Hanhart Pioneer MK I | Hands On Review

Hanhart Pioneer MK I   Last year Hanhart introduced the Hanhart Pioneer MK I,  a tribute or homage to their first watch, the Calibre 40, introduced in 1938. I might be a little behind in reviewing this model but when I got the chance, I jumped on it, as I have always loved the design of Hanhart watches and wanted to see if they looked as good in person as they do in photos. Spoiler: They certainly do. What makes this watch stand out is not just the precision craftsmanship that is evident in every area you look at, but also a heavily modified Valjoux 7753 automatic movement to allow not only for a monopusher, but also the pusher itself, as it was moved a significant amount from the crown for easier operation of the two. The Hanhart Pioneer MK I is a combination of beauty and engineering, inside and out. Hanhart Pioneer MK I Specifications: 40mm Stainless Steel Case 15mm Thick 49mm Lug to Lug 20mm Lug Width HAN3601 Caliber Movement (Base Valjoux 7753) Sapphire Crystal 100 Meters Water Resistant Leather Strap Price: $2270 USD (Watchbuys.com) http://www.hanhart.com/714-200-0110.html?___store=en A lot of brands claim to have their own caliber of movement, or will relabel a base movement with their own, only to have added some rotor decoration. This does not make it their own caliber or a modified movement. I would describe that as pure marketing shenanigans. Hanhart, on the other hand, actually did heavily modify the 7753 movement for use in the Hanhart Pioneer MK I. Hanhart works with to La Joux Perret to make some very interesting and complex chronographs. For the MKI, they have made it a monopusher, where the red ceramic pusher starts, stops and resets the chronograph. What most might not notice at first glance, is the position of the pusher. It is not lined up with the 2 as most would be, it is moved more between the 1 and the 2 which allows more space between the pusher and very large crown. Another modification was completely removing the date, not just on the dial, but entirely. The HAN3601, which again its base is the 7753, has the following specs: BPH of 28,800, 27-jewels, hacking and hand-winding and 42hr power reserve. Someone mentioned on a forum the other day that this watch punches above its weight. And it does. The Hanhart Pioneer MK I not only has a modified automatic chronograph, but the construction of the watch is one that will make you feel your money was well spent. That is not marketing speak on my end, nor is it to make you run out and grab one of these. Not my job to do. I do feel my need to convey though how well made this piece is. I’ve seen watches twice the cost that did not have the same level of finish. The massive crown is easy to grab, feels great to turn and is a pleasure to set the time. When it comes to quality, the component that shows how well made this watch is; the AR coated sapphire crystal. I honestly think this is overlooked by most manufactures and maybe even some watch enthusiasts. The crystal and dial is what is looked at most in a watch and when a cheaper grade of sapphire is used or a sub par AR coating, it affects the entire watch for me. It doesn’t just effect how the watch looks in photos, (which can be a huge pain in the butt), but how it looks in real life, how easily you can see the time at a glance, and how you have to move your wrist around so you can remove your reflection out of the crystal. The Pioneer MK I suffers none of these issues. The crystal and AR coating are fantastic and a pleasure to photograph and also stare at, not to look at the time, but rather appreciating the German craftsmanship. Do not roll your eyes at that sentence, we all sit there and gaze at our watches with admiration. The dial of the Hanhart Pioneer MK I has a distinct military vibe and the dial is not cluttered with text that does not belong. I love the cathedral hands, even though I do see many other brands using them these days (mainly microbrands), they are not as saturated in the market as say the Mercedes hands are. Another feature that may be overlooked is how the minute and second hand curve to the dial and crystal. While it may not sound like much, I feel it allows the hands to be even more noticeable at any point on the dial. Removing the date was a good choice with the sub dials already taking up the 3 and 9, they would have probably had to remove the 6 to insert a date. Many are probably aware at this point if you have read enough of my reviews that I like a nice solid case back on a watch unless you have a complex or decorated movement. The Hanhart Pioneer MK I has a solid chunk of steel for the case back with clean engraving. Nothing flashy, no planes or propellers here, just a logo and the pertinent info. It does make me wonder though with such a modified