Review of the Movado Datron Chrono Automatic
Published by The Watch Observer
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- the 17 photos of this watch
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After 40 years of loyal and devoted services at 36,000 vibrations per hour, Movado, now American, has reissued its legendary Datron.
A classic 70’s design, a new movement...
Let’s take a look!
Now under the US flag, Movado was synonymous with sophisticated elegance at an affordable price from the 50’s to the 70’s.
At the end of the 60’s, Movado and Zenith gave birth to a movement oscillating at 36,000 vibrations per hour.
It was used in the Movado Datachron under reference HS360.
Zenith used it in the El Primero watch with the calibre A386.
In 2010, the movement of the Datron (nickname for Datachron) was replaced by an ETA 2894-2.
Aware of the ongoing revival for timepieces from the seventies, Movado reissued it.
Right from the first glance, the Datron proudly claims its date of birth: 1969.
Its 40 mm case size, which was a bit of a gamble back in ‘69, is now considered as a minimum standard for mens’ watches.
Regarding its overall look, the Datron skillfully mixes contrary design elements while still managing to seduce immediately.
The dial is round but tightly fit within a tonneau shape.
The lugs are small but with a rather standard width between them.
And the watch is made 100% of steel but with a subtle alternation between brushed and polished surfaces.
In fact, even if it’s quite simple, you can never tire of the global design of the Datron.
Some would even surprise themselves staring at it over long minutes just to admire the details of its falsely simple alchemy.
A heavy albeit comfortable watch
On the wrist, the piece is rather heavy (163 grams) with its steel strap – a little bit less with its black ostrich one.
You can feel it, but it won’t restrict your movements and this Datron remains quite comfortable.
Its deployment clasp seems to be strong enough to count on and you can easily assume its longevity.
Nevertheless, adding or removing a link in order to adjust the strap will require some skill and specific tools – and maybe a professional intervention!
Anyway, we would have preferred a thinner deployment clasp, as you can feel it under the forearm when it lays down naturally but heavily on hard surfaces (like a desk or a table).
Excellent diurnal legibility
Reading the time during the day is always easy. Even when the sun shines, legibility is perfect, as the notches and the two hands are bevelled.
Consequently, if one face is aligned with a sunbeam, the second one is by definition in the shade of it.
On the other hand, nighttime legibility could be improved: both the notches and hands have only a very small zone filled with SuperLumiNova.
This has two consequences: a very narrow luminous surface and a limited period of time during which the light shines out of the hands. Then, you’ll be able to check the time when going to bed, but not if you are insomniac during the long winter nights...
One damper: the date display (using a grey background instead of a white one like the three counters) is positioned at 12, meaning that the seconds’ hand of the chronograph is always just over it and hides it.
A small detail will please all the watch enthusiasts: the sapphire glass on the back allows you to see the movement and the blue-tinted screws (except the groove). It is usually a standard of high-end watchmaking timepieces.
The rest of this calibre is not revolutionary at all. But this movement will do what is expected from it: sturdiness and liability.
Aficionados might regret that Movado did not reissue, even in a limited edition, a model powered by the original HS360 movement.
Meanwhile, this ETA calibre gives us the opportunity to buy a Datron at “only” €2,500 (in France)…
Movado had the clever idea to reissue the Datron almost as it was introduced in 1969.
Those of us who pay a particular attention to tradition will clearly appreciate the effort.
With an excellent manufacturing quality and finishing, it will seduce vintage amateurs as well as those who want to get out of the common ways of traditional brands.
A true success!
• the faithful reissue of a legendary model / its vintage design
• a top quality of manufacturing and finishing
• an excellent value for money
• the sometimes painful deployment clasp
• the date display, hidden behind the seconds’ hand and its grey background
• No edition using the original HS360 calibre
• writer/tester's wrist size= 17.5 cm
• with a black ostrich strap, the Datron is sold €2,300 (France)
Published by The Watch Observer