A surprisingly excellent model from those folks at Android USA – the Ambassador 11 Swiss complication watch (Triple Date Calendar model)
Not in the “way out” style I associate Android with at all, this is a rather elegant polished stainless steel cased Ambassador model, which features as it’s power source the excellent Swiss Ronda 5 jewel 706.B. This model has displays for – month, date, day, moon phase, in addition to the hour, minute and center seconds hands. This particular dial also shows an index for week numbers of the year, so will appeal to businessmen as a very smart and useful dress watch.
The dial is silver/white and the hands a very good contrasting blue steel, including the seconds hand, so despite all the complications it is an easy watch to read. The month indicator has a curve pointer at the end which is colored yellow.
Having such complications it is important as to when you change them you make sure that you manage this task at the correct time so as not to damage the mechanics of the movement. Often the watch instructions are not as detailed as the movement instructions and I prefer to use the latter when it comes to settings.
Whilst the instructions that come with the Android are OK, a slightly more detailed set is available from Ronda on their own very good web site.
For example to change any calendar functions it should not really be done between 11.30pm and 05.30am as automatic changes are usually in progress at these times. The initial setting of the moon phase also requires a bit of concentration and as with my other moon phase models – my advice is – Don’t lose the instructions! or better still download a copy of the Ronda ones and keep it on your computer.
Basically moon phase functions are initially set (and done only once) by selecting the day of the last full moon, then set the date pusher to that date. Then using the crown set your current situation and that’s it done. For other settings the watch has some quick change pushers for the week and the date. The pusher @2 moves the Month and Week Number and the lower pusher @5 changes the date.
The hour, minute, day and date hands and markers are infilled with luminous material and look pretty good in low light. Of course as with many of these, they will tend to fade after an hour or so, but they’re reasonable. In daylight and for basic clarity this model excels as the dial layout is really well thought out and exceptionally clear to read. It is certainly in my opinion a very smart looking model without being flashy – in fact a true “dress” watch that seems to fit it’s purpose very well.
At 42mm diameter and 12mm height this is a nice modern watch size (ex crown). In fact to find such a nice watch at this size in the Android stable is quite a find, as all too often many models in their range tend (for gents) to be over-sized for me.
Now with such a busy dial face you could be forgiven if thinking that it might be cluttered and in fact nothing could be further from reality. Everything is well spaced and lettered cleverly to be highly visible. Note that the hour numerals are applied blue painted and stand out from the other black printed texts – quite a subtle arrangement. I also note that the Android logo is neatly managed in a non bold typeface which says all it needs to say but is both neat and unobtrusive.
The case is a solid chunk of highly polished stainless steel and Water Resistant to 100m which is nice to see in a dress watch of this type. The crystal is a slightly domed convex hardened mineral glass. The complication pushers are on the right side of the case either side of the crown and virtually hidden. The 22mm wide strap is good quality, if rather stiff, Croco embossed Italian leather fitted to quick release lug pins and with a matching polished steel Android logo buckle I have to say seems to compliment the watch very well. However as with a few of my watches I changed the strap for a Silicon deployment style and it looks really good fitted.
Overall I’m very pleased with this addition to my Android collection (I knew the first one wouldn’t be the last!) and I can see me wearing this quite often as one of my favorite dress watches.
Any negatives? Well. . . no actually. . . it is what it is – a very nice watch indeed. I love it!
Update January 2013 –
Well this model has lived up to my expectations big time. It has not yet had to adjust or correct the time which shows the quality of the Ronda movement. No issues at all as this watch has functioned perfectly since I bought it. I’ve since been looking for another Triple Date Calendar watch and found nothing in this price bracket that even approaches at it terms of looks or quality. It’s just a pity it’s not available now as I think Android had themselves a real winner here and maybe didn’t realize it. Maybe I should tell them!