9/24/2019 0 Comments
Oceanica, a watch company based in New York is set to launch their latest model via Kickstarter October 25Th, 2019. They have had two successful campaigns so far with their Flieger and Reef Dive watch - So I do not see a reason why this one should not succeed! It is actually a rather very nicely designed and executed super
compressor styled automatic diver. It also features a nice modern aesthetic mixed with a twist of vintage characteristics, such as the hands and font utilized. I have tried the watch on myself, and at 42MM with a lug to lug of 46MM it wears like a true 40MM watch on my small 6.5” wrist. Some nice new features include a lumed logo / markers / inner bezel - and a fully custom milled bracelet with screw links. There are other Super Compressor styled divers on the market such as the Dan Henry Super Compressor and I do not believe any other smaller companies are producing these ever so popular styled pieces. The watch will kick off at $200 USD shipped worldwide Via Kickstarter October 25TH. I think this is a really great offering and have high expectations for this release.
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The new revised Sternglas Zirkel features a solid brushed 316L Stainless Steel case with 50M of water resistance. It is very circular in shape and stays true to the bauhaus theme of German watchmaking. The exact dimensions are definitely modern and wearable coming in at 40MM x 48.5MM x 10MM. The lugs themselves are quite thin and long adding some substance and visual excitement to a rather bleek traditional design. If we jump over to the caseback, a nice detail is the screws holding down the solid caseback along with an exhibition sapphire window for a view of the automatic Miyota 9015. Overall, it fits comfortablly on my wrist without any sharp edges nor errors in production.
Heading to the black dial, you can see it is rather plain and legible. The print work in a white text is very on point and neat. The pencil style brushed hands and thin seconds hand follow along the same Bauhaus and minimalist theme as the printed numerals, allowing for perfection at every visible angle. I do like that they matched the date window at 6:00 with the dial - If it were in white I do not think it would be a good look.
Now, the movement utilized
is certainly a big upgrade from the prior iterations. This time around they chose the automatic Japanese Miyota 9015 calibre. This movement was created by the Citizen group and sort of competes with the other 4HZ movements used in the swiss watchmaking industry. It feaures hand winding, hacking, 24 jewels, and around 40 hours of power reserve. The best part is that it beats at 28,800 BPH allowing for a super smooth continuous sweep of the seconds hand. I do have a lot experience with this movement and can honestly say that they are quite accurate, robust, and reliable.
Genuine Calf Leather Band
I am a big fan of the straps Sternglas creates, and it was no surprise to me this time around the strap was super
comfortable and well made. It is a thin Quick-Release black genuine calf leather band with a brushed buckle. It is definitely one you can wear straight out of the box and does not require a break in period. There are many different strap options they offer, but I figured a black dial watch with a black band would look just right.
Furthermore, the Zirkel V2 certainly shows that Hamburg based Sternglas is trying to constantly
improve their watches with each new edition they release. The quality is there, as well as the design factor. There are much more higher end Bauhaus styled watches with better movements from more prestigious brands of course, but those would cost almost 4 times the ammount of this watch. I think for a well made Bauhaus design German timepiece, at $438 USD you cant really go wrong with the Zirkel. It gets the job done in style at an affordable entry level price - and most definitely will scratch that Bauhaus itch for your collection.
Available for Pre Order on Kickstarter Now
The all new Beaufort Aerotimer out of New Zealand is a mix of traditional pilot styled watches with World War II Era design cues. It is indeed named after the Bristol Beaufort Torpedo bomber which was utilized by British, Australian, and NZ forces. The watch itself comes in a few different flavors but I must say the Pastel light blue color dial is my favorite. It is a very well constructed watch and does not feel like it comes from a smaller brand or “Microbrand”. The 316L solid steel rose gold case measures in at 40MM x 11.5MM x 48.5MM. It features 20MM lugs and an excellent and useable 100 Meters of water resistance. The leaf like lugs are rather bold and really stand out when on wrist, while the thickness is actually quite thin for a swiss made automatic caliber. I like the neat exhibition sapphire caseback which is held down with real screws and done right. Overall, it feels good on the wrist and the finishing is very good in comparison to other timepieces at this price bracket of under $400 USD ( Kickstarter Pre-Order Price ).