movement why they decided to cover it up. I doubt it was for water resistance considering this is a pilot watch with only 100 meters of water resistance. Whatever the reason, I do like the overall look of the back and think it adds to the toolish feel the Pioneer has going on. There are a few MINOR issues I have with the Hanhart Pioneer MK I, though I do not feel issues are the way to describe them. The first is the overall thickness. While I know much of that is due to the movement, when a 40mm watch is almost 16mm thick, it seems to exaggerated it even more, and at times the watch can feel top heavy. A thicker/heavier strap could balance that out though. Another quibble comes from something that I personally never will use, but bothered me nonetheless. That is the super smooth moving bezel. It just moves around so easily with the touch of a finger or rubbing it against a car seat, couch etc that I do not feel it is of any real functionality. Finally, the stock strap is on the short side, making my 7 1/2 inch wrist feel massive. If you have an 8 inch wrist, you are not going to be able to wear this strap. I actually doubt it will fit anything over 7 3/4 inches if being honest. Hanhart Pioneer MKI lume I think it is obvious that I love the Hanhart Pioneer MKI. Sure, I have a few nitpicks, but I can do that with almost anything. The watch just looks great, feels great and while not a large watch, still commands attention when on the wrist, or at least I feel it does. Has anyone noticed my watch this week besides the people that I told to look at it? “Look at my watch dammit, its German!” Well, I went off the rails there for a second, but all jokes aside, it is a fantastic piece of German engineering and design and a nod to Hanhart,s prestigious past. For some reason Hanhart flies under the radar. Maybe because they do not spend millions of dollars on advertising each year, which who can blame them? If you are familiar with this brand, I think you will understand my admiration for them and this Pioneer MKI. If you were unaware before reading and watching my review, I at least hope it will give you the urge to look into the history of the brand and the beautiful pieces they produce. They are not the cheapest out there, but I would consider what you get from them a value. Special thanks to Chris Shortell for loaning me this watch for review.

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Hanhart Pioneer MK I | Hands On Review

Hanhart Pioneer MK I   Last year Hanhart introduced the Hanhart Pioneer MK I,  a tribute or homage to their first watch, the Calibre 40, introduced in 1938. I might be a little behind in reviewing this model but when I got the chance, I jumped on it, as I have always loved the design of Hanhart watches and wanted to see if they looked as good in person as they do in photos. Spoiler: They certainly do. What makes this watch stand out is not just the precision craftsmanship that is evident in every area you look at, but also a heavily modified Valjoux 7753 automatic movement to allow not only for a monopusher, but also the pusher itself, as it was moved a significant amount from the crown for easier operation of the two. The Hanhart Pioneer MK I is a combination of beauty and engineering, inside and out. Hanhart Pioneer MK I Specifications: 40mm Stainless Steel Case 15mm Thick 49mm Lug to Lug 20mm Lug Width HAN3601 Caliber Movement (Base Valjoux 7753) Sapphire Crystal 100 Meters Water Resistant Leather Strap Price: $2270 USD (Watchbuys.com) http://www.hanhart.com/714-200-0110.html?___store=en A lot of brands claim to have their own caliber of movement, or will relabel a base movement with their own, only to have added some rotor decoration. This does not make it their own caliber or a modified movement. I would describe that as pure marketing shenanigans. Hanhart, on the other hand, actually did heavily modify the 7753 movement for use in the Hanhart Pioneer MK I. Hanhart works with to La Joux Perret to make some very interesting and complex chronographs. For the MKI, they have made it a monopusher, where the red ceramic pusher starts, stops and resets the chronograph. What most might not notice at first glance, is the position of the pusher. It is not lined up with the 2 as most would be, it is moved more between the 1 and the 2 which allows more space between the pusher and very large crown. Another modification was completely removing the date, not just on the dial, but entirely. The HAN3601, which again its base is the 7753, has the following specs: BPH of 28,800, 27-jewels, hacking and hand-winding and 42hr power reserve. Someone mentioned on a forum the other day that this watch punches above its weight. And it does. The Hanhart Pioneer MK I not only has a modified automatic chronograph, but the