When we brought your attention to the Terranaut back in July, they were searching for crowd funders to help bring the watches to market.  Today, we’re actually able to bring you a hands-on review of one of their models.

The particular sample we were provided is the XL 50MM Carbon Fiber With Black 60 Seconds (Ref 50.CF.2T.60S).  Now, that model name is quite a mouthful, but it tells you a good deal about the watch:

  • The case is 50mm in diameter (13mm thick at center, tapering to 11.5 at the edges)
  • Carbon fiber on the dial (yup, makes the numbers look like they’re floating)
  • Black:  the fixed bezel is black, rather than polished/brushed metal
  • 60 Seconds:  Referring to the numbers on the dial (the other option has a 24 hour layout)

So, let’s get the most obvious item out of the way with this watch – it’s a large one – on a correspondingly wide strap (24mm) and Pre-V buckle.  The tapering of the case helps somewhat, and the unexpected curve in the caseback helps it to sit well on your wrist.  That said, if your wrist are under 7″, you’re going to be weighed down with this watch.

Should you strap on one, though, you’ve got an eminently readable watch, with a nice clear layout.  That layout includes a large (primary) seconds subdial at 6 o’clock, and 60 minute chrono subdial at 12 o’clock.  Rounding things out you have a smallish date display at 3 o’clock, and the chrono seconds hand smack in the middle.

You also, of course, have the standard hour and minute hands on the dial as well; these are lume filled.  This also brings me to the first tweak I hope will be made on future models – given the size of the case and dial, the hands could do with being a bit wider, just to keep them from getting lost in the dial.  Not a critical issue, but one that could be a nice improvement.  Per the company, these are the largest hands they could get (at this time) from their supplier.

Driving those hands around we have a Citizen (Miyota) OS11 quartz movement, which also handles chrono duties.  These functions are controlled by the pushers flanking the crown.  These work just as you would expect, with nice solid clicks when you start or reset the function.  Again, here there are no surprises.

In between those pushers, you’ve got the crown tucked away under a hinged crown protector.  While it’s a little surprising that it’s not a screw-down crown, you do still get a water resistance rating of 100 meters.  Another surprise comes in with the spring-pin crown protector.  While it works well, it’s a bit on the loose side.  This doesn’t impact the functionality, but it does lead to a rattle as you wear the watch.  This is definitely a minor issue.  For any models in the production set, they’re planning on using gaskets to address any rattles they find.

Around here is where I normally tell you how much the watch costs.  Unfortunately, I can’t tell you that just yet, as things are in still in pre-production.  You can, however, drop them a line here to get more info.  Based on their previous campaign, pricing likely will come in around the $300 mark (or a touch under), including (I believe) the Pelican-style case with pick-n-pluck foam lining and a 2-year international warranty.

If they tighten up the tweaks I mentioned in my review here, they’ve definitely got a contender for your money.  While oversize watches like this aren’t a large part of my own collection, I know there’s a market out there for them – and this one is quite different from much of what you see, in terms of design and aesthetics.  If you’re looking for a watch over 46mm for yourself, you’ll want to keep an eye on Terranaut.


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Last Update: October 18, 2012