Good afternoon all,
I'm not much of a watch enthusiast, but getting to become one. I thought I'd post this review, specifically because DSLAM's Yes watch review (My Mega Yes Watch Review - (Lots of Pix!) thanks google!) was so helpful in my watch buying decision. I hope there is still some interest in Yes watches out there. I wanted to give back to a community that was so helpful to me, in hopes perhaps someone else might read this and benefit.
I've never written a watch review before, though. I'll try to be complete. Please forgive my lack of terminology knowledge and abysmal photography. If you have any additional information you desire about this watch, or want more bad digital photographs (my camera has a macro function, who knew?) from a different angle or such, let me know I will strive to provide such.
Now to business:
This is a Yes Watch World Watch II Model W407.4 with a 24 hour bezel.
It is in IP Rose Gold with a combination IP Rose Gold and stainless band
This watch is a combination digital/analog movement
It measures 43 x 15 mm
20 mm bracelet attachment
weighs 5.5 oz (150 grams) with bracelet shown
LCD window measures 28 mm
Digital numbers 5 mm tall
Stainless Steel Case
Waterproof 10 ATM
Rotating 24 Hour Bezel
Screwback & Double O-Rings on Crown and Pushers (4)
YES WorldWatch II Solunar Wrist Watch
First of all, this is a big watch. And in Rose Gold, it stands out like a beacon. I know 43 mm isn't too large in these days of big bold watches, but this one is thick as well. Here are some side on shots to illustrate.
I, for one, love a meaty watch. And this does get noticed. I work, when I'm not teaching, at a bookstore and often work register. Literally 8/10 people buying watch magazines (you know who you are) will comment on it if I'm wearing short sleeves. Serious. My favorite comment? "That looks like something off of a WWII submarine, but shinier".
The Rose Gold was a good choice, the finish is attractive, and well done. Fit and finish on the watch.. I don't have a lot of experience with different brands, but it seems excellent. Note the nice details like the blue stone on the pushers and the yellow sunstone and blue moonstone at 12 and 24 on the bezel, and the sun symbol on the crown.
The stainless steel band is nicely fitted, and even comes with two adjustment tools, a punch and a screw, if you need to remove links. It has a clamshell (?) clasp which was a bit weird until I got used to it, and does lie flat against the wrist, and not catch on clothes, which is kind of a plus on a bulky watch like this.
So onto the actual time-telling.
What attracted me about this watch was the features, and if you haven't seen one, it can be hard to describe. Yes says they are about changing the way we view time, they "combine the daily and seasonal cycles of the sun and the moon, with the steady beat of hours, minutes and seconds." Basically what you have is a quartz watch, with more computing power than most mainframe computers ten years ago, throwing tons of information at you in a clean, crisp, and elegant design.
First there is an analog movement, which is a single hand, rotating the dial once every 24 hours. The interior bezel is divided into two twelve hour half's. Noon is pointing directly up, and midnight is pointing directly down.
The cool thing about the watch is its digital component. This consists of a full face LCD display interior to the inner bezel. Its primary function (other than displaying digital time which can be turned off) is to show sunrise and sunset. The digital display divides the day of the analog arm into 15 minute segments, which are black for night and white for day. This adjusts for each day in the year, so watching the 24 hour hand, you can visually see the amount of sunlight, and sunrise and sunset in your day. Again sorry for the bad pictures but here is what right now looks like on 1/10 in Philadelphia.
Contrast this with 6/21 and you can see a large difference.
The digital display of time can be, also, turned off. I enjoyed doing this on my recent vacation this winter as I didn't care about the precise time, and the watch with the 24 hour hand gave me pretty much what I needed, how long until I lost light, and how much of the day had passed.
Interior to this is a display at 6 o'clock (well midnight on this watch, 24 hour dial 'natch) of moon phase, which is accurate to 44 hrs per segment. The exterior ring (which I hope you can see in above photos) on the LCD dial gives you moonrise and moonset. It can be also configured, which I find handy, for sunrise and sunset in a separate time-zone, which is way cool if you are, say, trying to keep track of when you can call someone stationed overseas for instance.
So our analog hand, combined with the digital face gives us a bunch of nice features. In addition to this, the watch has a digital time, at the 12 o'clock position, that is feature filled as well.
This review is going to run long, so I'm not going to go into navigation. As DSLAM has said it is basically intuitive, with the small exception of the fact that the alarm function isn't in the Mode progression (maybe because there are very many modes) but directly accessible in time mode by a press of the upper left button. I got used to this quickly, but your mileage may vary.
In digital mode you can instantly toggle between two time setting HOME and AWAY by pressing the upper right button twice. The watch has over 500 cities preset, and you get for that not only local time and DST adjustments, but all the sun and moon data I mentioned above. In a pinch you can set your location by longitude and latitude, handy if you are on a raft in the middle of the pacific and far away from the things of man... (see movie: Joe vs. Volcano).
