The all new limited edition Spectre Phantom II is designed with a genta-ish case comprised of solid 316L stainless steel with a diameter of 39MM and a height of 48MM. In terms of case thickness, it is most definitely comfortable at 11.5MM. The dimensions are just right and sit right at home on my 6.5” wrist comfortably. A smooth brushed finish covers the entire case without any sharp edges or roughness. To the skin, the steel feels very smooth and brushed with care. One of my favorite aspects of the PH II is the 100M of water resistance we get, thanks to the screw down crown and caseback. Getting to the caseback, we get a nice sapphire display of the swiss automatic caliber and its’ perlage work. Lastly, as expected at this price a flat genuine AR coated sapphire covers the front of the watch as well.
The dial is actually black, but can appear as a deep grey due to the sunburst effect this model has. Other than that the dial is rather simple, symmetric, and down to the point. The applied markers are filled with superluminova as well as the S logo below 12:00. A neat detail is the black date wheel which does match the dial quite well, if you did not notice. The bezel is neat, brushed, and fixed with perfectly circular aligned screws just as a Hublot or Audemars Piguet RO would be.
To be 100% honest, I have never experienced a Fossil group STP1-11 Automatic movement prior to receiving the Phantom. It did quite surprise me with its’ neat perlage work and blued screws. It is basically the equivalent of an ETA 2824-2 and has precise accuracy as well. My model is running at +3-5 seconds per day and is very consistent. This movement contains 26 jewels, beats at 4 HZ, and contains a hacking and winding feature as well. A nice little touch is the custom spectre logo on the actual rotor.
Bracelet or Leather?
Considering this is a integrated case design, your strap options are going to be cut short. However, the stock bracelet is definitely a very nice and well finished one. It also is extremely fluid and comfortable, and does not pull a single hair off my arm. Small subtle polished edges allow for some visual flair while the extemely fine brushing sits comfortable on the wrist. The bracelet was a breeze to adjust with screw links and a screwdriver which came inside the box itself. Comparing this bracelet to their first ever release “Phantom I” - there is a huge increase in overall quality on this model. The butterfly clasp is tight, secure, and even is signed when you completely fold it over. The good thing about this type of clasp is the seemless and clean look it has
once fitted correctly. If the bracelet doesn’t suit you, a second end fitted genuine leather band comes in the kit as well. The strap is of okay quality and definitely wearable, but I do much prefer the bracelet.
Furthermore, the spectre phantom II does
not dissapoint, and I was actually quite surprised at the actual quality and feel
of this piece when I first received it. It is indeed a well made watch and well worth the asking price in my
opinion. The Phantom II is also a very versatile
watch as it can be worn dressed up or down, and even while swimming. Im glad I had the chance to experience this watch and it is evident they truly have stepped their game up in terms
of movement and overall case/bracelet quality.
Today , we are taking a look at the all new release from famed micro producer Richard LeGrand or ( RLG ) now. Their newest release is definitely a vintage inspired watch with a super compressor design. The solid 316L brushed steel case comes in at 42MM x 13MM x 48MM. These dimensions fit quite nice and much smaller than 42MM on my wrist considering the short lugs and small tip to tip length. This one kind of just sinks into the wrist weighing only 80 grams on the supplied strap. The finishing is decent, and definitely suitable for the $220 price this watch is currently being offered for from RLG. Now, we get two crowns, which is quite typical of a super compressor watch. The first crown allows us to rotate the inner bezel for a 60 minute dive timer which can also be useful in day to day situations. The second crown is screwed down for that 200M of water resistance and used for timeset. Heading to the caseback, a nice and rather refreshing new design of a ship which is raised and polished is displayed proudly.
