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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DELTAt Sora WWII | Watch Review

DELTAt Sora WWII DELTAt Sora WWII Specifications: 44mm x 52mm stainless brushed case 10.8mm thick 22mm lug width Seiko Automatic Movement Cal. NH35 10mm diameter pumpkin shaped crown Sapphire Crystal with anti-reflection coating Water Resistant: 200m/660ft (20ATM) Water Resistant Tool-Less-strap-changing system One set of WWII style genuine leather straps One set of 90/130mm crazy horse […]

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DELTAt Sora WWII | Watch Review

DELTAt Sora WWII DELTAt Sora WWII Specifications: 44mm x 52mm stainless brushed case 10.8mm thick 22mm lug width Seiko Automatic Movement Cal. NH35 10mm diameter pumpkin shaped crown Sapphire Crystal with anti-reflection coating Water Resistant: 200m/660ft (20ATM) Water Resistant Tool-Less-strap-changing system One set of WWII style genuine leather straps One set of 90/130mm crazy horse […]

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DELTAt Sora WWII | Watch Review

DELTAt Sora WWII DELTAt Sora WWII Specifications: 44mm x 52mm stainless brushed case 10.8mm thick 22mm lug width Seiko Automatic Movement Cal. NH35 10mm diameter pumpkin shaped crown Sapphire Crystal with anti-reflection coating Water Resistant: 200m/660ft (20ATM) Water Resistant Tool-Less-strap-changing system One set of WWII style genuine leather straps One set of 90/130mm crazy horse […]

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Bulova Moon Watch | Watch Review

Bulova Moon Watch While some watches could only dream of being a part of space exploration history, Bulova made it a reality in July 1971 aboard Apollo 15, NASA’s fourth manned mission to land on the surface of the moon. Commander over the mission, dubbed as NASA’s “most successful manned flight ever achieved,” was Dave …

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