Back when I first wrote about the Oulm, it was an article I thought was interesting due to the crazy design I was seeing, and the very, very low pricepoint it came in at (just in case it fell to pieces the first time you wore it). What I did not expect was how popular that article ended up being. Even to this day, it will pop into our top-trafficked articles. So, when our pals over at GearBest offered to send one over for review, it was something I knew we had to do. With that, let’s take a look at the Oulm.
Now, first things first. I’m referring to the watch as an Oulm, which it is, as that is the brand. There is no other model designation (other than, perhaps, the 1169 on the caseback), so I’ll call it the Oulm throughout. Just bear in mind that there are plenty of other designs out there from the brand. Regardless of the design you end up with, no one will call it pedestrian or otherwise boring.
For the Oulm that we were provided with, we have a dual time capability, with the two dials appearing at the upper left and lower right of the approximately 50mm square case. And no, that’s not a typo – the case really is that large. Then again, when you’re jamming in two quartz movements, a compass, and a thermometer, you are going to need some real estate.
Given the oversized nature of the Oulm, it is not that surprising that they went for bolder accents around the four features on the top of the case. The bezels surrounding each are raised, with a sort of riveted look being applied on three of them. As to what those three hex-head things are on the top, I honestly do not know. I thought perhaps they were pushers for the chronograph on the lower dial, but that does not appear to be the case. I’m not sure if they’re just there for decoration or serve some internal structural purpose; I do know that the chronograph hands on the lower dial are indeed just for decoration.
Then again, when you have the Oulm coming in at the price you do (more on that in a bit), you should not be surprised that you are not getting a chronograph. It also shouldn’t be a surprise that, when you push in the crown after setting the time, you will notice some wiggle of the dials (and movements) within the case. Yeah, the internal fit and finish is a bit looser, but you know what? At the sort of prices these command, I’ll let it slide.
I’ll also give a more forgiving look at the metal mesh bracelet of the Oulm. I have worn plenty of flexible mesh bracelets (even some inexpensive ones), but the one on the 108g Oulm is definitely not the award-winner for the most flexible. While I did conform to the wrist, it did just that, and nothing more. Once set in place, you have two metal keepers as well to hold the end steady. These worked, though did have a tendency to slide off ad the day progressed.
Yes, I did actually spend time with the Oulm, wearing it as I went about the day. While it’s a good bit larger than I prefer to wear, it still worked. I think this is helped by the fact that it is nowhere near as heavy as some steel divers are, so it wears lighter than you’d expect (but definitely not smaller). Reading the time was easy enough, though if you’re headed into a darkened room, check it early, as the lume here is definitely not of the all-night variety.
As we’ve gone through this review, you might notice I’ve picked out some issues here and there with the watch,and I have, as that is the nature of what I am doing for you here as a watch reviewer. However, when you realize that you can pick an Oulm up for under $15 (precisely, $11 from GearBest ) a lot of those can fade away. Is the Oulm something you’ll pass along to the great-grandkids? No, I rather doubt that. What it is, though, is an inexpensive way to get some crazy designs on your wrist. While I will admit the design of the Oulm is certainly not for everyone, it is a decidedly unique look.
If you are of a mind to dig that unique look, then I have even better news for you. Thanks to GearBest, we’re able to spin up a bonus giveaway this month, for the Oulm we reviewed. To get your entry in, just comment on this thread with what your favorite crazy watch design is, and then head on over to the giveaway page and complete your entry. Just do it in the next week, as that’s how long we’ll run the giveaway for. Do note that we match the emails on the comments and your entry to validate; contest is open to those living in North America (just to contain shipping costs). gearbest.com
- Brand & Model: Oulm 1169
- Price: $11
- Who’s it for?: You want something inexpensive and just a little bit funky
- Would I wear it?: No – it’s simply too large for my tastes
- What I’d change: An option for a non-Celsius thermometer would be a path to go
- The best thing about it: Just how unlike anything else you’ll see in this price bracket it is