Now, there are four different dial options - but my example is the navy / deep blue colour. It really suits the whole vintage compressor aesthetic, as well as the applied lumed “Blancpain” style markers. A nice detail is the chromed out borders surrounding them. The 12-3-6-9 markers are rectangular - matching the long rectangular lumed hands as well. It is a rather simple and symmetric dial meant for a tool like purpose. If you did not notice, RLG is printed below 12:00 instead of the Richard LeGrand we are so used to seeing. This was done for obvious reasons as “Dick” is short for Richard - and enthusiasts were basically making the joke of “The grand dick” in translation..Anyway, the lume is BGW9 and quite potent with a good bright blue shine. Overall, I think it looks clean, crisp, and to the point.
Well...NH35! Yes, I feel like I am repeating myself in almost every review. The famed Seiko NH35 automatic movement is used in this model, for good reason. It certainly helps keep the price down and is probably the most reliable and accurate movement in this sector of watches. It features 24 jewels, hand-winding, hacking, and is relatively accurate at around 5-10 seconds a day while beating at 3 HZ.
Genuine Leather / Sailcloth Band
Now, the band is probably one of my least favorite parts of the watch itself. I mean, the quality is decent...but the backside is genuine leather while the front is a faux sailcloth material that can get wet. I really think a nice rubber end fitted band would of suited this watches purpose much better as a dive watch. However, I am seeing more and more microbrand divers being offered on leather bands which is quite odd. Personally, I threw mine on a Bartons rubber band and it looked stellar. The band is 22MM and does feature a signed steel clasp.
Furthermore, I think RLG is offering quite a good design and specification for the coin. It has the great NH35 movement, a beautifully domed crystal, and is certainly better looking and a bit more sporty than its’ arch enemy - the Dan henry. If I honestly had to pick between this or the DH which I reviewed a few years ago..I would choose this. It fits much slimmer and comfortable on the wrist, and is much more “Minimalistic” shall I say. Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read.
The all new Field Force by Victorinox is definitely a nice and refreshing addition to their lineup of swiss made timepieces. The actual was is definitely an everyday field/office type of piece and is comprised of solid 316L stainless steel. In terms of dimensions we get a very wearable 42MM x 9.5MM x 49MM. I also do like the versatility of this piece as it does have a 100M water resistance rating which allows the user to take it in the pool or ocean with them whenever they please. But do not be fooled - this most definitely is also a watch that can be worn with a suit or around the office. In terms of finishing the entire case is completely brushed besides the signed pull/push crown. Overall, for the $395 price on bracelet pictured above, it offers a decent value from a very traditional independent swiss watch brand.
The navy blue dial contains applied lumed numerals which are quite bold and large, allowing for great legibility and time reading. Some
other nice details include the solid red seconds hand reaching all the way out to the chapter ring which is a big thing for me. I say this because I find when companies have a short second hand it just makes the watch appear a bit cheaper with corners cut. Large sword style field hands filled with swiss SuperLuminova - again adding to that legibility factor. The neat thing I like about Victorinox is the applied shield below 12:00 which is actually fully lumed and looks pretty neat at night. To top this off, a nice genuine Sapphire crystal with three layers of Anti-Reflective coating is applied to make sure there is no glare hitting your crystal. Everything about this layout is about everyday function including the day and date cutouts located at 3:00 with a reference lumed triangle for orientation.
The ever so trusty Swiss Made Quartz Ronda movement is used in this piece and many other Victorinox Quartz watches. This movement is fairly accurate within a couple seconds a month and has a long lasting battery life with an EOL Indicator. I never have had a problem so far with all the watches I have owned that contained this movement and find it fairly efficient, trusty, and robust. It is also another reason they can achieve such a slim case.
I was actually really surprised by the oyster style link bracelet that this watch came with. The links themselves are very articulate and conform nicely
to the wrist without pinching hair. The bracelet
contains solid end links, polished center
links, and a neat quick-release system which allows you to remove the entire bracelet within seconds. Overall, it certainly also gives the watch a more luxurious and polished look. The signed clasp is a butterfly
clasp with two release buttons and a safety fold
over for a seamless look once on wrist.
In conclusion, the all new Field Force by victorinox is definitely a contendor when looking for a new everyday, reliable, and useable field watch. It is also a very versatile one that can be used in many situations whether smart or casual. All of these features add up to a decent value for a swiss made timepiece at a reasonable price.
