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Guest Bruce

Orange Watch Company Milsub

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Guest Bruce

ORANGE WATCH COMPANY

    MILSUB SOPROD A-10

The following is my opinion and is not intended to be derogatory to any other watch brand or their owners and yes i am biased because i absolutely adore this watch.

 

Until recently I had never heard of OWC, or if I had I cant have seen their products, but when they appeared on the The watch Forum and I looked at their timepieces I was smitten.

The doctor watch is very appealing, some may see it as a bit silly, but is it any sillier than a James Bond Omega. the Doctor watch looks, to me, like a bit of abstract art and given the choice between 007 ticking round the dial or a Gallifreyan abstract art watch the OWC wins every time.

The OWC Milsub Soprod A-10 is my kind of watch though, it ticks all the box's for me.

Some people buy watches and then go through some sort of bonding process for a while, some watches are kept, some are flipped.

I on the other hand seem to have a kind of subconscious image of the ideal watch I E... overall case size,dial size, chapter ring size, crystal size, lug width, lug to lug, crown size etc etc. if one thing like the lug width to case size ratio is off then its not the watch for me and obviously dial and handset design is part of the decision as is touch, for me the initial touch is hugely important, the weight and feel says a lot about a new watches qualities.

When Roy announced that a Milsub was winging its way from Australia  for review i jumped at the chance and i am now lucky to have it in my possession, albeit for a short while.

A friend of mine has 2 Rolex subs that i have been lucky enough to handle, both are non date and one is under 5 years old, there is absolutely no doubting the quality of a Rolex when you examine one, they really are stunning, but this is where I will "throw the cat amongst the pigeons"....The OWC Milsub is just as good.

From the feel of the bezel and beautifully shaped case to the smooth high beat tick of the second hand the finish is sublime, the ceramic bezel insert with its raised and lumed numerals is perfect, the crown is something else altogether, i thought my Seiko Sumo crown was good, but the engineered action of the OWC is in a different league from the Sumo, it is so smooth I did wonder if i had missed the threads, but there is no concerns about crossing threads i get with the Sumo or any other of my divers.

The case back is attached to the beautifully finished case with Torx screws as are the bracelet attachment bars.

The dial is a lovely almost denim blue and the snowflake hand set is a firm favourite of mine. the colour of the lume in the hands, dial and bezel insert all match perfectly. I particularly like that the date wheel colour matches the dial colour

The 60 click uni-directional bezel is attached to the case with 4 tiny hard to spot set screws.

This model has the Soprod A-10 movement and it is a proper gem, the hand winding is silky, the second hand is so smooth you could be forgiven for thinking its a modern Bulova P102 quartz and of course it hacks as well as being automatic, the time keeping in the short while I have had the watch is as you would expect superb.

Clearly this is no normal watch, the thought ,design and engineering is very plain to see, this is a time piece that has been created with loads of heart and soul, this is very apparent when you investigate the Orange Watch Company website.

i am sure the journey to produce their range of watches was long with many sleepless night and headaches, but boy has it paid off, this is a watch that is so much more than the sum total of its parts.

The Orange watch Company has raised the bar for all Micro brands and Boutique brands IMHO. maybe all the other smaller brands should take note: this is how its done, put some value in your products, use modern up to date movements instead of the default Miyota 82** series that every Tom, Dick and Harry use, build in some longevity and quality,stop the use of silly little plastic movements and earn your place before charging huge amounts for your products.

It occurred to me if you wore any Orange Watch Company time piece to a pub how many of your mates or strangers for that matter  would approach you and ask: is that a real OWC? and there is probably only a handful of these watches within 500 miles or more, makes you think.

So.......given the choice between a seven grand Rolex or a seven hundred pound OWC Milsub i would choose the OWC, my perception of value and quality doesn't just lay in the cost, but more what I like on my wrist.

IMHO with the big brands you are not buying a watch or a phone etc, you are buying a marketed lifestyle. 

Is a Rolex worth more than an OWC ?.....no...not to me...

Would I but an OWC ?........In a New York minute I would.

Even my wife likes it so i guess it must be special.

I can see an order heading to Mr OWC in the early New Year, it will mean cutting out buying other watches and it may be like a heroin addict coming off Methadone. but I will cope... I think.