construction of the watch is one that will make you feel your money was well spent. That is not marketing speak on my end, nor is it to make you run out and grab one of these. Not my job to do. I do feel my need to convey though how well made this piece is. I’ve seen watches twice the cost that did not have the same level of finish. The massive crown is easy to grab, feels great to turn and is a pleasure to set the time. When it comes to quality, the component that shows how well made this watch is; the AR coated sapphire crystal. I honestly think this is overlooked by most manufactures and maybe even some watch enthusiasts. The crystal and dial is what is looked at most in a watch and when a cheaper grade of sapphire is used or a sub par AR coating, it affects the entire watch for me. It doesn’t just effect how the watch looks in photos, (which can be a huge pain in the butt), but how it looks in real life, how easily you can see the time at a glance, and how you have to move your wrist around so you can remove your reflection out of the crystal. The Pioneer MK I suffers none of these issues. The crystal and AR coating are fantastic and a pleasure to photograph and also stare at, not to look at the time, but rather appreciating the German craftsmanship. Do not roll your eyes at that sentence, we all sit there and gaze at our watches with admiration. The dial of the Hanhart Pioneer MK I has a distinct military vibe and the dial is not cluttered with text that does not belong. I love the cathedral hands, even though I do see many other brands using them these days (mainly microbrands), they are not as saturated in the market as say the Mercedes hands are. Another feature that may be overlooked is how the minute and second hand curve to the dial and crystal. While it may not sound like much, I feel it allows the hands to be even more noticeable at any point on the dial. Removing the date was a good choice with the sub dials already taking up the 3 and 9, they would have probably had to remove the 6 to insert a date. Many are probably aware at this point if you have read enough of my reviews that I like a nice solid case back on a watch unless you have a complex or decorated movement. The Hanhart Pioneer MK I has a solid chunk of steel for the case back with clean engraving. Nothing flashy, no planes or propellers here, just a logo and the pertinent info. It does make me wonder though with such a modified movement why they decided to cover it up. I doubt it was for water resistance considering this is a pilot watch with only 100 meters of water resistance. Whatever the reason, I do like the overall look of the back and think it adds to the toolish feel the Pioneer has going on. There are a few MINOR issues I have with the Hanhart Pioneer MK I, though I do not feel issues are the way to describe them. The first is the overall thickness. While I know much of that is due to the movement, when a 40mm watch is almost 16mm thick, it seems to exaggerated it even more, and at times the watch can feel top heavy. A thicker/heavier strap could balance that out though. Another quibble comes from something that I personally never will use, but bothered me nonetheless. That is the super smooth moving bezel. It just moves around so easily with the touch of a finger or rubbing it against a car seat, couch etc that I do not feel it is of any real functionality. Finally, the stock strap is on the short side, making my 7 1/2 inch wrist feel massive. If you have an 8 inch wrist, you are not going to be able to wear this strap. I actually doubt it will fit anything over 7 3/4 inches if being honest. Hanhart Pioneer MKI lume I think it is obvious that I love the Hanhart Pioneer MKI. Sure, I have a few nitpicks, but I can do that with almost anything. The watch just looks great, feels great and while not a large watch, still commands attention when on the wrist, or at least I feel it does. Has anyone noticed my watch this week besides the people that I told to look at it? “Look at my watch dammit, its German!” Well, I went off the rails there for a second, but all jokes aside, it is a fantastic piece of German engineering and design and a nod to Hanhart,s prestigious past. For some reason Hanhart flies under the radar. Maybe because they do not spend millions of dollars on advertising each year, which who can blame them? If you are familiar with this brand, I think you will understand my admiration for them and this Pioneer MKI. If you were unaware before reading and watching my review, I at least hope it will give you the urge to look into the history of the brand and the beautiful pieces they produce. They are not the cheapest out there, but I would consider what you get from them a value. Special thanks to Chris Shortell for loaning me this watch for review.

