Reviewed by K.C. Kim
http://helmwatches.com/vanuatu.html
$295 with free world wide shipping(through December)
Helm Watches appeared to come out of nowhere and release it’s first watch to the market. The company is based out of Hong Kong and released the Vanuatu fairly quickly for a new startup. Although it may seem to be rushed to the market this watch was years in the making. And the company worked hard to create a watch that would be well received by the watch community. Helm Watches skipped Kickstarter and other crowdfunding routes to sell directly to the consumer through preorder. When I first heard about the watch, there was already a buzz on internet watch forums like WatchUSeek about the Vanuatu. I had a chance to go hands on with this new budget diver watch and here are my thoughts.

SPECIFICATIONS:

WHAT YOU GET:

Vanuatu 300m Automatic Watch
Stainless Steel Bracelet
NS1 Nylon Strap (your choice of 4 colors)

CASE:

Brushed 316L Stainless Steel
Integrated Crown Guards
Screw Down Caseback
Diameter (12H to 6H): 42 mm
Diameter (9H to 3H, with crown): 45.75 mm
Lug to Lug: 50 mm
Lug Width: 22 mm
Height: 14 mm

CROWN:

Brushed 316L Stainless Steel
Screw Down
Position: 3 o’clock
Diameter: 8 mm

MOVEMENT:

Seiko Instruments NH35 (Automatic Mechanical)
Hacking and Manual Winding Functions
Accuracy: -25 ~ +35 seconds/day
Beats Per Hour: 21,600
24 Jewels
Power Reserve: 40 Hours

DIAL & HANDS:

Dial: Matte Black with Luminescent Hour Markers (off-white body color with blue afterglow)
Hands: Luminescent Hour, Minute & Second Hands (off-white body color with blue afterglow)
Date Window: 6 o’clock

BEZEL:

316L Stainless Steel
Diameter: 43 mm
Stainless Steel Insert with Black PVD Coating
Markings: White Oil + Luminescent (at 5 minute marks)
120-Click, Unidirectional Rotation

CRYSTAL:

Flat Sapphire with Internal Anti-Reflective Coating

BAND:

Stainless Steel Bracelet and Folding Clasp with Brushed Finish (22 mm Bracelet Tapers to 20 mm at Clasp)
NS1 Nylon Strap with Brushed Stainless Steel Buckle and Keeper Rings

WATER RESISTANCE:

300 m / 30 atm / 990 ft
Tested in accordance with ISO 6425:1996

WEIGHT:

With Stainless Bracelet (full length): 225 grams
With NS1 Nylon Strap: 120 grams







Helm Watches is considered a budget diver as it’s price is under $500 and this is where good value comes in Microbrands as they sell direct to the consumer and cut the middle man out of the equation. The first thought I had when opening the box was the quality of the timepiece as it had a nice heft and solid build quality. I believe at the price that this is selling at it can’t be beat. The Helm Watch comes with both a bracelet and Nato strap with options for a leather strap options sold separately HERE. I had no problems swapping out the Nato strap and attaching the bracelet onto the watch. You can purchase a spring bar tool from the company for $10 with the watch or $18 by itself HERE.





Named for the South Pacific island nation famous for its coral reefs and a WWII shipwreck, the HELM Vanuatu epitomizes rugged functionality. The Vanuatu features 43mm case, 300M Water Resistance, Sapphire Crystal, Seiko NH35 movement, and each was is tested according with ISO 6425:1996. The 43mm case is a good size for a watch without being too over-sized. The Seiko NH35 is a workhorse movement that keeps the price of the watch lower than other movements. I like the fact that each and every watch is tested for water resistance under strict standards. Some MicroBrands have started selling bracelets separately from their watch, yet Helm Watches includes the bracelet for free plus a Nato strap. I know there was some talk about a loose bezel but the bezel on my Vanuatu had zero issues and had very little play when rotating the bezel.



