Wenger’s SeaForce line of divers is popular among enthusiasts searching for a “Swiss Made” beater on a tight budget. Recently, it has received a comprehensive update with a new Wenger SeaForce Chronograph timekeeper. Still featuring the same basic styling, the refreshed model not only adds chronograph functionality but also looks a lot more modern than their older three-hander.
Available in different color combinations, the watch still sports the same engraved unidirectional bezel with a standard diving scale and a luminous dot at “00” and jumbo hour markers covered with Superluminova. However, the original aviator-styled hour and minute hands were replaced in favor of more rugged-looking trapezoidal pointers. Although, as a personal preference, I actually liked the older design, this new one makes the refreshed watch a tad more original. I just wonder whether Wenger will be able to adhere to this styling in the future model in order to create a sort of easily recognizable corporate styling: something that we rarely see in this price segment of $400-$500 quartz divers.
While definitely looking bold, the hands look a little out of proportion, since the difference in length between the hour and minute hands is only around ten percent or so, which will probably make the watch less readable at night when you won’t be able to see the needle-thin pointer on the minute indicator.
Well, at least you won’t have trouble reading the three sub-dials that are traditionally placed at 3, 6 and hours mainly thanks to the highly contrast color combination of electric blue and bright white against matt black surface of the dial, although at some points in time they will be hidden from view by those extra-wide pointers.
What else? Well, like many diving timekeepers in this price category (it already sells online for around $450), the Wenger SeaForce Chronograph is animated by an unnamed inexpensive Swiss-made quartz movement*, which probably means that the Swiss watchmaker doesn’t expect you to repair it if something is broken: they will simply throw it away (actually, I hope that they will recycle it) and replace it with a new caliber. As for the case, the watch features a rather dull shape of its stainless steel body. Besides featuring a set of somewhat exaggerated crown protectors and rather long lugs, the watch has one of its chronograph push-pieces color-keyed to the hue of the chronograph pointers.
UPDATE ON MOVEMENT: As far as I understand, the movement that actually powers this SeaForce Chrono is a gold-plated, repairable Ronda 5030.D of a “Swiss Made” variety, which means that it is -contrary to a Swiss parts variety- is built on seven more jewels totaling whole 13 synthetic rubies and features overall better build quality. Being a “mid-range” caliber, the 5030.D probably won’t stun you with particularly impressive accuracy or some technological gimmicks like an “atomic clock” radio module, but, again, it’s a solid movement that will work for years without giving you much headache.
Wenger SeaForce Quartz Chronograph specification
Movement: Quartz, Caliber Ronda 5030.D, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 13 jewels
Power reserve: 54 months
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph
Case, Bezel and Crown material: Stainless steel, brushed and polished
Size: 43.00 mm
Dial: Black, blue accents
Numerals: Arabic (on the bezel)
Hour markers: Luminous
Water resistance: 200 meters
Strap: Black silicon strap with contrast electric blue stitching
Back: Stainless steel