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Kronaby Apex Connected Watch | Hands on Review

Kronaby Apex Connected Watch   I am a traditional watch guy. It is just the way I am wired. I have no real love for digital watches, and the regular smart watch just makes me cringe. I guess you can say I am a purist, at least when it comes to watches. I think of a watch as part of me, it is not just a tool to tell time or a piece of jewelry, it is an extension of my personality. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love technology. Iphones, Ipads, laptops, Bluetooth, voice activated lights, you get the point. I love jumping in the car and turning on the Bluetooth and now my phone is connected to my car. It is amazing. Offer me a “smartwatch”, and I will become a snob and turn my nose up. So why, you ask, would I be reviewing this Kronobay Apex Connected Watch? The answer is simple. It is not your average smartwatch, and while it does sync to your phone via BT, when it is not connected, it is just your standard good looking quartz watch. Kronaby Apex Connected Watch Specifications: 43mm Stainless Steel Case 22mm Lug Width 13.5mm Thick 51mm lug to lug Double Domed Sapphire Crystal Kronaby connected movement BT001, 2 pcs 2- hand-bi-directional micro stepping motors, Bluetooth 4.1 Low Energy (BLE), vibration motor, accelerometer 100 Meters Water Resistant. Kronaby App working with (or later version) Android 5.0 and iOS 9 Price: $595 USD https://www.kronaby.com/en/shop/WatchesApex/A1000-0729 Back when Apple first released the Apple Watch, (don’t call it the iWatch, they get mad), I thought about getting one to review. I am an Apple guy, so I thought, why not? Then one of my friends got one, and I realized that I hated it and would not want to waste my time doing a review. I know that might seem short-sided, but it is the way I felt. My opinion on them has not changed in the past two years either. I’m betting after hearing that it would surprise some of you to hear that I contacted Kronaby to review the Kronaby Apex Connected Watch. While there have been other watches on the market the past few years who have done something similar, either the watches did not appeal to me in design, or I was still in that “I hate anything that is a smart watch!” phase. Either way, I did not consider any of these watches until recently. Now let me be perfectly clear, you will probably not be seeing a lot of connected or smart watch reviews here on Watchreport in the future, at least not from me. This Kronaby has shown me what a connected watch can be, and I do appreciate it and have had some fun with it, but it is still not a watch I reach for on a daily basis. Just because I will not be reaching for the Kronaby Apex Connected Watch all the time does not mean I do not like it. For the most part, I love the way the watch looks and I feel the build quality is much better than I ever imagined. Most people who know that I do reviews looked at it and had no idea it was a smart watch until I told them. They also assumed it was more expensive than it actually is, as overall the Apex is a damned nice looking watch. I imagine you have watched the video already, if not, please do so before continuing to read on. I show how to connect the watch to your phone and some of the basic functions as well, so I am not going to go over them here in the written portion of the review. I will share some aspects of the Apex that I really love and one or two things I think they can change. Of the things I would change, would be the lume application and the thickness of the leather strap, or lack there of, on both accounts. With a regular smartwatch, say the Apple Watch, it is a display much like your cell phone, so no need for lume. Here, with the Kronaby Apex Connected Watch, you have an analog display and if you wanted to be truly connected at all times, being able to see it legibly in low light or complete darkness would be helpful. Unfortunately that is just not the case here, as seen below. For the leather strap, It is actually very nice, and a decent leather. No complaints in feel or looks. It is very thin though, and it creases very easily, and long term, it might be only a matter of time before you would need to replace the strap, or switch it out to something else you have lying around. Many of us watch nuts have 22mm straps ready to go that would look great on this, but I wanted to point out that something more in the 3-4mm range would work better on this watch. One of the great things, to me, about the Kronaby Apex Connected Watch is that you do not always need to be connected. When you turn your Bluetooth off, it is a standard analog watch that will keep accurate time and look good while doing it. When you are connected, the range is pretty damn good in my opinion, at least with my Iphone 6s Plus. The range can differ from phone to phone and different conditions, but I was able to leave it my phone on the back porch, go in the house through the kitchen, up the stairs and into the bedroom behind a closed door and was still able to activate the music player on my phone. Kronaby states that the maximum distance is around 40 meters, or 131 feet. The Kronaby Apex Connected Watch is fairly easy to set up as I show in the video and overall I have enjoyed the functions. I have not delved into all of the alerts and things you can do, I have kept it pretty simple. The top pusher is set for music, so I press it and my phone starts playing. You can also skip to the next song with a double tap of the pusher and a triple tap allows you to go back. The bottom pusher I have set up as a remote for the camera on my phone. When you have the phone in a tripod, you can use the watch to snap photos. Alert wise, I have Gmail and text messages set up, and they have been flawless in functionality and the watch vibrates about 1-2 seconds after I get the email or message. As I stated earlier, the Kronaby Apex Connected Watch would not be a daily driver for me, but I also am not really the intended audience. I personally think any of the Kronaby lineup would look better on the wrist than an Apple Watch or Moto360 etc. If you like and want the added functionality of being able to control your phone from your watch and get alerts right on your wrist, you can still do it, but it will not look out of place with your suit and tie at the office. I had fun wearing it and playing with the features, but for me, a non smart or connected watch is the way to go. That is not to say this could not change in the future, who knows. We never know what the future holds. When it comes to the present, I think Kronaby is on the right track and a few minor improvements and I think they will be even better. If you always wanted to try out a smartwatch but did not like the look, maybe give Kronaby a try. Or don’t. It is your dime. I’m just some guy on the internet. The Apex is pretty cool though in my opinion. PS. Something I forgot to mention, which might not seem like a big thing to most, but I included a picture of the case back in the gallery of when the Apex first arrived. I believe transparency in what you are buying and where the item is manufactured, especially in the watch industry where there tends to be a lot of smoke and mirrors. The plastic film clearly states Assembled in China. No wool being pulled here.