I see no reason to give full specs as these are available on www.orangewatchcompany.com

Thank you Roy for trusting me with this watch, it really is going to be hard to send it back.

As i wear my watches on my right hand [ i know weirdo ] and i am right handed i find it impossible to take wrist shots with my left hand.....that is until.........I realised I could temporarily wear the watch on my left wrist and take the shot then swap back....simple DUHH 

My photos don't do this watch justice.

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Edited by Bruce

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Great review Bruce. I totally get your point about quality v price and I have wondered what someone like Roy could come up with given a budget of say £1k or £2k. 

The major brands have all the overheads of a large company and many spend millions on sponsorship whereas the small manufacturer has few of these costs.

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Great review Bruce, glad to see you didn't allow your emotions to blur your judgement:biggrin: (I hope you realise that's in jest). It really is a top notch review.

As for the watch, It looks superb although I'm not sure about the more rounded case sides. They do to my mind give it a certain vintage look along with a softening of the whole watch which I think makes it a perfect any occasion watch, which is not a bad thing. However I think I would need to see this one in the flesh before I could honestly say it ticks all my boxes.

 

 

 

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Nice but it reminds me more of the Tudor offerings than a Sub. Somehow the Sub is just a bit more svelte but that is only in my eyes. If it compares favourably to the Sub for others then that is fine. Also drawing parallels with a Tudor is non to shabby:yes:. Not too keen on the screws holding the back on though. I prefer the simple forged back and personally think the simplicity of a Rolex back is in a different league I just love the understated quality. However that is just me. Thanks for a great review and pics:thumbsup:

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Guest Bruce

Nice but it reminds me more of the Tudor offerings than a Sub. Somehow the Sub is just a bit more svelte but that is only in my eyes. If it compares favourably to the Sub for others then that is fine. Also drawing parallels with a Tudor is non to shabby:yes:. Not too keen on the screws holding the back on though. I prefer the simple forged back and personally think the simplicity of a Rolex back is in a different league I just love the understated quality. However that is just me. Thanks for a great review and pics:thumbsup:

everyones taste is different nigel which is just as well :yes:, but the screws do have more than an aesthetic purpose 

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Nice review Bruce and really like to see the smaller 'boutique' manufacturers encouraged to compete. Can I ask what you thought of the bracelet if it came with one and did you have a percentage discount in mind when you wrote the review? :laugh: 

I too would be interested in what Roy might have produced with a similar budget as he has a history of doing pretty well in the price:quality department.

Edited by deepreddave

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Guest Bruce

Nice review Bruce and really like to see the smaller 'boutique' manufacturers encouraged to compete. Can I ask what you thought of the bracelet if it came with one and did you have a percentage discount in mind when you wrote the review? :laugh: 

I too would be interested in what Roy might have produced with a similar budget as he has a history of doing pretty well in the price:quality department.

Roy didn't send the bracelet as he wants to keep it fresh looking, i have no doubt that it wouldn't let the watch down though. 

I also think Roy should be encouraged to produce something tasty :thumbsup:

as for percentage discount :laugh:.. it didn't cross my mind :nono:

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I remember seeing  photos of a chrono diver that Roy made as a one-off. Looked to have quite a high spec for around the £500 mark so I would expect that for £1k+ he could produce something that would rival many brands for quality if not for image.

Edited by richy176

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Guys

Thank you for your kind words.

Torx Screws:

The screws have a technical function in addition to holding the back on. In comparison to screwed back with threads, this case back with screws can move.

A threaded case back is limited by the threads and is basically fixed. So once it is screwed in, that is it. The downside is, if the case back is not screwed in sufficiently the WR (water resistant) is compromised. If the O-rings become compressed and lose their elasticity the WR is compromised. I was not happy with this.

The OWC case is a modern interpretation of the EPS compressor case and those that went before and those that came after. The screws allow the case back to move. This is vitally important: as the watch is subjected to more pressure the case back is pressed toward the middle case, hence increasing the WR of the watch. So even (and I have not tested this) if the case back is not fully tightened it will press on the middle case and becomes more Water Resistant.

The 4.5mm sapphire crystal is also on the move and it sits on top of the middle case on another O-ring. The crystal is secured with a screwed crystal retaining ring. Again it will move toward the middle case as more pressure is applied. The other additional feature, is that (again I have not tested this) the crystal will not fly off due to quick decompression – being held in place by the ring.

