PUBLISHED BY Joshua Clare-Flagg ON 10 Apr, 2013.
When you think of Parnis watches, no doubt you would mainly think of the masses of homage watches they produce. Their watches are usually well priced (as in $70-120) and surprisingly good quality for what you pay. However, Parnis is not a real brand – they are a “mushroom brand”. This means that they are not an actual company as such, but rather a label that multiple factories use to sell their watches.
Like I mentioned before, usually all Parnis watches are homages to more expensive watches, such as Rolex, IWC and Panerai. That is, until now. Parnis have stunned the world by releasing an original design! Not only that, but it has impressive specs such as sapphire crystal and bezel, 200m water resistance and an ETA clone movement running at 28.8k bph.
Lets take a closer look to see if the first original “Parnis” watch is worth its price tag.
Parnis 200m diver watch review
The dial has nice deep texture, with long, shallow waves. The text on the dial has a raised backing, it is not just printed straight on it. This shows higher quality and attention to detail than the usual Parnis watches.
The hands are similar to the Omega Ploprof. The second hand is a very thin arrow with a lumed rectangle, the minute hand has a white border and is rectangle shaped with an arrow point at the end, and finally the hour hand has an orange border, and is sword shaped. Both the minute and hour hands have a thin base. They give the watch quite a nice unusual style – quite different to the usual hands you would find on similar dive watches.
The rehaut has a minute track printed on it, with the hour markers cutting into it. It gives the dial extra depth as it curves up quite high towards the crystal. Everything is very neatly done and fits together well.
The hour markers are rectangles with points, and have stainless steel sides with an orange stripe through the centre. They look great, and match the watch well, going especially well with the hour hand. At 12 there is a double marker.
The date wheel is white with black text, which results in it being easy to read. The surrounding date window is nicely made and applied, giving the dial an extra level of depth.
The sapphire crystal is very slightly raised above the bezel and is flat. The anti reflective coating on the underside is surprisingly good too! I would say just as good as the Christopher Ward C60 Trident.
The bezel has a sapphire insert, which looks great. The numbers and the minute markers are engraved into it and are flawless. It feels very high quality. However, not all is good with the bezel. The lume pip at 12 is misaligned to the right within the triangle. This is a real shame as the pip itself is perfect. Chances are that it has just been glued on wonky! There is also a lot of movement in the bezel too. It literally has about 1mm play in it before it clicks over to the next position. The action is nice, with a lovely sound to it, but it is slightly too easy to rotate. The steel track around the bezel is polished and provides sufficient grip to rotate it.
The 43mm wide case has polished “shoulders”, which gives it a nice variation of finishing. Everywhere else is brushed steel. It is 13mm deep, so it sits quite high off your wrist. The size of the case gives the watch good presence on the wrist. The screw in crown has a P on it. Unfortunately, the font used is the same as used on the clasp. It sucks! It is a really ugly fancy font, which is completely the wrong choice. The crown guards look a bit strange as they are the same size of the crown. Usually they would not extrude quite as far as they are on this watch. This makes the crown look slightly undersized, but it is not. The grip on the crown could be better. The indents are very shallow and far apart, so if the crown is right, you may struggle to unscrew it.
The screw in case back is polished and is of high quality.
The watch has 200m water resistance, and to be honest, I would trust it enough to wear it under water. With screw in crown and case back and rubber gaskets on both, it would be reasonable to conclude that it would offer good water resistance.
I chose the brown strap. The leather is of reasonably quality, nothing amazing, but slightly better than the cheaper Parnis watches. I have found that it is extremely stiff- after wearing it for a few days, it still has not loosened up around my wrist, and is still digging into them, which in turn means that it keeps spinning to a 90 degree angle. I’m sure this will improve with time, but it is the longest I have had to wait yet!
The deployment clasp works well, but doesn’t seem to be the most sturdy design. When you squeeze the two buttons on either side of the clasp, two inner arms get pushed inwards, releasing their grip on a small catch on the underside of the clasp. It is easy to remove, which is why it could also be easy to accidentally pop open!
The movement is the Asian clone of the ETA 2836 automatic movement. I have read that it is a surprisingly well made work-horse movement. It runs at a very smooth 28,800 bph, which equates to 8 ticks per second. There is no wobble on the seconds hand. It does run quite fast, but this can be regulated easily. There is only a small amount of noise from the rotor when it winds.
Although this watch has some faults, for the price, it is an impressive watch with high specs. Not many other watches can offer a 28.8 movement and sapphire crystal and bezel for a similar price. I personally think Parnis have done well to step away from homages to create their own design. And it looks pretty good too!