When you are asked to write a review.
It has not happened to me yet – writing a review at the owner’s request. About 2 months ago, a thread appeared on the forum in which one of the users, a friend of the Aquatico brand owner, asks for contact with people interested in writing reviews of one of their watches. I like such challenges … I wrote to him almost immediately and he gave our contact to the owner. I asked for a Bronze Sea Star model with a brown dial because I didn’t have a watch with this color of dial. After a few days, the watch was sent to me and two weeks ago it finally hit my hand.
The owner of the Aquatico brand has sent me a code so that users of KMZiZ forum and our blog receive an additional 20$ discount on purchases, as if not much, but Aquatico watches range between 200 $ and 300 $, so it is about 10%, and at such prices, there is not much to discount from – the code for the 20$ discount is “KMZIZ”
Aquatico – Chinese microbrand with watches that I’ve seen somewhere
Yes, after entering the Aquatico website and reviewing the available models, you get the impression that these watches are something like. And there is nothing to cheat, a large part of their models is heavily inspired by some models of brands such as Tudor or Hamilton. It bothers some people, some don’t. One day I would never buy such a watch, now my approach has changed a bit.
I noticed that overseas people do not have a problem with it and there they just enjoy a well made watch, and the fact that it resembles some other model is not a reason for complexes. And so some have Tudor, others Aquatico, and still others both … and everyone is happy.
Because I already had several meetings with watches from China, I was a little afraid of the quality of the watch, which you can buy for $ 280 (about PLN 1 050). Was it right? I hope this review will dispel your doubts.
Already after unpacking the package and seeing what the box looks like, my concerns about the quality of the watch have increased. The box is a plain cardboard box with a negligently made pillow of poor quality inside, which, in addition, slightly roughed. In such a box, a watch for PLN 300 from Aliexpress came to me, and in all that box was probably even better if I remember correctly. After a while, I said to myself in my mind “good, it’s just a box, maybe they saved the whole budget to spend on the quality of the watch” – it was already more optimistic assumption …
Which, fortunately, turned out to be true. A bronze case with a width of 42 mm and a lug distance of 50 mm is made exemplary. It has a classic barrel shape but it is so contoured that the watch doesn’t look like its 14mm height. Its bottom section narrows sharply towards the case back and the very straight part of the case has only 7mm. The lugs of the case are pierced in order to facilitate the change of the strap – there are supporters and opponents of such a solution. Tomek thinks that the pierced lugs a bit disfigure the case, but fore me it doesn’t matter, and it’s always some improvement in the process of changing the strap in the watch
The cuts on case are flawlessly made and certainly their quality is much better than in the previously reviewed Phoibos and Tc-9 (I purposely recall these 2 watches because it is also low-budget watches). In contrast to these two earlier watches Aquatico is polished also between the lugs … the cut is guided differently than on the sides of the case (on the sides is horizontally and between the lugs vertically) but it’s there and thanks to that the watch looks much better.
Between the lugs there is an engraved watch number, all Bronze Sea Star models are limited to 88 pieces for each version.
Logged crown, also made of bronze, is quite long and has no guards what visibly protrudes from the case. It’s it, in combination with the material of the case, which gives the watch a raw accent, if it was delicate, without a patina it would even pass as an elegant diver watch. Crown, due to contact with the skin during time setting, soon began to change color to darker.
The watch has a waterproof level of 300m – the legend says that someone once dived with such a watch to a large depth … such WR is already a standard among the diver watches. A bit unnecessarily but I don’t think that this trend will change.
I like the case as a whole; it’s probably bronze that works for me, when it’s well processed, I like to looking at it closely. Here, in addition, its profile is also nice, nothing special, but it has something in itself.
The movement used in this watch is Seiko NH35. I don’t think anyone expected anything else here, this werk is the most commonly used movement in watches from this price shelf. It’s cheap, proven and easily accessible. It is thicker than Citizen’s Miyota, and it’s certainly among other things that he stands behind the 14mm thickness of the watch. The mechanism works with a frequency of 21 600 beats per hour, has a stop secont, the possibility of hand winding from the crown and my copy doing + 20 sec daily ..
