The recently introduced Swiss Military Hanowa Flagship diving watch may not offer much in terms of water resistance or technical specs, yet it gives you a Rolex Submariner-like exterior -well, I am a bit lenient here- without being a blatant rip-off while sporting a genuine Swiss Made label on its dial at just 1/10th of the price.
This watch seems to be all about minor compromises.
Positioned (or at least styled) as a diving companion, it offers only 100 meters of water resistance rating: something that is enough for most daily usage scenario and can be used for swimming and some snorkeling, but will probably not be adequate if you dare take the watch for a serious dive.
Offered in an impressive-looking stainless steel case that measures 42 millimeters in diameter and is actually nicely sculpted following the general guidelines set by the team behind the aforementioned Submariner, it houses a rather average ISA 2330/103 quartz movement of somewhat cheesy origins. Listed on ISA’s site as rather vague “Swiss made/Far East Assembly,” the mechanism is, as far as I understand, assembled in China or maybe Vietnam using Swiss parts making an already dirt-cheap caliber even cheaper. Frankly, for me this sort of rings an alarm bell while raising a red flag: I am not sure whether I would be willing to pay close to $500 USD for a watch powered by this sort of mechanism. Your opinion may be different though, I am just giving you the information to consider.
Being only 23.30 mm in diameter and 2.95 mm high, the caliber is powered by a standard 1.55 V battery that stores enough juice for the timekeeper to run for more than 5 years and, even if the mechanism itself won’t last that long due to a, um, mechanical failure, replacing it probably won’t be too expensive.
As I have already noted, the case seems to be inspired by Rolex watches, and it shows just about everywhere starting with the unidirectional rotating bezel that is currently available in black and blue with standard 15-minute diving scale and minute markings printed on it and going all the way to an inevitable pair of integrated crown guards that are machined from the same slab of steel as the rest of the case. They are not as “flowing” as those on the source of inspiration, but probably do their job well: i.e. they look long enough to protect the crown from occasional harassment.
The dial is available in two versions: a silvered and a black one, both featuring a “vertical stripes” motif that gives the face more depth and makes it look more interesting and even noble (to a degree.)
While I was not particularly impressed with the silvered version, the one in black looks very attractive in its understatement. It also seems to be more adequate for the watch, which is proposed as a mild diver, providing it with better contrast and thus making the dial more legible in murky waters.
The partly skeletonized hour and minute hands, as well as the applied hour markers, are provided with white luminescent substance, although I can’t say anything about the quality of the lume. I guess, it is not Superluminova.
There is still no info about the timepiece’s price, but it will probably have an MSRP below €500.
Photos: Swiss Military Hanova / Serious Watches
Swiss Military Hanowa Flagship quartz diving watch specification
Price: $475 (MSRP)
Movement: Quartz, Caliber ISA 2330/103, 23.30 x 2.95 mm, Swiss Made, Far East Assembly
Movement decoration: N/A
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Power reserve: 66 months
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Stainless steel
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 42.00 mm
Lug width: No data
Case height: No data
Dial: Silvered or Black
Numerals: No data
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp
Case back: Solid, screw-down