Born in Texas, the Luca BR-1 is as big as the countryside. These watches, built out of steel cases and a solid Japanese chronograph movement, look like they could hurt if they fell on your foot. That’s a good thing.

Luca is a micro brand created by Joel Kennedy. His vision was simple: he wanted to make bold, Texas-sized watches on a budget. The results are surprisingly pleasant.

The watch we reviewed, the Luca BR-1 in black and red, features a textured face and red-tipped hands. The watch itself runs a Miyota 0S20 movement with 24-hour dial at 3 o’clock and running seconds at 6 o’clock. There is an elapses minutes display at 9 o’clock.

The case is waterproof to 10ATM and you can get multiple band styles including nice rubber diver bands and bolted leather bands.

The whole package costs about $298 – on sale for the holiday – which is on par with similar offerings from Yema and Undone. It’s definitely not a pricey watch, especially given the quality.

I was particularly impressed by the bold styling of the face, bezel, and case. The bezel itself looks like a manhole cover and the bezel/face combo fits the 45mm piece quite well. The whole thing is very nice if you’re looking for a bigger, badder chrono and it’s a nice entry-level piece for the watch lover in your life.

I didn’t love the lack of lume, however. This big beast deserves some glowing hands and pips. Unfortunately, this model is completely dark so you won’t be doing nay night flying any time soon. That said, with the cost savings you get from the price you can buy a flashlight.

Quartz watches aren’t my jam. While I wouldn’t wear this daily, I’m more than happy to say I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a bold chrono from an independent manufacturer. This is no Speedmaster and it’s not supposed to be. After all, they do things different in Texas.

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