractive: “A group of customers that has always been of great importance to us,” says NOMOS CEO Uwe Ahrendt.

Each of these watches comes with its own beautiful accessory: The elegant and complementary strap—a light gray and blue-black textile strap for the olive green and navy models respectively, and the NOMOS Sport bracelet for the onyx version. These watches are available from March in select retailers and online in the NOMOS Store, starting from 1960 GBP.

Raven Trekker Is A Cool, Class Act. Pricey Though

The latest watch from Raven is this edition of the Trekker featuring ceramic or stainless steel bezels, date or no-date movements, a newly designed flat jubilee bracelet with easy to size single sided screws, brushed stainless steel case with polished accents, and available dial colors in black, gray, and yellow.

The 39mm steel case tool watch has a sapphire crystal, screwdown crown and a depth rating of 300m. It’s got a striking steel bracelet too, with a smooth, brushed finish that really gives this watch an impressive look in the press photos. The only downside is the cost, at $750. That’s a bit steep for a Miyota powered auto, even one as classy as this one.

On the upside the blue version of the Trekker is on early bird special offer  – $50 off – until March 31st. More here. 

Boldr Chaigo Is an Art-Lovers Delight

This latest model from Boldr in Singapore is a tribute to a bold graffiti artist. Here’s the press info;

While pursuing his dream of being an independent graffiti artist, Malaysian-born Kenji Chai drew inspiration from an unlikely source – the many stray dogs that littered the outskirts of KL city. Growing up in a broken family, Kenji could relate to being estranged, having to fend for himself from a young age. Unlike the strays, however, he had the power to decide from then on to live life on his terms. And so, Chaigo was born.

The image of the neon blue stray dog with his tongue sticking out represents the spirit of having fun with life and never giving up. Incidentally, Kenji is born in the year of the dog, and Chaigo is a combination of his surname with the Mandarin word for dog, ‘Go’.

Kenji has steadily gained a reputation and amassed a loyal fanbase through his graffiti artwork which has travelled from random Kuala Lumpur city street walls to adorn popular restaurants, buildings, and office spaces. He has also been commissioned to create huge art murals in Jakarta, Kazakhstan, Shanghai, New York, and many other cities around the globe. Over time, Kenji has become the go-to graffiti artist for multiple world-renown brands and creative personalities.

Resonating deeply with Kenji’s story, we were eager to spread his inspiring message through merchandise bearing the Chaigo identity. The titanium Venture Chaigo comes with a comfy lightweight titanium bracelet, workhorse NH35 automatic movement, and an interchangeable custom NATO strap designed by Kenji himself. It’s a 38mm case, screwdown crown and the whole kit comes in a collectos box with a Chaigo toy figure as well. Limited to 160 pieces.

“If success is about taking one step at a time, keep moving forward” – Kenji Chai

Price is $499 US dollars.

Anonimo WRC Edition Is an Expensive Chronograph

Here’s one we missed from January, Anonimo’s WRC limited edition chronograph. We are motorsport fans here at NWC, so always keen to showcase stuff like this. Here’s the press info from Anonimo and apologies in advance for the annoying use of capitals – all brands are doing it now, kinda boring;

To mark the first rally of the 2020 season in Monte Carlo, ANONIMO, Official Timekeeper of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), presents a new version of its MILITARE chronograph bearing the newly unveiled championship colours.

Oliver Ciesla, managing director of WRC Promoter, said: ““The excitement in WRC revolves around battles fought against the clock for vital tenths of a second. We are delighted that ANONIMO has chosen to launch its new special edition, the MILITARE Chrono WRC, at the opening of the 2020 FIA World Rally Championship season in Monte-Carlo and that the WRC holds such a high-profile in the portfolio of such a prestigious Swiss watch brand as ANONIMO”.

On the new piece, orange replaces the green that has up to now been the WRC’s official signature colour. Subtle touches of the colour appear on the chronograph hand, the minute track on the flange, the 30-minute counter hand and indices, the chronograph start push-button and the strap stitching.

This MILITARE is easily recognisable thanks to its hand-brushed grey dial, its stainless steel case with PVD & DLC coating and its crown at 12 o’clock. The patented articulation system that protects the crown guarantees comfort and makes the piece water resistant. This Swiss Made watch is equipped with a Sellita SW 300 self-winding movement with an additional bi-compax DD2035M chronograph module developed exclusively for ANONIMO. In tribute to this partnership, the dial bears the WRC logo and the glass back is adorned with a special engraved design.

CW Sellors have it on sale in the UK at £4590.

Verdict; Expensive for a watch powered by a Sellita SW300 and the depreciation is likely to be much higher than say a Breitling, Rolex, Omega or IWC at this price level.

Farer Exmoor Automatic Has That Military Edge

Farer have a new addition to their range, the Field Exmoor automatic. Featuring a Sellita SW221 movement inside the steel case, this 38mm watch is designed for outdoor adventures and has that classic mil-spec dial. It also has an orange date hand rather than the conventional date window. For £875 this is an expensive alternative to something like a Seiko 5 with a green dial, but you are buying British and getting a watch with stunning night time lume as well.

Here’s the Tech Spec;

CASE

38.5mm diameter, 12.3mm depth, 45mm lug-to lug, 42mm pin-to-pin

MATERIAL

316 marine grade stainless steel

FINISH

Brushed finish with crown protector sides, highly polished back

BEZEL

316 marine grade stainless steel external fixed bezel

DIAL

Olive green textured dial and outer date ring with highlighted end of month dates, numerals overprinted in off-white SLN Grade A Super-Luminova with light orange Super-Luminova 5 minute arrow markers

Seiko 5 is a plain Jane compared to the Farer – but we found it online at £200 at Watch Nation.

HANDS

Sword style hour/minute hands in brushed steel with off-white SLN Grade A Super-Luminova infill, orange date hand featuring Farer ‘A’ pointer, blue sweep second with Super-Luminova dot and orange tip

CROWN

6mm screw in, straight stainless steel, machined solid bronze cap featuring embossed Farer marque

GLASS

Flat strengthened sapphire crystal, internal anti-reflective coating, external hard anti-reflective coating

STRAP KIT

Tan American Horween leather strap with steel buckle, airforce blue waterproof nylon NATO strap, ‘5 row’ integrated 316 marine grade steel bracelet with tri-fold clasp (fit to size via link removal) – all with quick release pin fitting

LUG

20mm

WATER RESISTANT

20ATM

Strond DC-3 Captures The 1940s Military Look

Indie UK brand Strond has launched its DC-3 model, which pays homage to one of the most durable military transport planes of the mid 20th century. The watch is being produced in a limited edition of 930 pieces, with a 24 jewel Seiko automatic movement inside the steel case. There is a little piece of DC-3 wing attached to the dial at the 6pm position too.

Sapphire crystal, superlume and a vintage Italian leather strap make this excellent value for £369 and you can find out more details here. 

 

Bamford Time+Tide Edition Released for 2021

Bamford have worked with Time+Tide to create a handsome GMT automatic for 2021. The watch features a Sellita SW300 movement, 40mm case and a rotating inner bezel. There is some good looking superlume applied to the numbers and hands too, sapphire crystal, plus that GMT hand of course. The strap is black cordura, with blue or orange stitching. There are two variations on the blue/black dial and case design by the way.

The watch is only available for 2021, then production will cease. Price is £1200, plus postage.

Verdict: Expensive for a Sellita SW300 powered watch, but great looks and collectability factor.