Torgoen makes a line of professional pilot watches that sell considerably less than standard Quartz chronos and have a styling and utility that rivals some of the bigger houses. The T2 is a 4-register chrono with 1/10, second, and 30 minute timers with split and lap functionality. Add on a flight computer slide rule bezel and you have a winner.
Like Sandoz, Torgoen uses an ETA G15.211 movement inside a stainless steel case assembled in Switzerland. The result is an affordable mix of precision and quality that has great wrist feel and is thin enough to hide under a bomber jacket and whip out during times of extreme duress while flying a bi-plane over the Pacific. This is perfect for a right-handed pilot and is legible from above as well as from the side without crystal refraction.
Torgoen didn???t skimp on the packaging. The $275 T2 comes in a paper outer box and a leather inner box complete with warranty and manual. The manual begins with a primer on using the flight computer and handles all of the T2???s functions in an easy to read diagram.
The face is well designed, if a little busy, and the lumed hands are extremely readable under almost all light levels. Dead darkness turns this majestic flight computer into a quartz watch with nice lume, but if all of your instruments go out aboard the Spruce Goose, you don???t need to perform quick currency exchange calculations anyway so use of the flight computer is moot.
The T2 has two knurled pushers at 2 and 4 o???clock and a knurled three-position crown with quickset date. The pushers and crown are easy to handle and the knurled bezel offers little resistance in turning but won???t accidentally be knocked out of place. 12 o???clock is marked by a RATE icon to assess speed in nautical miles and there is a small date window at 4 o???clock which is difficult to see at an angle. The T2 we tested had a silvery white face and a black Italian leather signed band.
The movement is crisp and the flyback is excellent. The crystal is embedded into the slanted bezel, offering great views of the outer register at the expense of the inner register. Overall, the face is a bit busy and some of the smaller registers are blocked by the sword minute hand at odd times. The font used for the inner register was too bold, losing some of the elegance that might have made this a more legible watch.
Ultimately, Torgoen has filled a void in a world where the average Breitling BlingMaster and an elegant IWC are out of the average Cessna pilot???s price range (unless they???re on the Columbia to Baja run, but that???s a different story). The T2 also comes with a black face and brown band, but the silver/black combo we tried was very staid and attractive without being ostentatious.
Priced like a beater and outfitted like a champ, the Torgoen T2 is a pleasant surprise in a field of watches that are equally as impressive and as expensive as jet fuel.
The T2 is available here.
By John Biggs