I believe the Helm Watches Vanuatu offers great value and rivals higher end divers. The Sinn-like style of the hands and the overall look of the watch makes this a perfect tool watch. If you like a diver with German styling and rugged no nonsense look then the Helm Watches should be on the top of your search list. The current holiday special that makes this watch only $295 with free worldwide shipping takes this watch to the next level. At $295 shipped you are not going to find a better diver watch anywhere.

Positives
Great price
Solid build quality
300M water resistance
Every watch tested for WR
Styling
Includes both bracelet and Nato strap

Negatives
bezel spring ring causes a slight backward movement that some have reported as loose bezel

Helm watches is currently offering a special $55 discount and free worldwide shipping making this watch only $295 with free shipping. If your looking for a Christmas gift for yourself or someone else do take a look at the Helm Watch Vanuatu which you can buy HERE

Disclosure: Review unit


Vescari Watch Co. is a young watch brand based in The Netherlands. Vescari Watch Co. after several years working in luxury retail is set to release their first timepiece.

The first model The Heritage Chronograph’ will be powered by the reliable Mecha-Quartz movement provided by Seiko (VK63). The movement has the reliability of Quartz with the sweeping of an automatic. he chronograph sweeps 5 times a second and has an instant snap-back reset. The other benefit this movement has over traditional quartz movements is that it doesn’t needs battery power to reset. This improves the overall energy efficiency. At last it’s also possible to change the time when the chronograph is still running.

The watch case features 316L Stainless Steel with a case size of 41mm and thickness of 10mm. A PVD rose gold plated case will be also available. The watch will also feature Sapphire Crystal for additional durability.

Case Material – 316L Stainless Steel or 316L Stainless Steel with ionic rose gold coating
Case Size – 41mm
Lug To Lug – 46mm
Case Thickness – 10mm
Lug Width – 22-20 mm
Movement – Seiko VK63 mecha-quartz hybrid
Glass: Sapphire Crystal
Hands – Hour/Minute, Chrono Hands, 24 hours/ hour and sec. subdial.
Dial – White ceramic or Black
Strap – 22mm leather strap with croco print combined with a butterfly folding clasp
Water Resistance – 10ATM/100m
Warranty – 24 Months

Check out the Kickstarter page HERE


Professional graphic designer Ivan Chua decided to spice up the Nato strap by offering ten different theme Natop watch straps. For only $22 you can own your very own Vario Nato Watch Strap in your choice of style. The campaign currently has $2,613 of it’s 5,000 goal with 16 days remaining.

Help get this campaign over the top by preordering your own VARIO Nato Watch Strap HERE


Enter to win a FREE Minuteman Jester Watch HERE
Proudly assembled in the USA by Minuteman Watch Co.
Individually serial numbered
Stainless Steel case with black PVD coating.
Stainless Steel case back.
42mm width without crown.
Screw down crown.
200 meter water resistant.
Comes with one American made Leather watch strap.
Sapphire crystal.
ETA 955.112 Swiss made movement.
Luminous hands and dial.
Price $399
http://minutemanwatches.com/jester_watch

Minuteman Watch Co. recently released a special limited edition watch that is inspired by American Hactivist The Jester. Jester is a well known Hactivist who in March of 2015 was listed in Time Magazines list of “The 30 Most Influential People on the Internet.” Jester uses his computer skills to attack Anti-American targets using DoS tool known as “XerXeS. The well know Hactivist is a former military man that is acting out of American patriotism. Minuteman Watch Co. is a Microbrand that sells watches and helps assist Veterans and their families. Minuteman Watches and The Jester make American a better place and the their are the perfect match for this special edition watch.




The Minuteman Jester Watch is a limited edition watch in short supply. The watch is made in the United States of America by highly skilled American watchmakers just as our other Minuteman watch models are. Each watch is individually serial numbered. Minuteman Watch Co. will donate 25% of all profits to Fisher House https://www.fisherhouse.org/. Minuteman goes the extra mile to help out military families and a simple purchase will help out many veterans.





