Szanto was nice enough to loan me three watches to review on this site, with the Szanto 2252 being the second piece of the trio. The Szanto 1100 was the first watch I reviewed, and I liked the look and feel of this field watch. Yet to come is a 4000 series, a two eyed chrono which I have also liked. My relationship with the thee eyed Szanto 2252 chronograph, however, is more complicated.
I have held on to it for a while trying to really figure out how I feel about the watch. On the one hand (or wrist), it is a slim, light weight chrono, in a bold color scheme I like, with a domed crystal that sits above the bezel with a nice beveled edge. On the other hand, I know how much this watch costs, and I know that you have to make sacrifices to get these features in a watch at this price. I think that, ultimately, I look at the watch and know that the crystal is mineral glass and the movement is quartz; there is no illusion in my mind that I am wearing a high dollar product. I have other friends, unburdened by the knowledge of the number on the price tag, who thought that the watch looked more like an expensive watch where one would expect to see these features.
I think if the watch had a flat crystal, or if there wasn’t a beveled edge to it, I would be able to put the ‘value’ part of the package out of my mind. I have worn other inexpensive watches that don’t make me feel like I am wearing an inexpensive watch. And I do think that this is an attractive product that doesn’t come across as cheap. So if you want something light and thin with a nice curve to the crystal, and don’t mind that these features come with a compromise in the materials required for this price, then this may be a good pick up.
The watch comes in a 46mm brushed stainless black ion plated (IP) case and has a Japanese Quartz three eye plus date chronograph movement and a leather strap. The buckle is branded and IP to match the case, and the crown has the company’s log. The full watch is water resistant to 30 meters. With one more mention of the brand on the dial, the branding is actually very subtle, since the crown and buckle branding are both not obvious. The leather strap has contrasting stitching in orange to match the coloring of the watch accents (the sister watch with titanium IP coating has contrasting stitching to match the case color) and is finished to give it a vintage look.
The watch wears well. It leans toward the bigger side of modern sizes, but since it is a slim watch, it does not feel large and bulky. On a smaller wrist, the lugs may not have enough downturn to keep the watch in tight, but on my 7″ wrist, it sat just fine. The leather strap is textured to look distressed, which I think is a mistake in this case. While the brand does harken back to more period style pieces, the rest of the watch looks modern and clean. Also, the strap doesn’t have the same feel as the straps on the other two Szanto watches.
The dial is easy to read, with Flieger style numbering and the familiar triangle with 2 dots for 12:00. A sub hand at 6:00 provides seconds, while the sub dial at 3:00 has a 24 hour date read out. Chrono functions are handled by the central second hand and the 60 minute sub dial at 9:00. A date window at 4:30 is also provided. Just outside the chapter ring is a small tachymeter scale, which for me is too small to be of any use. It is under the bevel of the crystal, so there is a small bit of magnification, but also a fair bit of distortion. The magnification helps a bit more with the chapter ring, though it varies depending on the angle of the watch.
There is enough lume on the watch to be able to read it when your eyes adjust to the dark, but it is not overly bright. That may be because of the orange paint used, or the fact that none of the numbers are painted, just the two hands, the sub dial hands, the chapter markings and the two dots over the triangle. Szanto watches are available at various outlets including friend-of-the-site WatchCo,com and Amazon. This model retails for $350 and is available in either the black or titanium IP case. Szantotime.com
Brand & Model: Szanto 2252
Who’s it for?: Someone looking for a higher end look in a less expensive watch.
Would I wear it?: I would opt for a different Szanto over this one.
What I’d change: A sapphire crystal and a better strap, though it would come at a cost.
The best thing about it: The domed crystal.
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