This is a review of a watch I got recently on a trip to Hong Kong. It is an ice-watch. ice-watch is a company whose watches are designed in Belgium, manufactured in Shenzhen and distributed from Hong Kong. The watches are currently available in 29 countries worldwide. They are currently working to expand their geographical reach.
Model Number: CL.BK.U.P.08
The watch that I bought is from 2008 as seen from the model number (this is an assumption) as the 2009 model has the following number, CL.BK.U.P.09. The breakdown of the model number (another assumption), CL - Classic Collection, BK - Black, don't know what U.P. represent, and year (of manufacture?) 08 - 2008.
Function: Hour, minutes and seconds
Case: Polycarbonate, diameter 40 mm bezel, 38.5 mm case, height 12.5 mm, lug width 20 mm, lug to lug 47 mm
Movement: Miyota quartz
Water resistance: 5 ATM
Retail: USD 65
The watch is well made (for its price). The watch is designed based on the popular Rolex Submariner. The case is made of polycarbonate and has a nice profile. It has a polished finish. The mold use must be good as the finish is very good. The case side is also polished as is the bezel. The sides are well chamfered and is very uniform across the chamfer as can be seen in the photograph below. There are no rough edges. I am not sure as to the toughness of the watch, but after almost 2 weeks of daily use, I have yet to see an nicks or bumps on the case.
The bezel is uni-directional and takes 60 clicks to do a full rotation. The bezel can be turned very easily. The bezel insert is stainless steel (very thin). The 'pearl' at the 12 o'clock position is lumed and the usual 'divers' markings are there, i.e. the minute marking for the first 15 minutes. The markings are clear but the finish is not that great, just look at the number 40 on the bezel. The diver like design on this watch is great but since the watch is only rated to 5 ATM, it is nice to have but not functional. The bezel is also 1.5 mm larger as compared to the case. This however does not stand out much.
The case back is also made of stainless steel. However do not be fooled into thinking that it comes with a screw-down case back. It does not. The case back is a snap-back case back. It is made to look like a screw-down case back. If you look at the picture below, you can see the tab to open the case back.
The markings on the case back: the manufacturer ice-watch adorn the center of the case back. Just below it, in very small print 'Miyota Japan Movement'. Around the center is the company website at 12 o'clock position and 'Stainless Steel Case back' at 6 o'clock.
The crown is also made from stainless steel. It is not a screw-down crown. It measures a good 6.5 mm in diameter and 3 mm thick. It is signed with the ice-watch logo. The size of the crown makes it a pleasure to use and operate. It pulls out to adjust the time.
This watch comes fitted with the Miyota quartz, 3 hands no date movement. I cannot verify this as I did not remove the case back. This information is based on the dealers website and on the case back. All I can say is that the accuracy for this watch should be good, as good as any quartz movement should be. The movement should be very reliable as it is made by Miyota. As with most quartz movement, that I have seen, the second hand does not align to the minute markers (an easy fix I was told). The movement 'hacks' as all quartz movement does.
I have to say that I love the dial. The dial is not matte or shinny. The dial has a 'sun burst' design and it originates from the center of the dial. However, this type of dial does not work well in bright sun light as it can be very reflective. The dial is grey in colour. Although the design of the watch is based on the Rolex Submariner, the dial is of course based on the Rolex Explorer. The 12 o'clock is marked by a huge triangle and you have the 3, 6 and 9 marked by Arabic numerals. The rest of the hour are marked by index lines. The hour markers are lumed but the luminosity is really bad. It will glow for about 15 to 30 minutes, tops.
The rest of the dial design makes reading the time very easy as there is not much in terms of writings. Just below the 12 o'clock marker you have the ice-watch signature. This minimalist approach makes the dial less cluttered. Above the 6 o'clock marker is the water resistance rating '5ATM' and below it 'WATER RESISTANT'.
The hands are similar to the Rolex Explorer in that it is the sports hands design. The hour hand sports the Mercedes hands. The lume on the hands is not really an improvement over the dial. In fact it last about 1 to 2 hours. The finish of the hands is good for a watch in this price range. The polish finish is even across the hands as is the lume.
The minute hands extends to the minute markers which is great. You don't find this is many watches. This makes reading the exact minute easy. The second hand is rendered in red. It has a luminous dot on it. I like the overall design of the hands and the fact that the second hand is red. It breaks the monotony of the black on black design of the watch.
This watch is fitted with a mineral crystal. The crystal is flat but it does extend about 0.5 mm above the bezel. This makes it prone to chipping. The crystal lack any AR coating. This makes reading the watch under very bright light difficult.
The bracelet on the watch is also made from polycarbonate. I have to say that the bracelet is very well made. There is hardly any play on the bracelet. The bracelet is of the 3 piece design. The center piece is matte and the pieces at the side are polished.
The end pieces fit the watch case perfectly and there is also no play. There are cut-outs at the back of the end pieces to facilitate removal of the bracelet from the watch. The bracelet offers the normal adjustment that you would find on any bracelet of this design. The adjustment push pins are serrated at the ends to lock it into place in the bracelet pieces.
The clasp is made of polycarbonate. It is matte and the exterior is textured to look like the rest of the bracelet. Talk about detailing on watch that cost USD 65. It does offer plenty of fine adjustment.
The folding part is made from stainless steel and is marked such. It is thin but it works. Note the locking tab in the second photograph.
This watch offers great value for money. It comes with a movement from a reliable manufacture. The design is fresh. It is light and not very thick. It does stand out as it is shinny but that is the very reason for buying the watch. It is easy to use and operate. Not having the date function may be a downer for some, but I am OK with it. The bezel could be a tad tighter but you are not really going to use this watch for swimming, so it does not really matter. I am looking at getting another watch from this company.