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TeeJay

One Eight Something Review

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Okay, this is a watch I received about a week ago, and have grown really fond of. It is supposed, to be a rep of the 187, but, as you can see, not particularly accurate, hence my re-naming of it. In terms of pure replication, it's nothing special, infact, only three things are correct about it to the original: The title, the case-back, and the fact it tells the time :lol: I know those who seek pure 1:1 reps will probably have seizures looking at this, but, do bear with it, it's a nice watch in its own right, and I felt worthy of a review :)

About my review:

In writing this review, I am going to follow the style of a review which ultimately led to my interest in Omega watches, and ultimately reps, John B. Holbrook, II's excellent comparitive review, Omega Seamster Professional Vs Rolex Submariner.

I am going to be judging the watch as objectively, and honestly as possible, giving justifications for my reasonings as I go. These scores are purely based upon my own observations and opinions about the watch, people are free to agree or disagree as they wish.

A note about my 'scoring system':

I will be scoring on a scale of 0 - 10, with 5 being the mid-way score. A score of 5, would mean that the 'aspect' performs its intended function. And no more. A score of five, in academic terms, would be considered 'a pass', but the lowest possible pass, and single lower mark would have meant a failing grade. Respectively, a 0 reflects a total failure to perform the designated role, and a 10 represents a performance of the designated role which goes 'above and beyond', and could not possibly be better.

Let's get started...

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CASE:

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Despite being the wrong shape and size, it's got a pretty good case. The brushed finish is flawless (other than what I've done to it myself over the week) it has no sharp edges, and, despite having functional chrono pushers, it doesn't flood when going under water.

RATING: 10

BEZEL:

UNMODIFIED:

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MODIFIED:

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Controversial... When the watch arrived, I was concerned that the raised NESW markers would either snag clothing, or fall off randomly at some totally embarassing moment, so I used a razor blade to pry them off, and then used the flat part of a small screwdriver to polish the indentations. The result, is something I'm very happy with, and would rate as a 10. However. It is not really fair to rate the factory version on something which I customized, especially as the original form caused concerns, so I will score it on that original state. Functionally, the bezel is fine. It rotates smoothly, and is easy to grip. In terms of replication, the bezel is inaccurate, but, the NESW markers are more in keeping with the first Arktos watch, so although an incorrect detail, it is an understandable, and tollerable one.

RATING: 8

CASEBACK:

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Absolutely flawless. This is one of the high points of the watch, and features three different finishing effects: Brushed, frosted and polished. All markings are crisp and clear. All wording is correctly spelled.

RATING: 10

CROWN:

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Well protected crown, with well-defined ridges, is easy to grip, and gives smooth operation of the movement. Crown moves in and out smoothly. Crown guard lever locks solidly into place, without hint of looseness or rattling while closed. When open, the lever moves smoothly. If you look closely, you will see that one of the screws is slightly damaged. It is still functional, and, as it's concealed by the crown guard, something I'm not particularly bothered about, although I know that some, would sh*t bricks if they received a watch with such a screw fitted.

RATING: 10

DIAL:

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Another of the highlights of the watch. Color is charcoal grey, with primarily white printing. '1000' lettering is printed in cerulean blue. All lettering is of equal print quality, including the luminous markings of the subdials. Dial indices are well formed, with even lume applications, and, while certainly not as attention-grabbing as a sandwich dial, still appealing and attractive. Lume is nothing special. Although initially impressive, it fades out quickly, so only good for about 3 hours visibility. While I was initially concerned about the size of the dial compared to the size of the case, the printings on the rehaut give the illusion of a larger dial, and prevent cluttering, which would have occured had the markings been printed on the dial face. Markings on the rehaut are as cleanly executed as those on the dial face. The chrono dials are nicely recessed, well balanced, and do not clutter the dial, however, a larger dial would make the watch easier to read. All chrono dials are functional. '3' runs a 24 hour sweep in conjunction with the main hands. While it is not possible to set it independant of the hands, say to track a second timezone, it does allow for day/night distinctions to be made in environments with unchanging light levels, such as caving or an Arctic expedition ;) Seconds run constantly at '6'. '9' runs a minute count while the chronograph is running. While the chronograph is inactive, the main second hand is frozen, but, when active, the second hand does move. Although it does not sweep, being a quartz movement, it does keep time flawlessly, and, if started at the right time, runs flawlessly in conjunction with the seconds at '6', with neither hand gaining or losing time on the other.

RATING: 10

HANDS:

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Hands are well made, with no scratches, no smudges and no lume on the outside edges, but not the most practical, as they would benefit from lume strips along the skeleton sides. Lume on hands is an excellent color match with the lume on the dial indices, although when glowing, the hands glow brighter than the indices. Better that, than the other way round though...

