Quick show of hands – how many of us got our start with watches with one that came from a department store? Â Thereâ€™s no shame in it – thatâ€™s where my first watch came from, and when youâ€™re starting out, youâ€™re not into the details of whatâ€™s inside, you just know what you like the look of. Â And hey, if that still holds true today, more power to you (and glad to have you along for the ride). Â Given that, it makes sense that we can (and should) take a look at watches that are considered department store watches. Â Such as, say, todayâ€™s watch from ESQ.
I wish I could tell you a nice name for the ESQ watch I spent time with, but it only has a model number – the ESQ 0154. Â Of the options we had presented to us for various reviews, this particular ESQ caught my eye because of itâ€™s bezel. Â Iâ€™ve lately become enamored of the fluted bezel on the Rolex DateJust, and while this one is not quite the same, itâ€™s very much of the same vein.
You could say that Rolex inspiration continues onto the simple stick handset (with a smidge of lume) and the bar indices. Â No lume on those, but you do have small crystals at the end of each (not diamonds, not at this price point) that give you a bit of sparkle. Â In fact, thatâ€™s one of the major plays thisÂ ESQ has – how it catches light. Â Youâ€™ve got those crystals, the polish on the hands and indices, in the bezel, and down the center strip of the bracelet.
In other words, thisÂ ESQ watch tries to bing some flash to things without being overly flashy, if that makes sense. Â To soften that up a bit, there are plenty of matte surfaces. The outer edges of the bracelet are brushed, and the dial is, as a whole, fairly flat, thought the center section has a texture to it.
This particularÂ ESQ is much lighter than youâ€™d expect for a 41mm steel watch on a steel bracelet. Â Some of this is due to the quartz movement (theyâ€™re generally lighter than mechanicals), but itâ€™s also due to the bracelet. Â Here, the bracelet is of the hollow-link variety (most obvious when you size things and can see the inner edges of the links). Â In practical purposes, that means you do get a bit of a jangly noise to it if you shake your wrist. Â As to whether or not you find that annoying, well, thatâ€™s up to you.
Things like that hollow link bracelet show that theÂ ESQ is designed to a pricepoint, which in this case is $120. Â Which makes this the sort of watch that someone might come across looking for a nicer-looking watch for dressier occasions, or perhaps their first internship, that sort of thing. For me, I wore it to the office, and I wore it with a suit, and it blended in just fine. Â Yes, I knew what I had on my wrist, but a casual observer is likely to think it a more expensive watch.
Finding anÂ ESQ, should you be on the hunt for one, can be tricky. Â They really donâ€™t have a web presence, even if they are coming from Movado. Â Even that list of tech specs down below? Â Not â€œofficiallyâ€ from the brand. Â I scraped them from the retailer that carries the watches, in this case, JC Penny (now thereâ€™s a name Iâ€™ve not heard in a long time). Â While watch geeks may turn their nose up at watches that are (in this case, literally) department-store watches, I think thereâ€™s a time and place for them. Â I had a Fossil with somewhat similar styling that I wore for many years, and was my dressiest watch for a long time. Â Â So, while theÂ ESQ may not be everyoneâ€™s cup of tea, I say if you like it, go for it and enjoy it. Â Â jcpenny.com
- Brand & Model: ESQ 0154
- Price: Â $120
- Whoâ€™s it for? Youâ€™re heading into your first office job (or the spring wedding season) and want a dressier piece that wonâ€™t break the bank
- Would I wear it?Â If I did, it would be occasionally. Â While watches like this have a time and place, Iâ€™ve moved on from that time and place
- What I would change: Â Drop the crystals, extend the indices, and pop some lume on them.
- The best thing about it: The bezel was the winner for me
Tech Specs from ESQ
- Features: Water Resistant
- Metal Color: Silver Tone
- Band Content: Stainless Steel
- Band Color: Silver Tone
- Band Width: 20mm
- Watch Movement: Quartz
- Water Resistance: 50m
- Dial Color: Black
- Number of Batteries: 1
- Watch Band Length: 9 1/4 Inch
- Case Width: 41mm
- Case Thickness: 11mm
- Battery Type: Silver Oxide
- Battery Size: Sr626sw
- Jewelry Closure: Fold Over Clasp
- Power Source: Battery (included)
- Included: 1 Watch(es)
- Care: Wipe With Dry Cloth
- Country of Origin: Imported