Damasko DA36 versus DA37
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  1. #1
    Member poboxw's Avatar
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    Damasko DA36 versus DA37

    DAMASKO DA36 V.S. DA37 AUTOMATIC PILOT

    The Damasko brothers were united for a brief showdown.
    My Story (of no real significance to review)

    I debated with myself long and hard when i purchased my first automatic watch. First between styles, then brands, and when i finally settled on the clean and functional Damasko, the hardest task became deciding between Damasko's two automatics, the DA36 and DA37. I finally settled on the white dialed goodness of the DA37, but now have the chance to compare the two side by side after grabbing the DA36 from a fellow Canadian forum member. With both watches in hand, picking one to keep is now that much harder!


    History/Brand (of little significance to review)

    See my short summary of Damasko watches here. Since purchasing the DA37 in the first months of 2010, Damasko has gone on to produce 2-3 other models of chronographs and an automatic with a minute bezel, all received with positive to rave reviews. What is most anticipated however, is the promised in-house movement that will sport Damasko's multiple patents in one hell of a watch.

    (photos pulled from Damasko's website www.damasko.de)

    Technical Summary

    -With Luminova™C1 (white) on hour markers, hour hands, and minute hands
    -For other specs see DA37 review

    Crystal:

    The Case and Crown are exactly the same between DA36 and DA37, as are the moderately decorated workhorse ETA 2836-2 movement and slightly lacking Damasko leather strap. The sapphire crystal should also be indistinguishable between the two but i found that the anti-reflective coating on the DA36 appears particularly blue for some odd reason. Maybe it's the batch of coated sapphire, the distraction away from the matte black dial, or my fixation on the multiple hairline scratches on the AR, the blue reflection that i found somewhat appealing on the DA37 is now more of an annoyance and distraction on the used DA36. I was genuinely surprised at the scratches really, since i've been wearing my DA37 daily rather unceremoniously for the past 6 months and it still looks as good as new. Once i get my hands on some Polywatch, the AR on the DA36 is coming off.

    Dial:

    It's not just a simple matter of choosing between black or white here. The first thing that grabs your attention on the DA36 is not the matte black dial and high contrast white hands. Rather, the focus is stolen by immediately by the unique yellow sweeping seconds hand. For all the naysayers of the yellow oddity, i would challenge that the majority will be won over if they get to see the watch first hand. Pictures really don't do the watch justice. I would say that it's a brighter, almost neon version of the fire-hydrant yellow NASA found to be the easiest color to spot in smoke. Under moderate ambient lighting the yellow sweeping hand is close enough to the erriely flat white minute and hour hands to not be intrusive. Under bright light, the yellow really stands out, yet falls in line with the high contrast motif of the dial. Red hands have nothing on the DA36's yellow!

    High contrast is the main theme on this pilot style tool watch. Aside from the yellow hands the white on black is also quite noticeable. There is more to the white on black though. The depth that jumps out of the understated German design comes in layers. The white Arabic numerals, cross-hair, minute markers, and signature are painted (sitckered?) in a slightly reflective white. The pilot 12-hour triangle and hour markers are rounded and raised Luminova matte (bit off-) white. The hour and minute hands are the flattest, bright, bit plastic white i've seen yet. These 3 layers of white and the yellow second hands together set on the deep matte black dial simply pops right out at you.
    (One day my photo-taking skills will improve enough to capture what i see... i hope!)

    So which one wins out here?..... The DA37's black on white is less layered than the DA36 but draws your gaze in deep as oppose to hopping out to meet you. Both are quite elegant but the DA36 is more of an invite to marvel oppose to DA37's hidden depth. So which one!?!

    Lume:

    This is where it's easier to decide the winner. Though Luminova C1 on both watches is nothing to be amazed about, whole dial lume is still miles ahead of hands and hour markers for readability. Pictures, in this case, can do the speaking/typing for me.


    Summary:

    The jury's still out. I want to keep both. Opinions welcome.

  2. #2
    Member Chimi's Avatar
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    Re: Damasko DA36 versus DA37

    Keep both! Awesome watches, I keep getting drawn to Damasko but I just can´t seem to pull the trigger. So many appealing watches out there...!
    Rotation
    Omega Speedmaster Date
    Oris F1 Day Date
    Tag Heuer F1 Grande Date
    Luminox F-117 Evo
    Tissot Quadratto Chrono

  3. #3
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    Re: Damasko DA36 versus DA37

    Many thanks for your review. You are lucky to have the Damasko "bros" in hand to compare; it's hard for people like me to judge just based on pics. I'm looking into purchasing a Damasko and like striking appearance of the white dial. I am wondering, however, about the lume covering the entire dial.