The Minuteman Jester Watch features a 42mm width without crown and an easy to read black dial with white numerals. The Black PVD coated Stainless Steel case gives this watch a polished and professional look. The watch is solidly built and is protected against the elements with a screw down crown and 200 meter water resistant. The Luminous hands and dial makes this watch easy to read even at night. Other features include a quality ETA 955.112 Swiss made movement, Sapphire crystal, and American made Leather watch strap. The solid caseback engraved caseback is my favorite caseback design. The artwork alone is worth adding this watch to your collection.



Show your American Patriotism by buying a made in America watch that helps out veterans and their families. Minuteman Jester Watch is a brilliant and well made watch that looks good for both formal and casual settings. I can see myself wearing this watch at the office and out with friends. Minuteman Watch Co. has made great strides in design and function since my last review of their watches last year. I can honestly say I came around impressed by their 2016 Jester Watch offering. Watch collectors and those that want to show their support to veterans will appreciate the Jester watch for it’s design, special meaning, and raising awareness of charities to veterans and their families.

10 Out of 10

Buy it now HERE

Enter to win a FREE Minuteman Jester Watch HERE

Disclosure: Review unit


Benson Watchwinders is releasing a brand new line of watchwinders under the Black Series collection. The watchwinders will come in 2, 4, 6, and 8 size watchwinders for your automatic watch collection. The watchwinders will keep your watch on time at all times and comes in black, white or carbon. The watchwinder is programmable by its touchscreen.





The watchwinders will be made of wood with 12 layers of paint with Stainless steel feet. The watchwinders are powered by Mabuchi motors (individual per rotor). Here are the full specs of the Black Series watchwinders here





Models; for 2, 4, 6 and 8 automatic watches (4 models/sizes)
Colors: black, carbon and white
Storage capacity for other watches
Material: wood (12 layers of paint)
Stainless steel feet
Mabuchi motors (individual per rotor)
Specially developed gearing system
Touchscreen controller
Adjustable TPD (turns per day)
Winding directions; CW, CC and alternate
Adjustable watch holders for big and small wrists (ladies and gents)
LED light
Power winding function
USB connection (to charge mobile phone or other devices)
Soft-close cover
2 year warranty
Manual & official certificate

Price level:

Model 2: 399,00 euro (incl. TAX/VAT)
Model 4: 599,00 euro (incl. TAX/VAT)
Model 6: 799,00 euro (incl. TAX/VAT)
Model 8: 999,00 euro (incl. TAX/VAT)


Prices in the USA, Hong Kong and Canada are a bit lower, as the 21% VAT included in the prices (Dutch VAT). But in other countries the VAT/TAX can be lower). The Black Series of watchwinders will be release in about a month’s time.


Check out Benson Watchwinders for more info www.benson-watchwinders.com


Minuteman Watches has teamed up with Lum-Tec founder Chris Wiegand to design and manufacturer Minuteman’s latest collection. The Minuteman Independence series will come in either PVD or stainless steel versions. The black PVD will retail for $309 with a special $275 preorder and the stainless steel version will run $309 with a special $250 preorder price. Each Minuteman Independence model will be proudly assembled in Mentor Ohio USA by Wiegand Custom watch company. The watches will come with a 5 year limited warranty and free lifetime battery replacement.

Independence PVD
Assembled in the United States of America.
40mm case width without crown.
Sapphire crystal with anti reflective coating on the inside.
Ronda 515 Swiss Quartz movement.
Water resistant to 100 meters.
Black PVD finish.
Individually serial numbered.
Free lifetime battery replacement.
5 year limited warranty.
Luminous hands and markers.
$275 for a limited time HERE


Independence
Assembled in the United States of America.
40mm case width without crown.
Sapphire crystal with anti reflective coating on the inside.
Ronda 515 Swiss Quartz movement.
Water resistant to 100 meters.
Stainless Steel case and crown.
Individually serial numbered.
Free lifetime battery replacement.
5 year limited warranty.
Luminous hands and markers.
$250 for a limited time HERE

25% of the profit from our net annual sales of Minuteman products goes to charities assisting veterans & their Families. The new Independence line will be the lowest price yet for Minuteman while still offering better case finishing with Lum-Tec/Wiegard Custom Watch Company behind it. And I’m sure with all Lum-Tec watches, you will get excellent lume with this watch as well. Here is your chance to get an American made watch for an incredible low price. Compared to other American made watches, Minuteman stands alone as the best bang for your buck watch in terms of features and styling.

