The Szanto 4000 series chronograph, specifically the bronze 4002, is the third of the Szanto military themed watches loaned to me for hands-on reviews. Like the two previous watches, the 1100 series and the 2250 series, Szanto is trying to recreate a vintage look with modern proportions and materials, at a value price.
Like the other watches in the line-up, the Szanto is powered by a Japanese quartz movement, this time a two eye chronograph with date. A sub dial for seconds is at 6:00, and chronograph functions are handled by the elapsed minutes sub dial at 12:00 and the central second hand. The two eye arrangement works well, keeping the face from getting cluttered while allowing for large eyes for the sub dials.
Each of the sub dials are also set in relief, setting them apart from the main dial while retaining the same background coloring. A date slot is provided at 3:00, giving a larger opening for the white on black date wheel, the only real misstep in my opinion on the dial’s arrangements.
To keep costs down, the watch comes with a hardened mineral glass crystal and the 46mm antique bronze case is actually ion plated (IP) stainless steel. The watch is depth rated to 100 meters, but I am not taking it diving. The leather strap is nice and thick with light contrasting stitching and a bronze buckle to match the case.
For a guy who wears a lot of tan, the colors work really well for me. If you don’t care for the tan, the watch is available with a brown dial on the same strap, or with a black dial on a black strap. all three come with the bronze case. I don’t have calipers, but a rough measurement puts the watch at about 12mm, so it is not a slim watch, like the 2250 was.
The crown and handset are aviator style, but the rest of the watch does not scream aviator to me. It is more a mix of styles that plays up a little visual interest, but does not pay homage to any one genre. Lume is descent, readable in the dark, but a bit dim unless your eyes are really accustomed to the dark.
For a watch where all the elements are essentially in the same color palate, the watch is actually very easy to read. The gold tone hand set and index marks stand out against the tan dial, and the black text used for the numbers and logo are distinct, but not so bold or oversized that they clash. It is just a readable, clean design. The crystal is domed, which adds more depth to the watch, especially when viewed at an angle.
All of the Szanto watches I reviewed were comfortable to wear, and this was not exception. The antique style crown is easy to grasp, and the pushers move freely. Of course, as a quartz, there isn’t going to be a lot of need to move the crown, every other month for the date, with the daylight saving time changes and when you are traveling, but it is still nice to have something that does not require a struggle to adjust.
The nubuck finish (I assume it is nubuck, not suede) of the leather is attractive and comfortable, and the thickness goes well with the beefier case; a really thin strap would feel out of place. I have a feeling that the natural oils from your skin will age the strap over time, enhancing the vintage look of the watch.
For $350, I think the watch is a reasonable purchase if you want something as a weekender or a casual work watch and like the chronograph complication. Since I wear a lot of tans and browns, the color of the 4002 is right on for me. The styling is vintage without being old fashion, and there is a military/aviation look, but it does not scream “aviator.” The Szanto 4000 series of watches are available at a number of retailers, including Amazon and WatchCo.Com. Szantotime.com
- Brand & Model: Szanto 4002
- Price: $350
- Who’s it for?: You want a vintage look, not an old watch.
- Would I wear it?: Yes.
- What I’d change: A more readable and color coordinated date wheel.
- The best thing about it: The style is right on for me.