The dial is probably the most beautiful part of the watch with its’ light pastel colour and traditional California dial layout. The California dial consists of half Romans and half Numerals. The sword style hands and applied indexes at 12-3-9 will feature BGW9 Blue lume which I think will look slick on this color dial. Everything is very legibile at a glance thanks to the Inner AR coated single domed sapphire crystal. Classical railroad tracks circle the outer portion of the dial marked with minute and seconds. There are a few different dial color options so I would suggest looking over all of them, as the white option really caught my eye as well. There was an alignment error on the prototype models at the 1:00 marker but no worries as the owner has told me this issue will be fixed on the production models.
Powering the Aerotimer is the trusted and reliable Swiss Made automatic Selitta SW200. I have tons of experience with this caliber and really enjoy its’ solid performance and reliability. The movement features a 38 hour power reserve, 26 Jewels, Hand-Wind, and seconds hand stop. My prototype model is keeping decent time at around +5 seconds per day, which is A OK in my book!
Full grain Italian Leather Band
The bands they have chosen are Genuine Italian leather quick-release straps equipped with a two button deployant clasp. In terms of comfort, they are soft, supple, and broken in out of the box. A nice detail is the double stitch on esch end which matches the 12/3/9 applied markers just fine. If I were to take the Aerotimer near water or in water I would probably throw it on a nice seatbelt NATO or canvas band...that
would look stellar.
Furthermore, the Aerotimer has certainly surprised me in terms of overall fit and finish. It IS a well made timepiece at a reasonable price and It
is no surprise they have surpassed their goal
already on Kickstarter. I like the clean aesthetic which is traditional and classical - yet slightly sporty at the same
time. It is definitely one that can be dressed up and dressed down for casual situations. I can certainly reccommend the Aerotimer by Beaufort and wish them more success in the future.
A very nice zip up pouch is included with the piece, as well as a NOVE polishing cloth..
The Craftsman model by Swiss brand NOVE features some unique technology and design cues. The case itself in this model measures in at 50MM in diameter and contains a thickness of 13.9MM. Now this is by no means a small watch but it does contain an integrated lug design which helps keep the size down a bit. The materials utilized are Stainless steel IP Blue and Ebony wood. This watch actually features 60 individually polished ebony and stainless steel parts. In terms of water resistance, we get a very nice 200M when the caseback is locked down - making it very suitable for water activities. Overall, it is a very unique looking timepiece and a lot of planning and thought went into designing and constructing such a sophisticated and modern timepiece as the Craftsman truly is.
Caseback Time Set - The best part!
The caseback really stands out due to its’ blue nature and neatly printed text. Here is where we can unscrew the “Crown” and set the hour and minutes by pushing down on the lever. Once your all set and done just screw it back down for the 200M of water resistance and your all ready to go! It is as simple as that!
The dial is a very light grey color and festures applied pip like markers for the hours. It is quite simple indeed featuring long luminous sword styled hands and a printed logo and “Swiss Made” at the 6:00 position. Topping all of this off is a genuine sapphire crystal with scratch resistance capability. A nice detail is the blue screws which hold the genuine ebony wood bezel in place. Overall, it is super clean and easy to read the time on this model - which is a refreshing take on a somewhat sporty case design.
The Craftsmans utilized a Swiss Made Quartz movement with a 6 year battery life. Most of you know these are extremely reliable and accurate as they should be. You have the luxury of setting the time without having to change it for some months - compared to an automatic calibre which will gain or lose a few seconds per day.