Check out the official site HERE and order your very own Minuteman Independence series watch


One of my early favorite watches of 2016 is the Minuteman Jester watch will be limited to as little as 50. Those who preorder will be the lucky few that will own a timepiece only worn buy a few people. The Minuteman / JΞSTΞR is a collaboration between American Made watch company Minuteman watches that donates a portion of sales to assists veterans and their families and JΞSTΞR a well known Hactivist who in March of 2015 was listed in Time Magazines list of “The 30 Most Influential People on the Internet.” The collaboration created a beautiful timepiece will an interesting backstory.

Proudly assembled in the USA by Minuteman Watch Co.
Individually serial numbered
Stainless Steel case with black PVD coating.
Stainless Steel case back.
42mm width without crown.
Screw down crown.
200 meter water resistant.
Comes with one American made Leather watch strap.
Sapphire crystal.
ETA 955.112 Swiss made movement.
Luminous hands and dial.

The Minuteman / JΞSTΞR is available for preorder now at $399 using the case as the proposed Minuteman watch with Swiss auto movement. The Jester watch will use the same high quality Swiss ETA 955.112 quartz movements that our current Minuteman MM0 series models use. 25% of the net profit from each Minuteman / JΞSTΞR ✪ Watch sold will in 2016 will go to Fisher House https://www.fisherhouse.org/

Preorder the Minuteman / JΞSTΞR watch HERE

We reviewed and covered Erroyl first watch release on Kickstarter and now the company has skipped the crowdfunding platform in favor or releasing directly to the consumer. The best part of skipping Kickstarter is that you don’t have to wait for the watch to be release as it’s already available to ship to you worldwide. Pricing starts at $402.58 for the black or white dial versions with the rose gold plated Regent Aurum priced at $413.70.

View post on imgur.com


MODEL: Regent Luna – E50RL.01
MOVEMENT: Triple Date (Day, Date & Month) – Japan Miyota Cal. 9122 Automatic and Hand Wound Movement, 26 Jewels and 28,800 Vibrations Per Hour
POWER RESERVE: More than 40 hours (manufacturer’s specifications)
CASE: 316L Stainless Steel (surgical grade)
CASE DIAMETER: 42mm
CASE THICKNESS: 12mm
CASE COLOUR: Stainless Steel
CASE BACK: Stamped *
LUG WIDTH: 20mm
CRYSTAL: Flat Sapphire Crystal with Anti-reflective Coating (underside)
DIAL COLOUR: White (sunray effect)
HANDS: IP Blue Dauphine (faceted)
STRAP: Genuine Italian Crazy Horse Leather Strap
STRAP COLOUR: Black
STRAP WIDTH: 20mm/18mm (tapering)
BUCKLE: Butterfly Clasp (deployment buckle)
WATER RESISTANCE: 10ATM (100m)
WEIGHT: 98 grams
PACKAGING: Luxury Black Wooden Presentation Box


