Szanto is a new brand, started by the the founder of Luminox, Barry Cohen. They have been on quite a press push of late, getting watches into the hands of several watch bloggers, so there are a few opinions out there for anyone wanting to survey a range of impressions. They sent me three watches to check out, and the first one I thought I would tackle was the simplest of the three, the Szanto 1100 (1104 to be exact in my color combination) an attractive three hand quartz field watch. The company is looking to recreate a vintage military look using modern components and modern watch aesthetics, and off the bat I would say that they succeeded. To the company’s credit, the promotional material does not try and portray the watch as something revolutionary, they are trying to take a concept that they see in higher end watches and bring it down to more accessible levels. The watch itself has a 42mm IP black case, so it fits in with modern tastes on the size of the watch for men, but is not so large that it would be out of place on a woman’s wrist. The movement is a three hand + date Japanese quartz, so it is not very exciting, but it is reliable and accurate, for a list price of $225. A mineral crystal is provided up front, and the watch is rated to a depth of 100 meters. My version has a muted green dial (the images with the watch on my wrist look to be more green than the watch is in person) with black numbers and indexes, along with a black handset and a black backed date wheel. This makes for a very readable combination. The minimal branding on the dial contributes to clean look. The outermost chapter ring is slightly elevated from the rest of the dial, giving it little extra depth. The bezel is knurled, as is the crown. I thought that the strap was very attractive, a black canvass weave with leather backing. The watch wears very comfortably, and the cloth should develop some character with wear over time to add to the vintage look of the piece. As a relatively inexpensive daily wear watch, I think it is a very attractive option. It would also make a great weekender option if you tend to wear something dressier during the work week. There is a vintage look to it, but it does not hit you over the head with it. The strap is comfortable and an interesting change from a leather strap or stainless bracelet, and definitely more upscale than a nylon NATO option. The hands are painted with lume, but they did not jump out at me when I had the watch on in the dark. Also mineral glass is fine, but if they had used a sapphire crystal, I think this would also make a good value buy.
- Brand & Model: Szanto 1104
- Price: $225
- Who’s it for?: Someone looking for a simple vintage look in a modern package.
- Would I wear it?: Yes.
- What I’d change: Better lume and a sapphire crystal.
- The best thing about it: The leather backed cloth strap.