Watch Reviews


Just posted a video review of my JOA PAM249 Homage watch, with the Cali dial. This is a cool rendition of the 249 from Johel, and can sort of tide you over until you fork over the $15K or so you’ll need to buy the original. Its got some items with it that I don’t love, and I really am not that big a fan of homage watches but its not too shabby. Check it out.

I personally love the Fortis watches from a few years back, and while this isn’t really an “oldie” per se, its from the previous generation of Fortis, so when the chance to pick up this Spacematic Chrono came up, I jumped on it. I reviewed the Fortis Spacematic Automatic back in 2008, and the Chronograph Spacematic is a nice chunkier version of the basic model. Its a similar case, with slightly thicker dimensions and wears fantastic for a 40mm watch.

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The matte black dial, with tool watch style features really resonates with me, and is part of the reason I’m always draw to Fortis watches. The Valjoux 7750 movement inside is in its pure unadulterated form complete with day and date complications. The chronograph central seconds counter is in the familiar neon orange that Fortis often uses.

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The Fortis Spacematic Chronograph has a distinctively boxy and simple case shape, featuring very straight sides and lugs, even with its elegant 3-piece case construction. The overall case finish is a fine bead blast, which looks fantastic on a tool watch, but can be difficult to touch-up if you get it scratched. Polished and satin finished cases are much easier to touch up.

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The Fortis Spacematic has a fantastic bracelet, three links across with screw construction rather than pinned. Its not quite up to Breitling Standards but its a very nicely executed piece. The clasp is of the stamped variety, with slightly sharp edges that are a bit hard on the fingernails when opening. Its not as bad as some clasps I’ve used, but its not the best either. I would have liked to see smoother edges on the bottom of the clasp or something to make it feel smoother.

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The pushers are standard location, no screwdown pushers, but it does have a screwdown crown that has a checked crosshatch pattern which is a very cool feature. Water resistance is 200m, which is pretty good. Just don’t push the chronograph pushers when you’re underwater.

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The Fortis measures only 40mm in diameter, but looks great on the wrist. They can also be had for what I think is a bargain relative to their true value – certainly a bargain compared with their retail pricing that’s for sure. Compared to a similar Sinn or Kobold, the older Fortis watches are slightly cheaper on the secondary market and just as wearable IMO.

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Overall a great watch that gives a very satisfying experience. I really dig this Spacematic Chronograph from Fortis and it makes me miss my Fortis Spacematic Automatic that I sold long ago.

Specs:
Crystal: Scratch Resistant Sapphire
Case Diameter: 40mm
Caseback: Solid
Bezel Material: Stainless Steel
Bezel Function: Fixed
Water Resistance: 200m/660ft
Calendar: Automatic Day-Date at 3:00

The brand “Swiss Military Watch” is about as vague as they come, and the name often invokes poor brand recognition with confusion with Victorinox and Wenger among others. However, SMW (Swiss Military Watch) is known for their very rugged military watches that rival Marathon in their quality.

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The SMW Commando T25 is a very nicely crafted tactical style diver, with T25 Tritium Tubes used to illuminate the dial when used in dim and low light conditions. For those unfamiliar with tritium tube illumination, it does not require “recharging” like regular superluminova or old-style tritium paint. The tubes constantly glow until they’re dead, which is approximately 25 years.

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Here’s the Swiss Military Watch logo above, which is not to be confused with several of the other brands using the “Swiss Military Watch” name.

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The Commando features a 44mm case, with an orange aluminum insert bezel reminiscent of the Omega Planet Ocean. While the shape and overall style do not resemble the Planet Ocean, the color combinations and materials do. The flat black dial shows the time very clearly above the beating Swiss Automatic ETA 2824-2 movement.

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The watch has all the go-to features that schrewd Watch buyers always look for, and it checks all the right boxes. Sapphire Crystal, check. Swiss ETA Automatic Movement, check. T25 Tritium Tubes, Check. 44mm Larger and Current watch case, check. 200m Water Resistance, check. Swiss Made, check. Good bang for buck? Check!

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Overall its a fantastic watch. There’s the shot of the rather unremarkable caseback, perhaps the weakest part of the watch. The caseback is pretty generic, with shallow laser engraving of the logo and other important information such as water resistance, etc. The other important marking is the Limited Edition Numbering, which in this case is a very low production of 200 pieces. The numbering is actually machine engraved, which makes it stand out a bit more. Anyway, the caseback is the least important part of the watch to me, so its not a big deal. Overall, a superb watch for very little money. Much better than the Hamiltons and other similarly priced Swiss Watches.

Specs:
-Diameter appx 44mm – excluding screw-down crown
-Stainless steel case
-Screw-down steel case back
-Fitted with Hirsch black padded, waterproof, leather strap with orange detail stitching – original, unused, black silicone rubber dive stap in box
-Accurate and reliable Swiss ETA 25 jewel automatic movement
-Clear black face with mb microtec H3 gas illumination to hands and markers – glows all night
-Orange sweep second hand
-Sapphire crystal
-Special edition numbered of 200
-Date window at 3-o-clock
-Unidirectional steel bezel with orange insert and lume pip
-Water resistant to 200 metres

Check out this video review I posted of the Frederique Constant Persuasion Automatic. A 40mm dress watch with nice lines and a classy case shape, Swiss Made, and nicely presented. I like Frederique Constant, but their timepieces lack that look that inspires emotional connection for me. I like them, but do not love them. Hope you enjoy the review.

Check out my video review of the Baume and Mercier Hampton Magnum XXL – in awesome black PVD and solid 18K Rose Gold bezel and inserts. Sorry for the crappy audio… you’ll have to turn the volume down a bit. This is a solid watch from B&M, though strays quite a bit from their traditional style. On its own, this is a great looking watch with a solid movement and great lines. One of my favourite square watches I’ve ever owned.

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