A few years back, there was a small explosion of watch brands starting up in and around Chicago. It was great to meet up with the brands, meet with the folks behind them, and see the new stuff coming out. Some have gone on to some high-profile launches, and others have been a bit quieter. Astor + Banks is one of the ones that have been quieter, but theyâ€™re coming back, with a launch planned in the next few months of the Astor + Banks Sea Ranger.
First off, letâ€™s talk about the name. Why the Astor + Banks Sea Ranger? Well, the guy behind the brand – Andrew Perez – was in the military, and he designed this watch as the sort of timepiece that he would have liked to have had when he was in the service. Built for land or water duty (hence, Sea Ranger), thereâ€™s a lot to like about this tool watch. For starters, while itâ€™s just a simple three-hander, you could easily track a second time zone via the 12-hour bezel. Oh, and that bezel? Itâ€™s lumed. Combined with the broad applied indices and handset, this is a watch that should be just as easy to read in the dark as it is in normal lighting conditions. Also worth noting – there are two colors of lume (blue and green) in use, so differentiation of the hands is even simpler.
All of this is set into a steel case (thereâ€™s a DLC option as well) that will be wrapped around either an ETA 2824 or Sellita SW200 – both very solid Swiss options. Holding it onto your wrist is a first for the brand, a steel bracelet. This is a bracelet that should be quite comfortable, as itâ€™s got shorter links (the easier to flex) and tapers from the 20mm lugs to 16mm at the double-locking clasp.
Itâ€™s worth noting, the Astor + Banks Sea Ranger is not yet available. It was shown off at the Wind Up show out west recently, and plans are for it to show up on Kickstarter in June. While retail pricing is set at $850 you should see early bird deals starting at $575. If youâ€™re interested, and want to know when the campaign launches, just head on over to the A+B website and sign up for the newsletter. Weâ€™re also working to get one of the prototypes in so we can give you our hands-on impressions, so keep an eye out for that. astorandbanks.com
- Brand & Model: Astor + Banks Sea Ranger
- Price: $850 (retail) / $575 (Kickstarter)
- Who we think it might be for: You want a tool/diver watch that isnâ€™t trying to pretend itâ€™s a dress watch
- Would I buy one for myself based on what Iâ€™ve seen? Yes, there is a lot to like here about this watch
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: The dial design – itâ€™s simple, but bold and clean.
Tech Specs from Astor + Banks
- Case material: 316L Stainless steel or DLC with Viton gaskets and screw down crown
- Dimension: 40mm Asymmetrical Case with lug holes
- Movement: ETA 2824-2 or Sellita SW200 Adjusted
- Power reserve: 38 Hours with automatic winding
- Water resistance: 300meter / 30ATM
- Dial: Gloss Black, Matte white, Matte blue, Matte Black
- Bezel: Unidirectional with Sapphire insert, DLC with aluminum insert
- Strap: 316L Stainless Steel bracelet (20mmx16mm) with Double locking buckle and Premium NATO
- Retail PRICE: $850 USD
- Kickstarter Price will start at $575 and go up from there; tentative launch in June with delivery in Fall 2019