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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Armand Nicolet J09 | Watch Review

Armand Nicolet J09 Armand Nicolet is a brand that I know in name, but not overly familiar with their watches. It is not one that I see the watch community post about on social media, such as Instagram or Facebook Watch groups often. After receiving this model for review, the Armand Nicolet J09 Day/Date, I honestly had to wonder why this brand has not been getting the love it deserves currently. Now, keep in mind, I am saying that I have not personally seen a lot of mention of their watches, it does not mean you haven’t, they could have just not been on my radar for some reason. They definitely are now though. For those not familiar, the Armand Nicolet brand has been around since 1902, and was named after its founder. In 1988, the brand was sold by Willy Nicolet, the founders son, and though not family owned anymore, they have continued making watches in Switzerland, with designs being done in Italy. Armand Nicolet J09 Day/Date Specifications: Mechanical automatic movement with Day&Date functions. Calibre AN2846-9. Guilloché dial with luminous indexes and hands. Case with antiglare treated sapphire crystal on top and sapphire crystal in the see-through screwed back. Case and Buckle: Stainless Steel 316L Water Resistance: 5 ATM Diameter: 41mm Thickness: 12.5mm Lug Width: 24mm Lug to Lug: 50mm Strap: Stainless Steel 316L MSRP: $2700 USD http://www.armandnicolet.com/collections/j09/day-date/watch-d650aaa-gr-pi4650na/ If you have not watched the video yet, you may notice I show it on both a bracelet and a rubber strap here in the photos. That is because I had the company send the rubber strap as well, to show some of the ways the Armand Nicolet J09 Day/Date can be configured. There are just way too many options for this model for me to list, but you can purchase them with either a bracelet, leather strap or rubber strap, and depending on what you choose, you can pick up one of the other straps as well, at an extra cost. Depending on what you choose, it really does change the look of the watch from sporty to dressy and somewhat industrial looking on the bracelet. The Armand Nicolet J09 Day/Date is an interesting watch, for many reasons. First, the size at 41mm, yet it has a 24mm lug width, something rarely seen on a watch this diameter. If you have a small wrist or like a smaller watch, this can be deciving. It really wears like a round 43mm would wear. For myself, I love the size, it is in right in between that small and large. It would be a medium if we sized watches like we do shirts. On my 7 1/2 inch wrist it is damn near perfect, and I still have not decided if I like it better on the bracelet or the rubber strap, but more on that in a bit. As I spoke about in my last review, if a watch is going to have a date, I prefer it to be at the 6 o’clock position. Obviously, the Armand Nicolet J09 Day/Date is perfect for me in terms of date position. The guilloché  dial is something that I love in a watch such as this, it is that something extra that stands out on an otherwise basic dial. Even with the day and date, the dial is fairly clean, and applied markers keep it classy. One thing that has perplexed me with the Armand Nicolet J09, is that I do not know what category to lump it into. It is not a dive watch of course, nor a pilot or field watch. It is not a traditional dress watch, even though with either the bracelet or an alligator leather strap it can surely play the role. It is not your typical sport watch, even though the rubber strap does give it that sporty feel. I guess I would call it dress casual. The type of watch that can be dressed up for the office and dressed down for the weekend when going to your favorite pub. The very low water resistance prevents it from being an all around do everything type of watch, but if you are not regularly jumping into the pool or ocean mid day, you should be fine with this on the wrist. The heart of the Armand Nicolet J09 is the Calibre AN2846-9, which is basically an ETA 2846 automatic movement that has been customized with a beautiful rotor. While this movement is not an in-house masterpiece, it is not a movement you see used all the time, and Armand Nicolet has dressed it up for sure. This is how I like a movement to look if it has an exhibition case back.  A bracelet has to be well made and very comfortable for me to want to wear these days. I almost always prefer a strap, as many readers might know. I have gone back and forth on this, and while the rubber strap has a very nice deployant clasp, I think the winner is the bracelet. It is very nicely brushed, has a beautiful buckle with a stamped logo and just flows with the watch head perfectly. One word of caution though, the Armand Nicolet J09 uses double headed screw bars, and they are very, very tiny screws. And you will need two screwdrivers to size as well. I would suggest sizing over a clean table and not in a room that has carpet, as you some in your household might think you have a case of turrets if one rolls off the table into the sea of fibers. Of course, one of the biggest things when reviewing a watch, is the price. At $2700, there is no denying that the price is up there and that a lot of other watches can be considered at this price point. The 15% discount does make it more appealing, and while the movement is not in house or anything, it is nicely decorated and is a solid Swiss ETA that should give no issues. The styling of the Armand Nicolet J09 Day/Date is unique, and when looking at google images and bringing up past versions of this model, they have definitely upgraded it, in terms of dial and hands aesthetic. With a low water resistance and a non screw down crown, it is not going to be that one watch for all occasions, but I think if someone wanted to put something dressy in their collection, but does not go for the standard dress style watch, this might be a good way to go.

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Brera Orologi ProDiver | Watch Review

Brera Orologi ProDiver Brera Orologi ProDiver Specifications: Model: BRDV2C4704 Case Material: Stainless Steel (316L) Gray IP, Brushed / Polish Case Dimensions: 47 mm Case Thickness: 16.5 mm Case Length: 54mm Weight 145 grams Screw Down Crown Bezel: Internal: Black / Blue, Rotating Domed Sapphire Crystal with AR coating Movement:  Swiss ISA 8371/2010- Hr/Min Indicated by Central Hands- …

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Brera Orologi ProDiver | Watch Review

Brera Orologi ProDiver Brera Orologi ProDiver Specifications: Model: BRDV2C4704 Case Material: Stainless Steel (316L) Gray IP, Brushed / Polish Case Dimensions: 47 mm Case Thickness: 16.5 mm Case Length: 54mm Weight 145 grams Screw Down Crown Bezel: Internal: Black / Blue, Rotating Domed Sapphire Crystal with AR coating Movement:  Swiss ISA 8371/2010- Hr/Min Indicated by Central Hands- …

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Benarus Vintage Moray | Watch Review

Benarus Vintage Moray Vintage is a term that has come to embody very different meanings worldwide. Correctly used, vintage refers to the year or place wine was produced, especially when addressing wine of higher quality.  While it does appear to be a word sensationalized by businesses to help sell anything with an old or dated …

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Benarus Vintage Moray | Watch Review

Benarus Vintage Moray Vintage is a term that has come to embody very different meanings worldwide. Correctly used, vintage refers to the year or place wine was produced, especially when addressing wine of higher quality.  While it does appear to be a word sensationalized by businesses to help sell anything with an old or dated …

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