As we have said time and again (across various posts, and one rather specific one).  For me, it’s that initial impression.  Can the watch design rise above the teeming, muddied waters of crowdfunding?  Or is it just another “me too” watch that was pressed out of some anonymous factory with a different name on the dial?  Using that very simple litmus test, brings us to a watch like the one coming out from Zagal.

For me, where the Zagal shines, is in the dial design.  There are a lot of elements here that work nicely together.  First off, you have different colors and textures with the rings on the dial.  The outermost ring of course has that punched-out metal look and feel, and that’s how you get your indices in there.  Paired to this simple method you have a simple handset.

Now, at first, I thought the hands were too short on the Zagal.  And, while they do feel shortish, they fit in with the design of the watch – they hit their necessary tracks, and they look right.  The concentric circles also provide the spot to put that date window, and again, it works.  On a single-layer dial, the date window would look to be too inboard on the watch.  Here, though, it’s in just the right spot.

Powering the Zagal is a Seiko NH35 automatic movement.  Perhaps not the flashiest one in the catalog, but no doubt it will get the job done.  And even though there is an exhibition caseback there, the star of the show is that dial.  It has a finished, yet somehow rough-hewn feel to it that makes the garage tinkerers think, yeah, I can make a watch.  And that’s a feeling I like to see embodied in the watch.

The 41mm stainless steel case gives things a bit more of a refined feel (just 11mm thick), and then those Spanish-made straps (of Italian suede or calf leather) really bring things up another notch as well.  In fact, their decision to sell the straps as a separate backer option (at around $23) is a solid idea, and something I’m considering picking up one of.

On the other hand, if you’re more in the market for a watch (and not just the strap), early bird pricing on the Zagal starts at $152 which frankly is an out and out steal.  With this style, I am going to be surprised if Zagal doesn’t hit their funding goal.  If you want to help ’em out, head over to the project page and get your pledge in before the project closes on November 16, 2017.

Watch Overview

  • Brand & Model: Zagal Watch
  • Price: Earlybird pricing starts at $155 (just $23 for a strap)
  • Who we think it might be for: You want a unique industrial-inspired design at a great price
  • Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?  A strap, definitely.
  • If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Don’t be afraid to play around with filling those indices with another material
  • What spoke to me the most about this watch: That dial design

Tech Specs from Zagal

  • Stainless steel case; 40.7mm by 11mm thick; 50mm lug-to-lug
  • 3 atm WR rating
  • 20mm lug width
  • NH35 Automatic movement
  • Display caseback with mineral crystal
  • Sapphire crystal on the front
  • Three-layer dial with bi-directional brush finish


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