The Feice FM202 Automatic is another model from my affordable mechanical automatics, which has an interesting look. Simple white face on which rotates blue hands. Hours, minutes and seconds, Plus a Power Reserve indicator, so you know, how long it has to run – without either simply keeping it on your wrist, or winding it – your choice.
The Power Reserve is 35 hours or there about. Note too, this is also a hacking movement.
The movement is an automatic mechanical, 28 jewel (possibly SeaGull), which can be viewed via the transparent case back. Now a few years back, on a budget, I would have much preferred a Miyota (Citizen) movement, as early SG and other Chinese movements suffered from poorly finished parts (pallet fork, escape wheel etc.) and often lacked proper lubrication. Quality control was not the best. However, today I now have a few watches featuring SeaGull power units and to date, have had no issues with any of them. As to the accuracy, these appear to be on a par with most of their competitors. In fact, there are a few Chinese manufacturers (Lioaning Peacock, Memorigin & others) that in recent years have had freedom to go their own way and really improved in both design and quality.
As to this particular watch model, it has to date, performed well, and certainly as good any other in my affordable and mid priced collection of mechanical autos.
The case is 316 stainless steel, 42mm diameter and 11mm thick with 20mm wide lugs, so it takes a decent strap on conventional spring-bars – therefore easy to swap, should you so wish. Also the finish quality is OK, so no complaints on that score either.
On the bright dial, the upper sub-dial @12, indicates the Power Reserve, the lower sub, the running seconds and date window are @6 and all can be seen very clearly through the rather fascinatingly named ‘2.5D Arc Hyperbolic Mirror dome’ crystal, which apparently is both scratch and wear resistant, which, so far, seems to be true.
Note – the Mirror Dome crystal tends to make the watch appear a little thicker cased, than it actually is.
Water Resistance is rated 30m, typical dress watch and basically means splashes (always sounds better than it is), though this is another story, where Official classification tests citing these descriptions can seem quite misleading, if you’re not into these things. In other words, use it as a daily beater in normal circumstances by all means, but don’t go swimming with it, ‘cos it might not manage that too well. The standard ‘swimming’ classification is rated 50m and it should be remembered that these are based on static laboratory tests and not in the real world.
For further information a good explanation of Water Resistance ratings can be accessed here – https://blog.crownandcaliber.com/what-does-water-resistance-in-watches-mean/
This model version came with a rather hard leather and stainless deployment mechanism, which for me is usually good reason for change. This deployment convertor like many has an annoying fact, in that it makes the strap stick out from the wrist – thus making it look clumsy and likely to catch under a shirt cuff, and the first (fixed) strap keeper is so close to the mechanism, it gets me fiddling around to unclasp the thing. Now there are much neater deployment mechanisms around, so this was disappointing.
But easy to fix with standard lugs, and I’ve fitted a nice Birkinstock supple calf leather buckle strap and the watch is, in my opinion, much the neater for it (as shown).
Overall however and swimming limitations aside, this model is a rather good looking watch. It certainly has a look that’s a bit different It works well and if you like this look and it’s not to big for you at 42mm diameter, then it’s not a bad choice – and it is reasonably affordable.
Addendum – I forgot to say, I already briefly mentioned this watch in my “Elegant watches” page some time ago, but said little about it – well I liked the look of it so much – I bought one – so consider a closer look as done.
Thoughts – After wearing this watch for a while, I realised it has something much, much more than just the look, though the soft calf strap in combination, has a definite comfort factor, there’s more.
The fact is, I just love wearing it and I mean this in a way that’s difficult to explain. But I’m wearing it alternatively with my daily beater (Breitling Aerospace) of the last 20 years, that is the FM202 during the day and later I change to the Breitling, basically as I like a luminous watch when it gets dark. It’s that good and certainly this doesn’t happen very often – if ever. I can say no more!
Categories: Watch reviews