Hello to All of you Watch Enthusiast around the globe.
Spectre Time is homegrown wristwatch microbrand from Singapore, founded in 2015 by Gulshan, a horology wristwatch enthusiast. Designed purely in-house and manufactured with quality materials, the unique timepieces are both intricate and classy. Gulshan started with small steps into watch industry and now is trying to compete with many other microbrands out there in the open fields with several wristwatch models; Classique, Phantom, Phantom 2 and now, latest model, FROSTBITE.
There is some interesting visual identity similarity between Spectre Time as brand name, visual design of Frostbite model and Ian L. Fleming’s fictional officer character in the MI6 Secret Intelligence Service, Bond, James Bond, world famous spy also known as 007… or this could be just me?
There are five dial/bezel colours available in Frostbite range at the moment; Elegant Black, Silky White, Frosty Blue, Emerald Green and with Metallic Copper coloured dial and matching bezel. What I have here to try out and write about is prototype with Black dial and bezel and there are few small things that will be rectified in production model, but about that will write later in.
What this wristwatch difference from others is quite unique case, visually very interesting dial and dial hardware, especially hour indexes, in my opinion.
First, this is a basically a diver watch with 200m/660ft water resistance (20ATM) and playful dial colour options to chose, but what that watch can offer for £242gbp/€273eur/$295usd, which is current preorder price on website at the moment (£335gbp/€378eur/$408usd later prices). In basic, it is a 14.5mm thick, 41mm in diameter(with 42mm bezel), automatic watch with 22m between lugs and 45mm form lug to lug(L2L). But that are just basics and wait until we came to unique case and playful but elegant dial in 5 different colours (with option for sixth). Here are a few facts and dry specifications:
☆ Unique 41mm brushed 316L case
☆ 42mm diameter bezel
☆ 22mm between lugs and 45mm from lug to lug
☆ 14.5mm overall thickness with double domed Sapphire crystal glass on top and inner Anti-Reflective coating
☆ Seiko NH35 mechanical movement with automatic bi-directional self winding, 24 jewel, power reserve +40hr
☆ 200m water resistant (20ATM pressure resistance)
☆ Grade A, C3 SuperLuminova on hour hand, minute hand and at tip of second hand (green tint)
☆ Grade A, C3 SuperLuminova on hour/five minute indexes (green tint)
☆ 120 click unidirectional bezel
☆ Visible dial opening is 32.5mm and bezel is 4.7 mm wide and 3mm thick
☆ Colour matching (with dial) anodized Aluminium bezel insert with grade A SuperLuminova BGW9 (blue tint)
☆ Screw in/out crown with laser etched logo at 4 clock position and Viton O-ring seals
☆ Backcase is laser engraved artwork and screw in/out type with Viton O-ring seals
☆ Proprietary hypoallergenic hybrid Silicon strap with quick release pins, length 113mm+66mm without buckle (measured from pin holes) and tapered from 22mm to 20mm
☆ Weight of the watch in total is 109.5 (watch case with quick release pins is 87.8grams without proprietary silicon straps and straps weight, with original buckle, is 21.7grams).
Case itself is 41mm in diameter and made from 316L stainless steel and quite unique.
It is definitely different from almost all other wristwatch cases offered from microbrands niche and far away from current Rolex or IWC styled cases.
Biggest differences are the lugs shaped and cut in way that they hug around strap or bracelet. Original silicon straps are made to fit exactly inside lugs but you can and I do warmly recommend install third party strap or bracelet. I tried several different kinds of straps and bracelets, from luxurious and elegant thick leather or nylon to sporty kind of NATO or metal mesh straps or different metal bracelets and every time is just like watch change appearances. From divers watch to tool watch, sport one or even elegant dressy avantgarde styled watch and all that thanks to this magnificent case. Also, there are surfaces cut-outs with textured finish for weight reduction and visual effects. Somehow, every time I check this watch on my wrist it reminds me on Spiderman and James Bond. Definitely looks much better in real life than on any pictures I saw (even mine 😉 ). On top of the case is double domed 2.6mm thick Sapphire crystal glass with anti reflection coating under the crystal. In addition, there are small cuts between lugs on case for easier NATO strap change, thick straps or bracelets changes.
Bezel is 42mm in diameter, which gives the whole wrist watch 42mm appearance, with standard elapsed time divers markings on matching colour (with dial) aluminium insert. All markings on 120 click, unidirectional bezel insert are filed with A grade, Swiss SuperLuminova BGW9 lume (blue tint), so no lack of night visibility there. Bezel is bevelled and slightly raised over the anodized aluminium inserts for protection, so in combination with Sapphire crystal have nice dome shaped appearance on top of case. Bezel edge is reverse gear tooth styled and have nice grip for turning the bezel.