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Formex DS2100 Diver | Watch Review

Formex DS2100 Diver Back in January I reviewed the Formex AS1100 Chronograph. Now, 6 months later, I take a look at the Formex DS2100 Diver. Both models share the same mid case, but for the most part that is where the similarities end. This model is a 3 hand with date, with a unidirectional dive bezel and a Sellita SW200 automatic movement. It of course has the patented suspension system Formex is known for and is much more affordable than its big brother that housed the 7750 movement. For this review, we were supplied with the black dial version on a black leather strap. While a leather strap might be an odd choice to offer for a dive watch, I will explain why I think this is more of a dive style watch than a true diver. Formex DS2100 Diver Specifications: 46mm case 53mm lug to lug 14.5mm thick 22mm lug width Sapphire Crystal 200 Meters Water Resistant ETA 2824 or Sellita SW200 Automatic Movement (SW200 as reviewed) Leather Strap Direct Price: $729 USD https://www.formexwatch.com/en/product/2100-1-7020-213/ First, let me be clear. I am not trying to disparage the Formex DS2100 Diver, I am just stating that I feel it is more of the look of a dive watch and not a serious dive watch. And lets be real here for a minute. How many of you reading actually dive? I know there are real divers out there, but I venture to say for my many years in this hobby, both online and off, the majority of watch enthusiasts are not buying 20 dive watches a year because they are diving off the coast of Australia. More often than not, they are buying for look, which this watch does offer. The Formex DS2100 Diver is also a well put together watch, one that a few years ago would have probably been at a much higher price point if you were to buy it at an A.D., instead you are now able to purchase direct. Now, as always, I have some design elements I am not in love with, and feel they could have upgraded a few components, but I will get into that below. Even Formex’s marketing copy is not pushing this is a true dive watch, it says it can be worn under water, at the race track or your daily life. It does not have a crazy water resistance like so many dive watches do these days, nor did they equip it with the silly Helium Escape Valve nonsense. So, what is a serious dive watch? It depends. Most commercial divers do not need a dive bezel, so you have watches like the Aegir CD-1 I reviewed here last year. For regular diving, a dive watch should have good lume, a lumed pip on the bezel and a strap or bracelet that can be submerged in water and and an extension that can fit over a wet suit. The Formex DS2100 does have a timing bezel, but lacks the lume pip, though the action is one of the best I have seen on a dive watch. There is no back play at all. The DS2100 is water resistant to 200 meters and has a screw down crown, but uses a display case back with screws, something that is unusual for a true dive watch and also the lume is just not strong at all. So, the Formex DS2100 Diver might not be a dive watch in the purest form, but it does have the look. So why should you buy it? Well, that is up to you to decide, not me, but the watch is well put together and unique. Much like the chronograph model they have, it has the large 46mm watch, the patented suspension system, sloping lugs that allow the large watch wear comfortably and a really good price once you add everything up. It also does not look like everything else on the market, which is something that is hard to do in 2017. I do however have a few minor complaints. The Formex DS2100 Diver does have a sapphire crystal, but it either lacks an AR coating, or it could use another layer. It has a lot of reflection. The other would be the open date wheel and the word “date” on the dial with an arrow. I will never understand the use of this. If for some messed up reason some noob buys a watch and has no unearthly idea what that number on the dial is, that is what a manual is for. If they do not know enough to look it up in the manual….oh well.   I chose the leather strap option for this review because I liked the way it looked in photos and had previously checked out the rubber and metal bracelet options. The calf leather strap is sturdy yet very supple and wraps around the wrist with no break in period needed. None. The buckle is also custom, something I always love seeing instead of the factory 5 cent special so many seem to slap on a strap. On the Formex Website, you can also choose the size of your strap. The one I have on the Formex DS2100 Diver is a medium length, and fits my 7 1/2 inch wrist with a few holes left, so choose the large if you have a wrist of 8 inches or more. When it comes to movement, at least for the automatic version, the Formex DS2100 Diver houses an ETA 2824 or a Sellita SW200. Christopher Ward is known to list and sell their watches like this as well, where it is not a choice of movement; it is one or the other, I’m guessing based on availability or price. Some people will go back and forth about ETA vs. Sellita, I honestly have not had any major issues with either, and as most know, the Sellita is basically a copy of the ETA, with an extra jewel to help reduce friction with winding (debatable). My only issue with this is you do not know what movement you are getting when you order, though I guess you can email Formex and ask them. If you do not have the cash for an automatic, Formex does have quartz versions of the DS2100 available, which are basically half price. As I was writing this review, I was wondering if I sound too critical. I guess that is for others to answer, not myself. I do think the Formex DS2100 Diver is well made watch and one that stands out. It might not exactly be the watch for me, especially on a daily basis, but I can see the attraction. While it might not be the truest form of a dive watch, it does look the part and without a doubt can stand up to water activity, (just not with the leather strap). If Formex can up the lume a bit, put a little more AR on the crystal and for me personally, make it in a 42mm, I think I would be more inclined to grab one. I know as is there is a market for it, so I may be in the minority.

