Earlier this year, we brought you word that the first watches from British brand Areion were finally available. In the intervening time, we have been conversing with the brand, and we have one of their models in for review. So, today, we will take you through the paces with the Areion White Chronograph.
In the earlier writeups, we were of course viewing the watch from afar. Of course, the 42mm steel case certainly sounded right-sized, and the inclusion of a sapphire crystal and a 200m WR rating certainly helped the early impressions. So, how is it on the wrist? I am glad you asked. Let’s start off with some of the aspects of the watch that didn’t quite click for me. The first one actually assists in that WR rating – the screw-down crown.
For whatever reason, this was one of the toughest ones I have worked with on a watch. It was both stiff to unscrew, and then it was stiff again getting it to screw back in place. Combine that with a completely smooth crown, and you can imagine it was a bit tricky. Of course, this does mean you won’t accidentally unscrew the thing, and being as it’s quartz (Miyota OS20), you won’t have to adjust the watch that often. Except when the month has fewer than 31 days. Or you travel around. Now, it could be that this will loosen up a bit over time, and become a non-issue – just hard to know for certain at this early stage.
Next, we’ll shift focus to the strap. This is an area I tend to focus on with watches, especially if they’re of the leather variety. This is owing to the number of rather high-quality aftermarket straps that have crossed my desk, as well as just some personal preferences. The one included on the Areion White Chronograph is a fairly basic (and glossy) croc-embossed strap. To its merit, it didn’t exhibit the odor you may get from a truly low-end strap, nor was it squeaky in the lugs. It just felt a bit too thin, and paired as it is to a 200m watch, it seemed out of place (you’re not going to go swimming with this strap).
On the flip side of the coin, it is a dressy strap, which could let you get this paired to a suit. While the strap itself doesn’t seem to be anything that special, I do rather like the thumbnail buckle it has. It carries the same brushed finish that the case does, and has an etched Areion logo. This is something you don’t often see for a new brand starting out, as the buckles are generally plain. The signed buckle is a nice show of attention to detail, and I would certainly swap it onto any other strap I put onto the watch.
Speaking of the watch, we should probably talk about the watch itself, no? For my wrist (7.25″ for those keeping score at home), the 42mm case just plain fit. The lug length and curvature was perfect for my tastes, and the watch itself had a Goldilocks presence on my wrist – not too big, not too small. This fit extended to the crown and the matching pushers, as I encountered no problems whatsoever with this digging into my wrist as I went about my day. Additionally, it’s lighter weight of 82g contributed to the comfort.
As I mentioned at the start (and the pictures show) we opted for the white dial to review (you can also go for black or blue). Combined as it is with the shiny strap, it really does have the feel of a dressier watch, even with the three subdials (60 minute chrono, 24-hour indicator, and subseconds) sitting out there. The dial itself has a good bit of polished accents on it as well – rings around the subdials and indices, the numerals , and the handset. All in all, I did rather like the dial, though it might be interesting if the subdials didn’t have the accent, and were allowed to “ghost in” to the dial a bit more, for a subtle effect.
Wearing the watch around, it came across as quite capable. It is easy to read the time at a glance (the handset is appropriately sized, though the chrome around the lumed inset can visually make it seem smaller), especially given how light catches on the polished surfaces of the hands and indices. At night, the lume is adequate to get the time read, and if one treats this as a dress watch, it certainly is right in line with what the segment would offer.
While I did have a couple of complaints about the watch (the crown and strap being chief), as a whole the watch is another great entry to the catalog of watches coming out of Great Britain. With the Areion White Chronograph coming in at a price of about $325 (£199.99), it’s also a relatively affordable option. Pricing like this is to be expected with (a) the brand just starting up and (b) the limited quantities available (only 100 of each color). Oh, and while we don’t have the details yet, it sounds like the second edition watch will also offer a Swiss movement in a limited run. I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly curious to see how it shapes up. areionwatches.com
- Brand & Model: Areion White Chronograph
- Price: $325 (£199.99)
- Who’s it for?: In a sea of quartz chronographs, this is one best suited for the guy or gal who is really into stuff from England
- Would I wear it?: Probably not, just due to it being a chronograph (I personally don’t have much regular use for the complication)
- What I’d change: At it’s core, I think the watch has a minor identity issue. 200m WR, chrono, and a brushed case? That’s a sports watch. Shiny leather strap, polished indices and hands? That’s a dress watch. If I had my druthers, I’d make the chrono a full-on sport watch, and then produce a simpler three-hander for the dress piece
- The best thing about it: There’s just something about the dial – both layout and color – that clicked with me
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