I always wanted to add a pilot styled watch into my collection and Steinhart was always my preferred choice given the price, various styles and Swiss movement if I ever decided to get one. Then I came across a Kickstarter project by Redux & Co that was offering Courg; a Titanium Graded case with an automatic movement for at least half the price of what Steinhart retails today but the only drawback was the 39mm size. I thought to myself, what the heck… it’s just a few mm difference from my other watches I own today. Boy was I wrong… but before I get into that debate, let me share my experience throughout the process from the moment I pledged on Kickstarter to the day I received my watch and how I feel about it while I am typing this review.
The founder, Mr. Elbert Chu must have dreamt to be a pilot or should have been a pilot himself, because of the way he communicated to his backers through the cockpit-styled English that made every update an interesting read for all and turned the project into a flight journey. The Kickstarter started off by offering 4 variants and ended with an additional variant with each style representing a different kind of meaning :
- Variant 1: Type A The German aircraft ministry developed designs for their WWII pilots, called B-Uhren – short for Beobachtungs-uhren (“Observation Watch”). and is often referred to as a Type A or flieger. The Luftwaffe owned these watches, and the pilots were forced to return them after each mission. These were 55mm!
- Variant 2: A-11 An homage to the WWII watches American fighter pilots strapped to their wrists and helped lead to the Allies’ victory. The U.S. military contracted multiple American watch companies to build these watches and called this specification A-11.
- Variant 3: Zero-hour Refined to the core 3-6-9 hour elements, this dial is driven by diver watch functionality where distractions are stripped away to only essential elements that optimize legibility in murky conditions and aid instant instrument readouts. Zero-hour is the military term for the scheduled time of a mission.
- Variant 4: Minimalist Draws its design DNA from the Bauhaus (literally “house of construction” or “school of building”) modernist movement begun in the 1920s. We honored that purposeful intention and implemented a linear accent that also preserved the quick read priority.
- New Recruit, Variant 5: Type B The brother to the Type-A, this was designed specifically by the Luftwaffe in WW2 for their bomber pilots, who used the emphasis on the minutes for accuracy in bombing runs. This variant will have no date option, it’s just too full to have room for that.
So out of the 5 variants / choices, I opted for Type B as it has always been my kind of pilot watch to and something about the dial attracted me to add it to my collection. Well, the whole flight journey with Elbert was a pleasant experience and the expected arrival was pretty much on time as announced.
Now onto Courg… when I first open up the packaging, the beautifully designed wine-lookalike crate appeared before me and sliding the top cover, I could see the promised waxed canvas watch roll which was a freebie due to the campaign meeting one of its’ stretch goals. I like the idea that the waxed canvas not only served to keep the watches / straps safely, but was designed to act as a travel wallet or document folio if one does not carry multiple watches with him or her. From the Kickstarter page:
Then moving on to my Type-B no date Titanium Grade 2 Courg… the overall built was solid, visually it looks stunning because of the Titanium material used and the light weight of the case is easily felt compared to the normal stainless steel watches. Love the Type-B dial and the lume… it’s amazing how it shines during the night with its’ Superluminova BGW9. The included original 20mm black ballistic nylon ZULU strap that came with it was way too long for me, but it was designed by the military to be long enough to be worn over sleeves or gloves. When worn next to the skin, the excess length of tail can be folded back over and tucked through the keepers. The only complaint I have is the crown being too flimsy and gritty bezel that doesn’t feel very secure.
Due to its’ 39mm case with 20mm strap, the watch looked very small on my wrist and I don’t have a big wrist size. That moment putting it on my wrist took away all my excitement to finally add a pilot watch to my collection. That very same day, I put it on sale in a few forums hoping someone would appreciate it more than I do.
A few days went by without any inquiries. I assumed maybe it’s a new microbrand that not many watch lovers would take the risk to invest in. Then, while I was surfing the internet, I stumbled upon a Hadley Roma Cuff strap for sale in one of my local forums and I decided to purchase it to add it as a bonus to the future owner and also to boost my sales with a freebie strap.
When I merged Courg with the Hadley Roma Cuff strap, it turned out to be a perfect combination with the pilot feel and when worn on my wrist, the watch doesn’t look as small when it’s on a 20mm strap. Boy was I wrong to put it up for sale! After a couple of times wearing it, I began to felt the excitement of owning a pilot watch all over again and this time, I knew I made the right decision to go with Courg Type-B, and thanks to Hadley Roma MS912 Oil Tan Leather Cuff strap.
Everything in life deserves a 2nd chance, and I’ll end my review of my Courg Type-B by Redux & Co. with the full specifications as below for your consideration :