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Formex DS2100 Diver | Watch Review

Formex DS2100 Diver Back in January I reviewed the Formex AS1100 Chronograph. Now, 6 months later, I take a look at the Formex DS2100 Diver. Both models share the same mid case, but for the most part that is where the similarities end. This model is a 3 hand with date, with a unidirectional dive bezel and a Sellita SW200 automatic movement. It of course has the patented suspension system Formex is known for and is much more affordable than its big brother that housed the 7750 movement. For this review, we were supplied with the black dial version on a black leather strap. While a leather strap might be an odd choice to offer for a dive watch, I will explain why I think this is more of a dive style watch than a true diver. Formex DS2100 Diver Specifications: 46mm case 53mm lug to lug 14.5mm thick 22mm lug width Sapphire Crystal 200 Meters Water Resistant ETA 2824 or Sellita SW200 Automatic Movement (SW200 as reviewed) Leather Strap Direct Price: $729 USD https://www.formexwatch.com/en/product/2100-1-7020-213/ First, let me be clear. I am not trying to disparage the Formex DS2100 Diver, I am just stating that I feel it is more of the look of a dive watch and not a serious dive watch. And lets be real here for a minute. How many of you reading actually dive? I know there are real divers out there, but I venture to say for my many years in this hobby, both online and off, the majority of watch enthusiasts are not buying 20 dive watches a year because they are diving off the coast of Australia. More often than not, they are buying for look, which this watch does offer. The Formex DS2100 Diver is also a well put together watch, one that a few years ago would have probably been at a much higher price point if you were to buy it at an A.D., instead you are now able to purchase direct. Now, as always, I have some design elements I am not in love with, and feel they could have upgraded a few components, but I will get into that below. Even Formex’s marketing copy is not pushing this is a true dive watch, it says it can be worn under water, at the race track or your daily life. It does not have a crazy water resistance like so many dive watches do these days, nor did they equip it with the silly Helium Escape Valve nonsense. So, what is a serious dive watch? It depends. Most commercial divers do not need a dive bezel, so you have watches like the Aegir CD-1 I reviewed here last year. For regular diving, a dive watch should have good lume, a lumed pip on the bezel and a strap or bracelet that can be submerged in water and and an extension that can fit over a wet suit. The Formex DS2100 does have a timing bezel, but lacks the lume pip, though the action is one of the best I have seen on a dive watch. There is no back play at all. The DS2100 is water resistant to 200 meters and has a screw down crown, but uses a display case back with screws, something that is unusual for a true dive watch and also the lume is just not strong at all. So, the Formex DS2100 Diver might not be a dive watch in the purest form, but it does have the look. So why should you buy it? Well, that is up to you to decide, not me, but the watch is well put together and unique. Much like the chronograph model they have, it has the large 46mm watch, the patented suspension system, sloping lugs that allow the large watch wear comfortably and a really good price once you add everything up. It also does not look like everything else on the market, which is something that is hard to do in 2017. I do however have a few minor complaints. The Formex DS2100 Diver does have a sapphire crystal, but it either lacks an AR coating, or it could use another layer. It has a lot of reflection. The other would be the open date wheel and the word “date” on the dial with an arrow. I will never understand the use of this. If for some messed up reason some noob buys a watch and has no unearthly idea what that number on the dial is, that is what a manual is for. If they do not know enough to look it up in the manual….oh well.   