It’s been almost a year since we last looked at something from the CCCP Time catalog, so I’d say we were due. While the CCCP Time lineup is largely more of a Russian-influenced design (rather than being what most would consider a true Russian watch, at least in vintage terms), they do have a distinct style to them. This latest one, the CCCP Time Aurora, introduces some colored crystals to the design, for interesting effect, with a name-check back to an older Russian cruiser.
The first one you see is of course on the dial side. While the numerals are printed on top of it, it is truly translucent, allowing you to see the NH35 automatic movement underneath. Is it a pretty movement? Not by any stretch of the imagination, especially on the dial side. However, with these sort of treatments (like we saw on the James McCabe), you have a way of seeing some mechanical bits without negatively impacting the ability to tell the time. Here, it also adds a good bit of color. While there were other options, I thought it was particularly fitting to have our review unit be in red.
That red also appears on the exhibition caseback, which is a first for me. This seems to be a bit of a polarizing decision, as some folks thing that tinting that rear window defeats the purpose of the exhibition caseback. For me, I am ok with it. It’s not like you’re peering through it to try and troubleshoot something, so a bit of a hue really does not impact it a whole lot. You can still see the rotor spinning around, and various bits of the movement.
Flipping back over to the dial side, you’ll notice some more color on the watch. On the chapter ring, you have a partially colored circle (in red and white) that definitely called to mind (for me) some older, say, Vostok bezels). Curiously, they also went with a rose gold tone for the indices and handset. It works decently with the red, but as the case and bracelet are in steel, the rose gold tone really kind of comes out of nowhere. Perhaps if the center bits of the bracelet had that finish, it would be a bit more cohesive. Otherwise, I’d rather just have polished hands and indices.
The handset itself is a unique shape – slender and skeletonized near the center arbor, and flaring out into wider, lume-filled bits for telling the time. They are reasonably sized and proportionate to each other, and the lume (along with the indices) does a decent job of telling you the time in the dark. Rounding it out, you have the oversize date window over at 3 o’clock, which is one my personal pet peeves. I know it’s supposed to make it so you can read the date even if a hand is at 3 o’clock, but it just makes things feel messy to me. Here, especially, as a tinted window would have partially obscured it. I still would not be a fan of the feature, but at least it would be less glaring.
On the wrist, the 44mm CCCP Time Aurora wears as you might expect – big and bold. Along with the coloration, the angular case makes no pretenses about wanting to hide on your wrist. Even with the weight of 170g, I found the watch to be reasonably comfortable on the wrist. You have the standard sort of micro adjustments in the clasp, and then of course the regular friction pins in the 22mm bracelet itself that allows you to get things sized to your liking. The bracelet itself is solid link (no pressed metal here that I could see) so that is a nice component, especially at this pricepoint.
I can only assume that the selection of the Japanese NH35 movement was a price-conscious one, as it was definitely not for it’s finishing. That said, when you have a watch coming in at $230 direct from the manufacturer (list is $840, but the $230 is the price shown all over the site; I also found it on Amazon for $240), you can definitely let some things slide. While the 100m WR rating may not make this the true diver that some would be looking for, I think it could make the argument as being an inexpensive and brightly colored diver-style watch for some summertime fun. Just leave it in your bag when you go snorkeling, alright? cccptimeusa.myshopify.com
- Brand & Model: CCCP Time Aurora
- Price: $230
- Who’s it for?: You’re on a budget, but you still want something vaguely diver-ish (and colorful) for the summer
- Would I wear it?: In the end, no. There are some fun parts to it, but it would not unseat any of the other dive watches I have
- What I’d change: Extend the use of the translucent crystal to the date window, and coordinate the indice/hand finish with the bracelet
- The best thing about it: It’s a bold watch you won’t mind banging around with this summer, and the NH35 should keep you on time
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