In order, Modes are
Set Home: Allows you to set home location
Set Away: Allows you to set away location (second time zone)
Set Time: Sets time for the watch, when setting time, will automatically set away time properly
Set Ring: Toggles the outside ring between showing moon rise/set to showing sun rise/set in Away time zone. This is incredibly useful if you need to keep a quick visual reference of friends overseas' time cycle.
Chronometer: A stopwatch with lap time
Timer: Countdown timer, able to set to up to 99 minutes.
SM-Calc: Sun and moon calcs for a specific date more on this later.
Phase Elapsed Timer: A NASA thing, but incredibly useful. More also later on this.
The timer and stopwatch work as usual. Note, both are only calibrated to seconds, so if you want a tenth or hundredth of a second stopwatch, this isn't it. For me this is not a drawback, as this watch is calibrated to much longer and different cycles of time. Looking down right now and seeing it is almost two hours to sunset, the moon is up, near its highest for the day, and is at a quarter crescent, hundredths of seconds seem unnecessary.
One of my favorite features is the SM-Calc. Simply, this uses the watch's impressive software to calculate solar and lunar data for any time between 1/1/2000 and 12/31/2099. Getting married in a year and want to see when sunset is on that day? Planning a camping trip in June (and I am) and want to know when to pick up the rental canoe to maximize daylight time? This will do it. By the way, this is addictive, particularly as you can use it to do neat things like, what is the day/night ratio in Rekyavik this summer solstice? (hint: sun only sets from 11:30 pm until 3 am!. Almost the entire watch face is sun!)
Which brings us to PET, or Phase Elapsed Time. I don't have an official story of whether this is true, but NASA uses this a lot. And a Zulu (one of Yes' titanium watches, much more svelte and sleek then my WWII monster) has flown. PET gives you a countdown to a date and time, or a countup from one. Honestly? This is a feature I never thought I'd use, mainly when I'm counting down to something it is a parking meter expiring, etc.. and the timer feature of the watch is good with this, and easy to set. Setting PET means specifying a year, month, day, hour and minute. However, I've gotten to love this. For instance, I'm looking forward to a weekend in Austin, TX with my girlfriend.
I have the second time zone set to Austin, and know from PET that I will be leaving in 3 days 14 hours 20 minutes and 40 seconds as of now, if the airline leaves on time. If I wanted to I could go over to the SM-Calc function and find out that Sunrise would be at 7:28, sunset at 5:52, and the moon would be 66% full, among other things, but that would be geeky of me, wouldn't it? If anyone has been to Austin, TX there are supposedly bats that come out near sunset, I'll be using my WWII to time watching this :).
At any time you can hold down the upper right button to cycle through your area's info, including long and lat, day of the year, week of the year, sunrise, solar noon, sunset, moonrise, moon highest, moonset, percent of moon, next new moon, next full moon.
If you set the sunstone (noon on the bezel) to solar noon, and point the analog hand at the sun, the moonstone (midnight on the bezel) will point north.
If you put the moonstone (midnight on the bezel, blue) halfway between moonrise and moonset, you get a decent read on the tides. sunstone and moonstone (noon and midnight on the bezel) are high, half between them are low. Not precise, but helpful.
One can keep the outer bezel (if you go with the 24 hour bezel option) set to a third time zone. I like to keep mine on Zulu (GMT) time. Without pushing anything I can see at a glance looking at the analog hand what Zulu time is.
Well, I have not had a problem with the watch yet, as it is new, but ordering was incredible.
My experience was perhaps atypical (though reading other's accounts online perhaps not), but after initially ordering a Cosmo, I got a phone call and e-mail from Bjorn Kartomten. I ordered this December, around Christmas, and he wanted to let me know they had a slow build schedule on the watch I ordered, and wanted to point out some specials I might not be aware of We spoke for some time, and he recommended the IP Rose Gold World Watch II that I bought. Honestly, I thought he was from their customer care department, but found out he is the founder and owner of the company!
So from my experience? I sincerely doubt you will ever have a customer service problem with Yes Watches.
I hope this review was informative, and didn't leave anything major out. As I've said, I'm not a huge watch person, but in buying my World Watch II, I did go through quite a number of well written and thoughtful reviews here. I tried to cover all the points that they did, except I did forget a wrist shot and case shot, didn't I? Let's fix that right now.
and finally on my skinny pale pale wrist:
Thank you all for reading. I was serious as to if there is anything else you want to know about the watch, letting me know. Without taking it apart, I'll take whatever pictures interest you.
According to my Yes World Watch II it is now sunset here in Philadelphia (4:52 pm or about 21:52 Zulu), so I bid you a fond adieu.
Best in timekeeping,