PUBLISHED BY Joshua Clare-Flagg ON 3 Mar, 2017.
I’ve reviewed a couple Thomas Earnshaw watches before, such as the Beagle and Longitude. The Beagle was a very nice Swiss Made timepiece, whilst the Longitude didn’t quite live up to the same standard.
The watch I have to review here is their very latest offering: the Bauer Shadow. At first glance, it’s a real looker – I really like the smokey opaque dial. But, does the quality stack up? Especially as it has a rather high RRP of £470? Let’s take a closer look.
- Dimensions: 42mm diameter x 11.5mm height x 50mm lug to lug
- Weight: 68g
- Water resistance rating: 50m
- Movement: non specified decorated Asian 6497
- Lug width: 22mm
- Warranty: 2 years
- Price: £470
The dial is a good place to start – as I think it’s the best part of the watch. It has a unique smokey opaque base. I’ve not seen a dial in this style before; it is very attractive.
There is an applied logo in the top half, which is a little on the light side of things – I always like to see decent, thick applicator elements and I often find that whilst the hour markers are good quality, the logo usually is lesser. This is the case here, it’s very thin when compared to the hour markers.
We have a dual ƎE at 12, and pitched applied markers at every other hour, all very well constructed and applied.
The pitched dauphine hands have a brushed finish and are a charming design.
The case is polished steel, however it’s a little bit “chromey”, resulting in a slightly cheaper appearance than anticipated.
The case has a polished rose gold plated bezel, which looks pleasant and provides a splash of elegance and quality.
The case has the word Earnshaw engraved on the side. It is quite lightly engraved, but it’s accurately and tastefully done.
The onion push-pull crown is really good quality, feeling sturdy and dependable in the hand. This is vital as you’ll need to use it every other day to wind up the hand-wind only movement. The finishing and machining of it is very good. It’s a shame the rest of the case isn’t the same.
The case has a screw-in exhibition caseback. The crystal has some various pieces of information laser printed on the underside. It shows off the movement well.
The strap is 22mm wide at the lugs, reducing down to 20mm at the buckle. It is made of patent black leather, that doesn’t feel the best quality. It’s also a little bit stiff to start with.
The tang buckle is shaped in the “E” of the logo. This is a nice idea, but it actually doesn’t work too well as after a little while it starts to damage the strap thanks to the central section being the only bit to make contact with the strap.
The black colour compliments the entire watch though, and from a far it looks perfectly suitable.
The movement is not identified by Thomas Earnshaw themselves, but it appears to be the decorated Asian 6497. This is a very reliable and good-looking movement, however it’s one that can be found in $70 homages such as Parnis. £470 is definitely is too steep for this movement. There’s no denying the fact that it looks really good though, with a lot of decoration found on the bridges.
One thing to note: it’s rather loud. You can hear it ticking away (at 21.6k bph – 6 ticks per second) from around a meter away.
For me, the star of the Bauer Shadow is the dial – it really is very well constructed, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of finish.
However, the case finish isn’t the best, and the strap really should be better for the price. At the end of the day, I probably wouldn’t spend more than £200 on it. The good news is that Thomas Earnshaw have lots and lots of sales and they’re also available from other website for below the RRP – it’s pretty much impossible to pay full price for them.
The RRP of £470 is frankly ridiculous, and it’s also a little bit frustrating as it cheapens the brand a bit. However, if you can find one for less than half price then I’d say it would be a great choice for a skeleton watch.