RATING: 8

CRYSTAL:

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Virtually flat saphire crystal does not distort the view of the dial in any way.

Rating: 9 (would be 10 if AR coated)

STRAP:

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The factory strap for this watch is absolutely, completely and utterly unacceptable, and I threw it away immediately.

What made the strap so unacceptable? The material it was made out of. All printings and letters were well formed, but, the strap was glossy, rather than matte, and one could practically see the phthalates sweating out of the rubber. In terms of health, that is completely and utterly unacceptable, so it got thrown in the bin immediately. Of course, it's often mentioned that when buying a rep, one should also budget for a strap to replace the factory-issued one. While I have never experienced that before, it was certainly true of this watch. I don't even have the strap, so I have shown a dealer photo of it.

I replaced the strap, first with my own 24mm dive strap, but later, with a honeytan sharkskin strap.

RATING: 3

BUCKLE:

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The buckle which was fitted to the strap, was not a screw in buckle, was not the correct shape, and the lettering 'Panerai' was not etched centrally. Absolute garbage.

RATING: 1

VERSATILITY:

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Not really this watch's strong point... It is a utilitarian watch, designed for use in harsh environments, not wearing in a board room or getting drunk in a naff wine bar. While changing the dive strap for a leather strap makes it more visually appealing, nothing can take the watch out of it's genre of a 'tool watch'. It can certainly be worn casually, but could never be considered smart or formal. Watch does not fit easily under a shirt cuff.

RATING: 3

UNSCORED EXTRAS:

I bought this watch as a 'tough, work beater', something which I could wear without fear of damage or flooding. This shot is a testament to the confidence I have in the watch, and by extension, the dealer I bought it from.

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CONCLUSIONS:

A very nicely put together watch, marred by an unacceptable strap, and made awkward by the NESW markers on the bezel.

Overall, this watch is very nice. As mentioned above, it is likely not going to impress, or be appreciated by anyone who demands 1:1 accuracy in replication, but, why is 1:1 replication important? To pass the watch off as genuine? That's not something that I want to do, so the lack of accuracy in replication does not bother me, I simply view it as 'a watch', and appreciate the quality of construction for itself. In terms of replication, the One Eight Something falls short in all areas, most noteably size, bezel and details of dial printings. It could not, regardless of the modifications performed, ever pass for a genuine 187. However, viewed as itself, as 'a watch', it is very nicely made, with clear, well executed dial markings, and engravings (especially on the caseback). As an interesting note, the domed caseback creates a more noticeable, focussed pressure point on the wrist, than other flat PAM casebacks. As with all PAMs, it is likely to be overlooked by passers by as simply a 'large, ugly watch'. For anyone wanting a heavyduty 'tool' watch, I think it is ideal.

Now, this watch scored pretty low, thanks to a few stupid flaws, flaws which can easily be remedied by an owner. It's not hard to swap a strap, and, not particularly challenging to remove the raised bezel markers, then re-brush the bezel, giving a smooth, un-snagging finish. For those reasons, on this particular review, I will be awarding bonus points....

POSSIBLE SCORE: 100

OVERALL SCORE: 72

BONUS POINTS:

- Replacement strap + 7 points

- Modified Bezel + 2 points

OVERALL SCORE: 81

Still not the best of scores, but, I appreciate that this watch might well not be to everyone's taste...

As stated above, these opinions are solely my own, and others are free to agree or disagree with them as they wish. I hope this has been an informative review, thanks for reading :)

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I guess others don't have any love for the lower end reps... You can be honest, it's because it's a quartz movement, isn't it :lol:

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Great review TJ and most excellent Photo's It sure look like it will stand the test of time.

But for me the back looks almost better than the front, that part is awesome

Enjoy

ST

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Can't believe I missed this, great review Teejay! Like you say, it would make a great daily wearer!

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Great review TJ and most excellent Photo's It sure look like it will stand the test of time.

But for me the back looks almost better than the front, that part is awesome

Enjoy

ST

Thanks :) You're quite right, the caseback is the real highpoint of the watch. The photos don't really do justice to the variation between the three finishes. The polished section is mirror-smooth (apart from hairscratches now...) and, the frosted section is quite different to look at than the brushed sections, but sadly, the photos never really captured that to it's full extent. If anything, the frosted section, looks virtually identical to a pane of glass, which has had 'frosting film' put over it. That kind of opacity/texture :)

Can't believe I missed this, great review Teejay! Like you say, it would make a great daily wearer!

Thanks :) It certainly seems bullet-proof thus far ^_^ No hint of flooding or condensation when it's gotten wet, the movement keeps perfect time, but then, it's quartz, so that's only to be expected :) What I really need to do to get it perfect, is to find a brushed 24mm logo buckle. I know there are un-branded ones available, but I fancy putting a branded buckle on it :) Maybe one of Andy's straps as well... :)

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