I continue my search for the perfect sub-$500 watch, in order to help prospective buyers get their watch fix while still remaining realistic in this financial crisis. Because you gotta get your fix, even if your savings are taking a dive… I know this 🙂
The next couple of watches I am reviewing are some watches by a fellow who gained his customer base from a replica watch forum, and started his career by modding replica watches. He calls them Hommage watches now as his watch creations do not bear the marks of commercial watch companies, but are rather sourced from the same people that provide Alpha Watch with their parts.. another famous Hommage watch company I have also tried out recently.
The man behind the products is Pejman Foroush, and he CNC machines his own custom dials on a benchtop CNC mill.. very cool. Custom dials and custom applied Lume.. you’ll see why they are called Pyrolume the first time you see one.
His prices run about $200-500 at the moment, with occasionaly $1 no reserve auctions on ebay, which is where I picked mine up. I bought two watches from him, one a manual winding asian unitas, and the other a Japanese Miyota quartz movement.
Pyrolume 50mm Japanese Miyota Quartz
A very cool and unique looking watch, with a somewhat rough finish. He said that this is a “prototype” watch so it is not finished as well as others. The strap I put on the watch is an aftermarket $100 NUBO strap. The original bracelet that came with the watch was made of a very cheap metal, almost feeling like aluminum and really did not do the watch justice. I was unable to get the bracelet off using Pejman’s instructions as there is no notch that is typically there to remove bracelets. I ended up using a drill press and just drilling right through the bracelet to remove it.
His dials is really the center point of this peice, as the case is nothing special, and actually a bit light and flimsy. However, the care he puts into his dials is really something. Very good work indeed. I would really like to see this stuff in a germany or swiss made case, with a genuine swiss movement.
As you can see, the Lume is outstanding, and is really the whole point of the watch. If you are looking for a completely unique dial, made and assembled in the USA, this is your watch. However, I would say that the case work and original bracelet were a bit lacking given the prices.
Oh, and just for kicks, I checked out the back of his dials. Kinda neat hey?
Pyrolume Manual Winding Pilot 45mm
Now this Pyrolume costed a bit more than the other one, but the dial is a bit less flashy, and has a very neat blasted surface, that looks amazing when it is lit up. This one has a Chinese replica unitas movement in it, and the case is all blasted Titanium. It’s a really dark titanium, so I’m not sure what alloy/grade was used, but I do not think it is the type typically used for watches.
As you can see from the above pic, the surface has what he called a “moonstone” finish to it, that somehow reflects some of the lume when it is lit.. not sure how he did it but it is very cool.
Here is a wrist shot of the watch on a black leather strap that I swapped in. It came on a Panatime Carbon fiber strap that was okay, but I did not like that the blue stitching in the strap was a different hue of blue than the kind onf the dial and of course the buckle was not titanium… just looked a bit off to me so I stuck it on leather for these pics… Afterwards I bought a grey NATO strap that matches the Titanium dial and now it looks Amazing! I love it on the grey Nato, and that is where it is staying.
See, there it is on my grey Nato.. I love it. Too bad that it covers the exhibition back, but no biggie, just a chinese movement. Speaking of the movement, I am not sure what level of experience Pejman has with watchmaking, or what kind of regulation he puts his watches through, but this watch is running about 30-40 seconds fast per day, and has ever since I received it. It may have gotten magnetized on the way here, or just was that way before it came. Its hard to tell how fast sometimes because there is no second hand, so its just a rough guess.
The quality of the case on this model is better than the one on the Quartz one, and is reflected in the price. Also it is Titanium, which probably adds a bit to the cost. The crystal is curved, and a bit annoying as it reflects quite a bit of light, but the Dial on this one is truly magnificent. I love the blue hues and sandy finish to the dial, and that is indeed the entire purpose of this watch, to showcase the dial. All things aside, Pejman does a fantastic job with his dials, and for that he should be commended.
There is a nice lume shot of the dial from Pejman. All things aside, these watches might be priced a bit high in my opinion, but their one-of-a-kind originality is worth the price if you like it. I would really like to see some swiss movements in his watches, as that would really up the ante and justify the pricing. Heck, he could even raise his prices if he switched to swiss movements and cases.
Given that you can pick up peices from Debaufre and Invicta completely swiss made for the same price, it is the innovative dials that will draw you to his peices, not the quality of the movements.