MODEL: Regent Nero – E50RN.01
MOVEMENT: Triple Date (Day, Date & Month) – Japan Miyota Cal. 9122 Automatic and Hand Wound Movement, 26 Jewels and 28,800 Vibrations Per Hour
POWER RESERVE: More than 40 hours (manufacturer’s specifications)
CASE: 316L Stainless Steel (surgical grade)
CASE DIAMETER: 42mm
CASE THICKNESS: 12mm
CASE COLOUR: Stainless Steel
CASE BACK: Stamped *
LUG WIDTH: 20mm
CRYSTAL: Flat Sapphire Crystal with Anti-reflective Coating (underside)
DIAL COLOUR: Black (sunray effect)
HANDS: Dauphine (faceted)
STRAP: Genuine Italian Crazy Horse Leather Strap
STRAP COLOUR: Black
STRAP WIDTH: 20mm/18mm (tapering)
BUCKLE: Stainless Steel Butterfly Clasp (deployment buckle)
WATER RESISTANCE: 10ATM (100m)
WEIGHT: 98 grams
PACKAGING: Luxury Black Wooden Presentation Box

View post on imgur.com


MODEL: Regent Aurum – E50RA.01
MOVEMENT: Triple Date (Day, Date & Month) – Japan Miyota Cal. 9122 Automatic and Hand Wound Movement, 26 Jewels and 28,800 Vibrations Per Hour
POWER RESERVE: More than 40 hours (manufacturer’s specifications)
CASE: 316L Stainless Steel (surgical grade)
CASE DIAMETER: 42mm
CASE THICKNESS: 12mm
CASE COLOUR: Rose Gold Plated
CASE BACK: Stamped (Rose Gold Plated) *
LUG WIDTH: 20mm
CRYSTAL: Flat Sapphire Crystal with Anti-reflective Coating (underside)
DIAL COLOUR: White (sunray effect)
HANDS: Rose Gold Plated Dauphine (faceted)
STRAP: Genuine Italian Crazy Horse Leather Strap
STRAP COLOUR: Dark Brown
STRAP WIDTH: 20mm/18mm (tapering)
BUCKLE: Rose Gold Plated Butterfly Clasp (deployment buckle)
WATER RESISTANCE: 10ATM (100m)
WEIGHT: 98 grams
PACKAGING: Luxury Black Wooden Presentation Box

You can purchase all three Regent Collection watches directly from Erroyl HERE

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Founder Samuel Tay based out of Singapore launch a new Micro Brand Reverie and first model called the Sea-Spirit. The company skipped the crowdfunding route and is selling the watch directly to consumers in a limited 125 piece Edition. The two models you can choose have either a black dial or blue dial watch. The nautical inspired timepiece sells for $420 and comes with a 1 year international repair warranty.





The Sea-Spirit is presented in a nice leather gift box and the watch includes an extra black sailcloth inspired watch strap. The Sea-Spirit comes with a brown leather strap with butterfly clasp. Both straps include convenient strap-change (CSC) design function for effortless changing of straps. I am a big fan of quick changing straps as the spring bar tools tends to damage the watch case and strap. The convenient strap-change makes it easy to swap straps in seconds for a new look.



The watch features a unique Guilloché dial inspired by sea waves. The Guilloché dial transforms under different lighting conditions. As the dial hits the light it’s almost looks like the dial is moving in a wave-like matter. The squarish cushion case measures 41mm diameter with 47mm lug to lug. I found the watch to be a perfect size for my 7 inch wrist. The polished and brushed case is full of nice angles that show off the polished and brushed metals.



The white numerals is highly readable with a small seconds hand offset to the 5. You will find a date window at 3 o’clock with thick hours and minutes hands that are lumed. The Sea-Spirit also features Sapphire crystal with inner anti-reflective coating, Automatic Miyota 8218 movement, and 10 ATM water resistance.


The Reverie Sea-Spirit was one of my favorite watches released in 2015. The limited edition timepiece is a must have for any watch collector. The unique sea wave dial alone makes this different from any Micro Brand I have reviewed. At $420 you are getting a great value for watch that only a few will have a pleasure to own.

Positives
Sea Wave dial
Rich blue dial
Watch that looks good in all angles
Perfect everyday watch for casual and formal wear

Negatives
Would prefer 9015 over Miyota 8218


Buy this limited edition blue sea wave dial 125 piece watch HERE