For some time I was planning to extend my small collection of watches. I already own two classic 'dress' watches, and I felt it was time to go a bit bolder this summer. Italophile that I am, I was intrigued by a new line of the Locman firm, located on the island of Elba. This spring, Locman introduced the 'Montecristo professional diver' line. An italian brand, named after an island (yes, I also am fond of small islands), and able to withstand a real dive. First some pictures:
When I did some research on the internet, I found out that:
- there was no in depth review to be found
- there was no real owner of this watch to be found
- wrist shots of this watch were non-existent
The aim of this (casual) review is to offer other potential buyers some information, and pictures, of this watch.
I ordered this watch, on the internet, not knowing exactly what to find. Sometimes a real man has to live on the edge! ;) This week the parcel from Italy arrived, in a nice orange box. Inside the box the warranty, and the watch, with a nice cushion. First impression was: 'It is gigantic!'. My dress watches are smaller (39/40 mm), thinner and less obtrusive. The black and white of the dial is very contrasty. If you want less contrast, try the blue and the white versions of this watch.
I am a tall guy (190 cm, 6 foot 3), vaguely to be considered athletic, but my wrists are quite small (circumfence 16,5-17,5 cm, 6,5-7,0 inch, 5,5 cm/2 inch at its widest). This watch is quite large with its 44 mm diameter, but the special skeletonized lugs physically make this watch even wider. The insides of the lugs are 48 mm seperated. Outside lug- outside lug is 55 mm. One advantage is that the lugs are bending inwards. It turned out that the watch case and rubber strap followed my wrist perfectly. A somewhat smaller wrist would definitely have led to overhanging lugs, though (I also wonder, if the wrist would be significantly wider, would the bending lugs dig into the flesh?)
So, the watch wears big, especially for someone who is not accustomed to wearing 44mm watches. One of the reasons for me to buy this diver watch is that the bezel somewhat lessens the perceived size of the watch. Other 'Montecristo' versions, all are 44 mm, have very big dials, almost without any bezel. My guess is that they would even show bigger on my wrist. Some pictures of watch and wrist:
First impressions of the watch:
Bold, contrasty, Italian-style flair (a bit over the top, that is ;) ). I bought the version with the orange-red rubber strap, because of its reduced price compared to the black strap version. But I think that the orange, catchy strap will be replaced in due time by a simple black strap. Prices of seperate straps (mere pieces of sicilon) for these watches are ridiculously high, though. And don't even consider the, very intricate, steel bracelet. Prices of €300,- to €325,- are asked in the Netherlands.
Case finish is simple and industrial, giving this watch a rugged appearance. Nowhere near the smooth finish of my Orient watch. The sapphire glass sticks out a bit on the front of the watch, possible because of the extra needed thickness of the glass. The inside edges of the skeltonized lugs are quite sharp, not very much polished. Also the deployment clasp seems to be a bit 'sharp', irritating the skin of the wrist after some time. I expect this effect to 'rub off' after some time. The strap with the ventilation vents is definitely a plus. Optically, the effect is nice, and my first impressions are that it indeed does wear better than an ordinary strap, especially when you are sweating.
Nothing special to be said about the movement. It is a Sellita movement. The experts on these forums may tell us about all the pro's and con's of this type of movements. I have not had the time to check upon the accuracy of this watch. Through the inspection glass on the back some alterations are visible. Locman reworked the movements, to some degree, in their own laboratory. The 'S.O.I' on the dial refers to this fact (S.O.I.: Italian Watch School).
Preliminary conclusion: this watch is a nice addition to my collection, as it offers some characteristics that my other watches don't possess. The orange strap is a real eye-catcher. The watch wears quite big, but at the moment 'big' is hot.
Contact me if you have any questions after reading this review!