The dial is matte and brown. The brown color of the dial falls out completely differently than I expected from the pictures on the manufacturer’s website, at different angles of light falling into the burgundy, while in fact never seems black. The applied bronze-colored indices are made very precisely, in the middle they have a white filling in the form of a luminescent mass. The shape and layout of the indices is a copy of what we see in the Tudor Black Bay watch, the outer ring with minute markings in the form of painted lines is identical. There is no doubt what the producer of this watch based on.
The indices beautifully shimmer under the influence of light, and when they glisten I can not find any flaw on them. Of course, it also has its reflection in magnification (if the naked eye seems to be something wrong, in the magnification always the truth comes to light in the form of – uneven surfaces, poorly imposed luma, etc.) here, with a close approximation, you can see the quality of indices . The indices in magnification looks like in Zelos Mako, which costs almost 2x more!
The same shape as in Tudor has also hands, although the minute and hour in Aquatico are shorter; minute does not reach minute indices, and hourly indexes covers only by half. However, as for their quality, just like the applied indices – the level is sensational, much better than in other watches from this budget, which I had before.
At 3 o’clock there is a window with a date in the form of black digits on a white background, the window has a golden frame and fits very well with other indices. The whole looks very aesthetically.
The biggest surprise for me, however, was a slightly doomed glass with an internal anti-reflective, which at an angle looks like in the middle of it was another, double doomed glass. The only explanation for this is the very large thickness of the glass and the fact that the concavity of the glass from the bottom is larger than the convexity from the top. Anyway, the effect is great and causes me to look at this watch willingly and often to see what the dial looks like at a given moment😊
Indices and hands are filled with a blue luminescent mass (BG9) which shines strongly and for a long time as for this shade of luma. I know from experience that the best and longest time is green lume watches, blue always looks worse but here is nothing to complain about, the watch shines really good, I doubt that it would be possible to squeeze more if you take into account the size of indices and shade of luma.
The rotating bezel made of bronze has a ceramic, polished brown insert. It’s well designed, its height fits perfectly to the size of the case and the cuts are nice and even. Markings on the bezel have probably the most used system, which is what we can find in Tudor and Rolex dive watches. Fortunately, the bezel does not deviate from the quality of the dial’s and nicely represents the watch from the outside of the glass. The indices on the insert are even and sharp, even the dot of the luma at 12 o’clock looks perfect, the problem is only with the luma triangle around the dot – it has a scratch. However, I cann’t tell if the scratch was there from the news or I made it using this watch for 2 weeks. The work of the bezel is decent, the resistance when turning is as it should be and the looseness is minimal, I met worse bezels but I had in my hands also a lot better than this one. The most important, however, that visually bezel looks great, beautifully reflects the light and the color changes accordingly like the dial.
Here, there is not much to dwell on, the case back is steel, screwed, in the middle there is an image of a dolphin, which has a sandblasted, slightly concave surface around it. The outside of the logo has standard information about the watch.
Probably the biggest surprise that happened to me in the case of this watch, because I expected a Chinese strap of poor quality as it is commonly said in the forum “from a Chinese dragon”. The strap is sensational – thick, soft and fragrant. Extremely comfortable for a leather strap. The strap itself gives a massive impression, which fits well with this watch, also the buckle is massive and just like the case is made of bronze. Like the crown, the buckle, due to frequent contact with the fingers, has already begun to patinate and differs from the case.
I am glad that in this case Aquatico did not take shortcuts and the quality of the strap is 2 leagues higher than what the Swiss watch manufacturers provide with the watch for 4x larger amounts.
I like such positive surprises. 😊 Yes, as I wrote at the beginning, I was afraid of the quality of this watch and the fact that the person who made it available would regret its decision. Fortunately, I can recommend this watch with a clear conscience to anyone who doesn’t mind secondary design, but is looking for something with a very good price / quality ratio. Because this is the parameter that is the great advantage of Aquatico. In my opinion, it pierces all the watches I have dealt with so far. This watch could easily cost twice as much.
It is a pity that this model doesn’t have its own, original design because then it would be for me a king of budget watches. Taking Aquatico in your hand you can be sure that all the money has been spent on the quality of the watch, which will serve you for many years.