This is the Titanium Aktiv Skagen Mesh SKW6007 Gents model.
The question has to be – Will it suit my purpose and is the quality good enough not to give me problems (or someone else if you “flip” it) over the next 5 years or so? However when you consider that the average guy might change or buy a new watch anywhere from weekly to maybe a current “grail” one in 10 years, the issue of longevity is somewhat irrelevant. OK if you spend thousands or indeed many thousands then the issue, question and answer will take care of itself!
Anyway this is about finding a modern thin dress watch at low/mid price, so choice wise almost inevitably quartz ( there are vintage mechanical ones around of course ). So I looked and surprise, surprise, I did find a Skagen model that I like the look of and I feature it here.
I’ve seen them advertised of course and there are a few stockists around which is not too surprising as they’ve been about since 1989, marketing thin quartz watches in their “Denmark” style design, though in the past I’ve never taken to this rather thin minimalist look. I tended to find the dials were rather bland and often too reflective for my personal taste, but if thin is what you want, then certainly they’re worth checking out. Mid price models and the quality is average/good I’d say, though whilst I have no information on the Quartz movement in this model, I understand they feature within the range some Swiss movements and assemble them in the US. However misinformation abounds, as I’ve also heard they use Asian movements and Far East assembly, so in short I really don’t know. Interesting to me is the fact that Fossil have taken over Skagen Designs and already owning two Fossil watches myself, which I like and where the quality is just fine – this is encouraging.
Nice size at 40mm diameter and only 7mm depth, so is certainly thin and sits flat on the wrist. The case as described is Titanium, though when you fist pick it up you realize the mesh bracelet is Stainless Steel and a substantial one at that. It is fully and easily adjustable and appears good quality. The case design is rather neat with a faceted top bezel in alternate shiny and mat finish, the full width lugs are mat finish and the bracelet/band fits via two countersunk screws on each lug. The watch is described as 50m Water Resistant and comes with hardened Mineral Glass.
The dial is a slightly brown grey color and reasonably mat and the outer minute index baton markers are applied luminous material with black outlines, including the numerals 12 and 6 – these are on a raised ring within the dial. The inner part of the dial features another index ring as a narrow 1mm band in Orange background with black numbers as 05, 10, 15 and so on minute markers. It’s actually quite a neat and clear feature. The hour and minute hands are of thin straight chrome with luminous indents on each. The center seconds hand is also chrome but with a 2mm long Orange tip and there is a Day and Date window @3 with black lettering against white. The watch setting crown is also @3 inset into the watch case. It is quite small I note and has no knurling so can be a little fiddly to turn, but manageable. This model sets like most of this type – pull out to the first click and depending on which way you turn , moves the Day or the Date. Pull out to the second position to set the hands. So Instructions are hardly necessary. However in saying that, Skagen have included an Instruction booklet, International Guarantee card with a Lifetime (limited) Warranty, Service Center location booklet and nice box and watch display pillow, so is rather better catered for than Fossil, who take a minimalist approach to information, rather than product! I mention Fossil as they own Skagen Designs now. Fossil take note.
I took a few images of this model which highlight the fact that build quality appears reasonable, though whether I’ll personally adapt to a mesh strap is unknown – The last mesh I had was not a success comfort wise, so time will tell with this one. Further on the “Lifetime Warranty” – I note this does not cover the glass or the bracelet, nor the battery.
I suppose the fact the bracelet is NOT Titanium is a pity as I expected the whole thing to be Ti and lightweight. (my Breitling Aerospace has a Titanium case and bracelet and for for 15 years the bracelet’s become smoother over time and is simply the most comfortable one I have).
Of course time will tell if this is a good purchase, but it seems to look the part and has not disappointed in the flesh as it were. I did spot another model that might be of interest, but thinking on it further, for me anyway – I just have this feeling that maybe one Skagen is enough. Don’t get me wrong, I like it but this minimalist Danish inspired design still doesn’t really do it for me and maybe this is a fault of their success – the models are all very “similar” and have this unmistakable family look – and well I’m not so sure. Maybe variety is needed somewhere along the way – but that’s such a personal thing, it’s probably just me.
But for me, one Skagen in the stable – this is fine and I’m sure I’ll be pleased with it, as a dress watch – on occasion.
UPDATE – 1st May 2013
Been wearing the watch for a few weeks now and have to say I am surprisingly delighted with it. It IS comfortable to wear and it does look good. Perhaps the dial also has something to say about that. It is a little unusual I suppose when compared with other Skagen models in that it has a neat and clear color scheme, is not reflective and to my surprise the luminous hands can be seen at night. Many of these models with very thin hands and commensurately narrow luminous paint, fall down in this respect. So I’m very happy with my eventual choice.
I just might consider another Skagen, but I’ll take the same care over selection as I did on this one as it’s all too easy to get a thin handed, reflective dialed, low contrast model with very poor legibility – but avoid those negatives and you could be very surprised and pleased. I know I am . . . .