So the screws provide a very important technical purpose. The reason I chose Torx is because I like the look, it is much harder to slip when using the screws and among other issues a more consistent torque can more easily be applied to the screws.

Dan

foxint@foxint.com

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Guys

Thank you for your kind words.

Torx Screws:

The screws have a technical function in addition to holding the back on. In comparison to screwed back with threads, this case back with screws can move.

A threaded case back is limited by the threads and is basically fixed. So once it is screwed in, that is it. The downside is, if the case back is not screwed in sufficiently the WR (water resistant) is compromised. If the O-rings become compressed and lose their elasticity the WR is compromised. I was not happy with this.

The OWC case is a modern interpretation of the EPS compressor case and those that went before and those that came after. The screws allow the case back to move. This is vitally important: as the watch is subjected to more pressure the case back is pressed toward the middle case, hence increasing the WR of the watch. So even (and I have not tested this) if the case back is not fully tightened it will press on the middle case and becomes more Water Resistant.

The 4.5mm sapphire crystal is also on the move and it sits on top of the middle case on another O-ring. The crystal is secured with a screwed crystal retaining ring. Again it will move toward the middle case as more pressure is applied. The other additional feature, is that (again I have not tested this) the crystal will not fly off due to quick decompression – being held in place by the ring.

So the screws provide a very important technical purpose. The reason I chose Torx is because I like the look, it is much harder to slip when using the screws and among other issues a more consistent torque can more easily be applied to the screws.

Dan

foxint@foxint.com

 

I find this aspect of designing watches fascinating, thank you for the insight.

The Vostok Amphibia is a more simplistic watch but also relies on the compliance of the crystal and the compliantly mounted watch back, I think.

I suspect you have found a method of producing an underwater watch that meets the required specs without over engineering things, I agree about the Torx head screws, Philips screws were almost there but not quiet.

I like your ideas.

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Guest Bruce

Guys

Thank you for your kind words.

Torx Screws:

The screws have a technical function in addition to holding the back on. In comparison to screwed back with threads, this case back with screws can move.

A threaded case back is limited by the threads and is basically fixed. So once it is screwed in, that is it. The downside is, if the case back is not screwed in sufficiently the WR (water resistant) is compromised. If the O-rings become compressed and lose their elasticity the WR is compromised. I was not happy with this.

The OWC case is a modern interpretation of the EPS compressor case and those that went before and those that came after. The screws allow the case back to move. This is vitally important: as the watch is subjected to more pressure the case back is pressed toward the middle case, hence increasing the WR of the watch. So even (and I have not tested this) if the case back is not fully tightened it will press on the middle case and becomes more Water Resistant.

The 4.5mm sapphire crystal is also on the move and it sits on top of the middle case on another O-ring. The crystal is secured with a screwed crystal retaining ring. Again it will move toward the middle case as more pressure is applied. The other additional feature, is that (again I have not tested this) the crystal will not fly off due to quick decompression – being held in place by the ring.

So the screws provide a very important technical purpose. The reason I chose Torx is because I like the look, it is much harder to slip when using the screws and among other issues a more consistent torque can more easily be applied to the screws.

Dan

foxint@foxint.com

 

I find this aspect of designing watches fascinating, thank you for the insight.

The Vostok Amphibia is a more simplistic watch but also relies on the compliance of the crystal and the compliantly mounted watch back, I think.

I suspect you have found a method of producing an underwater watch that meets the required specs without over engineering things, I agree about the Torx head screws, Philips screws were almost there but not quiet.

I like your ideas.

you would never guess but I like them too :thumbsup:

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The crown remains the tricky part. Omega tried pressure sealed crowns in the sixties but gave up on the idea and switched to threaded crowns. As far as I know, the only sealing methods in use today use multiple O-rings and no threads or some combination of threaded crown or cap and rings or seals. I don't think there is an optimal system that can be used repeatedly with out introducing some frictional wear to the gasket material.

