Coordinating things with your significant other can sometimes be a tricky thing to do, if that’s what you’re shooting for. When it comes to watches, you can occasionally find particular models that are presented in both a men’s size (say, 36mm+ case) and a women’s size (in the lower 30′s for the case diameter). What about if you’re looking for something that presents a similar style, but aren’t identical watches? Well, then, you’re in luck, as today we’ve got the first of two upcoming articles (and hands-on reviews) that cover this exact scenario. Today’s examples come to us courtesy of Armitron.
I will say up front – bear with me, as Armitron has a habit of running with model designations that don’t exactly roll off the tongue. For the men’s model, we’ve got the 20/4870BKTI in a black ion-plated finish; the ladies model is the 75/5057MPSV in a silver-tone finish and Swarovski crystals adorning it. Right off the bat, you might be tempted to dismiss these watches. But, given their general shape, and the color scheme (think black tux for the guy and a bright/white dress for the lady) make for an argument that these watches can work together.
For the review portion of this article, we’ll start with the men’s model. The stainless steel case measures in at a 36mm width (only 11mm tall), but I frankly felt that it wore bigger than it’s size might suggest, which is a good thing in my opinion (for this watch). Given the smaller size, the dial can feel a tad cramped, as you’ve got three sub-dials tucked in, tracking day, date, and 24-hour functions. On a watch such as this, I think these particular functions are really unnecessary. It could just be my eyes, but when you’ve got subdials as small as these (on a black dial), reading them can really be quite tricky – to the point I really don’t even try. At that point, they’re really just a styling exercise, and I think it’s one we could do without. A clean dial would present much more nicely, and perhaps allow for a more readable date display window to be implemented.
The women’s model does keep things much simpler. It’s a basic three-hander layout (albeit with some stubby hands) in a 23mm wide rectangular brass case (8.3mm thick). The dial itself is a simply textured white color, with silver-tone applied indices (mirroring the men’s model). The one notable departure from the mens model (and a rarity in the dressier women’s models I’ve reviewed) is that it includes lume. This shows up on the hands, as well as in small pips around the edge of the dial. Around the edge of the case you’ve got those sparkly Swarovski crystals, which then continue on into the 13.5mm bracelet (just over half the width of the men’s model, which comes in at 25.5 mm).
In daily wear, I found the men’s model to be comfortable, if a tad noisy. It’s just one of the side effects of these entry-level watches: the fit and finish on the bracelets isn’t done to as tight of tolerances, so you can get some play. It was easily readable, though sometimes you’ve got to find the right angle to view the dial, as the curved mineral crystal will give you a bit of glare. Find that correct angle, though, and the light bounces nicely off of the polished hands and indices, helping them stand out from the jet black dial.
For the ladies model, my wife liked the overall design, as she felt it came across as feminine. Surprisingly (given it’s relatively small size) she didn’t feel that the watch was dainty, given it’s heft and the amount of shine coming off of the piece. She felt that the watch was one she’d wear (albeit not as an every day sort of piece), and appreciated how the case stayed in place on top of her wrist.
As I mentioned at that start, these watches are for someone who wants pieces for themselves and their partner that evoke a general theme, but aren’t identical. If you’re also looking for those watches to be quite affordable, you are very much in luck. The men’s model comes in at $76.99, and the women’s watch is $53.99, which means you and the missus could be sporting some new watches for just over $130. Not too shabby, eh? Sure, there are tradeoffs to be had with the price, but for fashion-oriented quartz models, these are pretty good (and dressy) options. If you’re looking for something a little more casual in nature, stay tuned for our next his-n-hers review.
- Brand & Model: Armitron 20/4870BKTI (Men’s) and 75/5057MPSV (Women’s)
- Price: $76.99 (Men’s), $53.99 (Women’s)
- Who’s it for?: The couple looking for dress watches that are matching, but not identical
- Would we wear them?: For the men’s model, this didn’t quite fit my personal tastes, so no, I wouldn’t. My wife, on the other hand, would wear the women’s model for a dressier occasion.
- What we’d change: On the men’s model, I could do without the hard-to-read subdials. On the women’s model, perhaps reducing the “bling” factor is in order – either fewer crystals, or subbing in some brushed surfaces.
- The best thing about them: For occasionally-worn dress watches, this is an readily affordable pair.