The all new Fonderia Navale Cóndor ( sister brand of PONTVS ) will be available for Pre-Order and is definitely a step up in all around quality and feel. The case itself if you did not notice is comprised of solid CUSN8 German Bronze. For those of you who do not know, a Bronze watch will develop a nice patina over time - allowing for a truly personal watch. The case is a simple three piece construction with a fine brushed finish. Now, the watch is 44MM with a lug to lug distance of 51MM. Yes, it is going to wear larger than a 40-42 - but not by much with the 51MM wingspan. My wrist is 6.75” and it only goes about 1MM over the end of my wrist which is acceptable in my book. In terms of water resistance - the watch features a large and very grippable screwdown crown and steel caseback which gives us 200M of water resistance. It is most certainly a watch that can be used for many occasions including water activities, work, and formal events as well. It truly is a bold and statement piece as it will stand out on the wrist.
Steel caseback featuring your custom edition number and detailed eagle with star
This iteration features a milky brown chocolate color dial which really plays along well with the bronze case color. It also features large cathedral traditional hands making it extremely legible during the day and when the sun sets. Some small nice details include the perfectly cut numerals and railroad track just outside the chapter ring. Getting to the lume, C3 SuperLuminova covers all the hands, numerals, and thin arrow tipped seconds hand. The lume is quite responsive and it does last for some time. ( Lume Shot Below ). All in all, it is a very traditional layout - and one that many people are fond of. Other standard featured include a domed Sapphire crystal with AR coating for increased legibility in the sun.
Powering the Condor is the standard Seiko NH35 automatic caliber. This movement features 24 jewels and beats at 3 HZ ( 21,600 BPH ). It is a true workhorse and reliable movement which many smaller brands utilize due to its’ cost effectiveness and durability. These things are also quite accurate gaining arouns 5-10 seconds each day. Another nice feature of the NH35 is the hacking and self-wind via the onion crown.
The 24MM leather band is actually oiled and brown in color to match the dial. It also features white stitching and a large oversized bronze buckle. The band itself is definitely comfortable and easy to break in due to the oiling process. However, I think if you can find a nice 24MM Nato or Canvas band this thing would pop even more and you would get more use out of the 100M water resistance for the summer season. Overall, I cannot really complain about it.
Furthermore, the Condór is definitely a good looking watch on the wrist, that is for sure. It has all those components most microbrand lovers are looking for in a $499 Bronze automatic watch. I do believe the Pre-Order or introduction price will be $100 less so I do suggest grabbing one of these limited edition pieces before the price jumps. I also like the water resistant rating of 200M and the durable tough factor this watch feels like in hand - allowing it to be used in almost any occasion.
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The all new Phoibos automatic diver is definitely a nice addition to their current lineup of dive watches. It is definitely a step up in price, but also in quality. The solid 316L stainless steel case is completely brushed with no errors on my example. The dimensions are also wearable at 42MM x 48MM x 14.5MM. Some
might be weary of a 42MM case but in all honesty with a lug to lug distance of 48 it definitely wears much smaller once on wrist. Id say the design is definitely not a homage of anything else currently on the market, which is a step in the right direction for Phoibos. The great wall is a true dive watch and is also equipped with an automatic helium escape valve which can be seen on the left flank of the case. Now, the watch is 500 Meters water resistant with a screw down crown/caseback - giving you that added security many crave for when submerging a watch underwater.
The dial itself resembles the Great Wall of China - where Phoibos resides from ( Hong Kong ). My model features a metallic like blue dial with bricks layered up and down. The large applied markers themselves are extremely legible and definitely dive watch material - allowing the end user to read the dial at a quick glance. I like the use of Orange borders features on the broad and bold hands as well as the markers themselves. As usual, the Octopus logo is printed in white below 12:00. In terms of lume, this watch excels compared to other brands with 15 layers of X1 grade C3 SuperLuminova applied to the hands, markers, and Sapphire lumed bezel insert. Getting to sapphire, the crystal is a double domed sapphire as it should be at this $500 pricepoint. It also features three layers of under Anti-Reflective coating for increased legibility in sunny conditions. An important element is the bezel action/grip which seems to be really good, with 120 solid clicks and nice grooves surrounding it. You can check out the lume shot below!
A huge upgrade coming from Miyota 9015s and NH35s is the swiss automatic ETA 2824-2 used in this model. As most of you know this is pretty much the go to movement for most decent Swiss Made watches and even some Luxury brands. It features hand-winding, hacking, 4 Hz beat rate, and 26 jewels. It is also fairly accurate gaining around 7-8 seconds per day - which is fine in my book at this price.
Engineer Bracelet or Rubber Band?
Speaking of upgrades and value for money...Phoibos added an engineer style solid steel bracelet featuring a built in micro extension for ease and comfort. It is one of the better ones without sharp edges ( which I have seen from other companies ). The bracelet is self is 22MM and does not taper, but is extremely fluid and does not pinch the hair on my arm. However, being summertime here in NY, I really took advantage of the end fitted rubber strap that comes supplied at no extra cost. It is really comfortable and supple on wrist- especially in a beach/pool environment.
Furthermore, the new Great Wall by Ethan and Emily
of Phoibos watch company is certainly a success in my eyes. Some may say the colorways are a bit funky or not in their tastes, but if you are one that likes to explore different color options and palettes - they sure have some neat options to choose from. Overall, the quality and components used are definitely worth the asking price and possibly even more. I really look forward to what they have in their playbook for the coming months.