This is a small review of my Kronos British SBS Satin 200M Military Diver Mod 1 watch. That is indeed a long name for a watch. Why Mod 1? Well I did some changes to the watch, some on purpose, some not. Lets start with the modifications. The first change was the spring-bars. The original owner had the spring bars changed. He had the thicker Seiko spring bars installed. Oh yes, I got this second hand off the Internet.
The modification that I carried out was to replace the movement. I wanted the same movement that powered my CWCs and Precista (military issued) to power this watch. I appreciate that this watch is a homage to the original RN (Royal Navy) Diver watch, but why not. So I had the original movement, an ETA 804.114 replaced. The ETA 804.114, I believe is the basic ETA quartz movement.
10.5 ligne, 3.4 mm height
I had it replace with the ETA 955.412. My CWC s and Precista is powered by ETA 955.112, but this movement measures 11.5 ligne. This was too big for the watch. As such, I had to use the smaller ETA 955.412. Basically it is the same as the ETA 955.112.
Those were the only modifications that I wanted for the watch. However in replacing the above, I found that the crown and stem tube was damaged. The crown had its thread stripped, while the stem tube had a crack. That would have an impact on the watch water resistant rating. As such, I had the stem tube and crown replaced. The new stem tube was thicker as compared to the old tube. As such, the case had to be reworked to accommodate the new stem tube. After all the work was done, I had the case pressure tested. All passed.
On with the watch.
Manufacturer: Kronos (?)
Functions: Hours, minutes and seconds
Case: stainless steel
Crystal: Mineral crystal
Movement: ETA 955.412 quartz
Water resistant: 20 ATM
Now the interesting thing about the watch is where the watch originates from. I have read that the watch originates from Hong Kong, but I have seen the automatic versions of the watch advertised as being made in Germany. I know that there is a distributor on the Internet that sells/ distributes the watch in Hong Kong. However, there is no mention of the Kronos brand. I have seen other watches with the same markings sold as Kronos watches. Anybody?
The case is made of stainless steel. It has a brush matte finish. The finish is good but not great. The brushing is a tad light. The case measures 42 mm. The lug to lug is 46.5 mm and the lug width is 20 mm. It is 11.5 mm thick. There are no sharp edges. The case does feel hefty and is big and chunky. I like the case as it well made.
The crown is at the 3 o'clock position. The new crown is screw-down, as is the original. It measures 5 mm in diameter, 2.5 mm thick and it matches the size of the watch. Any bigger and it can overpower the watch. The crown is polished. I tried to look for a brushed crown but could not. The crown is easy to use and has the normal 2 position adjustment. Pull the crown once for the day date quick adjust (which is not used) and pull it out another time for time adjustment. If this watch was made in Hong Kong, then mine is a hybrid as the crown and the stem tube is Swiss made.
The case back is polished stainless steel, as is the back of the case. The case back does not match the rest of the case which is matte. The case back has no markings save for a logo which I believe is the Kronos logo. There are no water resistant ratings, model numbers or anything. The case back is of the screw back design and the watch offers a water resistant rating of 20 ATM (tested).
The bezel is 39 mm in diameter and it is easy to use. It is 3 mm in height and is serrated. The thickness of the bezel provides sufficient grip to rotate the bezel. The bezel is uni-directional and takes 60 clicks to do 1 full rotation. The bezel does click with a positive feel to it.
The bezel insert is a bit thin, but it is sufficient. Sadly the triangle at the 12 o'clock does not align with the triangle on the dial. The triangle at the 12 o'clock has a little pip which is luminous. The print of the numbers and scales on the bezel insert is fair. You can see some loss on the 22nd. minute scale marking in the photograph below.
I like the case and bezel design as it makes the watch look smaller then its 42 mm size. It is comfortable, but can be a bit heavy if fitted with a metal bracelet.
As highlighted earlier, the watch came fitted with the ETA 804.114 movement. It now has the ETA 955.412 movement. The movement does come with a calendar but it is not used as there is no date window on the dial. As such, the first adjustment position is not used. The second position is for the time adjustment.
The movement is a basic 7 jewel movement. The movement 'hacks' as should all quartz movement. Unlike the ETA 804.114, I believe the ETA 955.412 is Swiss made. The ETA 804.114 is Swiss parts, China movement. The movement is a 3 hand movement.
The dial is matte black with the MOD design. The dial has oversize hour markers, more so at the 12 o'clock position. The 3, 6 and 9 o'clock hour markers have the Arabic numerals 3,6 and 9. The is a 'T' just above the 6 o'clock marker. I believe this is to indicate the use of Tritium on the dial. However in this case, I think it is more as a 'decoration' to be as true to the original dial. Below the 6 o'clock marker we find the legend 'SWISS MOVT'. This is to indicate that the watch is powered by a Swiss movement.
There no other markings on the dial. It is sterile. The lume of the dial is poor at best. Even after being exposed to the sun for 5 minutes, the lume is bad. The Arabic numerals are not luminous. However I have to say that dial is well made and the application of the luminous material is good and even.
The hands are of the military design (sword shaped) and is rendered in white. This does reduce reflection if it was in polished stainless steel. The hour hand is visibly larger as compared to the minute hand. The minute hand extends to the minute marker. This makes reading the time easy. The second hand is rendered in orange and this I think is a deviation from the original. It does make the second hand stand out though.
The hour and minute hands are filled with luminous material as is the second hand. I have to say that the lume of the hands is marginally better as compared to the dial. The hands are well made.
The crystal is mineral crystal. The crystal is flush with the bezel. This design aids in preventing scratches to the crystal. It is flat and I believe it does not have any anti-reflection coating.
I got the watch without the strap. It is currently fitted with a generic rubber strap with a stainless steel deployment. The original watch would come it a orange zulu strap.
This is cheap watch and it does what it sets out to do. It currently retail below USD 100 new. It does look like and is a homage to the RN diver watch. It is well built, strong and durable and at its current price range, I think is good value for money. I was told that it use to be a lot cheaper and many bought the watch to experiment and modify. I like the watch and am considering getting a new one sometime soon.