You know, I had sworn off of chronographs. I've owned a few (MIH watch, Stewal chronograph) and reviewed others, but it wasn't something I wanted to buy. Then, dang it, Marloe emailed me to ask if I wanted to review this and my knees just buckled.
So. This is Marloe's second Kickstarter, I was an early correspondent and proud to say that my Design and make your own watch page contributed to the success of their first model, the The Cherwell by Marloe, and in return they kindly let me keep a review sample. So I am a fan, but as I'll explain, I'm a fan for good reason:
The Lomond Chronoscope is now in the final stages of its Kickstarter campaign, which ends March 31 2017. They are already funded, but you can still buy in at $372 and I'll explain why that's a good deal and worth your consideration.
The Lomond is clearly the sibling of the Cherwell - both hand winders with strong vintage styling cues and Seagull movements. In the case of the Lomond, its the ST19, which is the Venus 175 as the company sold the tooling and designs to the Chinese. It looks quite nice, with good bits of color and depth to appreciate:
I like the mixture of gold plates, steel parts and blue-dyed screws as well as red sapphire jewels. You can look nice without costing a fortune.
The usual drawback of the Chinese movements is quality assurance, so there's more risk of problems than with, say, an ETA or Seiko. I know and trust the guys behind Marloe to resolve any problems. If you buy a Chinese movement, just check that the company has a warranty. in my experience Seagull are good movements. I've been impressed with ST21 in my OWC MS-5517 rev 1, for example. This one kept good time in the week I had it, was crisp feeling to wind, and had a very different feel to the pushers compared to the ETA 7750s I'm used to. I do wish it hacked, though.
If you're going to get a chronograph, I love the combination of case back window and hand wind movement - you get maximum visibility into the moving parts, of which there are many here. This is a 30-minute chronograph, with central seconds, constant seconds at nine o'clock, and a Non-hacking movement running at 21,600 vph.
Just like the Cherwell, the case shape here is strongly tapered, widest on top with straight conical taper. Its a design that yields increased wearing comfort as well as more dial width.
Case measurements are 42.9mm wide at the outer edge of the bezel, tapering to 36.4mm as the base of the case back. Lug to lug is a very wearable 45.6mm, and the crown (also tapered) is 5.75mm. Thickness is 12.4mm at the bezel edge and 14.0 at the center of the domed, box-shaped acrylic crystal. Weight is a very light 88g. Lugs are 22mm, and the included quick-release strap tapers to 20mm at the buckle.
Yeah, I'm not a fan of acrylic, but its cheaper, its authentically vintage, etc, etc.
The prototype here has a screw down crown, the final version will be non-screwdown with dual gaskets.
I really agree with that change. You're winding it daily, so a screw-down crown wears out quickly and is just an annoyance. Gaskets are good enough for the 50m Water resistant rating here.
Packaging is similar to the Cherwell, an elegant and protective case with die-cut foam insert and embossed paper overwrap.
It sits very, very well on the wrist. I only had it a week before having to return it, and man I was happy to wear it. It got many more compliments than usual, and my co-worker went so far as to back it on Kickstarter so she could surprise her husband. It's a very appealing watch.
I'm on an orange kick so this strap made me very happy. Nice pop of color and in my opinion, it goes well with the small bits of red on the dial.
Here's a comparison of case backs next to the Cherwell, just because.
The 'telemeter' scale is used for computing distance, most often during lightning storms, Start the chronograph running at the sight of a lightning bolt, stop it when you hear the thunder, and the telemeter will tell you the distance. Useless? Most certainly.
Looks nice, though, doesn't it? The dial is, like the Cherwell, pleasingly three-dimensional, with good proportions throughout and amusingly distorted by the high curvature of the crystal. The sundials have the same stamped circular patterning and there are small bits of lume on dial and hands to provide an attempt and usefulness at night - pretty weak, though. The hands are anhedral, and polished, so legibility is very good under most lighting conditions.
As you can tell, I am quite smitten and plan on getting one. There are four different colors available, as seen on their campaign, but I want this one. At $372, I consider it an excellent deal for a well-made watch with an original design that will age very well, and should also be compelling to those who like the design of vintage sport chronographs but are put off by the maintenance required for them.
But don't just take my word on it:
So yeah, head on over to Kickstarter and tell them I sent you. You'll be glad that you did.