The Zelos Swordfish case is comprised of solid CUSN8 Bronze and features very wearable/proportional dimensions of 42MM x 48MM x 13MM. This is most definitely a true dive watch with a water resistance rating of 300M along with a screw down crown and caseback. You should have no issues shallow diving, swimming, boating, with this timepiece. In terms of finishing, the 360 brushed finish is definitely refined and smooth - without mistakes or blemishes. Please do keep in mind that this watch will grow a nice Patina over time, allowing the end user a truly personal watch and experience. I also really like the fact that this case design and cut is unique and does not resemble any other popular big name swiss brand timepieces. It is truly a work of Elshan and his team in Singapore. On my 6.75” wrist the watch fits just about perfectly across as expected, and reveals a bold yet tool like look.
The cobalt blue sandwich sunburst dial is quite stunning when the light hits it as you can see from the photo above. It is most definitely symmetric with a date aperture at 6:00 and an applied bronze color Zelos logo below 12:00. Some nice details include the enlarged hour markers at 12-3-6-9. Getting to the handset - they are quite bold and in tune with the proportion of the markers - which some companies fail to do. Now, the C3 Superluminova applied on the hands - markers - and brushed ceramic bezel is really some of the best I have ever seen. It is extremely reactive and lasts a bit longer than Seiko Lumibrite from my tests. To top it all of, a nice genuine AR coated sapphire crystal is included on the front AND the back. Taking a look at the back of the screw down stainless steel caseback, there is a great
view of the swiss automatic ETA 2892 movement with customization by Zelos. Lastly, the 120 Click Bronze bezel is definitely precise, tooly, and a bit stiff in my
opinion. However, it is not so stiff you cannot use it. I believe it needs a couple weeks to be properly broken in. In terms of alignment, it hits 12 perfectly with zero backplay.
The ETA 2892 is used in this model...However if you do not have the funds for this model - there is an option with a solid caseback and Seiko NH35 automatic calibre. Anyway, this ETA movement is indeed a good one and I happen to like it a bit better than the standard 2824 movements. It contains 24 jewels, 44 hours of power reserve, hand winding, and hacking. If we take a look at the rotor, there is a custom Zelos branded cut out which really struck me upon initial inspection. It is indeed in a bronze tone to match the case and bezel.
Leather Band or Rubber?
The reissue of the Swordfish comes equipped with a beautiful genuine rubber 22MM band, as well as a Genuine Horween Quick-Release strap. The quality is very good on the rubber band as well as the nice addition of the bronze Zelos custom buckle. I do prefer it on the rubber strap, because I will be getting this watch wet this summer....However, if your one that does not take their watches in the water then the beautiful and soft horween leather band can pair just fine with the Swordfish. Horween is one of the top leather materials used in high quality luxury leather bands, so it is really nice that they added this in to top it off.
Furthermore, the Swordfish is definitely a winner all around. The complete package packs a lot of punch for the money ( $599.99 Pre Order - $699.99 Retail ). I like all the extra goodies the watch comes with such as the wooden box, leather roll, and extra leather band. The watch itself is a rather simple tooly btonze dive watch with some decent specifications for the coin. Please do keep in mind Bronze watches are generally priced higher than steel as the material is a bit more expensive. But if you can compare this to something such as a Bronze Oris 65 - I think you are getting quite a good deal.
This version of the ever so popular and ideal tool watch dubbed the INOX - is actually crafted of solid carbon fiber which was tested in space and held up to an incredible 1261 degrees Celsius. It also contains the same robust feeling as its’ brothers including the 130 tests it has gone through. In terms of dimensions we are looking at a 43MM x 12.7MM x 51MM case. It fits nice on my 6.5” wrist which is not all too big, quite average I would say. The watch is also extremely light weighing in at 99 grams with the Paracord strap. A nice feature is the standard 200M of water resistance along with the screw down crown and steel caseback. This truly is a watch you can use in any situation that approaches you.