Tag Archives: review

Accurist Retro Racer is a Winner

Ladies n gentlemen, can we have a tip of the hat to Accurist who have launched a pretty decent 1970s chronograph for under £130. In fact we saw one example at £109 on Ideal World today.

The Retro Racer has a qaurtz movement, the usual chrono functions and a Milanese mesh bracelet option too. It only has a 50m depth rating so don’t go swimming while wearing it, but this is an everyday watch that captures 70s motorsport style with a selection of dial colours. We love the blue best, but the silver is cool and the black option with red second hand gives you that older 60s vibe. The brown leather strap has the Paddy Hopkirk perforated look as well.

The thing we like about this is that the case has those rounded angles on its old fashioned TV dial look. Accurist has been making round case chronographs for ages, but since they dropped the Sekonda Monaco homage, they haven’t really produced anything a bit different from most of the budget fashion quartz watches out there. (Yes, Sekonda, Limit and Accurist are owned by the same company)

This new Accurist watch could pass for one of the many Indie brand VK64 models out there on Kickstarter right now and yep, that’s a good thing.

Why? Well, Accurist has become the Honda Jazz of watches, it’s an old person watch brand, so if it’s going to survive then they need some punchy, sharp designs – and they need to make much more of their 1960s Old England heritage. Spaceman cases, steering wheel watches, Twiggy Union Jack revival…the opportunity is there, get busy.

Accurist has produced a sort of Zen And The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance video for the Retro Racer, which is worth a look;

 

 

In Profile: Sangamon Watches USA

This US based brand is one we just discovered and we like the cut of their jib, with retro inspired designs and a Sangamon Dock owners club. So if you become a fan, you get extra rewards. Great idea, more watch brands should get on board with that.

The Sangamon Omaha Beach range acts as a tribute to all the brave people who went ashore in June 1944 to help open up a Western Front and defeat the Nazi war machine that bit quicker. With a quartz movement the green dial matched to a tan leather strap simply looks the biz for us, combining vintage style with modern timekeeping. That US Army star logo on the sub-second dial is a nice detail too.

Then there’s the Lincoln’s River models, which feature Seiko NH35 automatic movements, sapphire crystal, a natty rosewood box and bracelet/strap options set onto 22mm lugs. Handome dress watch, with silver, blue, black or gold tone being your colour choices. Not sure about the graphic of Abe Lincoln doing some paddling on the caseback, maybe a snaking bend in the river and few mountains would offer a more pleasing vista. Or a see-thru caseback?

MOTHER ROAD

As a former bike journo I have to say one thing I really regret missing out on was riding the famous Route 66, so the Mother Road collection is a personal fave.

Chunky 44mm case, nice 70s style rally sport leather strap, sapphire crystal and the trusty Seiko NH35A auto movement inside. Comes with a Route 66 collectors box, including a key ring for that essential – and much delayed – road trip. Prices is $289 (about £210, plus shipping and import duty on top) on a special deal right now, with four dial colour choices, plus a super limited edition tie-dye multi-coloured dial design. That’s a very fair price for an automatic watch with a Seiko movement inside, plus sapphire crystal and I speak as an owner of a Presage which costs 300 quid and has a Hardlex crystal.

Here’s some info from Sangamon;

There are 5 color options (Black, Brown, White, Navy and Tie-Dye) designed around the theme, from the Harley Davidson inspired black dial to the extremely limited model (only 20) Tie-Dye dial inspired by famous Cadillac Ranch. The watch band is a thick and durable genuine leather Rally Racing 3-Hole with a brushed stainless steel oversized buckle.

Every Sangamon watch comes with a story card to further connect the customer with the history and design of the watch. The Mother Road Collection also includes a keychain with the iconic Route 66 logo, a custom Mother Road Patch and two metal cards for Sangamon Dock Membership and 2-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Mother Road Collection is part of the Spirit Series. The Spirit Series represents an empowerment of inner peace and the awakening of your soul. The Spirit Series is an icon for freedom and conveys an optimistic outlook on life.

New Frederique Constant Highlife is An Expensive Option

The Frederique Constant Highlife collection is now making its comeback. Two years of development has gone into creating three models from the brand, which is owned by Citizen.

The Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture, Highlife Heart Beat and Highlife Automatic COSC round out the revived range. Faithful to the original collection from 1999, the new Highlife collection is engineered for everyday use, says the FC brand.

The three models share the same 41 mm case. Inside there’s an FC 775 Calibre movement, with a 38 hour power reserve. All three models have a very clean, classic look, but at over £7300 for the entry level Perpetual, these are for hardcore fans of the FC brand.

A new case with an integrated interchangeable bracelet 

Like the original inspiration, the Highlife 2020 collection has an integrated bracelet and a quick change feature. FC have also smoothed down the lugs to offer a clean, comfortable design. There’s a leather, suede or rubber strap, if you don’t fancy a steel bracelet.

Buying Verdict

Having seen the low amounts that jewellers and pawnbrokers offer for a pre-owned Frederique Constant watch, you are looking at losing about 5K in depreciation, should you decide to sell. If this is a watch for a lifetime’s pleasure, who cares? But for all its understated charm, we think the Highlife models are simply too expensive.

This is Rolex money, for a brand name that 80% of people have never even heard of – let that sink in. Before you flash your debit card…