I chose the leather strap option for this review because I liked the way it looked in photos and had previously checked out the rubber and metal bracelet options. The calf leather strap is sturdy yet very supple and wraps around the wrist with no break in period needed. None. The buckle is also custom, something I always love seeing instead of the factory 5 cent special so many seem to slap on a strap. On the Formex Website, you can also choose the size of your strap. The one I have on the Formex DS2100 Diver is a medium length, and fits my 7 1/2 inch wrist with a few holes left, so choose the large if you have a wrist of 8 inches or more. When it comes to movement, at least for the automatic version, the Formex DS2100 Diver houses an ETA 2824 or a Sellita SW200. Christopher Ward is known to list and sell their watches like this as well, where it is not a choice of movement; it is one or the other, I’m guessing based on availability or price. Some people will go back and forth about ETA vs. Sellita, I honestly have not had any major issues with either, and as most know, the Sellita is basically a copy of the ETA, with an extra jewel to help reduce friction with winding (debatable). My only issue with this is you do not know what movement you are getting when you order, though I guess you can email Formex and ask them. If you do not have the cash for an automatic, Formex does have quartz versions of the DS2100 available, which are basically half price. As I was writing this review, I was wondering if I sound too critical. I guess that is for others to answer, not myself. I do think the Formex DS2100 Diver is well made watch and one that stands out. It might not exactly be the watch for me, especially on a daily basis, but I can see the attraction. While it might not be the truest form of a dive watch, it does look the part and without a doubt can stand up to water activity, (just not with the leather strap). If Formex can up the lume a bit, put a little more AR on the crystal and for me personally, make it in a 42mm, I think I would be more inclined to grab one. I know as is there is a market for it, so I may be in the minority.

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Ginault Ocean Rover Blue Gold | Watch Talk

Ginault Ocean Rover Blue Gold Here is a video and many photos of the Ginault Ocean Rover Blue Gold, one of the newest variations from the Ginault Brand. I did a full review on and video on the first Ocean Rover released and also a follow up video with a slightly different variation. The point of this third video and follow up is more about how I am trying to understand the company, their intentions, the controversy surrounding the brand and does it warrant the asking price they are charging at $1,399 USD. Realistically it is not my place or any reviewers place to tell anyone if a watch is worth the price. It is after all only our opinion. And we all know opinions vary. I almost never reviewed the first Ginault model because of all the issues surrounding it, but then curiosity got the best of me and I wanted to see what the watch was really like. I go over many different things in the video and alternate points of view. This is a brand and a watch that is always going to have its detractors, mainly because of the closeness in look to a Rolex ; the simple fact is some watch enthusiasts hate homage or copy watches. For those that like/love them, as I have said many times, it is a very well built watch and probably the best built Rolex Sub homage on the market. Their claims are something I can not prove, and I have never defended what the company states. I do however think that sometimes we all (myself included) jump to conclusions without all the facts. In this case, I think Ginault can benefit from a little more transparency or showing some of their facilities that they claim to make their watches and maybe as a consumer we should not always be so quick to condemn and say ” You are lying”. I would never tell anyone to buy any watch. I may have in the past, and that was wrong. As a reviewer it is my job to present the watch in the best way I can and give my opinion on quality and price and leave it at that. It is up to you, the reader, the consumer, the buyer. to look into it and do your research and see if any watch or product is worth it for the price. I have no idea what Ginault’s long term plans are, but I hope in the future maybe we will see some original designs and they will be manufactured here in the US. That would be great. As it stands now, it is an expensive, well made homage and the Ginault Ocean Rover Blue Gold is another great looking example. The old saying in the watch community is “Buy what you like and like what you buy”. That is the same with any product. Ginault can make a hell of a watch no doubt, and if you think it is worth it, I think you would enjoy it for the quality that it is.

