The Dart Wahoo Chronograph – weighter than it looks, featuring glints of blue, nifty holes in the band, and of course, that bullhead design – all backed by a Seiko mecha-quartz movement. There’s one thing I can say for sure about this one – it’s unique. The piece I’ve been wearing is billed as a a prototype, but I’m not sure I completely get that – it’s refined, polished, and frankly looks great. It’s rectangular cushion shaped case, hefty weight, and pushers and crown on the 12oclock side of the case give it a nice and interesting look, which I’m surprisingly proud to wear. All from Dart Watches, a brand new microbrand looking to crowdfund the Wahoo in June 2018.
Wahoo Chronograph is a unique timepiece which is inspired by the world of racing boat. By intergrating [sic] various racing boat concepts into timepiece, the Wahoo Chronograph will probably be the first bullhead chronograph to put different elements from racing boat into a timepiece.
Coming out of the bubblewrap it was shipped in, the first impression of the Wahoo is that it’s weighty, and unique looking. Despite the refined markings on the dial, this thing has some serious heft, and its long shape makes it feel especially solid on the wrist – which is certainly a good thing.
The standout feature of the piece is the bullhead design, which places the main crown, and chronograph pushers on the top 12oclock side of the case. This accomplishes a few things. It give the watch a sleeker horizontal profile, preventing the crown from indenting on the wrist when the wrist is bent at an angle, or the strap is worn a bit loose and the watch slides down. Additionally, I noticed that by placing the pushers on the top, hand position when operating the chrono is much more comfortable. Curling fingers an extra 90 degrees around the case opens up the elbow and shoulders, making for a vastly more accessible and comfortable button layout. I never thought I’d say it, but I really feel this is the optimal pusher location for a functional chrono.
Fit and Finish
For a prototype, the fit and finish of the Wahoo Chronograph is excellent, Polished side, brushed front. The crystal is gently domed, has a nice bevel on the edge. I love the attention to detail in using a blue AR coating on the inside of the crystal – glints of light off the crystal come back a deep blue, which certainly gives this piece a quality feel.
Dial-wise, printing seems to be spot on. The only gripe I have on the dial is the date window font seems to be a little bit smooshed together – the number 27 fits in the square date window, but just barely. Give it some room!
On the Wrist
Despite the fairly large and hefty size, wrist feel for the Wahoo is surprisingly sleek and nice. The elongated shape lends to a close fitting band. The leather band supplied is uncommonly soft, which makes wearing this piece all day an easy proposition. Legibility is very slightly compromised by polished hands which reflect glints of light easily. I’d love to see a brushed finished, or perhaps an enamled color to give the hands a bit of depth and legibility.
As a mecha-quartz, the Wahoo features quartz accuracy for timekeeping. After a week of wear, it’s still spot on. Time is displayed with hour and minute on the main dial, and seconds on the right subdial – typical for a chronograph.
The mecha-quartz movement really shines here. Feedback and feel on the pushers is crisp and definite. There’s a nice weight to the push, a satisfying click to the engagement, and an instant start of the chronograph.
Simple date window at the 6oclock position.
In addition to timing up to 60 minutes, the dart also features a tachymeter dial, useful for calculating distance and speed.
Overall, I’m impressed with the piece, and think it comes together nicely. I had considered recommending flatter, square pushers – but I’m beginning to like the round prominent ones. I think the Dart logo on the dial could use a bit of refinement, and the font used for the date could be resized to give it some breathing room. Also, a mesh bracelet would be nice to try.
Should You Buy It?
Looking for a unique chronograph that’s bound to get some looks, and maybe start a conversation? Go for it. However, if you’re looking for a daily beater, this is probably a bit too esoteric.
The Dart Wahoo Chronograph is a unique bullhead-design chronograph featuring an impressive build quality and bold design. Grab it to add a unique piece to your collection, and to use on your next flight.
- Brand & Model: Dart Wahoo Chronograph
- Price: TBA
- Who we think it might be for: The collector looking to add something unique to their collection. The esoterically stylish pilot.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Play around with the design of the pushers a bit – I think there’s more there.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: That unique bullhead design – a great, possibly beginning to be forgotten study in simple ergonomics.
- Case Material – 316L Stainless Steel, Polished Side & Brushed Top
- Diameter – 42mm
- Lug to lug – 48mm
- Thickness – 12,5mm
- Movement – Seiko Hybrid Mecha-Quartz VK61 Chronograph with 1/5 second sweep second hand and mechanical Instant Zero reset function.
- Dial:Black Sun Brust [sic] Dial
- Date window at 6 oclock position
- Subdials : Wave pattern Left- 60 minutes timer Right – small sec hand
- Crystal – Double Domed Sapphire crystal with Blue AR anti-reflect coating
- Lume – Superluminova C1
- Case back – Engraved Logo
- Water resistance – 10ATM/100m
- Strap size – 22mm