It was all the way back in 2015 when we first talked you about Zinvo and their propellor-inspired designs. Well, wouldn’t you know it, they did not sit back and take it easy. In fact, they’re back now with a chronograph in the collection. So, what does the Zinvo Chronograph have in store for you?
I’m glad you asked, because that’s what we’re going to talk about. Wisely, the spinning propellor disc that covered the whole dial on the Blade is gone. Well, sort of. It’s still there, just much, much smaller. You’ll notice it over there at the 3 o’clock position, ticking away the running seconds.
The turbine blade motif also shows up on the chapter ring of the Zinvo Chronograph, so there’s that. But back to the seconds. As this is a chronograph, you’d expect the chronograph seconds to be on a central hand, right? And indeed they are. It’s just a bit shorter than you might might expect, with the chronograph seconds marked out in the center of the dial, scribing a circle not all that much larger than the subdials.
This means you’re not going to be doing super-precise timing with the Zinvo Chronograph, but you should be able to get within a few seconds of actual (trickier in the spots where the seconds track is wiped out by the subdials), and don’t forget that you’ve only got a 60 minute register over there at the 9 o’clock position.
All of this functionality is driven by a quartz Miyota 6S21 movement, so that’s a known quantity in the watch. It also drives the date display (with a cutout that’s 5 days too large in my book) and the main handset. This handset is a good size, and stands out crisply with the lume-filled, red painted scheme that they’ve gone with. Lume won’t blind you, but it will get the job done. I do want to point out that the central arbor there, where the various hands mount, has some additional detail that gives it a sort of Seven Friday or Dietrich feel (albeit in a limited amount).
As you can tell from the photos, for our review, we were sent a gunmetal version of the Zinvo Chronograph, but there are other color schemes available as well. This is the overriding color, hitting the dial and the case. The 42mm case (which is only 10mm tall, quite a feat for a chronograph) is mostly in a brushed finish, with one bit of polish showing up on the bevel surrounding the sapphire crystal.
I did want to talk about the case construction a bit, as it was unique to me – and not something I caught on to at first. The main portion of the case is a flat, angled slab, and tricks the eye (a bit) into thinking the case is slimmer than it is. Setting on top of that, then, you have a column raising up, and that’s the rounded portion of the case. Viewed from on top, the watch looks like just about any other (in terms of case profile), but viewed from the side, things look a good bit different.
As you know, gentle reader, I am not much for chronographs, so I won’t pretend that I used that functionality in any real-world situations. I did fiddle with it, and it behaves just like a quartz chronograph would with resets and the like (though, sometimes it did take a second push of the upper pusher to actually get things started). So, for my wear for the review, it was all about just treating it like any other watch and wearing it about.
Well, before you do that, you have to get the strap on the Zinvo Chronograph. Our review unit came with a grey leather strap, one that features just about my favorite thing on a strap, quick-change spring bars. I also liked the fact that they flared the ends out on the strap so it fit into the lugs, but then stepped out and carried the profile down from the lugs. This gives a much more finished look, much like you’d have with a bracelet.
Wearing the watch around (mostly on the weekend and some trips into the office) proved the Zinvo Chronograph to be a no-nonsense sort of companion. Even though the case is steel, the watch itself is fairly light, so it isn’t annoyingly noticeable on the wrist. The leather of the strap is fairly thin as well, so that conforms to the wrist without a complaint.
The Zinvo Chronograph slid out from under a cuff easily enough (credit to the thinner profile and slightly curved crystal), and checking the time quickly was a cinch, as those red hands jump out at you against the gunmetal dial. Unfortunately, that date cutout jumps out at you too, and sort of jars what is otherwise – if you ask me, and you are – a fairly well-sorted and thematic look.
If you’re looking to pick up your own Zinvo Chronograph, the price tag it carries is just $160, which really is fairly affordable for a chronograph. Sure, it’s a quartz, but if you want a chronograph and don’t have a big budget, quartz is where you’re headed any ways. For those of you like me, who don’t have much use for a chronograph function, well, you may want to have a look at the latest version of the Blade, as those photos make it look like the main time handset has been made more legible. For those in the chronograph camp, and like yourself some spinning rotors, well, have a look-see at the Zinvo Chronograph. And if it’s not for you, let us know below or over in our Slack channel what you’d recommend instead. Your fellow readers want to know! zinvowatches.com
- Brand & Model: Zinvo Chronograph
- Price: $160
- Who we think it might be for: You like turbines, you like chronographs, and you like not putting a huge dent in your wallet
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen? Nope – chronographs aren’t my thing
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: On that tubing subdial, get some color underneath to give a bit more visual excitement to things
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: The central hub and the design details there