Chronographs are popular complications, but I wonder just how useful they are. Sure, I have one, but I don’t really use the chrono feature, I just like the look of the watch. Well, the Conqueror Watch Company Opalus takes the chrono and puts it into the background, leaving the central second hand as, well, a second hand. The watch itself is comfortable and attractive, walking a nice line between dressy and sporty.
The watch dial has a nice depth to it, with three sub dials inset below the chapter ring, a (non-GMT) 24 hour hand at 3:00, the chrono second hand at 6:00 and a 30 minute chrono hand at 9:00. The cream dial itself is attractive, slightly grooved, and the indexes are slightly raised. They don’t appear to be applied, but the overall effect is nice. There are two major elevation changes, some scalloping for the central part of the dial, subtle patterning, and the raised indexes. All in all, there is a lot going on, but it works together and does not look busy.
The Conqueror Opalus wears comfortably, with downturned lugs keeping the case close on the wrist in spite of the 44mm case diameter. Driving the watch is a Japanese quartz movement. The chrono function requires the hands to either unwind back to 0 or wind forward through the full 30 minute cycle, so resetting the timing function is not a quick action. But if you are not using the Chrono function very often, then does it matter that it is a little slow to reset?
I have had quite a few chronos passing through my hands of late, and it took me a little while to realize that the central second hand was keeping the time and the sub dial was being used for chrono seconds. This gives the watch a little more of an crossover dress/sports look, as opposed to a straight sports watch. Contributing to the cross over is the use of lume on the main handset. Not overly generous, but certainly usable to tell the time in a darkened theater. The watch is only rated to 100 feet, but again, how important is that for a watch like this? I don’t think the target audience is planning on taking it diving.
The watch case is nice, with both polished and brushed stainless steel finishes, and simple pushers and crown. The crystal is domed, which I like, but the brand does not specify a material. The leather strap is comfortable, and an attractive brown, with no contrasting stitching. The watch is listed at a retail price of $275, but Conqueror currently has a discount of 40%, bringing it down to a very affordable $165. As I noted, I have had a few review quartz chronographs on my wrist over the last few months. I am partial to automatics, but the Conqueror was one of my favorites of the bunch. I liked the cream dial with the elevation changes, and I really liked that the watch function took center stage (with the second hand), and the chronograph function melded into the background. conquerorwatches.com
- Brand & Model: Conqueror Watch Company Opalus
- Price: $165 (on sale from $275)
- Who we think it might be for: You like the look of a chrono, but don’t really use the complication very often.
- Would I wear one myself based on what I’ve seen?: I would if it had an auto movement.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: I like a faster reset on the chrono.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: The timing feature is there, but with the central second hand being used to keep time, the chrono goes a bit into the background of the watch.
Tech Specs from Conqueror Watch Company:
- Movement: Japanese qaurtz
- Functions: 30 minute chronograph, 24 hour (non-GMT) hand
- Case: Stainless steel
- Crystal: Not specified domed front crystal
- Water resistance: 100 feet
- Lug width: 22mm
- Straps: Leather
- Diameter: 44mm
- Thickness: Not specified