Aragon Regeneron T-100, a budget tritium watch.
For as long as I can remember, the luminescence in watches has always attracted me. Knowing that I can read the time under all conditions was often a decisive factor in choosing a particular model. I had several models with tritium lighting before, but the size of the case – usually over 44 millimeters – made the watches seem too large to me. It’s funny that in the past this size didn’t impress me and often watches on my wrist had the width of the case like 44-45 mm. As you can see, the taste changes with age. For some time now, I decided that the size of the case would be 42 millimeters in diameter, because watches in sizes 39-42 are most comfortable for me on my 19.5 cm wrist.
In this way, I set my goal, which was to be a watch with a tritium tubes, with a case with a maximum width of 42 mm and at a relatively low price.
I found a few models with the desired characteristics in the Ball company’s offer, but the fairly high price forced me to look for the watch from another manufacturer. This is how I found photos of new products on the web, which would soon appear in the Aragon company’s offer. The American watch manufacturer has in its portfolio many interesting watches with an original appearance, but the sizes that we have to choose usually oscillate between 44-50 mm, which practically excludes wearing them by me. The manufacturer, however, listened to the voice of the people and decided to create a model available in 42 mm. The watch immediately caught my attention due to its design and attractive price. I decided to add it to the basket, but something touched me and I checked the specification again, in which the thickness of 15 mm effectively scared me away. From time to time, however, Regeneron’s was coming back to me and I decided to give it a chance and order it. It came to me after less than two weeks.
Was it worth spending less than PLN 900 on a budget watch with tritium? You will find out from my review
The watch was sent in a fairly large open box, the outer surface of which is eco-leather in navy blue color . The box is trimmed around with red thread, which contrasts nicely with the navy blue color. On the upper part we find the embossed Aragon logo. The box looks solid. Inside there is a soft fabric cushion, an instruction manual and a watch.
Traditionally, we will start with an case. As I mentioned in the introduction, the case is not the thinnest one (I measured it with a caliper and the thickness is almost 16 millimeters), but the lugs directed downwards successfully eliminate this value.
Despite my previous concerns, the watch fits quite well on the wrist and is comfortable to wear. The lug-to-lug size is quite proportional to the width, at 47.5mm, so the watch will fit snugly on 16-20 centimeter wrists. The distance between the lugs is 22 millimeters. Probably, if I designed this watch myself, I would be leaning towards 20 millimeters. On the other hand, however, the height of the case compensates for the impression of a bracelet a bit too wide.
The quality of the cuts on the case is very good. The edges of the lugs have been delicately trimmed and polished, giving an effect pleasing to the eye.
At 3 o’clock there is a large, quite densely milled crown. The crown is screwed on as it should be in diving watches. After unscrewing it, you don’t feel any slack, which is very often the case with even high-end watches.
An interesting fact is a large portion of the luma that was placed on the side of the crown. I often remind about it when I walk from the manor house to the shaded room. It then gives a delicate glow that illuminates the wrist.
From the bottom, the case is closed with a transparent case back, through which we can observe the work of the movement. On its circumference, we find information about the specifications of the watch.
It is worth mentioning the water resistance, which is 200M. It is a decent value and quite sufficient for everyday use.
The bezel in the Regeneron model is entirely made of steel. Its design slightly extends beyond the outline of the case. The bezel grip is fairly secure and won’t slip out of your fingers, and its work is nice and takes place with a light and pleasant resistance – similar to what I encountered at the Tag Heuer Aquaracer. Interestingly, the Regeneron bezel is better centered than in the mentioned Aquaracer. Its milled indices perfectly match those on the dial. Bezel cutters were filled with SuperLuminova C3 luminescent mass. In my watch adventure, I saw only two watches where the luma was on a comparable level – it was Breitling Steelfish and Helson Shark Diver.
I have to admit that Aragon really went crazy with the luma. And so much so that I have the impression that it doesn’t stop shining! The color of the luma in daylight is very similar to the color of tritium sticks. In the dark, it glows bright green.
This is the most controversial element of the Aragon Regeneron watch. I wondered for a long time if the skeleton type dial would suit me. It seemed to me that the skeleton stage was behind me.
On the other hand, a well-made dial of this type does not deter me. I decided to take a risk and I don’t regret it, because it’s only live that you can see the flavors that I was not able to see on the renderings. The dial was made of brushed aluminum and subjected to painting. It consists of 3 levels. The first is the skeletonized front of the Seiko NH70 movement. The next level is a pentagram-like structure, and the last level is a ring with indices marked with T-100 tritium tubes and a printed minute scale.
The tritium used in Regeneron is of very good quality and is in no way inferior to the shining of Ball watches. Indexes 6 and 12 are lit yellow, others are green. The light they emit is quite intense, although the effect is stronger when the eyes adjust to the darkness after a while. The tritium tubes have been placed evenly and there are no visible defects around the place where they are attached. The only thing I would change is the arrangement of the tubes in digit 6. In my opinion, the gap between the vertical line and the rest of the index should be smaller. But that’s just a subjective feeling.
The hour and minute hands are matted and equipped with green tritium tubes, while the second hand has an orange glow tube, which I must admit, gives a very nice effect. The whole is covered with K1 mineral glass. This is one of this watch few downsides. On the other hand, let’s not forget that the watch belongs to the group of “budget” with a capital B.
I must admit that I was curious about the quality of the bracelet. Often in cheaper watches one gets the impression that the bracelet is hollow and its sides are covered. In the case of the Aragon Regneeron watch it’s really good. The bracelet is massive and fits the lugs quite well.
Its middle links have been cut into small squares. It looks pretty good and adds a special twist to the entire watch. The signed clasp is also of very good quality. It has micro-regulation and double protection against unfastening. The width of the bracelet along its entire length is 22 millimeters. It is a pity that the designers did not try to narrow it to even 20 millimeters at the clasp, because it’s a rule that a tapered bracelet is more comfortable to wear. The lack of tapering is the only thing I would find fault with. In addition, the bracelet is comfortable and its 3.5 mm thick links give the impression of being solid.
The movement that is responsible for the operation of the watch is Seiko NH70A. It is a construction based on the proven and extremely popular Seiko NH35 movement. Microbrands and others – due to the partially openwork construction – often use this mevement for skeleton or open heart watches. The balance works with a frequency of 21,600 fluctuations per hour, and the power reserve is approx. 41 hours. The number of jevels is 24 pieces. The NH70A movement has a stop-second function and hand winding option to manually tighten the spring using a crown.
The Seiko NH70A keeps time very well, and its deviations are only (+/-) 5 seconds a day.
Aragon Regeneron has been with me for several weeks and I have not gotten bored with it. Despite its thickness of almost 16 millimeters, it is really comfortable to wear. This is due to the lugs that are strongly contoured downwards.
The watch surprised me very positively, because I didn’t expect fireworks in a watch with tritium, for a price of up to PLN 1000. It turns out that for this amount you can buy a watch with a sensational luma, beautifully glowing tritium, very well-working and centering bezel, and attached to a very good quality bracelet. It’s a pity that the watch doesn’t have a sapphire glass and a tapered bracelet, but it’s not a big inconvenience given the amount we’ll have to pay for it.
By creating this model, Aragon proved that it listens to customer suggestions and there is a chance that the company will start producing watches in a European size. And I keep my fingers crossed for that, because the value for money in this company’s watches is one of the best on the market.