To this day (not that it was THAT long ago) I remember the very first mechanical watch I bought. Â I had become entranced with the vintage looks and sandwich dials of the Panerai – or, more precisely, the various homages that were floating around available on the internet (and still are). Â When I finally pulled the trigger, it was a delight, especially picking out the specific details I wanted. Â As time marched on, I got to realizing that the watch was simply bigger than I preferred to wear, so it ended up going on to a new home. Â However, this latest Kickstarter campaign, the TC-9 Navy Watch, could have me rethinking things again.
Funnily enough, there was also a time where I was very fond of bronze and brass watches. Â Frankly, I still like the material, and while Iâ€™ve reviewed a few, Iâ€™ve never gotten to the point where I picked one up. Â So, yeah – thisÂ TC-9 Navy Watch is made from bronze, in a 42mm flavor (smaller than the 44mm variant I had in steel back in the day), and comes in at a crazy 9.5mm thin. Â For a manually-wound watch (which most Panerai homages are) that would be a neat trick. Â But for the watch that houses an automatic (in this case, a reliable Seiko NH35A) movement, then it becomes all the more impressive. Â Paired as it is into a classic cushion case, it just sounds (and looks) delightful.
The rest of the specs are rather nice as well. Â Sapphire crystals front and back, your choice of five different sandwich dials (Iâ€™m particularly digging the sunburst green â€œplainâ€ dial), 100m WR, and your choice of finishes (black or brass) on the crown. Â Speaking of the crown, you will notice that itâ€™s missing the classic flip-lock crown guard, which some might object to. Â For me, Iâ€™m good with that. Â It simplifies the operation of the watch, and further sets this into the homage, rather than replica, category.
I am also quite happy to see this style of watch with a standard (read: thumbnail) buckle, rather than the oversized Pre-V buckles that accompany most watches of these style. Â I get the historical reason for it (well, the historical look), but it frankly just makes for a big chunk of metal that catches on things or digs into your wrist. Â With the more restrained thumbnail-style buckle, things are kept more compact.
The also managed to keep the pricing on the TC-9 Navy Watch fairly compact as well. Â Early-bird pricing starts just a touch over $200, which seems like a fair price point for the design, materials, and movement in use here. Â TC-9 seems to have established a good track record on delivering on their campaigns, and this current one (which closes out on May 13) is over 200% funded as of the time of the writing. Â As always, itâ€™s caveat emptor, but odds are looking to be in your favor. Â In the meantime, weâ€™ll also work to get one in for a hands-on review, and see if my imagination matches the reality of what this thin homage watch is offering up. Â project page
- Brand & Model: Â TC-9 Navy Watch
- Price: $206
- Who we think it might be for: You like the Panerai look, but other watches have just been too big for your tastes
- Would I buy one for myself based on what Iâ€™ve seen?Â I could see that happening, for sure.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Bronze is nice – but Iâ€™d like to see a future option explore steel or even titanium
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: A smaller, thinner, homage made from bronze. Â Whatâ€™s not to like?
- Solid Bronze Case – 42 mm wide, Â 9.5 mm thick.Â Â Classic cushion case reminiscent of the Navy dive watches of the 1940â€™s
- Seiko NH35A movement
- Scratchproof Sapphire Glass on the front and back of the watch.
- 10 ATM waterproof.
- 5 Dials options, including our unique and high quality solid brass dial used on our previous KS campaign â€“ the TC-9 1950s diver.Â Â All dials are two piece sandwich dials and have a double coating of bright super lume
- Black PVD or BrassÂ platedÂ Crown.
- Leather Strap with solid brass buckle
- Watch posts from the UK.Â Â Postage costs based on actual cost via DHL to your host country. Posted by June 2017.
- Limited edition of 500 pieces