Citizen need no introduction. They specialise in well-manufactured watches that you’ll see on every high street. The first thought that comes to mind when discussing the brand is ‘Eco-Drive’. This is the company’s solar technology that charges the watch through exposure to light. As expected, the Chandler is a part of the Eco-drive line.
The 1964 is available in a number of Bicompax or Tricompax variations – either with two or three sub-dials. This white panda Bicompax is probably my favourite model.
The design is very much inspired by the racing and motorsports watches of the 1960s. It’s proudly vintage and in keeping with the aesthetics of that era is a modest 38mm in diameter. As with all chronographs, there’s the additional width of the pushers, meaning it won’t wear too small.
As we’ll see in this post, The Seiko Meca-Quartz movement is a popular option for chronographs at this price-point and Dan Henry has opted for this too. It combines the accuracy of quartz with the smooth operation of a mechanical movement.
The 19mm beads of rice bracelet is a nice touch, as is the rear case engraving of an Aston-Martin DB5. The mens replica watches comes with an additional leather strap.
Regardless of the name on the dial, this is a great looking watch. The sub-dials are in black to contrast with the cream dial – a vertical rather than horizontal Panda layout. With the refined look of the case, it all works. Where the Undone successfully presented a dial with minimal markings, the Chandler is equally as successful in incorporating the tachymeter into a busy dial that doesn’t become overcrowded.
A unique feature is obviously the Eco-Drive technology. This is the only watch on the list to use light as a power source, so the Citizen is worth your consideration for that alone.
Gigandet is a brand with some Swiss heritage, having been founded there around 100 years ago. It seems that the brand has been relaunched recently and is now German-owned and based. They make affordable watches that get decent reviews and are often powered by Japanese Seiko movements.
This Speed Timer is a beauty. Like the Dan Henry, it successfully recreates an earlier era, and again, has a very strong motorsports styling. There’s a more sporty and informal look than some of the others. This is in part due to the use of orange on the second hand and stitching on the strap, but also because of the busy bezel.
It’s a bold look that the Gigandet pulls off well. They have opted to update the case to a more contemporary 44mm, which makes for a large watch. Although, it is still a slim 11mm. And rather than use the Seiko movement this watch is powered by another Japanese piece, a Miyota 6S21.
The Avenger collection is another that is based on a design from Rotary’s own archive – a design from the original Avenger line from 1960. The collection consists of a couple of divers, some retro dress watches and half a dozen chronographs.
This variant has a strong retro appeal, including an attractive silver dial with two contrasting black sub-dials. It’s a classic, clean layout that is quite simple for a chronograph. There are indices rather than numerals, two neat, symmetrical dials and a small date window at 6 o’clock. It is all subtle and understated. A nice touch is the cross-hatch markings on the chronograph pushers – reminiscent of vintage Super Compressor replica watches for sale (more here).
Although noted as a sports watch, this piece would work just as well with formal dress, particularly this variation with the leather strap. With Rotary’s Dolphin Standard water resistance it can be worn in water.
Read more about Rotary watches here.
In an industry where companies can sometimes boast of over a hundred years of history, Stuhrling is a new face. They’re a little under twenty years old and claim to have sold over fifteen million watches in that time. What is more, the watches that they launched the brand with were a tourbillon collection. That’s some feat.
Where are Stuhrling watches made?
Founder Chaim Fischer is based in New York, but the watches are proudly manufactured in Shenzhen, China. I say proudly because the website features articles detailing the reasons for choosing China, including videos of the watch manufacturing process. That’s important to me. When I launched Northwind Watches (more here) I also chose a Chinese company to build my brands’ watches and it wasn’t always easy to explain the decision to a critical audience.
Many brands choose the same process as Stuhrlings. Watches produced in China but with imported Japanese movements. Most of the Stuhrling collections are powered by Japanese movements, including, for example, Chronographs using Seiko’s VK63 meca-quartz.
Maybe more interestingly, the glass used in their rolex replica watches is called Krysterna crystal, something I was only aware of in passing. It’s a very tough and durable glass originally used in eye-wear and unique to Stuhrling.
This model is another that is a homage to the Rolex Daytona. Stylistically, it takes all its major features from the Rolex, but that is no bad thing.
So the specs are as we’d expect. A 42mm stainless steel case that houses a Seiko chronograph movement. The glass is Krysterna crystal and the watch has a decent 100M water resistance. This is definitely a watch to consider if you want not only a Panda dial, but a Daytona style Panda dial.