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Bathys Goes Atomic

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Do you want an accurate watch?  Is a certified automatic too inaccurate and a quartz too, well, uninteresting?  How about an atomic clock.  Not a quartz watch that uses the atomic clock broadcasts, but an honest to goodness atomic clock that you can wear on your wrist?  Well Bathys has the Kickstarter project for you, the World’s 1st Atomic Wristwatch.

WMT Walter Mitt custom watches: I like this.

The customizable watch trend has been growing for the past few years – you go to a site, pick out your dial, hands, strap, and a watch shows up. And that’s fine, but I’ve never been deeply attracted to these kinds of watches.Until now. WMT Watches makes this all better. I had a difficult time selecting the watch I wanted to make, only because so many of the options worked well together.

Introducing the Steinhart Military 42

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Steinhart is one of those brands that generally do not need much of an introduction for most folks paying attention to what is going on in the watch world. The brand has steadily been pumping out quality, affordable watches with interesting designs. The latest that they have on offer, the Steinhart Military 42, is one of the latest entries from the brand.

Brigade 7 Scope – Taking Aim at a Budget Automatic

Brigade 7 Scope 01 I like finding good values in a watch, without resorting to too many compromises.  There are values to be had at all different price points, but at the entry level point, I find that you have to sacrifice more of what you would want to get a good value.  Enter a Kickstarter campaign for the Brigade 7 Scope watch, an automatic with a lot of features for a very low introductory price.

Introducing the Bulova Sinatra collection

If you’ve been following along with what Bulova has been doing, you’ve likely noticed that they’ve got ties into the music industry. Most prominently, that’s with their partnership with the Grammys. Now, one of their latest partnerships is taking the form of the Bulova Frank Sinatra collection.

An EveryDayCarry View on Affordable Dive Watches

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As our own pages attest, dive watches are a ridiculously popular category of watches.  Sure, it is a matter of style preferences, but I think it also speaks to the fact that these watches are, by and large, very robust tools that can put up with a lot.  Our friends over at EveryDayCarry must see the same thing, because they just put together a guide for seven affordable dive watches, all under $200.

Withings Activité smart watch updated

Withings, recently acquired by Nokia, announced an addition to their fitness tracking analogue wristwatches today. Formerly, the line consisted of Activité Pop, Steel, and Sapphire. The new watch is Activité Steel HR, and it comes with some big changes for the Activité line.

A Wooden Arrow

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I am a fan of watches made from alternative materials, and have always likes wooden watches, though I have yet to pull the trigger on one myself.  A new watch project on kickstarter, The Arrow Project Watch, is an easy way to jump on the wooden watch trend yourselves.  The watch itself is a basic quartz three hander with date, styled like a diver.  The movement is not specified, so it is pretty likely that the watch is not going to contain a name brand movement, especially not for $99 Australian Dollars ($90 US), plus shipping.

Ventus Black Kite, Black as Carbon – Because it is Carbon

Ventus Black Kite 02Do you want a carbon fiber watch, but don’t want to spend a ton of cash to get one, well, the Ventus Black Kite on kickstarter may be just the ticket.  I covered the brand previously with the Caspian models, which were very successful and well received, with the exception of some issues with the lume.  With carbon fiber, you can layer the material or you can shred it, melt it and mold it.  This latter technique was used for the Tempest Carbon One, but the Ventus Black Kite is using the layering style.

Armitron Adventure Solar is a stylish throwback to a sweeter time

Armitron has been making affordable watches since the 1960’s. Recently, they’ve come out with their “Adventure” line, including a few solar powered pieces. They look good, and sport OK specs – but how great are they really? Do they hold their own as a reliable adventure watch?  Are they worth their salt for an every day wearer? A special occasioner? I tried out the Armitron Adventure “AD/1000BKTI Solar-Powered Analog Watch with Black Stainless Steel Bracelet- 46MM

Short answer? Not really – the Armitron Adventure Solar AD/1000BKTI looks good in photos, but its hollow links, misaligned second hand, fair/not great water resistance, and overall less quality feel don’t live up to the $150 pricetag. By my account, if you’re in the market for a solar powered basic adventure watch that can handle a long life of every day wear, give you quartz accuracy, and deliver a solid fit and finish, go with a basic Seiko Solar like the SNE331 (more outdoorsy, soft strap) or SNE325 (less outdoorsy, metal bracelet).

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First Impressions

  • The box isn’t the highest quality – strictly budget here. But the watch in the case looks pretty darn good, actually.
  • Love the red accents on the dial, and overall outdoorsy look.
  • The watch started right up as soon as I exposed it to the sun. It has a nice “low battery” feature and ticks once every other second when the battery is low.
  • This thing is big! 46mm is a bit big for my wrist. I suppose I should have considered that before ordering.
  • Those hollow links – immediate impression when picking it up is that it’s lightweight – not necessarily a bad thing.

Fit and Finish

The color is consistent, the dial is printed well, the logos and nice and crisp, and overall fit and finish is great. HOWEVER, the main issue here is the second hand is misaligned – it ticks between marks on the dial. So it never ticks directly on 12 or any other markets. To me, that misalignment is a deal killer, and getting close to a defective product. I reached out to Armitron, and never heard back on if there’s a way to micro-adjust the hands to fix this. After realizing this misaligned second hand, things kinda came to a stop.

On The Wrist

It’s light, but that’s not necessarily bad. I think the pinging of the hollow links is really what got me. And glancing at that misaligned second hand killed me every time. However at a distance, it looks handsome enough on the wrist. So, it looks good enough to get you a date, but not good enough to turn that date into something more. 🙂

Standout Features

I love the solar quartz movements. In my mind, with solar tech far enough along nowadays, there’s really no reason to do a battery operated movement for quarts – go solar all the way and never change your battery. Unless of course you have some crazy dial.

Feedback

The Armitron Adventure line seems promising, and I certainly appreciate the brand heritage. But the sample I received had a few quality issues that prevent me from recommending it, especially at a $150 price point.

Here’s a video of that misaligned second hand. You can see the ticks go from accurate to inaccurate at various points.

Specs

  • Case Diameter: 46mm
  • Case Material: Ionic plated stainless steel case and bezel
  • Dial: matte black dial with Arabic numerals
  • Stainless Steel Bracelet
  • Black ionic plated stainless steel adjustable bracelet with a one-touch, one button fold-over buckle
  • Movement: Solar Quartz
  • Features a calendar window, luminous hands and a solar cell to convert light into electrical energy
  • Water Resistant up to 165 feet