Dial is made in dual sandwich style with two different levels. Inner is with 3D spiraled riffling pattern and in five galvanised colours. Outer part is in gunmetal colour with machined grooves, finished with sandblasted texture, looking as frosted surface and on top, applied hour indices. Minute indices are slightly raised from surface and painted white, with a slight touch of lume (looks nice not just being painted on dial). On inner dial, at 12o’clock position is stylised double lightning “S” logo with “SPECTRE” inscription under and on 6 o’clock position is underlined model name “FROSTBITE” with water resistance rating “200m/660ft” and “AUTOMATIC”. At the inner edge is a small inscription “24 JEWELS”. Inner dial colours are matched with bezel inserts with gives that unique spiralled gun barrel look I like so much (did I mention… Bond, James Bond?).
Applied indices are in shape of prolongated vase and filed with grade A SuperLuminova C1. Again, quite unique and didn’t see anything similar elsewhere. Minute and hour hands are sword shaped and with brushed bevelled sides. Arrowed shaped second hand is also filled with SuperLuminova C1 grade A green tint lume, same as other two hands.
Currently available dial/bezel colours are Elegant Black, Silky White, Frosty Blue, Emerald Green and Metallic Copper.
I am sure you noticed that there is no date window. Yeah, that is true, but that complication will be overkill for this dial and probably ruin visual symmetry which is great as it is.
Back case is screw in/out type, with laser etched big smiling Shark in the middle and writings around (well, it looks like smiling to me). Etching is not significantly deep, but it is readable and you can easily read text around Shark artwork. Nothing more to say about back case, except it is functional, have Viton O-ring seal and I would like to see engraving deeper, with more character.
Crown is placed at 4 o’clock, it is screw in/out type and dimensions are 7mm in diameter and 4.4mm wide when screwed in case. On top of crown is laser engraved double lighting “S” logo and is just right proportioned for this case with enough grips. 4 o’clock position is very comfortable for wear on either wrist and newer had any stamp markings on skin from Crown. Personally, would like to see inserted BGW9 lume in crown logo (same as in bezel insert).
Straps with this watch are made specifically for this case lugs, with quick release pins and are hypoallergenic hybrid Silicon material with maximal overall length of 170mm and minimal of 120mm, measured with closed buckle and on first or last adjustment strap hole ( individually, 113mm+66mm without buckle, measured from pin holes) and tapered 22mm to 20mm.
For my 8.5inch wrist (+21cm), original straps are too short and unfortunately, plans for longer straps are cancelled due to new mold cost. Did not find that as problem because this wristwatch is going so well with different leather, nylon or mesh straps, same as with different metal bracelets.
Movement in this watch is coming from Japanese manufacturer Seiko. NH35 is mechanical movement with bidirectional automatic winding system with ball bearing and manual wind capability. Heart rate is 21.600bph (beats per hour), power reserve is a bit over 40hours and movement is equipped with shock protector, 24 jewels and hacking second (second hand stops when in time set up mode). Overall dimensions of movements are 27.40 mm in diameter and 5.32 mm thick. I know there are movements with higher BPH, but my personal opinion is that NH35 is just perfect cost effective movement for this type of watches. Low maintenance cost, high robustness and solid accuracy (my experience with NH35 is from +/- 4sec a day to +11sec a day, straight from factory assembling line) with factory accuracy specification of -20 ~ +40 seconds per day at 23ºC are all box ticked for good, robust and good longevity movement, prepared for all situations.
I found this watch to be very likable, easy readable in any time, weather or place but also very wearable in any occasion, depending on strap or bracelet. Can’t say that this is dressy watch, but when Black dial version is paired with nice leather strap it easily can be match with black tie outfit, or you can experimented with different dial colours, shoes, belt and tie to make it your own avantgarde style outfit. With matching thick nylon strap it can be excellent all rounder and with different bracelets can be outstanding watch for casual outfit. Choices are wide and yours.
Except few issues, like short silicon/rubber strap and shallow logo laser etched engravings on back case, I did not find any problem with this watch. Deficiency of date window on this dial I do not consider it much as a minus because this is a watch for daytime activities where the most important is time reading and this dial is easy and very readable even in low visibility conditions. Regarding the current asking price of £242gbp/€273eur/$295usd in preorders, this is just solid bang for your money at my humble opinion and when you calculate actual price of manufacturing such unique case and different dial you must came to result that this is actually excellent bang for your money.
To recapitulate, you will receive reliable Seiko mechanical movement, elegant and unique case made from 316L stainless steel, sandwich dial with A grade C3 Superluminova, Sapphire crystal with AR coating, bezel insert with A grade BGW9 inserted lume in markings, 200 meter water resistance or 20ATM pressure resistance, signed screw in/out crown and appropriate rubber strap. You want more, deeper engraving, longer original strap? No problem, but be prepared to pay more. Simple as that.
This watch is currently also offered thru KickStarter website for competitive price, but that train will end journey 2nd of June at 02:00 BST (british summer time). But, you still can buy this watch thru Spectre Time website with delivery scheduled for September 2020.
Happy Watch Hunting.