After finally adding a Damasko to my collection, I could not help but share my impression of this watch even if I'm far from the first to do so.
The DA 37 is a watch born of quality and purpose. The Damasko "take the time" slogan suggests a pride of workmanship in getting it right. I think this watch exemplifies this. The aviation undertones to the watch are obvious in the hand selection, clear readout, orientation triangle at 12 and so forth. The dial offers extreme legibility, even at a glace. The AR coating is superb, coated inside and out. Not only effective but with the flat crystal it offers interesting lighting effects giving a blue tinge as is often the case with AR coating. The German function over form in this watch has a simplistic beauty to it if you enjoy minimalism, this is evidence that function over form does not mean function at the cost of form. The case back exemplifies this further with an almost industrial look. While usually I favour interesting case back design the simply functionality on this caseback, this example in no way speaks of being lazy or cheap merely pragmatic. The caseback, while austere in its design, is at least very well done.
The dial itself has an almost linen texture to it which I approve of, the numerals also have an unusual almost galvanized texture of which I have mixed feelings. The numerals clearly have a heavy coating of paint which gives them an almost applied look. The dial in most cases will look either white or cream, on occasion however, it will look a touch green. The later I'm not a huge fan of but such is the nature of lume dials and I will admit this happen less often then with other lume dials I've tried. I rarely have the feeling my wrist is in need of exorcism which is a relief. The minor complication of both adding a day feature and moving it along with the date gives the watch its own character beyond mere stylistic differences a thousand other watches have. it's of note that the Damasko dial signature is moved as well keeping good balance. Points scored for that. I personally also enjoy the inclusion of both the German/English date wheel. I take the attitude that if the watch is of Teutonic roots then it should not be shy of this and should be worn as such but I recognize that I'm biased and this isn't for everyone so it's nice not to be forced in this choice.
I think the size of this watch at 40mm is just right, I can't say this enough. It has presence without being large, wearing slightly large due to it being mostly dial and the clear open dial layout. This means the watch is timeless and suited for all occasions. I might add it has a good thickness as well at 11mm and 20mm lug width is both standard and common for strap options. On the note of being suited for all occasions due to its size, I will also add that that I feel this is simply one of the most versatile watches Ive ever owned in design as well. Upon initial consideration of this watch I was replacing my Stowa marine in the role of a smart casual work watch. Many would argue that Damasko tool much a tool watch to fill the Stowa's shoes as more of a dress piece. The picture on crocodile however displays that the Damasko too works very well at least as far as business casual. I credit this to the lack of a bezel and the clean look, coupled with a dressier strap it wears very well in this role IMO. That said some contrast stitch or even a nato allows you to dress down as well making this watch a real chameleon. With so many strap options this can easily function as an all in one watch. If your going to be swapping bands a lot you'll be happy to note drilled lugs are included to facilitate strap swapping.
Not only can this watch be suited to any occasion but its built for any occasion. I mentioned function over form and quality of build, this watch is a "tool" watch for a reason. The first obvious not is the ice hardening. I didn't get my watch from Damasko direction but I mine as well have given the case and even tang buckle were flawless. Even desk diving takes its toll on watches but this example was pristine with out any scratches dents and dings so rest assured your should handle daily wear with showing any signs of this. I truly think this watch can be handed down after years of wear and it would look like it was well cared for. The ice hardening process gives the DA 37 an interesting almost gunmetal colour. The colour and feel are not unlike Titanium albeit altogether different in properties. One note on this is that while the colour might be appealing and interesting, one should note that this means SS stands out in stark contrast so so aftermarket deployments and buckles do not match the finish and look IMO quite bad. Given the lack of access to OEM deployments and buckles this should be considered.
Continuing on the topic of being a tool, the features set exemplifies this further including a screw down crown and 100 meter water resistance, sapphire crystal, anti magnetic and anti corrosive properties, shock resistance, UV resistant gaskets, crown guards etc. Feature packed and ready for whatever is thrown at you, you wont have to be worried about your watch when you need to fix a flat, get thrown in the pool or your find yourself in a high speed chase. Seamaster/Rolex watch our we have a bond watch here. This might sound silly but I've winced many times after banging a watch on a door frame, its refreshing to know that the DA 37 is unhindered by the bumps of life. Time keeping has been fantastic, better than a second per day blended, not more that +/-2s/d on a given day. Tick is a little on the loud side, neither good nor bad but worth observation, the rotor is also a little on the loud side, again probably inconsequential but where I find the tick a nice reminder I don't care for rotor sounds.
Its nice to see Damasko as a developer in cutting edge horological research as well. For a small firm to be pushing boundaries rather than just sticking ebauches into cases is refreshing. The DA 37 at this time does not offer a silicone escapement option but it may be something we see going forward and it would only make this package better. We can expect further innovation as they continue to make new developments on crown technology, coating and lubrication, rotor bearings etc all on top of well well laurels for case hardening technology. As tested, the price point ($1125) is quite reasonable for a watch of this calibre. Low production and high demand mean you wont find much in the way of AD discounts, in fact there are times where even if you have the money there are none available. Resale value for these reasons holds up very well with depreciation being not more than 20% in most cases, this is also helped by the fact that used models tend to look essentially new. The fact that depreciation on used models is less in many cases that AD discounts off MSRP for many other major Swiss companies is impressive in itself. Clearly this watch represents a amazing value in its niche. There is so much going on here, I have to say this is really a nice watch for people who love watches, technology or both...not to mention those who simply have high expectations of what their watch should be able to put up with.