We recently got word from our friends over at Hager about their newest watches in the pipeline, along with some pre-order discounts that are available. If you recall, we took a look at their crowd-funded project about a year ago. That project didn’t end up hitting the funding levels, but Hager is back at it with production of affordable watches with clean style and solid movements here in the US of A.
First, I want to clarify what’s meant by production. While Hager would love to actually have components built here in the States, it’s just not something that’s realistically feasible at this time (more on this in our Sunday post), especially for a startup brand. What they’re doing instead is getting all of the components in (movements directly from Miyota for example), and then doing all of the assembly (and QA) Stateside. I think it’s a good interim step in their path to (hopefully) fully building something here. Now, on to the watches!
With this new batch, they’ve created two Rolex-inspired watches that look rather similar – you’ve got the Commando Professional, and then the Commando GMT Traveler, with the main difference being of course whether or not you have a GMT hand spinning around the dial – which then informs the movement, which is either a Miyota 9015 (three-hander) or a modified ETA 2836-2 (GMT).
For both watches, the stainless steel case is the same – 42mm diameter and 14.5mm thickness, paired to 22mm lugs. Continuing with the similarities, you’ve got a ceramic bezel (with lume, which is quite nice), a sapphire crystal with AR coating, a solid caseback, screw down crown, and 200m WR rating.
So, what’s different? Taking a closer look, you’ll notice that the bezels between the two models are different (24 hour for the GMT hand, or a 60-minute timer). This of course corresponds to the different movements, which we mentioned earlier. The other big difference between the models is the pricing – the Professional comes in at $600, while the GMT Traveller is $700; both models also have rather nice-looking DLC option, which tacks another $100 on (so, $700/$800 total).
If you get in on the pre-order of these watches though (40 of each of the four models are up for pre-order) you can save yourself some serious coin. On the steel bracelet, you can get the Professional for $450 (or, with DLC, $550), or you can opt for the GMT Traveller (again, on the steel bracelet) for $550 (or $650 with DLC). Nice little discount, there!
It really boils down to whether or not you have a use (or just like) the GMT complication – past that, the watches look very similar (including, thankfully, a color-matched date wheel). Of these models, I surprised myself by being drawn to the DLC models, as I’m not normally a fan of that treatment. Something here just clicks for me, especially with the GMT version (no surprise there).
We’ll be working to get one of these in for review once they’re available. In the meantime, if you want to get some more information on the watches, or on the specifics of how the pre-order works (summary: 50% down, pay remainder before it ships), just head on over here and check out the details before April 28th, when the pre-order window closes. Don’t forget to let them know WWR sent ya!
Of note, we’ve been in communication with the brand, and they’re intending to have pictures of samples ready within two months after the pre-order closes, so we can get a sense of what the watches look like “in the steel” (the images in this post are renders). We’re told (guaranteed, actually) that if you see those sample pictures and want to be refunded, you most certainly will. It’s a move that I like to see, and I think it’s an encouraging bit of belief in their product that they’d take a step like that. hagerwatches.com