I first introduced Komrade a couple weeks ago in a preview. Now that I’ve had one for a hands on review, does it live up to the initial impressions?
Just before we get into the review I want to thank Jeff from Jeff Smith Photography for his excellent work on the cover shot for the review! I’ll be showing off some more of his work in future reviews.
As mentioned in my preview, Komrade is the creation of New Zealander Anthony Peters, a soldier with the British Army for 23 years, serving with the Royal Marines and 1st Battalion, Parachute Regiment in the former Yugoslavia, Kosovo, Sierra Leone and elsewhere. He’s a man who knows extreme environments and the importance of accurate timekeeping.
The thing I really like about watches like this is that, while other options from larger, better known brands are available, this one has a great story behind it that those other brands just can’t match. It’s a shame that the old ‘About’ section has been lost in the Komrade website redesign as it told Anthony’s story of a career soldier with an illustrious career turning to watchmaking to create something new out of his years of experience. Yes, you could buy a Seiko for less but a mass produced watch will never have the same character and quirks that a watch like this has. Maybe that’s a bit sentimental but I know which story I’d rather tell when someone asks me about the watch I’m wearing.
The Military Field Watch (MFW) model that I’ve had in for review is one of three available models, the other two are the Military Dive Watch (MDW) and the Urban Divers Watch. All three have the same specs with the difference being the strap options and case finishings. The MDW has a black DLC (diamond like coating) bezel and comes on a black rubber strap along with a steel mesh bracelet. The Urban comes with a matte stainless steel finish on a brown leather deployant clasp strap along with a tan canvas strap. the MFW, my review model, has a gunmetal DLC and comes on a gray NATO strap along with the same tan canvas strap as the Urban.
So what specs can you expect from the Komrade range? Rated to a depth of 300 metres, Komrade’s watches use c3 superlume on the hands, face and on the 120 click directional bezel. The case is constructed from marine grade 316 stainless steel with the DLC options already mentioned. Sapphire glass ensures the rigours of day-to-day use won’t leave it’s mark and the internal bubble gives an easy to read enlarged view of the date. All three models are powered by the Miyota 9015, an automatic mechanical movement that features hand winding, hacking, (the second hand stops when setting the time for improved setting accuracy), and a high frequency beat that gives a smooth second hand sweeping action.
Overall the MFW has been very impressive, living up to it’s design as a tough tool watch. I particularly liked the legibility of the different coloured hands. I’ve found myself only needing the slightest of glances to tell the time which has been very handy in meetings!
Of the two straps the canvas one is definitely my favourite. It’s comfortable and well built, very similar to another favourite strap of mine from the Citizen BM8475-00F. The NATO strap was a bit short for my 7″ wrist with no tail to fold over the loops but was otherwise perfectly serviceable.
All three models are available exclusively from www.komradewatches.com and for the next 48 hours you can get 10% off and free shipping to the USA. RRP on the MFW and MDW is $499 USD and $449 USD for the Urban.
For more on Komrade please visit their website and Facebook page.