Part 2 of my quick look at Pulsar and Lorus brands –
The LORUS range of watches have been around for quite a long time and usually represent very good value for money. Part of the Seiko brand, Lorus price point is slightly lower than Pulsar, with around £150 being their most expensive model – and yet manage to offer some really stylish and well specified models, two of which I’ve picked for a brief look.
First is the Lorus RW605AX9, and I picked it owing to it being an Ana-Digi display (one of my favorite combinations). Note that these models feature Dot matrix displays rather than the more common LCD. I have a couple of dot matrix “style” LED display watches and find them very good, though it has to be said whilst OK this particular one is perhaps not quite as bright as I would like, though the back light is good.
This model as those in the Pulsar range is pretty well specified. Analogue wise it features Hour, Minute and centre Seconds hands and the Digital display shows the Day, Month, Date and also the Time. It also features an Alarm (with snooze), a Chime, a 23hr/59/59, 1/100sec Stopwatch Function with Split Time, 12/24 Hour Indicator and for night use has a full dial EL (electro-luminescence) Back Light. The watch also features a flat mineral crystal, a good size stainless steel case with black fixed IP bezel and a 10 bar (100m) Water Resistance.
The Analogue and Digital times are set independently (analogue seconds hand stops during Analogue setting) and interestingly this model has two (2) batteries. The analogue movement has a SR622SW battery and the Digital movement a CR2025 – (how they squeezed them in I’ll never know) so it should give decent usage time for the EL back light and alarm. Battery life is quoted as approximately 2 years.
The case is 46mm, so is maybe a bit larger than I’m comfortable with. I comes with an OK looking black PU strap with buckle.
I note the hands are chrome edged, which in my opinion is never a great idea as it tends to give reflection – and as only seeing one in the flesh will confirm that, I would have to reserve judgement on the actual clarity of the overall dial set up.
Now when you consider the price for this model is around £50 on Amazon – plus in my view three plus points going for it – 1) – it’s NOT the same style as a Casio, 2) – it has an analogue seconds hand and 3) it has a 23hr/59/59 chronograph – so it’s pretty well specified and there are three versions available. I would note though the Pulsar models do seem overall to be in a slightly higher league.
Footnote – I note Pulsar make a cosmetically different model at around twice the price. However I see the hour and minute hands are broader with no chrome edging and the display may be a different fluorescing matrix LCD, so could well be much brighter (as the Pulsar review in the last Post) – perhaps justification for the higher price?
I also checked out a low priced Lorus all digital model – the Lorus R2307EX9, a neat watch with modern clean lines and decent size digital display.
It features a custom strap, which I confess is not my choice, but this is very often the case with these styles of watch, though the whole piece does look well balanced. The case is ABS with an ABS bezel and a 4 screw case back. A black PU strap as mentioned and curved acrylic glass and some 13 digital functions.
These are – Hour, Minute, Second, Auto-calendar (2000 to 2049), Month, Date, Day of week, Chime, Chronograph, Alarm, AM/PM or 12/24 hour format, Dual Time & Count Down Timer. Night use is catered for with a full dial EL back light and the watch is 100m Water Resistant. The movement designated as Cal. Z009. Once again this is a pretty good specification and appears reasonably well made and can be sourced for as little as £12.95 on Amazon, which is frankly amazing!
However, and I say this with every digital display, it does depend on the contrast and LCD/Matrix fluorescent quality and whilst both models appear OK in the images, it’s a learning curve as to how you see it in less than ideal light.
Lorus and Pulsar produce a good range of conventional chronograph styles though Pulsar (more expensive generally) appears to offer a slightly higher quality and are more adventurous in design and features. For me though it’s the range of dare I say “Casio features” style models that mostly attract my interest (ie: the Pulsar PV4005X! ). Their Digital and Ana-digi models seem to be their designers forté and give a hint to what they can do.
So it seems Lorus and Pulsar (from Seiko) are brands worth looking at, as they appear in certain areas, to offer pretty good value against their peer brands and competitors. Obviously there are production and parts savings somewhere in the equation, but the end results do confirm they have a good few models worthy of consideration.
And when money is tight – you can’t afford NOT to check them out.