I first ran across BaliHa’i almost a year ago, and recently we’ve had some hands-on time with one of their latest (and just about sold-0ut) models, the Model C.

BaliHa’i have been putting out some rather interesting styles, and the Model C follows within that same mold.  Looking at the piece, it’s immediately recognizable as a diver due to the bezel.  Unlike many divers, though, you’re not limited to just timing with the bezel.

This watch is also hiding a chronograph function (the arrow hand records the minutes passing, not a GMT or alarm time, as you might first think).  This function is controlled by the squared-off pushers flanking the crown, and will track the time for up to 12 hours – plenty for just about anything I’d say.  Now, normally, I’d ding a watch for an unbalanced display with subdials at 6 and 10 o’clock.   Here, though, as they are different sizes, it seems right.  Just another differentiation, I would say.

12 Hour or 60 Minute scale, your choice

And now, back to the 120-click bezel.  With this watch, you actually have the choice of two – a standard 12 hour, and then one with a 24 hour scale.  I will admit, at first, I was a bit hesitant to try swapping them out.  In the end though, it’s a relatively simple process.  Get a thin blade between the case and the bezel, pry (gently!) off; to put the replacement on just press (again, gently) at 3 and 9 o’clock, and it’s back in place.

Here’s how you get the “clicky” in the bezel

Ultimately, I think this is a great feature.  Just as changing out a strap can alter the character of a watch, changing the bezel can give you a more subtle change, as well as giving you an easy way to clean out the clickies around the sapphire crystal.  Of course, it’s also making me eye my other watches, wondering what bezels I could pop off and/or swap out. (If you’ve got a good source for “standard” clicky bezels, let me know in the comments).

If you prefer to stick with just strap changes, you’ve got that here as well.  The 44mm case has 24mm hidden lugs, and the watch itself comes with an Isofrane-inspired rubber strap, a leather strap with signed buckle, and a stainless steel bracelet with safety clasp and screwed links.

All of the functionality of the watch is driven by an ETA 251.262 quartz chronograph movement, which should run on a single battery between 2 and 4 years, depending on how often you use the chronograph functionality.  Lighting up the hands, dial, and bezel you’ll have C3 Superluminova, which of course does a great job in darkness.

At $500 plus shipping (details here), this is definitely more than many would expect to pay for a quartz chrono, until you realize that it’s limited edition (only 50 pieces of each dial color).  I think the Model C is a compelling option – it’s got excellent functionality from the movement, and adds some nice self-customization (between the bezel and straps) on top of the unique style tweaks already in place in the design.


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Last Update: August 21, 2012