Time Locker Kouriles
I was recently approached by Brice Fromm, the man behind a new brand called Time Locker, to review one of his prototypes from an upcoming crowdfunding project which will launch around September or October. Which up until that point was a brand unbeknownst to me.
You can check them out here
Now the thing I like about reviewing watches I know nothing about is that I get to go into it with no expectations or biases and look at the watch through fresh eyes. The watch arrived with no formal packaging, box watch roll etc… it was bubble wrapped and it was clear that the packaging must not yet be decided on. And the cool thing about that is that there was no “fluff” or smoke and mirrors to try and impress or distract. It was an ungarnished entree waiting for me to bite into it and form my impressions purely on its own merits. I like that. Challenge accepted.
Now a lot of pop up “microbrand” projects seem to be cut and paste Ali Express generic cases with a unique dial and handset etc etc… lacking imagination or maybe if not imagination then budget or devotion. Either way it very quickly became apparent that this is a project of passion. There’s love and dedication that has gone into the creation of this watch and it shows. Now it’s not a homage watch by any means but it does certainly vibe with watches of an older era. The Blancpain Fifty Fathom motif is strong with this one and must undeniably be an inspiration. And that’s not a bad thing because it takes inspiration from an amazing watch yet manages to remain its own thing. Well done Time Locker.
Now the price while it has not been finalized it is going to be an affordable watch, and most likely not exceeding €350 in the early campaign stages however the price has not yet been finalized and I am only speculating, but I can tell you that there aren’t really any shortcuts that have been taken. So on that note, let’s get specs out of the way.
Case size: 42.00 mm
Case thickness (including crystal): 14.00 mm
Movement: Automatic movement Seiko NH35A with hacking function.
Crystal: Double domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
Water resistance: 20 ATM (200 meters / 660 feet)
Lume: Swiss Super-LumiNova C3
Bezel: 120 clicks unidirectional ceramic bezel with Swiss Super-LumiNova C3 markings
Straps: Italian, vegetable tanned leather and NATO. Silicone available as an optional add-on.
So while the the engine may not be that of an Italian sports car, it’s the reliable and tough Japanese offering that I actually have come to prefer over some of the alternative “affordable Swiss offerings” and the rest of the specs mean you’re getting the premium model trim. The size is (for my wrist anyways) perfect. 42mm x 50mm lug to lug with a 22mm lug width means it has a manly presence without being oversized and pretentious. The applied indices and bezel seem to have been given extra love in the Lume department, because when the sun hits this piece and your wrist slides into a shadow you’re rewarded with a stunning little light show! This thing glows hard. The internal ring of markers add a depth to the dial that really makes the face a pleasure to look at.
The bezel I absolutely scrutinized and to my delight lines up absolutely perfectly and so do the indices. The action is crisp and back play non existent. The crown actuates easily and the size is easy to grasp and operate. And while the watch is very legible without a chapter ring you may have to guess which minute the hand is pointing at when it’s between numbers ending in fives or zeros.
Now I am usually a bracelet kind of guy…. which doesn’t seem like it’s going to be an option for this project, however; the leather strap that this watch is served with is absolutely excellent. I mean really really fabulous. It’s thick yet still supple and the texture and colour are spot on. The engraved Pre-V buckle is the perfect choice and when it all comes together on the wrist you feel like an admiral wearing it, you may find yourself looking at your wrist and wondering where you docked your ship, or if you’re overdue from your shore leave only to remember that you have nothing to do with the navy. Or ships. Or anything to do with the ocean…
I like this watch. I’m going to be sending it on its way to it’s next review tomorrow and I’m going to miss it. This one is definitely worth considering adding to the collection. It’s young and fresh but it’s also comfortable and familiar to wear. It’s like that really good friend everyone has. The one that’s level headed, wise and a bit of an old soul. The one we go to when we need advice.
It’s a wrist boss and a sensible one at that. It’s the piece that’s going to command attention and earn respect without even trying. It’s probably your next watch.