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Short review of the Noob 44mm ROO FC

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OK this watch belongs to a local friend, who is not part of the boards for some unfathomable reason. I swapped a watch with him for a week, and decided to do a short review on it. 

This watch is the Noob version of the 44mm ROO forged carbon, released in late 2014. The JF version was released in early 2014 if I am not mistaken. I have handled both versions of the watch, and in this short review, I would primarily give my opinion on the Noob while some comparisons may be made vs the JF. 

 

Let me first start by saying that the Noob 44 FC is a well made watch. The bezel is very nicely crafted, and the first thing I noticed when receiving the watch is that the bezel displays different sheens of color depending on how it catches the light. It could be black in dim lighting, and a very nice steely charcoal color when it catches the light at an angle. This is just like how the gen watch is. The bezel is definitely not a flat dull black, and personally, is very pretty when it appears to be an interesting metallic grey color under florescent light. This gives it some variation against the black dial, and the marbled black forged carbon casing. The bezel screws of both the J12 and Noob are generally well made, polished and well aligned. Be careful about uneven recess of the bezel screws in some specimens. But this is a minor flaw that any watchsmith could fix without much difficulty.

 

The mid casing itself, as the name implies, is made of "improved" forged carbon as claimed by Noob. Against the J12 model, the Noob version is slightly more glossy, and as the marbling could vary vastly from watch to watch, I would just say that the marbling effect is more visible vs the earlier forged carbon cases of the J12, and like the bezel, displays interesting vagaries when exposed to different lighting . A little polishing wax would definitely make the marbling stand out, and would show off the full extent of the beauty of forged carbon. I have seen genuine FC with duller case finishes, and of course, I have seen better ones than the watch pictured. The case could benefit from a simple polish, to bring it to a gen-like finish. But it is definitely not something bland looking out of the box. I would give the finish an impressive score of 9/10, if the best gen finish is 10/10. The case is slightly thicker vs gen to accommodate the modified A7750 sec@12 movement, but this is something most would generally forget when wearing the watch. 

 

The dial: I really like the Noob dial. The signature tapisserie pattern of the dial really seems to pop out at you whenever you glance at the watch, so much so that you tend to neglect to see what the time is when you look at the watch. The edges of each raised "square" is well defined, distinct, and neat, like silent black sentinels. The black dial matches very nicely with the red subdial hands, the white moving second hand, the steel markers with center-lume, and of course the chrome AP badge. One thing I notice is that the Noob FC has whiter colored lume on the markers and hands vs the JF, which could have slightly greenish lume. Lume strength wise, the JF one seems to have the slight edge. The Noob FC lume is good enough for me though. Like any other pretty timepiece, it is a travesty to immerse it in prolonged darkness.

 

A note on the hands: there are comments that mentioned that the central chrono hands, as well as the sub dial hands bases, should be black instead of the chrome which Noob uses. The fact is, both black and chrome chrono hands exist, likewise for the sub dial hand bases. Fret not, my fellow AP afficionados, Noob has not made a mistake here. It was just a case of different versions of the genuine FC watch being repped. The subdials are nicely recessed as per gen, and the overall dial appears crisp and finished luxuriously. 

The date font used by Noob is a large plus point for me, having seen both the Noob and J12 fonts. Neither are wrong technically, as AP did do updates to the font in the recent years. The one Noob used is the older font, which to me possesses much more character than the J12 one. I do not know if it is period-correct, or model correct but if I owned this watch, I would not be swapping out the date wheel for the newer one, even if it is inaccurate. The comparison is like looking at a beautiful painting and looking at the teacher's chalk writings on the classroom blackboard. One holds your gaze, the other tends to shift it away. Of course, both Noob and J12 versions suffer from slight positional flaw in the datewheel position, and the ever slightly shorter marker at the 3 o'clock position. I could live with this though. The dial simply looks balanced and complete, and nothing seems really out of place on this one. 

One benefit of mostly black dials is that it could get away with small inaccuracies and flaws with almost placid complacency. This is one of the few AP ROOs that when you glance at the dial, and you will see its beauty, not the flaws, even with the noesis that the flaws do exist.  

 

I like the more accurate hour/minute hands used in the 44mm ROOs, as opposed to most of the hands used in the 42mm ROO models. The center pinion difference has become subtle now, and this is another pleasing visual treat in the 44mm FC.

 

The crystal used by both Noob and J12 are both single coated AR crystals. Nonwithstanding, the Noob seems to have the slight advantage here, adding more visual clarity to the dial. The AR is very close to genuine for this watch actually, though many owners have opted to go for the double AR upgrade route. It would be nice to have, but unnecessary. The AR of the date cyclops is not the best, with a slight bluish tinge visible at certain angles. I could live with it, but it would be good if one could change out the cyclops for a clear double AR one.    

 

The pushers, pusher guards, crown, and crown guards are very similar to the set J12 uses. The pusher guards are correctly sandblasted with a dark grey finish, and the crown looks to be made from ceramic, with a nice brushed finish. I would not comment on the caseback in this review. The A7750 movement, silver screws or not, is a far cry from the caliber 3126/3840 AP uses for the genuine watch. But unless you are going to wear your watch back to front, I trust that this would not present a problem in most social situations.

 

In brevity, without indulging in further sleep inducing verbosity, I would like to conclude that the Noob 44 FC would make an ideal everyday watch, and an ideal first ROO rep. It is a watch that makes a statement with mature poise, as opposed to yelling in your face and screaming "look at me, look at me!". The all black outfit could be livened up by the use of contrast in straps or stitchings, like my friend has done. The strap is a red saffiano set from SMPLover over at RWI. The straps fit very well due to the fact that inserts were being thoughtfully included by the maker. The watch is light and drapes very comfortably over my wrist (was 6", now its 6.25"). I would forget its there based on weight alone, but the serenade that its beauty sings to me makes it impossible to ignore. Just on a side note, this watch has been serviced and fitted with an ETA mainspring by spinmaster. It has been running very strongly since, with a tested power reserve of over 54hrs. The movement is also very smooth and quiet on the wrist, a contrast from when it first arrived from the factory, where the rotor whir reminds one vaguely of a copter take-off.  

 

If you are on the fence whether to add this to your collection, then I can confidently tell you that it is a no regret decision based on the build quality. The style may or may not be your cup of tea, but if you are an ROO fan, I would put this watch near, or at the top of the list of daily wearable ROO watches.     

 

Just a final disclaimer: Do not be impetuous and buy the watch based on my review. All ROOs (and rep watches in general) are flawed, some more than the rest. You have to love the watch and you have to know the flaws and what you could live with, and what you cannot never accept. I have been collecting ROO reps for some years now, and I personally find the Noob 44 FC model very palatable to me in terms of build quality and general accuracy. 

 

 

 

       

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Thanks for the write up! The DW on the noob is correct vs the 1st series of the 44mm. :)

Thank you kindly.

The master of ROO datewheels would know better than any other, I reckon. ;) 

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Awesome review! You describe all the little details so well! The datefont on this is making me pretty jealous, I may very well just pull the trigger on one of these and have two FC ROO's in my collection hmmmm  :g: :g: :g: :g:

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Awesome review! You describe all the little details so well! The datefont on this is making me pretty jealous, I may very well just pull the trigger on one of these and have two FC ROO's in my collection hmmmm :g: :g: :g: :g:

Hint mate: the J12 FC 44mm is a popular model as well, especially if priced fairly. ;)

Sent from Mars using tapatalk

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Old post,yet nice review & better understanding of the watch more in details.:partytime:

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