There was a point in time that the aeronautically-themed Torgoen was very much in our sights, and we had covered a number of their watches. Over the past few years, though, they sort of fell off of our radar (pun intended). Well, we’ll change that up today with a review of the Torgoen T18 Chronograph, one of two watches we had come in recently from the brand.
One of the things that I really liked about the Torgoen T18 Chronograph, right out of the box, was the blue carbon fiber dial. The way these are constructed (with a clear coat layer) just allows the fiber to really catch the light, as well as allowing the printed stuff to look like it’s floating. That effect is a little obscured by the “bolted down” gauge look for the registers, and the large chapter ring appliques, but it is still there.
So, let’s talk about those gauges. They, of course, are supposed to look like what you see bolted into the cockpit of an older plane, and bring some of the aviation theme to the chronograph. Under that you see the sub-seconds (not chronograph) in what looks like it would be some sort of linear scale. Which would be a pretty cool trick, but it’s not. Here, the seconds hand stays in place, and just ticks away, no sliding side to side.
The Torgoen T18 Chronograph further reinforces the idea of being a “pilot” watch by the Flieger-style handset, here, in a skeletonized orange. While I tend to not care for skeleton hands (due to the decrease in legibility) I found they were really well-done here. Between their generous size and the bright luminous paint used on them, they were a cinch to pick out against the darker blue dial, meaning time-at-a-glance was easy-peasy.
Now, those bright hands also bring up another interesting thing I can’t recall seeing on another watch – the lume color. Yes, in the daylight, it just looks like you’ve got some bright orange accents on the dial of the Torgoen T18 Chronograph. Once you’re in the dark, however, these actually glow a bright yellow, which is not a lume color that we really see all that often. It makes for an interesting effect, for sure.
While quartz watches have the capability to be smaller (because the movements are smaller) the Torgoen T18 Chronograph sticks with a larger case size (45mm) which I suppose keeps in with the theme of being a pilot watch. Theory being, of course, that pilots need the larger display for quick looks of the time (and timing, should the chronograph be in play). For us land-based folks, it just becomes more of an exercise in the style of the piece.
While chronographs really aren’t my thing, I could definitely see the Torgoen T18 Chronograph being appealing to folks who are. For the $470 pricetag, you’re getting a Swiss ETA movement (quartz) for accuracy and reliability, packaged into a colorful and quite visually pleasing dial. And hey, I won’t tell anyone if you decide to fly around like an airplane while you time yourself running laps in the backyard. Just have fun, and enjoy the watch you wear. torgoen.com
- Brand & Model: Torgoen T18 Chronograph
- Price: $470 (on bracelet)
- Who’s it for? You want a Swiss chronograph that won’t break the bank, and brings some color to the wrist
- Would I wear it? Not my first choice, no…
- What I’d change: The “linear gage” look for the sub-seconds just feels off
- The best thing about it: To pick a smaller detail – just how well-done the skeletonized handset is done
Tech Specs from Torgoen
- SKU: T18BF45RBB
- COLOR: BLUE
- LUGS WIDTH: 24MM
- MOVEMENT: SWISS QUARTZ ETA G10.211 CHRONOGRAPH MOVEMENT
- BATTERY: NO. 394
- WATER RESISTANCE: 10ATM/100M/330FT
- CASE MATERIAL: SOLID HIGH GRADE (316L) STAINLESS STEEL
- CRYSTAL: K1 CRYSTAL
- BACK: SCREW DOWN STAINLESS STEEL
- OTHER: NON RADIOACTIVE LONG LASTING LUMINESCENCE DIAL
- CASE DIAMETER: 45MM
- CASE THICKNESS: 14MM
- CRYSTAL DIAMETER: 40MM
- WEIGHT: 3.6 OZ / 0.102 KG