When I purchased my Armida A2 about a month ago I made a commitment to myself to write a review because I could not find much info about this particular watch, so here we go.
I will start with the actual buying experience........fantastic!! Service was spectacular, ordered the watch and it arrived at my door within 48 hours. From Hong Kong to Indiana I feel that this is quite impressive, especially since there is no additional shipping charges. The ETA stainless version lists at $649, but with the generous $100 OCEANICTIME coupon, can be had for $549. The watch comes in a plastic tube like many other boutique pieces, well packaged, nothing special, but very efficient. Included in the package is the watch itself on the stainless bracelet, "Arimdafrane" rubber strap, and a spring bar tool.
I decided to purchase this piece because I enjoy the look of the Milsub homages and felt this one had enough differences to not look like an exact copy. I liked the look of the fully indexed and lumed bezel, simple painted markers, 4:30 date with black background, reasonable size for my 7" wrist, and accurate ETA movement. Here is some basic info about the watch:
- Automatic dive watch, ETA 2824 ($649) or Miyota 8215 ($499). Also available in PVD finish for $699 and $549.
- Water resistant to 500m
- Includes Oyster-style bracelet and Isofrane-style rubber strap
- Bracelet has screwed links, solid end links, fixed-length diver's extension, four micro adjustments and snap clasp with flip lock. Brushed finish throughout, 22mm tapering to 18 at the clasp, 4mm thick
- Sapphire crystal
- Stainless steel case, signed screwdown crown and caseback
- Lumed bezel (C3 SuperLuminova, very bright) and hands. Not sure what material the bezel is.
- 42mm case, 43mm at the bezel, 13mm thick, 22mm lugs and 51mm lug to lug
- 90g for the watch, 110g with strap and 175g with bracelet
I don't have a ton of watch experience so excuse my lack of professional vocabulary. I find the finish of the watch to be nice, mix of brushed and polished surfaces on the case and a fully brushed bracelet. Consistently done, but not quite on par with my Sumo in my opinion. The fact that it has drilled lugs is a HUGE plus to me and another draw for why I purchased it. Makes for simple strap changes, I feel all divers should have these. The crown is signed with the "A" logo, a nice touch and is again a combo of brushed and solid. The crown operates beautifully, smooth winding and easy to engage when screwing down, better than my Sumo for comparison. The timekeeping for the past month has been pretty consistent with about +4-5 sec. a day with the dial up, very pleased with the accuracy.
The bracelet is quite nice, 22mm at the lugs tapering to 18 at the clasp, screw system for easy sizing, and the all brushed finish will make for easy scratch repair. I really do not like the end links, they are solid and tight fitting to the case, but the way it fits with the first link makes it feel like it adds 2mm or so to the lug to lug distance, and at 51mm I felt I was already pushing it. As annoying as this is to me I really don't plan on using the bracelet much as I feel the watch looks best on a Nato, or the included rubber strap. The clasp is well done, nothing spectacular, definitely a step above my Sumo. Clasp is signed, machined, has 4 micro adjustment holes, flip lock, and a nice divers extension. I also would like to add the bracelet is definitely quieter than that on my Sumo which I find to be a huge plus. The included "Armidafrane" that I see people refer to it as is awesome in my opinion, probably because I have never handled an actual Isofrane. Has a nice smell, fits very comfortable, does not attract lint, I will definitely use it quite a bit and makes me feel like I may have to shell out a C Note + for an actual Isofrane.
On to the lume...............first time I had it fully charged and saw it walking down a dark hallway, I looked down and thought my wrist was on fire, they nailed it. Best lume of any watch I have ever seen, enough said. The bezel itself is very nice, 120 firm clicks with zero play in it, but mine was misaligned, frustrating, but it does work beautifully and it is an easy fix.
It is definitely a keeper for me and will fill the void until I decide to try a Sub. A couple things that annoy me about it but are by no means deal breakers are the way the endlinks fit, and the bezel is misaligned, I know it is an easy fix, just seems odd to me. I wish the case was a little smaller and it would be perfect for me (40mm width with a lug to lug of 48ish). I have visions of doing some mods to this, and would appreciate if anyone has any thoughts. I am thinking about changing the crystal out for something with some dome to it, having the crown guards shaved off, and having the second hand tipped in red to just add a little something to the extremely simple dial. Hope you enjoyed my thoughts, and for those on the fence I hope this will help, on to the pics!!