You know me – I like to support the small guys. They tend to provide us with some unique designs and some really great value. Minuteman is one of those brands, and we’ve written about them before, quite a few times. Well, their latest – the Minuteman A11 – brings a splash of color to a tried-and-true design. It also brings along a movement that is poised to make a big splash as well.
The movement in the Minuteman A11 is the new Ameriquartz being built by FTS out in Arizona. In a bit of serendipity, ABTW actually just wrote about that movement, so I’ll let you dig into that article for a bit more background. Suffice to say, it’s bringing a quartz movement for the Minuteman A11 – which means reliability and accuracy – and also supports an alternative to the big labels making movements. I’m all for competition, and this should only lead to good things.
In this case, on of the first good things is the Minuteman A11. As you can see in that photo above, we were able to spend time with all six of the varieties (in prototype form) that the brand is planning to make. As these are prototypes, it’s worth calling out what you’ll see that’s different in the production models:
- The back case engravings read 200m WR – this will be 100m in the production models
- The hole in the dial – around the cannon pinion – will be tightened up
- The dial will have the words ‘USA Movt’ added, like we’d normally see Swiss Mov’t, for example
- Straps will be a bit longer, and a larger spring bar will be available
In terms of design, the Minuteman A11 keeps a fairly classic, standard, A11 field watch style. I do like the Flieger-style handset on the watch, and of course having the day/date (which I doubt is in the A11 spec) is a great, and useful, addition to the watch. Here, the 38mm case should fit a variety of wrists, and with all of the dial colors, you’re sure to find one that fits what you’re looking for.
While I really thought it would be the grey or blue dials that captured me, it was the yellow-dialed Minuteman A11 that I found myself spending the most time with. On the wrist, with the smaller case and a quartz movement, these are light watches that won’t weigh you down. And while the textile straps have the appearance of a NATO (with the extra keepers) they’re really two-piece straps, which cuts down the bulk. These are about the stiffest pieces of woven nylon I’ve ever ran into, but I presume that over time they’d conform to your wrist.
As you can see there, lume on the Minuteman A11 is generous and works well, and highlights a nice handset that hits all of the right marks on the dial. Even the tip of the seconds hand is lumed, and that’s not something you often see. Particularly on a watch that costs what this one does. As it stands on pre-order at the moment (which is going on in the month of March), the Minuteman A11 will run you just $189 which does seem like a tremendous value for what you’re getting here, even without considering the American-built quartz movement. cgawatches.com
- Brand and Model: Minuteman A11
- Price: $189
- Who’s it for? You want an easy grab-and-go sort of watch, and are curious about the new Ameriquartz movement
- Would I wear it? Yeah, I would – something like this would be a good piece for heading off into the woods
- What I’d change: A more flexible strap would be an improvement
- The best thing about it: The variety this watch represents – both in colors and movements.
Tech Specs from Minuteman
- Proudly handcrafted in Arizona, USA by FTS for Minuteman watch brand.
- Stainless Steel case.
- Heavy duty 2pc nylon strap.
- Sapphire crystal.
- 38mm width without crown.
- 100 meter water resistant.
- Handcrafted in the United States Ameriquartz 7122 quartz movement.
- Luminous hands and dial.