I first saw the Cobra de Calibre brand when the creator, John Lee, introduced his cushion cased first watch on Kickstarter. At the time, I really liked the style, but I had recently purchased something else, and didn’t have the cash. Then he brought out his bronze twin crown, which I liked a lot, but passed on because of another purchase. Now, he has a third watch on Kickstarter, the Cobra de Calibre Chronograph el Grande, and I will let you guess what is going through my head.
OK, it is not a hard guess, I really like the design. And I am probably going to pass again, but it is a really hard decision. There is just something really beautiful about this watch (and it is not the caseback, though we will get to that). Maybe I am influenced by Ariel’s thinking when he writes about watches with sub dials on A Blog to Watch; he really appreciates symmetry in the design on the watch. Here, there is the left/right symetry with the two sub dials, but there is also a nicely balanced top/bottom symmetry with the branding on the watch.
If you have been reading my reviews, you should catch on to the fact I don’t care for small date windows, and there is none here to mar the symmetry of the watch. Even the elongated pushers flow nicely with the design and don’t scream out for something balancing on the other side of the case.
One unifying element through the three watches is John Lee’s appreciation of tattoo style art work. His first watch had an anchor and chain mariner’s tattoo on the rotor. His second watch featured the logo etched on the caseback, with a small pin-up bust on the dial.
Now, the Cobra de Calibre Chronograph el Grande features a topless pin-up on the caseback, and she is the one sporting the anchor and chain tattoo on her torso. As he puts it, “with all the curves going on, I thought there is nothing better than an angelic female pinup.”
As for the watch itself, it is a 42mm stainless case with an option for rose gold or black PVD plating. Each case can be had with a cream, brown or black dial. The red central second hand takes care of the chronograph minutes, while the subdial at 3:00 is for running seconds and at 9:00 for 60 minutes. The movement is the reliable Japanese Miyota 6S21 quartz, and the watch features a domed sapphire crystal, among other nice features.
The project (as of this writing) is only about 20% funded, but the campaign runs through January 31. The project is priced in Canadian dollars, with early bird steel watches going for $199 (about $168 USD) and PVD watches for $229 ($194 USD). Once the early bird watches are gone, the pledges go up to $249 ($211 USD). I have seen watches that (in my opinion) are far less attractive get funded, so I really hoping this project picks up steam. If you are looking for a quartz chrono for the office or a classy date night, I think this watch is worthy of serious consideration. cobra-de-calibre
- Brand & Model: Cobra de Calibre Chronograph el Grande
- Price: $199 CAD ($168 USD) to $249 CAD ($211 USD), depending on timing and materials
- Who we think it might be for: If you like dressy chronos.
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: I keep passing on his watches, but only because of timing. I really think they look nice.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Offer a step-up option with an automatic movement.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: They are just pretty watches.
Tech Specs from Cobra de Calibre
- Movement : Quartz Miyota Calibre 6S21 Movement
- Functions : 60 minute chronograph with quick reset and running second hand
- Case : Polished and bead blasted (assumed) 316L stainless steel with optional black or rose gold PVD
- Glass : Domed Sapphire
- Water resistance : 100 meters
- Lug width : 22mm (drilled)
- Straps : Croc textured leather
- Diameter : 42mm
- Length : Not specified
- Case height : Not specified
- Weight of watch head : Not specified
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