My friends well know I’m a rather eclectic collector of watches and often on their travels come across items they think may be of interest to me and if not too expensive of course and more for a laugh than anything, they turn up at my door with a present such as this Infantry Model IN-023.
He tells me this was £14 and I have to say it’s one big watch for very little money. When I first opened the box I though “Oh my G**, what is THIS?”
But once over the initial shock and reservations, believe it or not, I actually found myself rather taken with it and as for wearing it – well it’s amazingly comfortable with it’s soft rubber strap and the watch believe it or not actually fits my smallish wrist. At first glance it’s huge and whilst it IS big the measurements are at first glance perhaps surprisingly reasonable. The 136gms alloy structure case is actually only 45mm square and if you add the pushers and crown it’s maybe 53mm across, but the sting in the tail so to speak is the diagonal dimension which is 60mm!
But it fits so well of course because the lug to lug dimension is only 45mm, the strap is a very soft rubber with steel buckle, the lugs are very neat and the strap is not held away from the case body like a Casio, but go straight around your wrist, so are basically at right angles to the case and not sticking out from the case – you can see what I mean by the images on the wrist.
The large dial is round and has clear painted green numerals and markers, with bright white painted Hour, Minute and center Seconds hands. Unfortunately the hands are NOT luminous, which is a real shame, especially for a watch called Infantry and it’s military styling. Additionally there are two digital display windows, upper and lower. The top one shows the Day, Month and Date plus indications of selected functions and the lower one shows the Time or selectively Stopwatch and Alarm. Also there are indicators for pm and Alarm set. The display digits are green fluorescent and perhaps a little faint for me, though the display back light operated by the top left pusher is not at all bad and the display is easily read at night. Also probably by accident rather by design the light pusher is top left, so if worn on the left wrist it means that when you push it, your hand shrouds the watch face – very good in a military situations, in case you’re being scoped by a sniper at night! 😉
The straight mounted pushers (owing to the square case) on the right side, though neat are closer to the crown than I would like and hindered slightly in operation as a result, but they work OK it has to be said.
The large glass crystal is slightly domed and is very clear (not anti-reflection coated) it is scratch resistant and better than many. The glass however is pretty exposed as it sits slightly proud of the case, so inevitably will be vulnerable to abrasion and possible damage in use.
The case is a black painted satin finish alloy structure and the steel back is a snap on, with 3ATM or 30m water resistance – so no swimming then.
So Infantry yes, Military style yes. And of course it’s not meant to be “military”, but inspired by so to speak and I have to admit it looks good and for some crazy reason I actually quite like wearing it! And OK it has a few limitations of course and for all sorts of reasons, but at the price, for me it’s a bit of fun.
Since my friend dropped this in to me the other day with a big grin, I’ve had a look at the Infantry web site and this Company has been around since 2011 and make quite a large range of military inspired models. I don’t think I’ve seen one with luminous hands, which is a shame and I would like to see screw backs to give some confidence and perhaps upgrade the water resistance. I also feel that if the displays were just a tad brighter, then their combo models would really start to interest a wider audience. The Alloy case seems a good thing and makes the models a little lighter.
I understand it’s produced in Hong Kong and uses a Japan Quartz movement, though without details have no idea if it will last or even be accurate, I have yet to find out – so I’ll report on it in 1 month assuming we’re both still going!
My final verdict – Appears to be a great watch for the price, though for me a tad large, lume would not go amiss – but apart from that – for £14 – it ain’t half bad!
UPDATE – 23rd August 2017
The hands stopped, and digits misreading. So I guessed a battery had failed. Removed the snap back – easy to pop off and underneath there is a large 2025 battery, under which lies another smaller SR626SW (377) battery which is covered by a small insulating soft plastic plug. As I did not have any 2025’s to hand I decided to change the smaller SR626SW anyway. Again easy to do popped in the insulating plug, then replaced the 2025 on top, fitted the cover (small screw here), snapped on the back again and hey presto everything was up and running again. Reset the time, date etc and the watch is once again running fine.
Have to admit to being pretty pleased with the practical quality of this watch (OK no lume, but that seems par for the course of cheap watches) and it’s a reasonably good time keeper at an approximate 1.5 minutes in 3 years. So once again a £14 watch – difficult to beat!
Anyway now I’ve got the new battery in, I’m wearing it today and whilst a little macho for me – I like it and although big, is VERY easy to wear, so maybe the rest of the week then . . . .