Later,
William

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Over and above Bruce's great review I would like to add this has been a most informative thread thanks to Forint's follow up and participation. Thank you for taking the time.:clap:

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Guest Bruce

The crown remains the tricky part. Omega tried pressure sealed crowns in the sixties but gave up on the idea and switched to threaded crowns. As far as I know, the only sealing methods in use today use multiple O-rings and no threads or some combination of threaded crown or cap and rings or seals. I don't think there is an optimal system that can be used repeatedly with out introducing some frictional wear to the gasket material.

Later,
William

i don't remember where, but i recently read there are some crowns out there that are sealed with a diamond profiled o ring, I don't know the advantage...if there is any at all

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The crown remains the tricky part. Omega tried pressure sealed crowns in the sixties but gave up on the idea and switched to threaded crowns. As far as I know, the only sealing methods in use today use multiple O-rings and no threads or some combination of threaded crown or cap and rings or seals. I don't think there is an optimal system that can be used repeatedly with out introducing some frictional wear to the gasket material.

Later,
William

i don't remember where, but i recently read there are some crowns out there that are sealed with a diamond profiled o ring, I don't know the advantage...if there is any at all

The benefit is the diamond shaped gaskets provide a better seal when they're compressed. We use a "double diamond" seal system ( of the non beer variety ) with two gaskets. Apologies if I've trespassed onto the OWC forum :yes:

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Guest Bruce

The crown remains the tricky part. Omega tried pressure sealed crowns in the sixties but gave up on the idea and switched to threaded crowns. As far as I know, the only sealing methods in use today use multiple O-rings and no threads or some combination of threaded crown or cap and rings or seals. I don't think there is an optimal system that can be used repeatedly with out introducing some frictional wear to the gasket material.

Later,
William

i don't remember where, but i recently read there are some crowns out there that are sealed with a diamond profiled o ring, I don't know the advantage...if there is any at all

The benefit is the diamond shaped gaskets provide a better seal when they're compressed. We use a "double diamond" seal system ( of the non beer variety ) with two gaskets. Apologies if I've trespassed onto the OWC forum :yes:

thats it i remember now , thanks:thumbsup: 

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Great having the maker post on here. I'm quite wanting one of these even though I don't need another diver :)

Simply ditto to the above

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Guest Bruce

Great having the maker post on here. I'm quite wanting one of these even though I don't need another diver :)

IMO its so much more than a diver :thumbsup:

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Well, I'm learning a bit here.:thumbsup: Thanks to those that actually make what we wear, we have a better idea of what our money buys.

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Guest Bruce

Well, I'm learning a bit here.:thumbsup: Thanks to those that actually make what we wear, we have a better idea of what our money buys.

its easy to take things for granted, but when there is an open and honest explanation from the makers i for one get a different view on things

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Well, I'm learning a bit here.:thumbsup: Thanks to those that actually make what we wear, we have a better idea of what our money buys.

its easy to take things for granted, but when there is an open and honest explanation from the makers i for one get a different view on things

It's nice to know what effort some watchmakers put into the products they sell, it isn't often we get that kind of insight first hand.

When will the "big" companies be joining the forum? He said with cynicism.:biggrin:

 

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Guest Bruce

Well, I'm learning a bit here.:thumbsup: Thanks to those that actually make what we wear, we have a better idea of what our money buys.

its easy to take things for granted, but when there is an open and honest explanation from the makers i for one get a different view on things

It's nice to know what effort some watchmakers put into the products they sell, it isn't often we get that kind of insight first hand.

When will the "big" companies be joining the forum? He said with cynicism.:biggrin:

 

it would be nice to see the other side, but is quite easy now with google etc to do our own research IE its not difficult to find the cost of a new movement...any movement :yes: hands dials etc so you get an idea of what is good value or just a bit of a rip off

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Well, I'm learning a bit here.:thumbsup: Thanks to those that actually make what we wear, we have a better idea of what our money buys.

its easy to take things for granted, but when there is an open and honest explanation from the makers i for one get a different view on things

It's nice to know what effort some watchmakers put into the products they sell, it isn't often we get that kind of insight first hand.

When will the "big" companies be joining the forum? He said with cynicism.:biggrin:

 

it would be nice to see the other side, but is quite easy now with google etc to do our own research IE its not difficult to find the cost of a new movement...any movement :yes: hands dials etc so you get an idea of what is good value or just a bit of a rip off

Some people say that the value of an item is not the cost of the parts, but also the chic value of that item.

I will ponder on that for a while longer.:wink:

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