The Blue genuine leather integrated band is certainly bold enough to match the aesthetics of the case. It is also extremely comfortable and supple on wrist. A nice feature is the custom molded N blue IP plated steel buckle. It literally snaps write into place and sits firm on the wrist. The holes on the strap are firm enough so no
slippage is possible as well. I do hope though that they offer a Rubber strap variant in the future so I will be able to use it to its’ extent.
Furthermore, I have enjoyed spending my time
wearing the NOVE craftsman. It is definitely unique enough to stand apart from other brands, and is one that will draw attention. Although my favorite part of this piece is definitely the unique timeset caseback feature. I found it very easy to use and I really dont mind a watch without a crown that is going to dig into my wrist at odd angles. Thanks for taking the time to read and definitely do check out the youtube hands on review to see the Craftsman in action!
Timus watches has a new concept for watch enthusiasts coming this October to Kickstarter for $275 Early Bird. The brand itself is launching an automatic mens dress watch, and features quality components, but with a twist. Timus will update each owners watch as they release new styles. This will come with a price tag of roughly 25% of the timepiece. It is a way to have a new watch or two every year - with owning the same watch..
Packaging is not finalized and will be updated ***
Now there are two samples that were sent to me - one has a rose gold plated stainless steel case ( onion crown ) while the other has a straight steel case. In terms of specifications we are looking at 42MM ( Rose Gold Classic ) while the Steel model ( Timeverse ) is 43MM in diameter. The lug to lug distances are very close at 50MM for the classic and 51MM for the timeverse. They are both equally thick at 11MM and have a standard lug width of 20MM. Each watch contains 50M of water resistance which allows for a little play in the water and washing hands, but not something to really swim with. The front and back sides which gives a glimpse into the inner workings of the automatic Japanese calibre is fitted with a sapphire crystal. Overall, the finishing and high polished surfaces are smooth, without error nor no sharp edges. The watches themselves fit well on my 6.5” wrist with their modern, yet not overly large dimensions. I happen to like the Onion crown on the Rose Gold model a bit better than the more standard circular crown on the Timeverse model. Anyway, lets move on to the dials - because they are quite interesting and unique.
The dials are very different on each of these models, but still contain classic watchmaking DNA such as the applied Roman numerals on the Classic above. The off white model features skeletonization as the Timeverse below does as well. We get two subdials - one for a 24 hour scale and another for running seconds. The classic is certainly more dressy and formal than the Timeverse, so if that is what you are looking for id go for that model. There is superluminova on both models for legibility at night, and it does work. I like on the classic model that they added lume to the sub disls as well. The blue dal on the timeverse features a bright blue which gleams in the sun and has a slight sunburst effect which looks great. It also features small printed scales for precise timekeeping.
The movement they chose to utilize is one I am very familiar with and can say it is a reliable and robust movement which will run for many years without trouble. This is of course the Japanese Made Miyota 827S. It features hand winding, no hacking, 42 hours of power reserve 21,600 BPH - 21 Jewels - and a nice hollowed out rotor with striping on the mainplate of the movement which is visible through the sapphire caseback. In terms of accuracy you can expect around +7-10 seconds a day which is really good for a movement such as this one.
The straps are all made of real Genuine Leather and features signed Timus buckles. They also went ahead and utilized the ever so popular Quick-Release pins. This means you can change straps within a few seconds which is always a nice feature to have on a watch. The light blue one is very soft and supple while the brown embossed band is a bit rougher and will need a week or so to break in fully. They are both comfortable and of decent quality. I think they are suitable for this pricepoint and do not really see an issue here.
Furthermore, Timus has a very interesting concept and one that I havent seen before in my years of writing about watches and different brands. The fact that you can change the entire look of your watch ( they will
upkeep the movements also ) for a 25% charge is assuring and a nice luxury to have. We all know too well that sometimes we just get sick of a watch and want to flip it or buy something new - Now you have the ability to just send it back and spend a fraction of the price!