Some time ago I reviewed another watch from Alexander, the Brooklyn, NY based watch company. At that time it was their Olyn A420-01 automatic chronograph, a substantial and well made Swiss made watch, powered by the very popular Valjoux 7750 movement. For this review, I am reviewing the Alexander Vathos A501B-02 quartz dive watch. It is also Swiss made and powered by a Ronda 715 quartz movement. Rarely do I review quartz dive watches but this one deserves my attention.
The watch is all stainless steel, 42 mm in diameter and only 11 mm thick. It is only 48 mm lug to lug with a 28 mm outer lug width and a stainless bracelet that slightly tapers from 21 mm to 20 mm. This combines nicely with a 3 o’clock gear edged, polished and signed 7 mm diameter crown and guard and a folding polished, signed, cigar band style bracelet latch with a two push button release. There are four micro adjustments on the clasp which all help make this watch very comfortable and close on my 7 inch wrist. There is also a dive extension within the bracelet clasp, for those that need this feature.
What makes this watch a standout is its attention to detail. The short turned down solid lugs have a raised section center link design that continues throughout the bracelet and clasp. Combined with primarily brushed surfaces, except for the polished sides of the case, bezel, bracelet links and clasp, it is a look I have not commonly seen on three link dive watch bracelets. Usually I find this style of three link bracelets to be less than attractive. In this instance, it is done with high quality and precision. Removable bracelet links are screwed in. The polished edge, minimal back play bezel (stainless steel, I believe) has a very attractive alternating polished and coin edge finish. This might not be as grippy for divers that actually use the bezel, but it is very a nice look that is not that common. The bezel has one well centered lume pip. The face matching bezel has a well done blue insert, but it will scratch. The polished silver markings on the bezel look perfect with this design.
The face is the same shade of blue as the bezel with twelve white, polished silver edge, raised trapezoid lumed indices. Four different indice design shapes are used on the face, with the 12 o’clock indice and the small 3 o’clock indice being unique. The smaller 3 o’clock indice is due to the black on white non magnified date window. I really like how the indices are inserted in the outer, raised, sloping edge of the face design. In addition, the 60 white minute/second markers on the face are facing up against the inside outer edge of the flat, raised, beveled edge sapphire crystal. This enhances the design quality of the face as well as making the minute/second markers easier to read.
The silver edged, white lumed, sword hour and minute hands work perfectly with this face and the polished and lumed semi pencil style second hand. The tail of the second hand matches the blue of the watch face, almost making it disappear, like the base of the hour and minute hands. I do not know specifically what lume is used on this watch, but it is about average in performance. The Alexander name and logo are tastefully printed in white on the upper portion of the face. At the bottom of the raised portion of the face are printed the words “SWISS MADE”, split evenly across the 6 o’clock indice. In approximately the same location as the Alexander name, but on the lower portion of the watch face, is the water resistance rating in white in meters and feet along with the words “PROFESSIONAL DIVER”. I personally feel that these words could have been left off of the face for a slightly cleaner look. The brushed stainless screw down back of the watch is nicely engraved and polished with watch information as well as a large Alexander logo in a raised wave like pattern.
Powering this very easy to live with dive watch is the Swiss Ronda 715 quartz movement. Assuming the movement in this watch is the Swiss made model, it should have five jewels and a long 60 month standard battery life. The movement specifications indicate accuracy of -10 to +20 seconds per month, but my example is well under 10 seconds per month fast. This particular example has almost perfect second hand alignment and virtually no second hand shake, making it one of the best performing quartz 3 hand and calendar movements I have seen so far. All in all, I find the Alexander Vathos A501B an excellent quartz dive watch that is fine to wear as a day to day watch. It is available in a two tone gold finish (-03) for $355, this blue version (-02) for $325 and a black face and bezel version (-01) also for $325. Right now, Alexander is offering 25% off purchases of their watches with an online coupon code applicable on their website, with no quantity or model restrictions indicated. www.alexanderwatch.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.