As I mentioned in our review last week, Torgoen is known for their watches having aviation themes. So, it should surprise no one that they’ve got a Flieger-style design in the catalog, and that was the second one we had come in for review. So, without further ado, let’s talk about the Torgoen T42.
First off, my apologies to anyone who had that earworm planted in their mind based off of that title of the review, but for whatever reason, it’s what popped to mind (no, there’s no Psy tie-in to the watch that I’m aware of). Right off the bat, you can pick up on all of the classic Flieger styling that the Torgoen T42 is bringing along. You’ve got the larger numerals at the compass points, generous hour indices, and of course, the classic shape to the handset.
I will note, the hands on the Torgoen T42 are narrower than any other Flieger you’ve seen. At first, that bothered me, but as I spent time with the watch, I came around to the design decision. First off, the hands are slightly larger, as the edges are painted to color-match to the dial, so you’re not seeing the whole hand. Secondly, by shrinking things down a bit (and not degrading the legibility) it sort of softens the “in your face” look that some Fliegers can have. In other words, a subtler way for you to fly your love of the style.
While many Torgoen models feature quartz movements, and feel designed to a pricepoint, the Torgoen T42 looks to set their sights a bit higher. To start with, you’ve got an automatic movement tucked into the case. And not just any movement, but the workhorse ETA 2824. The finishing of the case that protects the movement is mostly brushed, with a bit of high polish on the top surface directly surrounding the sapphire crystal. All in all, it’s a clean, competent style, one that looks and feels much nicer than your average “budget” watch.
Now, that said, the Torgoen T42 is not as thin as you might expect. 14mm is not exactly uncommon in the world of watches, but it’s something we tend to associate with overbuilt dive watches or mechanical chronographs, not simpler three-hander movements. Also, in comparison to the 41mm case diameter, the proportions feel a touch skewed, making the case feel taller than it actually is. There’s probably a good reason for why the designers did it that way, I just think the watch could be improved by slimming it down a tad.
On the flip side, Torgoen did a good job with the luminous paint on the Torgoen T42. I did not time how long it took to fade, but you do have some rather nice light coming off of it when it first comes into the dark. It’s not anything that’s going to challenge your Seiko in terms of lumosity, but it’s in a good space. Likewise, the included leather strap is at a good middle ground. While it doesn’t quite have the rich smell of a high-end leather strap, it’s a nice thickness that tapers at the buckle, which helps it fit your wrist without any unneccesary bulk.
Now, as I alluded to, the Torgoen T42 is definitely the brand going for a higher-end approach to their watches. That said, its still a fairly affordable take, particularly with the ETA 2824 tucked in there. So, yes, the $790 puts it above other models in their catalog, but it’s nothing that’s that out of range for what you might see from other brands. It’s not a design that will satisfy the Flieger purists, but it’s an interesting variation on the style that gives a fresh, affordable look to things. torgoen.com
- Brand & Model: Torgoen T42
- Price: $790
- Who’s it for? You want a Swiss-powered flieger that won’t break the bank – and doesn’t have the oversized handset common to the design
- Would I wear it? As a casual change of pace, sure thing
- What I’d change: If they could shave a mm or two off of the case thickness, that would be killer
- The best thing about it: While at first I felt the hands were undersized, I grew to appreciate it as a way to differentiate the watch from others
Tech Specs from Torgoen
- SKU: T42BL41V
- STRAP COLOR: BROWN
- EXTERNAL COLOR: SILVER
- COLOR: BLUE
- LUGS WIDTH: 22MM
- MOVEMENT: SWISS AUTOMATIC ETA 2824
- WATER RESISTANCE: 10ATM/100M/330FT
- CASE MATERIAL: SOLID HIGH GRADE (316L) STAINLESS STEEL
- CRYSTAL: SAPPHIRE CRYSTAL
- BACK: SCREW DOWN, SEE-THROUGH WITH MINERAL CRYSTAL
- STRAP: VINTAGE LEATHER
- OTHER: NON-RADIOACTIVE LONG LASTING LUMINESCENT INDEXES & HANDS
- CASE DIAMETER: 41MM
- CASE THICKNESS: 14.1MM
- CRYSTAL DIAMETER: 35.5MM
- WATCH WEIGHT: 3.8 OZ / 0.11 KG