Hands-on Review: TRIWA Walter Lansen Chrono

Posted on 27 June 2014 by Patrick Kansa

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It’s been awhile since we’ve had a TRIWA watch review on our pages – the last one we looked at I deemed to be a perfect watch for summer, so I think it’s a bit fitting that we’ve got another one landing on the pages with summer waiting in the wings. Now, you might be tempted to think that the TRIWA Walter Lansen Chrono is part of the “Sort of Black” line (which Matt covered here), but it’s definitely not.

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Make no mistake, this watch is definitely hitting some darker tones than we looked back in YEAR. That said, the mostly grey and gold (with some brown coming in courtesy of the strap) is a lighter “dark” alternative. Or, if you prefer, think of it as a sun-faded variant of what you might otherwise see in the Sort Of Black watches. With a case coming in at 38mm, TRIWA labels it as a unisex model, which I suppose it could work as. For me, though, it actually wore a bit larger, I think due to the longer lugs that are on the case. It certainly didn’t feel undersized on the wrist – at certain angles, it actually seems like it’s overly tall for it’s diameter.

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No matter – it wears well, and doesn’t weigh you down. The canvas used for the strap is a good material for the warmer months, due to, well, so many things that you encounter in summertime – your patio umbrella, lightweight shoes, so on and so forth. With a tight weave, you can actually have a canvas strap that slides through the buckle rather silkily. Here, however, a large part of the strap is actually made of a soft leather (which goes smoothly through the buckle as well). While it’s an interesting design choice in some lights, I think I would’ve preferred to have seen a full canvas strap.

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Once you’ve got the watch strapped on, you’re greeted by a fairly clean sunburst dial with applied circular indices, two sub registers (chrono minutes up top, sub-seconds down below) and a date window over at 4 o’clock. Powered as it is by the Miyota OS11, I suppose they had some limitations, but I would have liked to have seen the date window moved over to take the place of the 4 numeral, or simply eliminated, to keep things a bit more balanced.

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The lumed main handset picks up the gold tones that are predominant (well, it’s the only tone) from the subdials. While they are in proportion to each other, I would have liked to have seen them both be just a tad longer, to be more in proportion to the dial. While none of these details on their own are any major misses, I just went into the review expecting more of the Swedish brand. They’ve definitely defined a rather strong style for themselves, and I had the bar set a bit high from the MODEL NAME. It’s not that it’s a bad watch by any means ($350 for a quartz chrono is reasonable, especially given Triwa’s design chops), I just felt it fell a tad short on some of the design details.

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Of course, those are my opinions, and I’m guessing there’s an overall design directive/DNA that informs a lot of this for the brand, especially one that seems to be as aesthetically driven as Triwa is. And for you, well, maybe those same details don’t carry as much importance. While I try to remain as objective as I can when reviewing these watches, you can’t help but to have your own predilections inform how you look at a watch. I could argue, though, that’s why review sites like ours exist – to get a mostly unbiased look at watches that are out there, with the personality of the reviewer coloring things a bit.

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Ok, ok, I’ll get off my soapbox now. Hadn’t intended to do any editorializing with the review, but I guess we’ll throw that in for free on this one. In summary, the Triwa Walter Larsen Chrono carries the Swedish brand’s unique design sensibility, and offers a competent movement with a liberal dose of style. No, it may not be everyone (I don’t think it’s for me), but for someone looking for a good “summer watch” that wouldn’t be out of place at work, this watch (or something from Triwa’s lineup) is sure to do the trick. triwa.com

Review Summary

  • Brand & Model: TRIWA Walter Lansen Chrono
  • Price: $350
  • Who’s it for?: As I mentioned in the conclusion, this could be the watch for a gal or guy looking for a summer watch that is ready for work and the weekend
  • Would I wear it?: Not this one – I just felt the small design misses added up to a larger “No” for me
  • What I’d change: All-canvas strap, longer hands, and moving (or eliminating) the date display.
  • The best thing about it: For the other picking I did at the design, I was pleasantly surprised by how well the grey-gold-brown color pallete worked, especially since I’m normally not a gold-tone guy.

 

* Background leather courtesy of Renaissance Art

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