While we do our level best here at WWR to cover the brands that our readers are interested in – or should be aware of – there are times where some slip through our nets as we trawl what all is out there. One of those brands is Hager. Yes, we have written about them now and again, but we have not focused in on what the brand is offering, nor have we had a chance to go hands-on with anything that the brand was producing. Well, until now, that is. While we are awaiting the release of the Aquamariner to go hands-on with it, we can tide you over with some hands-on impressions of the Hager Commando Professional.
The Hager Commando Professional is very much part of a growing segment of the dive watches out there, where the rugged specimen of the tool watch family is given some polish and refinement, and makes itself ready for less-sporting occasions. This can be a bit confusing at times – with dive watches – as professional would normally indicate something that professional divers could feasibly use. While 200m is nothing to sneeze at (for a WR rating), I really feel that the professional in this case would indicate the type of wrist Hager sees the watch adorning – that of an office-bound professional.
So, how do you dress up the iconic dive watch? Especially one that obviously pulls design references from classic (and popular) divers of the recent past? Well, the first thing you do is get some polish going. Thankfully, the Hager Commando Professional is not an example of a full-polish watch, which just seem to be fingerprint magnets when they’re around me. No, here, we have a mixture of treatments. On the bracelet, the outer edges of the links are polished, while the center strip has a brushed finish. This alternating continues on to the case, where the top of the lugs are brushed, and the sides of the case are polished.
Looking at the Hager Commando Professional from the top, you have some additional gleaming going on. This is courtesy of the sapphire crystal, but also due to the ceramic bezel insert in the 120-click bezel. While we might be more accustomed to ceramic (as a material) taking more of a matte finish, it comes in a high gloss here on the Hager Commando Professional. This gives things a very bright look (aka, that “pop of color” you might be on the hunt for), and sort of puts the icing on the whole shined-up look of the piece.
Amidst all that shiny, there was an bit of flatness (matte-ness?) that became the unexpected star of the show for me. That was the dial of the Hager Commando Professional. In the case of our review sample, it’s a midnight blue color. It has almost a grey look to it, but you can pick up the hint of blue to it. I’ve really come to like these sort of mid-dark colors, as they are a bit more unique, while still maintaining the flexibility of pairing them to a strap (or a shirt, should you be so inclined). What really sold the dial for me, though, was the color-matched date wheel. This is something we harp on quite a bit, and for it to be done so right on an odd color like this dial, well, that is the attention to detail you should look for. A white date wheel would have just stood out like a sore thumb, and a black wheel would have sort of blended in, but not held up under scrutiny. This, friends, is how it’s done.
As to the rest of the dial (aside from the color) of the Hager Commando Professional, well, this is something that will have a familiar feel for most. Indices, handset, and even the text on the dial (the placement, if not the words) will echo certain famous watches of the past. Given how iconic the design is, there’s not many nits to pick. Ok, just one, for me. That’s with the handset. The hour hand is just fine, and sweeps the tips of the larger compass indices. The minute hand, though, I could stand to do with it being a touch wider. Do not get me wrong, there are no issues reading the time at a glance, as the white lume-filled hands stand out sharply against the dial (another argument for darker dials, I suppose). I just feel it would have a bit more punch if the hand was wider, is all.
The only other oddity that I ran across with the Hager Commando Professional came about due to the bracelet. For starters, this was the largest bracelet that I had even run across. After taking out all (yes, all) of the removable links, the watch was still a touch looser than I normally prefer. You’re thinking, no big deal, hit the micro adjustment in the clasp, right? Well, funny that – there isn’t any. In early discussions with the brand, they noted that it was an oversight. Additionally, the “non-removable” links are actually removable, and a knowledgeable jeweler could easily get them down, and put the user-removable links on to get that good fit. The process itself was not that crazy, but as this was a loaner, I did not want to take a chance scratching the bracelet, so left things as were for my review period. For future iterations of this bracelet, it sounds like screwed links will be used for all of the bracelet, making for a much easier adjustment process for future buyers.
It did take us a bit of time to get around to finally reviewing a Hager, but I think the wait was worth it. It is curious that our review coincides with the influx of watches (such as the NTH) this summer with this styling, but coincidences are simply that. I found the $600 Hager Commando Professional (add another $100 for the DLC variant) an able daily companion, one that takes the classic dive watch into a dressier (and shiner) look and feel, while maintaining the visual weight that you expect from watches of this type. It’s an interesting interpretation, especially for me as I tend to look at more brushed and matte finished watches. If for no other reason, the dial on the Hager Commando Professional is definitely worth checking the watch out if you’re on the hunt for a diver. hagerwatches.com
- Brand & Model: Hager Commando Professional
- Price: $600 (in steel); $700 (DLC finish)
- Who’s it for?: You like the classic sub-style dive watches, but want something a bit glitzier for the day-to-day
- Would I wear it?: On occasion, yes – for day to day, though, I prefer a bit less gleam
- What I’d change: Get the hour hand a touch wider, and perhaps experiment with a matte finish insert, particularly on the DLC version
- The best thing about it: Putting aside the luminous ceramic insert (which I never get tired of), it would be the shade used for the dial
Tech Specs from Hager
- Case: 42mm Stainless Steel (14.5mm thick)
- Bezel: Blue Ceramic Bezel Insert; Engraved, uni-directional 120-click with lume
- Bracelet: 22mm, Stainless steel with a stainless steel deployment with push button clasp .
- Midnight blue dial with luminous hands and luminous dots hour markers.
- Minute markers around the outer rim.
- Date displays at the 4 o’clock position.
- Miyota 9015 Automatic movement with a 42 hour power reserve.
- Functions: Hour, minute, second.
- Scratch resistant sapphire crystal.
- Screw down crown.
- Solid case back.
- WR: 200 meters / 360 feet