Watch Review

  • Casio EQB-500 Bluetooth Watch Review

    Today, we'll be reviewing the solar powered Casio EQB-500DB-2A. We're pretty excited about this watch because it has some unique functions we haven't seen anywhere else yet. We'll look at the build quality, functionality, and usability of the watch.

    The case and band are both solid stainless steel. The band features polished center links and brushed outer links and uses a standard fold-over push button clasp. It has micro-adjusters in the buckle – a feature we always appreciate. The end links for the band are, again, solid stainless steel instead of stamped sheet metal, which is great for the longevity of the band. The attachment of the bracelet to the case is excellent, and it has no play in the end links. The case itself is designed to offer protection for the screw-down crown, and its shape offers some protection for the four pushers as well. The bezel has been I.P. plated an attractive cobalt blue that matches the dial. Standard hours, minutes, and seconds are shown on the dial, and three asymmetrical sub-dials display 24-hour time, day, and a second time zone. Each of these sub-dials performs a secondary function that is cleanly integrated. It looks surprisingly clean and simple.

    The functions and ease of use are where this watch particularly shines. These kinds of watches tend to be difficult to use, often requiring memorization of esoteric button sequences for changing its multitude of settings. Instead of making you memorize the manual – though this option is still available – you can control all the functions on the watch using an application your phone! The app is freely available for Casio, and works with both Android and Apple devices. I'm using it with an iPad. The manual and explanation of the usage of each of the watch's functions is clearly displayed with accompanying graphics. Some of the options you can edit from this menu are the timekeeping, stopwatch, lap times/distance (used for the average speed per hour sub-dial), alarm, and world time. Since the watch pairs with your phone using Bluetooth, it will keep incredible time. As long as your phone is in range, the watch will update to local time every day. One of the coolest features is that the watch can be set up to cause the phone to ring with the press of a button, allowing you to find a lost phone!

    Nowadays, there's no shortage of watches filled with features. What sets this one apart is how easy it is to control using Casio's app. The watch becomes significantly more useful. You spend more time actually using the watch and less time getting frustrated trying to set the time.


    Reviewed by George Black August 9, 2016

  • Retro Seiko Automatics

    The stainless steel cushion-shaped cases are sized larger than their vintage cousins and now feature a flat Hardlex crystal that sits even with the top of the case to prevent marring

  • Tense Watches

    Introducing our newest watch brand: Tense watches. There are many wood watch options on the market, but we have hesitated to sell any because of our experience with quality problems. Cheap wood watches are prone to break and leak, are difficult to adjust to size without damaging the bracelet, and can lose pin attachments as the wood expands and contracts. Because it was a living material, wood is much trickier to make into a functional watch. Through research and comparing different products, we have found Tense Watches to be a brand that we are comfortable recommending. With over 40 years’ experience, they are one of the oldest wood watch manufacturers, and as a result have worked out the difficulties of manufacturing a quality wooden timepiece that will stand up to real world wearing conditions.

    Here is a little about the brand from their web site:

    Tense (noun): A set of forms taken by a verb to indicate time; One moment in time in relation to another moment in time. Past, present, future.

    Tense Watches designs high quality wooden watches. They are made from 100% recycled or reclaimed wood, and are powered by Miyota Watch Movements from Japan. Each watch is manufactured by hand in our workshop in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

    Our products are designed and built around our core beliefs in quality and craftsmanship. In 1957, Ken P. Lau started his profession as a clock designer. He pioneered experimentation with natural components, such as wood and stone. In 1968, Ken moved his focus to wristwatches, and in 1971 Tense Wooden Watches was founded. To this day, Ken brings his almost 50 years of experience as a crafter of timepieces to the office.

    We like the fact that Tense Watches are made in North America and as a result we can get repair parts if necessary. We like their design, for the quality aspect, but also because they are great looking watches. If you have never tried a wood watch on your wrist, you are in for a surprise. A solid wood case and bracelet makes a unique feeling product that brings a smile to your face. A recent addition to the Tense Watch lineup is their hybrid collection. Made of surgical steel with wood accents, these watches utilize the best of both materials. With sapphire crystals, Swiss movements, and water resistance from 3 ATM to 5 ATM, Tense Watches continue to show their commitment to quality. Oh, and they look great too!


    Shop our selection of Tense watches here

  • Vostok-Europe Energia Watch Review

    We’re quite pleased to bring in a new line of watches produced by Vostock Europe. Vostock Europe is made up of an alliance of Lithuanian and Russian watchmakers aiming to produce watches that celebrate the biggest and the boldest. All of their watches are designed with that theme in mind, and each has a story. Today I want to tell you the story of the Energia.

    Energia Rocket Liftoff

    The Energia’s design is inspired by the Energia super heavy-lift launch vehicle. It is the most powerful launch vehicle ever built, capable of putting a 100 ton payload into low earth orbit. The watch it inspired comes in several finishes and metals, but all of them use a Seiko NH35 24 jewel automatic movement.

    The Energia comes in a large durable locking dry box. Inside you’ll find your manufacturer information and manual. A hex key is included to facilitate changing bands from the beautiful leather strap to the durable water-resistant silicone strap included in the box. In a bit of forward thinking, all of the foam insulation in the dry box is cut to allow you to turn it into a four-watch holder with room for four additional straps and the strap tool, saving you the cost of purchasing something additional specifically for the task.Vostok Europe Energia watch with box

    The Energia watch case comes in stainless steel, PVD plated rose tone over stainless, PVD plated black over stainless, and solid bronze! The particular one we’re looking at is the solid bronze model. It has a great natural tone that is like a dark rose gold. Because there is no plating on this watch whatsoever, the natural surface of the metal will, over time, develop its own one-of-a-kind patina. Given time, no two bronze watches will look the same. Beyond the aesthetics of the case, specific attention was paid to the more useful features. A screw-down crown and helium release valve are incorporated into the case, as well as a unidirectional bezel. The Energia has an excellent water resistance rating of 300 meters. The lugs are designed for easy strap removal and replacement with a hex wrench, not that you would have to replace it often; the leather strap is thick and stitched in all the right places.

    Inside the case, the dial is clearly designed for legibility. Oversized bronze-tone dial markers and hands make legibility a nonissue. Each of these markers has a t-25 tritium tube affixed to it. The hands are differentiated at night by not only the length of the tritium tubes, but also by the twin tube arrangement on the hour hand. The cool blue of the dial matches the band, and is an attractive contrast between the warm bronze case and band hardware.

    Last, but most importantly, let’s talk about the movement. The Energia uses a Seiko NH35R movement. Unlike lower cost automatic movements, this one is hackable and manual wind capable. It is a durable workhorse movement that offers great timekeeping. It is hard to overstate the quality Seiko produces.

    If this brief overview hasn’t quenched your thirst, drop by the shop and see the watch in person. It’s hard to appreciate this scale of the watch until you have it in your hands. We’re happy to show you not only this watch, but the entire range of Vostock Europe watches.

    Reviewed by George Black July 11, 2017

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