Fresh of the heels of their first crowdfunded success, ManchesterWatchWorks is back at it again, with a modern looking diver recharged by the sun (really any light). These quartz driven, photovoltaic recharged watches are not new, companies have been making them for decades, but the ManchesterWatchWorks Armada is the first crowd funded dive watch I have seen with this technology, and it looks to be an attractive package.
There are a lot of angles and curves to the watch, starting with the domed sapphire crystal, which unfortunately is a stretch goal that unlocks at $50,000 in pledges, a long way from the current level of a bit over $12,000 (against a funding threshold of $37,600). The standard crystal is still sapphire (albeit flat), and the other curves and angles are still present: the side cut outs, the sharp drop off of the lugs, and the multilayered look of the dial and indexes. The movement itself is a Seiko Epson VS37 movement with up to 6 months of power reserve, should you store it in a dark spot for an extended period.
Another interesting touch is the extension on the crown tube, though the final production pieces will have less of an extension than what is shown above. It is an interesting way to get a little separation from the crown and add a touch of color to the case itself. The other features you would need in a dive watch are here as well, a 120 click uni-directional bezel, good lume, and 200 meters of water resistance. Patrick took a look at one of the earlier watches from the previous campaign at ABTW. Though it wouldn’t have found much wrist time against the automatics he owns (ditto here), he thought the build quality was good and it was worth recommending.
At $184 on a black leather strap and $224 on a steel bracelet, the watch is reasonably priced. It is a little more expensive that what you would spend on a Seiko solar drive watch on Amazon, but the Seikos don’t have the sapphire crystal and the ManchesterWatchWorks Armada is more attractive in my eyes, and certainly less common. Judging by the feedback posted on the last project, the first of the watches were delivered to backers (about a month late) and are getting positive reviews. If you are interested in a sustainably powered quartz dive watch, check out the campaign.
- Brand & Model: ManchesterWatchWorks Armada
- Price: $184 – $244 depending on strap and timing
- Who we think it might be for: Anyone looking for a solar powered tool watch with a modern look.
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: I already have too many automatic divers to add a quartz.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Bump the price and start with the domed crystal.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: It is an attractive looking watch, and it deserves more attention.
Tech Specs from MachesterWatchWorks
- Movement: Seiko Epson VS37
- Functions: Date window, 120 click bezel
- Case: Stainless steel
- Crystal: AR coated Sapphire (domes sapphire as a stretch goal)
- Water resistance: 200 meters
- Lug width: 20mm
- Straps: 22mm Croc-Grain Leather w/ Stainless Steel Buckle.
- Diameter: 41 mm
- Case Height: 12 mm