We may go on and on about Swiss movements and their relative merits, but when was the last time you looked at a watch that made itâ€™s very Swiss-ness obvious? Â You know, with the red-and-white cross right up there on the dial? Â If youâ€™re like me, itâ€™s been quite some time. Â Recently, I had a chance to rectify that oversight when I got a loaner in of theÂ Wenger Roadster Black Night.
Now, if you know me, you know I most often would not be choosing a chronograph to review. Â Such is the burden I have to bear for you, dear reader. Â Not that strapping theÂ Wenger Roadster Black Night on to the wrist was a burden. Â Combine a soft, one-piece leather strap with the (relatively) light weight of a quartz movement, and you get a watch that is comfortable to wear.
Now, most often, a 45mm watch – as we have here with theÂ Wenger Roadster Black Night – is something Iâ€™d call out as being just a bit too large. Â Here, though, it works. Â It does not wear overly large on the wrist (visually or with any giant lug overhang), and the larger case size allows for the dial to be larger. Â Why is that important? Â Well, when youâ€™re cramming three sub-registers onto a dial, allowing them to be larger (given the larger real estate overall) helps to keep things more legible. Â Fortunately for you and me, the white-on-black color palette also assists in that regard, as the contrasts are sharp.
The handset on theÂ Wenger Roadster Black Night is a good size, extending properly to their respective tracks, with the hour hand being noticeably wider (Iâ€™d say close to double) than the minute hand. Â For someone like myself, who does not use chronograph functionality often, this is another boon. Â You can read the time quickly, at a glance, and the extra registers do not keep you from the main purpose of the watch. You know, telling the time. Â For those actually using the chronograph, you get the usual tracking youâ€™d expect (running seconds are at 3 oâ€™clock), with the chrono hands distinctively called out in red.
The largest, of course, would be the chrono seconds. Â That allows you to do some clever â€œfastâ€ timing using the tachymetre scale on the fixed bezel. Â Whether or not youâ€™d be timing those speeds on a watch of this nature is up to the user, but it does add some functionality to the watch with this type of bezel, along with giving you a (very slight) Speedmaster vibe.
Pushers on theÂ Wenger Roadster Black Night are non-locking (so donâ€™t try using them if youâ€™re testing out the 100m WR rating), and respond as you would expect for a quartz chronograph. Â Not a crisp click like you have a mechanical, but still a nice tactile feel. Â Oh, one note here. Â If you are timing something and stop it, and then decide you want to adjust the time or date, well, donâ€™t. Â You see, pulling out the crown forces the chronograph to reset. Â Iâ€™m guessing that itâ€™s due to the movement protecting itself from any damage, but something you may need to be aware of.
I think my favorite thing on theÂ Wenger Roadster Black Night was the dial itself. Â Along with itâ€™s use of color, it managed to sneak some texture in the center there (reminiscent of expand steel diamond grating), which is always welcome. Â Also welcome? Â The fact that they have a color-matched date wheel. Â If you can get that matching on a $275Â quartz watch, it absolutely mystifies me when the higher-end brands slap a light-colored date wheel under a dark dial. Â Oh, one last thing that I really dig about the dial? Â The lume. Â See, itâ€™s on all the normal spots, but they also lumed the logo. Â Only a few other brands have done this, and I still enjoy it every time I see it.
As I mentioned in passing there, theÂ Wenger Roadster Black Night is a very affordable Swiss chronograph, coming in at only $275. Â While it may not be my cup of tea, it is certainly not a watch Iâ€™d look down my nose at if I saw it show up on a friendâ€™s wrist. Â It looks and feels well-built, the quartz movement is going to be plenty accurate, and youâ€™ll be able to verify your carâ€™s speedometer as you go down the road (please, though, only as a passenger). Â This may be the first Wenger weâ€™ve looked at, but weâ€™re working to see what else we can check out. Â If you have a particular model (watch, knife, or otherwise) youâ€™d like our thoughts on, please comment below or drop us a line. Â wenger.ch
- Brand & Model:Â Wenger Roadster Black Night
- Price:Â $275
- Whoâ€™s it for?Â You are on the hunt for a solid everyday watch, and like the looks (and functionality) of a chronograph
- Would I wear it? No, not really – but itâ€™s because chronographs donâ€™t do it for me
- What Iâ€™d change: You know, I could see this design lending itself to a simple three-hander plus date (in a slimmed down case)
- The best thing about it: Â The dial – itâ€™s textures, colors, and lume
Tech Specs from Wenger
- Case material: Â Stainless steel
- Case diameter: Â 45 millimeters
- Case Thickness: Â 12 millimeters
- Band Material: Â Calfskin
- Band width: Â 22 millimeters
- Band Color: Â Brown
- Dial color: Â Black
- Special features: Â Calendar, Chronograph, Tachometer
- Movement: Â Swiss quartz
- Water resistant: Â 100 Meters
- Weight: Â 107.9g