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Dreyfuss and Co. 1924 | Watch Review

Dreyfuss and Co. 1924 It still amazes me when I come across a brand I have not heard of. That would be the case with the Dreyfuss and Co. 1924 Series. I had to do some research, unlike some brands that I review, as I knew absolutely nothing about this brand. That of course makes reviewing it a little difficult. Yes, I have the watch in hand, so I can obviously see if it is quality or not, but where is Dreyfuss and Co. from, how long have they been in business? Well, it turns out the Dreyfuss and Co. has been around since 1890. At least that is when the brand was started. Today they are owned by the Rotary Group. It would seem the brand has changed hands a few times through the years, and honestly it is odd that a brand that has been around for so long is not really talked about much. Much like any other brand that seems to fall off the map, that seems to be due to marketing, or lack thereof. My contact for Eterna reached out to me and asked if I would like to review this new model from Dreyfuss and Co. I could see instantly it was an homage to a Zenith Pilot and that it was Swiss Made, so I said yes. Unfortunately this model is not listed on their website currently, which made me scratch my head a little. Nonetheless, I do have all the info on the model and how to order, as again, head-scratcher, the Dreyfuss website is not set up for E-commerce. Listed below in the specifications is an email you can use to order directly, if you are so inclined. Dreyfuss and Co. 1924 Series Specifications: Dimensions: 44mm case 12mm thick 22mm lug width 51mm lug to lug Eterna Calibre 39 Mechanical Movement Sapphire Crystal Screw Down Crown Alligator Embossed Leather Strap Retail Price $1450 USD To order, Email Dreyfussenquiries@rotarywatches.com I want to get right into the heart of the Dreyfuss and Co. 1924 Series, the Eterna Calibre 3902M movement. This is part of the Eterna 39 series movements, which from the base over 88 movement references are now being produced. This is an in-house movement with a power reserve of 65 hours. For some that have seen the previews, Eterna is releasing a bronze Kontiki at Baselworld this year, that will house the automatic version of this same movement. Winding is smooth as silk on my example and to be able to get a watch such as this with a quality movement from a respected brand such as Eterna is quite nice. There is an obvious relationship between Dreyfuss and Co and Eterna, so it seems they are able to put these movements in watches that others would probably charge more for. It is a great movement in my opinion, and if nothing else, nice to see something different than the standard ETA or Sellita. At 44mm the Dreyfuss and Co. 1924 is modest in size for a pilot watch, especially for this style. Most pilot watches like this are in the 46-48mm range. Because of the super high gloss black enamel dial,  high polished accents on the case and crown, and with the alligator patterned leather strap it can easily work as a dress watch. While I know its inspiration is a pilot watch, it does not scream pilot watch, at least to me. Because it is only 12mm thick, this should easily be able to fit under most dress cuffs and I think would look quite suitable at the office or at a function when you need to pull out the nice duds. I love the enamel dial of the Dreyfuss and Co. 1924. It is always interesting to me how your tastes change over the years, but they almost always do, and while years ago I did not like a glossy dial such as this, now I gaze at it over and over and I am enamored with how you can see the reflection of the hands and markers in the dial. Speaking of the markers, large Arabic numerals are at play here with polished chrome borders. The numerals are applied and quite thick, and because we all need to see what time it is when we can’t wait to leave our spouses late night office party at the bar we would never otherwise frequent, they are filled with copious amounts of lume. You know how I tend to complain about useless boxes and packaging that you will just throw in a closet to take up space, only to be seen again if and when you decide to sell or give the watch away? Well, the Dreyfuss and Co. 1924 presentation box is one that you will want to use, if not have on display. It is a massive lacquered wood box that holds 5 watches. This box is almost furniture grade. I am not sure how much this box cost to manufacture and if they could have sold the watch even cheaper had they went with something more standard, but to be honest, if more brands gave you a storage box such as this with your watch, I would not complain at all. If I was to change a few things with the Dreyfuss and Co. 1924 Series it would be that you need two screwdrivers to remove the strap; one piece threaded screw bars are much easier to remove and also they usually lessen the chance of stripping the screw heads. Also, no tools are included in the packaging. The other thing would be that the leather strap is black. I know, that is so highly subjective, but for me, a glossy brown Horween or even a brown alligator pattern leather would look so much better. I have a thing for black dials and brown straps. It just looks luxurious to me. Still, the leather strap is pretty nice, and it fits my 7 ½ inch wrist comfortably. LUME As I stated in the beginning, there is no doubt the inspiration for the Dreyfuss and Co. 1924 Series. It is an homage, and that is a little strange as it is weird to see a Swiss Company that has so much heritage and past models of its own it can use for inspiration. Be that as it may, Dreyfuss and Co. has produced a beautiful watch with a great movement for a relatively affordable price point. The watch is quality through and through and to be honest, I would not have been shocked if I was told it was $2000. I am not sure why this brand is not marketing their new product more, I mean this model is not even on the website! Looking through it, I only found two dealers listed on their website as well, both in England. They need to start selling through their website direct or start getting these out to more distributors. As for the watch, if you like the style, it is tight, as the young kids say. Actually I have no idea what the young kids say, because to them, a 36 year old might as well be 80. That aside, it’s a hell of a watch, and if any of you end up ordering one, I would love to know your thoughts on it. Peace out. (Total 90’s reference).

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