    I'm a little concerned about how bright the dial glows in low light or darkness. Say someone is at a business dinner in a candle lit restaurant - I would be concerned the watch might not seem very professional with a "glow-in-the dark" look to it.

    Another situation is at night in a place where you might not want to call attention to the watch (say a dark alley). I don't like the idea of worrying about covering the watch for this reason or other if the lume is too bright.

    So my question is - how noticeable is the white dial lume to others and from what distance? If you can help shed some light on the issue (sorry bad pun) I would greatly appreciative it.

    Cheers,
    Mark

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    Re: Damasko DA36 versus DA37

    Thanks for your review!

    I like the white dial. I love black dialed watches (currently wearing a black dialed Girard Perregaux), but white on a pilot's watch is more unique and the lume shot is really what clinches it for me.

    Hopefully you'll be able to keep both. Enjoy!

    Corey

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    Re: Damasko DA36 versus DA37

    Thanks for your review!

    I like the white dial. I love black dialed watches (currently wearing a black dialed Girard Perregaux), but white on a pilot's watch is more unique and the lume shot is really what clinches it for me.

    Hopefully you'll be able to keep both. Enjoy!

    Corey

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    Re: Damasko DA36 versus DA37

    Thanks for your review!

    I like the white dial. I love black dialed watches (currently wearing a black dialed Girard Perregaux), but white on a pilot's watch is more unique and the lume shot is really what clinches it for me.

    Hopefully you'll be able to keep both. Enjoy!

    Corey

  8. #7
    Member poboxw's Avatar
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    Re: Damasko DA36 versus DA37

    Quote Originally Posted by markl View Post
    I'm a little concerned about how bright the dial glows in low light or darkness. Say someone is at a business dinner in a candle lit restaurant - I would be concerned the watch might not seem very professional with a "glow-in-the dark" look to it.

    Another situation is at night in a place where you might not want to call attention to the watch (say a dark alley). I don't like the idea of worrying about covering the watch for this reason or other if the lume is too bright.

    So my question is - how noticeable is the white dial lume to others and from what distance? If you can help shed some light on the issue (sorry bad pun) I would greatly appreciative it.

    Cheers,
    Mark
    I've written a small review of the DA37 here:
    https://forums.watchuseek.com/showthread.php?t=363366
    but to answer you question straight up, the full dialed lume is rarely a bother.

    Luminova C1 works but is really nothing to be amazed at. Unless i go from a Very bright sunny day, with the watch face fully exposed, and into a Very dimly lite room, the green glow is not noticeable enough to degrade the DA37's classy white look. Under regular use i find that the DA37's lume will equalize fairly quickly in darker places so as long as the darker location is still bright enough to see comfortably. It's not noticeable when i'm out walking at night given that i did not just hold the watch up inches to a bright light source.

    Hope this helps!

    And.... the DA36 is the one to go.... i'll be putting it up on the sales forum in the weeks to come

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    Re: Damasko DA36 versus DA37

    Thanks, poboxw. Very helpful. And sounds like you made the right choice.

    m

  10. #9
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    Re: Damasko DA36 versus DA37

    Reviving this thread for a moment, I have always liked both watches, but bought the black dial (two of them, in fact, at different points in time). Elsewhere, I read a comment about the white dial that really struck home--something to the effect that it looked like the clock in his fifth grade math class, hanging above the teacher's desk at the front of the room--and you know, it does have that nondescript look, and once that thought was in my head it has turned me off pretty completely from the white dial (I don't see any "hidden depth" at all in either color dial myself, despite the great pictures). Another thing--usually white dials have the effect of making the dial area seem larger than it is, when compared to a black dial version of the same watch--however in this case, this doesn't happen, and possibly, the reverse is true--the white dial actually looks smaller than the black dial. Finally, the real clincher for me is the unique neon yellow seconds hand on the black dial--this sets this watch apart from not only the white dial, but most any other watch in its "class"--my vote would be for the black dial--I owned two, but ultimately tossed them both back in favor of something more unique (less plain)--I love simplicity, but both seem too simple to me. Perhaps if I were actually a pilot, then this watch would make sense, but I'm not...
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  11. #10
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    Re: Damasko DA36 versus DA37

    This is an interesting thread. My dilemma is deciding which one is more elegant for dress purposes. I was set on the black dial for sure, but it appears the yellow second hand may detract the watches elegance & some have even said make it look cheap? I therefore considered DA37 & even DA34. DA34 seems to solve most of my problems. Its elegant with its indices & has a red second hand but sadly no numbers. BUT no one seems to like DA34, maybe its because it lacks the traditional pilot watch numeral appeal. If DA36 had a red second hand it would be great & a no brainer. Can't decide. Opinions welcome/ needed PLEASE???
    Last edited by Desert; January 21st, 2014 at 01:08.

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