I said I’d Post on some new watches just the other day, but didn’t really expect to feature another one of these!
This is the Infantry Chrono-Pilot and I have to admit it looks way above it’s price point. Does that make sense?
To clarify – it looks great! It really does and on the wrist is pretty awesome, which is surprising for a watch that measures across about 46 mm (without the crown) and pretty thick at 16 mm.
But Infantry have done it again and have fitted a very soft flexible silicon band to standardish 24 mm spring bars. The result – it fits very snuggly even to my average wrist and at the same time looks rather impressive.
On the dial, which is nicely arranged, there is a lower digital window showing the Time, Day and Month (selectable). Using the pushers you can also dial up Stopwatch and Alarm. The Day of the week is shown all the time on the small sub dial between 10 & 11 using digital segmented markers, with Sunday in red at the top, going round to Saturday at about 11 on the small dial.
The dial also features a standard analog Hour hand, Minute hand and a running Seconds hand (in orange) AND I’m glad to report that Infantry have at last featured some luminosity, albeit just to the main Hour and Minute hands.
There is also another digital window opposite the 2, which has a mobile segmental style counter of sorts – I say of sorts as I have to discover exactly what it represents. The square segment markers don’t seem to run in any identifiable order, though I suspect they should count 10 seconds in sequence, but they don’t – maybe a glitch just on this particular watch. However, it makes no difference to me as I never use these anyway. Note this could be an inherent weakness of the module used. After all this is a brand new watch and something I have never, ever experienced on a Casio, Timex or Citizen model – unless long past it’s prime and very vintage. This digital display also shows AM/PM and Alarm ON/OFF and it might also have a Chime indication. Unfortunately it’s hard to know as these indications are almost unreadable, as they’re too small and lack contrast or clarity to be of much use – a design error perhaps that those mainstream Brands mentioned would simply not do.
However the main bits are fine – at a glance I can see the Time, both analog and digital, the Day of the week and without pressing any buttons or pushers – so that’s good. The watch overall is pretty easy to see and read, the dial remarkably uncluttered, the outer 60 marked bezel clicks one way and is still a handy basic time indication, say for a parking meter (sometimes simple is good).
So after all that, what does it cost? Well it’s around £20 and if it goes as well as the old square Infantry model I got as a gift a couple of years ago, it’s not at all bad. It also has a decent build quality, nice materials and excellent finish.
If you ask me if it matches up to the likes of the Casio or Timex low price point models, then my answer is – I would say not. But let’s be clear – we are looking at a watch that costs no more than your average snack for two during your lunch break. . . . .
At the end of the day it is what it is and there’s no question that it really does look the part – and would I wear it?
Well I got it just the other day and it’s still on my wrist – so Yes is the answer. And if you ask – Did I change the strap for a silicon deployment type – you know me too well!
Ps – The segment issue – Do I bother to send it back to Amazon?- it is new and it has a Guarantee. If it was DOA then I certainly would, but as the main functions are just fine, £20 is not a problem – I’ll stand it. . . . . .
Issues with cheap! –
The issues with these very cheap watches is in the quality of the parts. The ensemble can look good, but the reality can be very different. Almost always the digital displays are poor. They lack clarity and contrast and and are just too faint. The movements are invariably cheap and often far smaller than the watch, often struggling to carry the weight of the hands. Light weight mechanics, light action crowns, slack and loose tolerance mechanics, screw backs that aren’t and snap backs that are too light and not tight enough, so water resistance is often non-existent. Luminous quality is another failing – they just aren’t good enough.
The trouble is that often, as I say, the entire ensemble actually looks great! Great in photos and great in Makers blurb – but in reality – you generally get what you pay for.
A cheap watch!