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REVIEW: Skywatch Chrono

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So, the other day (see here) when I brought up the Touch of Modern sale on Skywatch, I said a review was forthcoming.  That day is finally here.

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If you read my preview notes, you’re aware that I liked the watch from the limited time I had with it -and those impressions are still favorable.  When you first receive this watch, you know things are going to be a bit differently.  The packaging is distinctly reminiscent of that Cupertino company, and the inclusion of an Owners Club Pin is definitely a nice touch.

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Of course, it’s not a simple imitation when it comes to the packaging.  While Gabriel Ibarra admits the box is on the over-engineered side, it comes from his experiences living in Japan.  Frankly, I think it helps set it apart from the pack, and I think could have some interesting secondary (upcycled) uses, moreso than the traditional watch box.

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Now, for the watch itself. Of course, the most intriguing part of the watch is that domed bezel.  It’s not as highly domed as you might expect (given what we’ve seen on other models).  This is actually due to the bezel being epoxy, and not sapphire – and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it helps keep costs down:

We print the bezel markers on a flat metal surface using Super LumiNova (on most styles) then carefully coat the top ring with a clear epoxy to produce the domed effect.  It’s a delicate process that’s labor intensive, making the bezel a challenge to produce.

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The mineral crystal is also slightly domed, helping some with a double-bubble effect, with a break between the two affordable by a chamfer around the edge of the crystal.  The next best part of the watch, for me, was the strap, surprisingly.  Here, it’s made of a leather-lined Italian sailcloth.

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This allows the strap to be very flexible, and I assume it helps with shedding water.  I appreciate the fact that it’s adding a nice bit of texture to the watch, along with a splash of color given the blue keepers on the strap.  We also had a black silicone strap (again, it had blue keepers) included for the review.  This one is pretty standard issue other than the keepers – it’s very soft, and will pick up any lint you come across.

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As to the watch itself, it’s a very capable piece.  With the Ronda 5040.D quartz movement inside the 44mm case (which itself is nicely rounded and brushed), you’ve got plenty of timing options between the chronograph and unidirectional bezel.  Toss in the 100m water resistance rating, and you’ve got a watch that should stand up to most abuse (just watch for nicks in the epoxy bezel).

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At $395 (our poppy model can be seen here), this is a fairly affordable model, given the lumed and domed bezel and chronograph functions, along with the design aesthetics.  And when it comes to the collection, Skywatch should definitely have something that fits your tastes, whether you want a smaller case (38mm rather than 44mm), or just a different color on the bezel.  Check out the full collection here.

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