With this article, we’ll be wrapping up our current excursion through the Armitron catalog. We’ve reviewed a variety of pieces – solar powered, glowy, and outdoors focused – and now we’ll dip our toes in the waters of the dress watch. In, in actuality, we’ll be covering off on two different watches in this review that are more or less the same, aside from their strap. With that, let’s have ourselves a look at the Armitron Tank Watch.
Yes, I know the brand doesn’t call this watch the Armitron Tank Watch, but I had to come up with some sort of name for it, right? Any which way, what this watch represents (either on the leather strap or the bracelet) is an inexpensive quartz dress watch for someone who doesn’t wear dress watches on a regular basis. Maybe you’re more of a fitness tracker (or no-watch) sort of person, but still want to put on something when you dress up for an occasion. That’s where the Armitron Tank Watch comes in.
To start with, the 33mm rectangular case certainly gives things a different profile, and I found that the lug profile gave the appearance of a curved case (spoiler: it’s a flat caseback), and it was fairly comfortable. I spent most of my time with the bracelet version. The links have a lighter feel, and are held in place with friction pins. If you find yourself usually relying on half-links to get your bracelet sized, then pay mind to the fact that there are none of those here.
Then again, I suppose you could opt for the version of the Armitron Tank Watch that comes on a leather strap. A few notes on that. The strap itself (at least the backing) does have a nice leather scent to it. On the top layer (i.e., what you actually see normally) I was seeing wrinkles start to develop right out of the box. This means it’s a bonded construction, and will ultimately look pretty poor in the long rung, just like a cheap-o belt. Then again, at a price of only $45 for the leather strap variant, you’re not going to be expecting a high-quality strap.
So, back to the bracelet version of the Armitron Tank Watch, which itself commands a price of $70. The bracelet itself has a nice bit of style, which polished bits inset into the mostly brushed finish. Those bits of sparkle then complement the Swarovski crystal accents on the dial at the compass points. Now, I am normally not one for any sort of crystals or gems on the dial of a watch. This is just about my one exception. I think this ties back to when I received a Fossil from a job (probably 10+ years ago) that had the similar sort of treatment – metal bracelet, a tiny gem up at 12 o’clock, and then the company logo screen-printed on the dial. I wore that watch quite a lot, and ended up passing it on to a co-worker when I left that company. So, the bit of bling on an inexpensive dress watch, I’m ok with that.
When I was selecting the watches for this review, I really wanted to have a look at the blue degrade dial, as the photos made it look quite nice. At first, I thought there had been a mixup, as the watches I was looking at appeared to have black dials. That was just the lighting. The blue in the center is not quite as pronounced as I’ve seen on other brands, and the curved crystal adds some reflections to the mix that can make it trickier to see. It is there, so just be patient.
I also found it a bit odd that the crystal on the Armitron Tank Watch has black borders on it, rather thick ones at the top and bottom. Sort of what you might see around an LCD screen, but here on an analog watch. This is done for one of two reasons, in my mind – to cover up a quick assembly point, or to hide a boring bit of straight edges that would otherwise have to be finished or painted. Again, as an occasional dress watch, though, probably not that big of a concern.
As was revealed in discussions with some of my fellow watch writers, Armitron is not a brand that’s favorably looked upon. But that’s because we compare it to some very high-end stuff we’ve been exposed to over the years. Is the Armitron Tank Watch something that’s going to last decades, and be passed on to your grandkids? No, probably not. But I remember being a guy who didn’t know from watches once upon a time, and a watch of this sort appeals to him. I wasn’t in a suit all that often then, and I really only had the one watch. So something in the vein of what we have here worked as an every day watch, and still worked with a suit.
So, no, the WIS crew will not be sporting a Armitron Tank Watch at your next get together, I don’t imagine. If you’re just starting out, or really don’t care about the intricacies of watches – you just want something that looks good with a suit and works – then I say all the more power to you. Watches like the Armitron Tank Watch have a place for buyers like those, and then who knows – they may hold a fond place in your clockwork heart somewhere down the road, just as my prior watch does. Just accept the Armitron Tank Watch for what it is, and you’ll be alright. companyurl
- Brand & Model: Armitron Tank Watch – leather strap (20/4604DBSVBK) and bracelet (20/4507DBSV)
- Price: $45 (leather) / $70 (bracelet)
- Who’s it for? You wear a suit every now and again, and you want something dressy and inexpensive to pull out of the drawer on those occasions
- Would I wear it? At this point in my watch journey, no – I’d have a hard time choosing this over some of the other pieces I’ve come to own
- What I’d change: Embrace the dressiness, and make the case thinner. Also, get some anti-glare treatment on that crystal
- The best thing about it: How it spoke to the younger version of myself that regularly wore a watch in this vein
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