PUBLISHED BY Joshua Clare-Flagg ON 28 Aug, 2018.
I reviewed Aquatico’s infamous Super Charger last year; which, despite having some bad press, was a very decent dive watch for the money. The second watch of theirs I’ve got my hands on is a confusing one: a classic pilots watch. Why is it confusing? Well, “Aquatico” is obviously water-themed, and therefore you’d only expect divers from them. Still, here we are.
Glancing at the specs (and indeed the watch itself), it looks to be a great timepiece for the money. Seiko NH35 movement, dashing looks, and a lovely leather strap for under $200 sure ticks all the right boxes. Let’s check it out in greater detail.
- Dimensions: 40mm diameter x 11.5mm height x 50mm lug to lug
- Weight: 64g
- Water resistance rating: 10ATM / 100m
- Movement: Seiko NH35
- Accuracy: +9.1 sec/day
- Lug width: 22mm
- Warranty: 1 year
- Price: $199 / ~£155
- Buy here: http://www.aquaticowatch.com/goods/kic4dy.html
The 40mm case is fully brushed, and a simple barrel in shape. The size is very comfortable, but traditionally aviators are more towards the 44mm mark. Personally, I like it; you get the look and feel of an aviator but a more reasonable, comfortable size.
Sitting on top of the case is a K1 hardened mineral crystal. It’s a real shame it’s not sapphire, but at least it’s hardened. The clarity is stunning, however, with an excellent layer of anti-reflective coating on the underside.
The push-pull crown has the logo embossed on the end and is easy to use thanks to the reasonable size and effective grip.
The exhibition caseback has no detailing surrounding the window which makes it look oddly bare. Instead, some details are printed on the underside of the window, around the outer edge. It also has a fighter jet silhouette which is cool but obstructs your view of the movement.
In true aviator style, the dial is bright and bold; ideal for legibility. It has an eye-catching sunray steel central base, that works well with the concentric circular engraved outer edge.
The dial is loaded with Superluminova GLC3 and BGW9 (I’m not sure which is used where) – it’s really strong and impressive. I’ve found it charges quickly and glows brightly even in the day.
The hands have an attractive fish shape to them which is slightly different to what you’d expect, with a brushed base which matches the dial.
The date window is cut straight out of the dial base, I think it could be neater or had a little bit more attention. The printwork across the dial is very delicate and fine; impressively done despite the galvanised finish.
The strap is made of crazy horse leather. It is a beautiful rugged strap, but it’s a bit shorter than normal. It fits my ~7.25” wrist perfectly, with 3 holes left.
It’s super soft and supple, I love the look and feel. The horizontal stitching by the lugs and arrow at the base are an interesting touch.
The square tang buckle is completely brushed to match the case, with the logo lightly etched on the top bar. It’s a good size and easy to use.
The strap also comes loaded with quick release pins which are a plus, not that you’ll have the need to change it.
The movement used is the Seiko NH35, which is reasonably well regulated at +9.1 sec/day (I usually aim for anything under 10 seconds a day out). It’s certainly possible to regulate it to within COSC specs, but I can imagine that as they’re so well regulated straight out of the factory very minimal effort has been put into it from Aquatico’s side.
You really can’t go wrong with this movement (unless you’re desperate for high beat) – it’s sturdy, reliable, easy to maintain; and if it does go wrong – cheap to replace.
Specs include 21.6k bph (6 ticks per second), hand and automatic winding, date indicator, 24 jewels, ~41 hour power reserve, and bi-directional winding.
Really, the only negative is the crystal. Yes, sapphire would be great but unfortunately, we don’t have it. Still, it could be worse, at least K1 hardened mineral is better than a standard mineral crystal.
Everything else is great for the money: the Seiko NH35 movement, level of detail on the dial, the lume, and the beautiful leather strap – all make it totally worth the money.
Yes having “Aquatico” strapped on an aviator is a little confusing, but it doesn’t stop it from looking great.