Hands-On: Doxa SUB 300 Searambler Review – 50th Anniversary Edition

Hands-On: Doxa SUB 300 Searambler Review – 50th Anniversary Edition

Fifty years ago, Doxa introduced their SUB 300 in Basel. An orange dial model was called ‘Professional’, the black dial ‘Sharkhunter’ and the silver dial ‘Searambler’. About a year later, Doxa introduced the SUB 300T collection (with a slightly bigger case, larger dial and a thicker bezel) and added a yellow version as well, the […]

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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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Taking a Look at the Yemas at Watches of Knightsbridge

Taking a Look at the Yemas at Watches of Knightsbridge

Here on Fratello Watches, we’ve featured a number of vintage Yema models on our site. These fun, often brightly colored watches represented the affordable side of the hobby: often mimicking far more expensive Heuers with semi-similar design motifs, but costing far less in the marketplace. They were plentiful, robust – with most containing 773x movements […]

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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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Longines presents its Record collection, watchmaking expertise stamped with the COSC seal

Longines presents its Record collection, watchmaking expertise stamped with the COSC seal

This year, Longines is celebrating its 185th anniversary, and is taking the opportunity to present its new Record collection. In the Saint-Imier company’s purest watchmaking tradition, these automatic models combine classic elegance and excellence, aspiring to become the spearheads of the brand. And there is no shortage of arguments for these exceptional timepieces, whose movement […]

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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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Time4APint – The Story Behind the London Gatherings and Podcast

Time4APint – The Story Behind the London Gatherings and Podcast

Roughly a year ago, we reviewed the watch-themed podcast, The Grey NATO. It continues to serve as a bi-weekly listen for me, but it does have one limitation – at least one for me. Namely, it’s every two weeks and I drive daily. So, today, we’re happy to talk about a watch-related group along with […]

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Favre Leuba Raider Deep Blue | Watch Review

Favre Leuba Raider Deep Blue The name Favre Leuba has been around since 1737. It is the second oldest watch brand, in name, ever. I can go on an on about their history, but that can be easily googled. The brand has changed hands a few times since going defunct in the 1970’s, but was purchased by Titan Co. Ltd in 2011. It took a few years to bring the company back from the ashes, but late last year, Favre Leuba rose again and started producing models that are reminiscent of some of the iconic pieces from the 60’s. The model in for review, the Favre Leuba Raider Deep Blue is a combination of new and old, combining elements of their original diver, the Deep Blue, and using improved materials such as sapphire crystals, high beat automatic movements and well made stainless bracelets and rubber straps. This is definitely a watch that has got my attention, and for good reason. Favre Leuba Raider Deep Blue Specifications: 44mm stainless steel case 52mm lug to lug 14mm thick 24mm lug width Aluminum Bezel Insert Sapphire Crystal Sellita SW200 Automatic Movement Rubber Strap or Stainless Bracelet Retail Price $2500 http://favre-leuba.com/ Vintage is the new black as they say. No, wait, that is Orange is the new Black. And that’s a tv show. Well, vintage is for sure in when it comes to watches, and I for one, consider that a good thing. The styles of the 60’s and 70’s are popular for a reason, there were a lot of fantastic looking watches produced at this time, especially when it comes to dive watches. As I stated above, this Favre Leuba Raider Deep Blue is a throwback of sorts to the company’s first dive watch, the Deep Blue, and the Bathy 160, both pictured below. Familiar elements are easy to see and the basic case shape is represented in this new model. One thing that is noticeably different is the disk on that dial that functions as the second hand on this model. One of their other models, the Harpoon, utilizes this disk as an hour hand in a very unique way. The Favre Leuba Raider Deep Blue is a little more traditional than its big brother for telling the time.   You can see other similarities between the vintage and new models with the applied markers, shape of the minute hand and the brand name font and logo. I did some research but could not find a dive model from them that had crown guards such as the ones on this Favre Leuba Raider Deep Blue, so that might be an element added to this new production. As I stated in the video, I do wish the screw down crown was larger or had more grooves to it, as it is hard to grip, especially for someone with bigger hands. My only other gripe would be that you can really only turn the bezel by grabbing it with your fingers placed at 9 and 2, due to the case design. These are the only two issues I have found with this watch, and both are minor issues in my opinion. Looking at the case design, you might be thinking that this watch is uncomfortable, or does not sit on the wrist properly. I thought the same thing when I first pulled it from the amazing packaging (Check the video). I could not have been more wrong. For my 7 1/2 inch wrist, this is one of the most comfortable watches I have reviewed in a long time. Most watches I review are comfortable in their own right, but this Favre Leuba Raider Deep Blue wraps around my wrist so well, it is a watch I just did not want to take off. It might actually be one of the most comfortable watches I have worn period. Obviously this is going to depend on the shape of your wrist, I would consider mine to be fairly flat. The branded rubber strap is another reason the Raider Deep Blue is so comfortable. This rubber is right up there with some of the best rubber straps available on the market. If you are not a fan of rubber, fret not, a beautiful stainless bracelet is also available. The blue hue used on the dial and aluminum bezel is not your standard blue, and I think that is one of the reasons it stands out to me so much. It is definitely more of a blue/green and is a striking color for sure. If for some reason it is not tripping your trigger, there is a version with a black dial and orange accents. I actually requested the black/orange model for review but there was a mix-up in communication and the blue was sent instead, and I could not be more happy for said mix-up. These days most dive watches are moving to ceramic or sapphire coated bezel inserts due to their scratch resistance, but Favre Leuba went old school and used aluminum. I am glad they did. It gives it that vintage flair and the texture seen on the bezel is something that can not be attained using other materials. Remember when I said that I only found two issues with the Favre Leuba Raider Deep Blue? Well, I guess I fibbed a little. The third issue would be the seconds disk. It functions just fine, but usability is not sublime in my opinion, as it is just a short arrow and accurately measuring time is hindered. The look is cool no doubt, but I find the seconds disk to be more gimmick than useful. While it does not state on the website what movement is used in this model, I have confirmed it is the Sellita SW200 movement. As with most readily available movements, the SW200 has been discussed in depth here on Watchreport. It is a Swiss movement, essentially a clone of the ETA 2824 and has been used in countless brands from Oris, to Tag Heuer and more. The BGW9 lume is more than adequate, and one of the unique features that you do not see until the watch is in the dark is the lume under the seconds disc, which shows through the cutouts. It has no real purpose, but it is something a little different and noteworthy. Lately, there has been a few watch brands that have gone under or have sold or partnered with other watch brands to stay afloat, so it is quite an undertaking for someone to relaunch a defunct brand. Sure, Favre Leuba was a big name decades ago, but they will have an uphill battle in this marketplace. As far as the Favre Leuba Raider Deep Blue, I do love the design and overall the I feel the watch is superb. I mentioned a few quibbles and with all things being even, the price is probably slightly high, but I can not deny how unique this model is, something that is hard to attain these days. The Raider Deep Blue is obviously paying homage to its past models, though it is not a straight copy of those either, nor it is a copy of anything else currently on the market. The look is there, the quality is there, but only time will tell if the current form of Favre Leuba is here to stay or just another flash in the pan. I hope it is the former, as I look forward to see what they produce in the years to come.

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