For this model, we were sent two samples – a “back in black” (ref.Â NS44CHPBA.BA0.3.LBA) and the “vintage pilot” (ref.Â NS44CHSS.SI0.1.LBE), which present differing feel – much more than you’d think a simple color scheme change would actually net you.
First and foremost, the design of this watch really grabs the eye. Â Looking at it straight on, you noticed the unbalanced lugs (long on bottom, short up top) and the crown and pushers up at the 12 o’clock position. Â The lug variability allows the watch (ostensibly) to be positioned to ease readability, as well as accessing the pushers.
Another neat trick is that you can use the watch in a more traditional stopwatch-style hold when you take it off your wrist. Â And, unfortunately for me, I had these off the wrist more often than I had them on. Â With the lug style, this will allow the case to hug your wrist – and it does.
Where the problem lies for me, with this model (and my 7.25″ wrist) is that, when I had the strap adjusted to comfort, it was just slightly loose enough that the top-heavy case would rotate down, throwing off viewing angles (when brought up), as well as making it more likely to bang those on the desk – so I took them off. Â If I tightened up the strap one notch, it did hold things in place – but it was then too tight to be comfortable for me.
While I won’t call it a design flaw (because it isn’t), it will be something you should be aware of, depending on how you like to have your strap adjusted in normal wear. Â Oh, and with the strap, it has a drivers glove look to it, but the straps are not perforated all the way through. Â Not a deal breaker for that one point, but it would be nice to see a fully-perforated strap, at least as an option.
Housed within that oblong case you have a lovely, crystal-clear dial. Â Both variants were very readable, and presented different looks. Â The stealthier version managed to somehow be bold and subtle at the same time – and the blue lume was a nice change of page. Â On the flip side, the vintage style was that sort of aqua-lume (when not glowing) that we associate with older styles, and helps to push the funky case to a more traditional look.
On top of the dial, you have a mineral crystal with AR and sapphire coatings (the black model presented this as a bluish hue); under the dial you have the Miyota OS11 chronograph movement keeping track of everything.
For me, personally, this would not be a good watch to pick up, just due to the fit. Â That aside, this is a very bold and interesting design, and would no doubt garner some appreciation from even the non-watch oriented folks in your circle. Â If you’re near one of their stores, you can find the range (and try one on) between $625 and $675.