I really appreciate new microbrands that have a real history. Rebel Time of Brooklyn, New York is precisely one of these companies.
The company traces it’s roots to Shneur Lakein’s great grandfather Issador, who immigrated from the Ukraine to the United States in 1913. Once here, he settled in Baltimore and opened Lakein’s Credit Jewelers. The company is still in business to this day in Baltimore and is under Lakein family ownership. Not too many family businesses can trace their beginnings back 103 years! Shneur’s grandparents ran this store until 2005.
With the jewelry and watch business in his blood, Shneur founded Rebel Time. With quality and value as primary goals, Kickstarter got things moving. The current watch collection consists of four watches; the Classic Rebel Chrono in black or white and the Rebel Aviator in black or white. I prefer the classic look, so for this review I have the Classic Rebel Chrono White, also known as Model 01 Type B. The watch is a six hand and date quartz chronograph measuring 44mm x 12.45mm with 52.9mm lug to lug and 22mm lug width. It has 100 meter water resistance, a Miyota 0S20 quartz movement , a 316L case with a screw down back and a sapphire crystal.
The flat sapphire crystal is slightly raised above the brushed beveled stainless bezel and the cream white face and black face markings. All numerals and hour indices, as well as the modified cathedral hour and minute hands are edged in chrome. The three sword subdial hands are black as well as the chronograph second hand. The subdial at 3 o’clock registers 24 hour time, the subdial at 6 o’clock always runs seconds and the 9 o’clock subdial counts minutes when timing with the chronograph. The black on white date on the beveled window at 4:30 is perfectly integrated into the watch face. It has a minimal amount of lume set into the black areas of the hands and indices. Combined with the slightly recessed subdials, the raised and beveled chapter ring and the minimal branding on the face, there is little to criticize here.
The case is completely brushed, except for the polished area inside the lugs and a thin edge that runs across the case between the opposing top and bottom sides of the lugs. The lugs taper down from the top and up from the bottom of the watch case, a design element I have not seen before. The inside edges of each lug adjacent to the watch case is notched, adding a bit of character to the case as well. The screw down back is done in various brushed finishes with a nicely machined center Rebel Time logo and there is nicely engraved information about the watch circling around the case back. Only the outer edge of the screw down back, passing through the wrench tool notches, is polished.
The pushers are polished and the gear type logo crown is polished and brushed. I like the way the right hand side of the case is machined out, allowing the crown and two pushers to be slightly recessed. It’s apparent that considerable planning and detail work went into this watch case. This watch comes with an easily changeable 22mm New York made unfinished stitched tan leather strap, one strap loop keeper and a large brushed and signed buckle and tang. I found that leather conditioner nicely darkens and softens the strap.
Powering this watch is the Japanese Miyota 0S20 quartz no jewel chronograph movement. It has a five year battery life and is rated +/- 20 seconds per month. My example is no more than 5 seconds a month fast. Performance as an analog quartz chronograph is as good as one can expect with the chronograph second hand moving in one second increments. The pushers and crown work precisely and smoothly. Despite being a 44mm watch with lugs that don’t turn down, it is a very comfortable watch that fits my 7 inch wrist well. I really like the design, details, materials, color palete and the finish of the Rebel Time Classic Chronograph White. It also looks great in black. I think it is a great value too. $249.00. www.rebeltime.com
Bert Kanne is a freelance contributor to MBWW with a love for well made dive watches and chronographs. All photos by Bert Kanne unless otherwise noted.