James McCabe Heritage Chrono (Review)

When it comes to these watches from Dartmouth brands (AVI-8, James Mccabe, Spinnaker, Thomas Earnshaw and others) I’m very surprised. By that I mean they don’t look that good in the pictures, but in real life, they are gorgeous watches, yes they are made somewhere in Asia, but the quality for the money you pay is great. And I especially like the watches they sent me to look at today. It is the gorgeous James McCabe Heritage Chrono with that rose gold dial, which suits that vintage style soo good.

This is second James Mccabe watch that I’m reviewing, and this is far better looking than the last one in my opinion. As we know James McCabe is an old name in watchmaking, but they bought the license for the name and put it on new watches now. The story behind the name you can read on my last James McCabe review a couple of months ago.

The watch came in a rectangular box, nothing fancy, just a regular cardboard box. Inside you get the watch and warranty card, and manual. The first impressions were wow. I remember that I saw this watch getting a review on youtube and since then wanted to look at it. I think it is the best looking one in the whole James McCabe line up. Everything from that high domed crystal to that dial looks cool and has that vintage look that I like so much. Also unexpected was to see the skull pattern on the back of the strap, that was quite a cool touch too.

The case is made of 316L stainless steel. The case shape is round with very short and small lugs. The case has nice machine work done to it, can’t see any strange marks o anything. The whole case is finished with brushed finishing. The finishing work is done also very well, although, in my opinion, it needed some polished bevels or something to spice up the vintage look. But I don’t mind brushed finishing either as it is more practical because it is harder to scratch it and you don’t see scratches on it that much. The diameter of the case is 39mm, the thickness is 12,3mm, lug to lug tip is 44,9mm and lug width is 20mm. I like how they chose a smaller size for the case. I think 39mm is just perfect for a vintage-inspired watch. Most companies usually overshoot the size and choose 42mm cases which is too much. The watch wears really nice, it doesn’t seem too small, neither too big, just perfect. Also, the shorter lugs that slope down makes the watch wear very comfortable on the wrist. On the right side of the case, you will find a nice signed push/pull crown that is also kept in that vintage style. The crown is small but easy to pull out and operate due to its shape. On the right side, you will also find the start/stop pushers for Chrono function. I like how the pushers feel, I like that you need to push them a bit harder than usual, it gives that mechanical movement feel, despite it being a quartz. On the left side, we have the only thing I hate about this watch and all James Mccabe watches, it’s the engraving of their name. I just think that ruins the whole case look, it needs to be clean with no text, we already know that it is Mccabe watch as it says that on dial and case back. The solid case back is screw down and has nice engraved Celtic graphic with the Heritage name and some specifications. On top of the dial sits a domed mineral crystal. I don’t know why they went this route and chose the mineral, I don’t know, I would love to see an acrylic crystal as it would suit it more I think, plus it wouldn’t shatter that easily. Also, another plus to the acrylic would be that you can buff out some small scratches, but on mineral, you can’t. Water resistance is 5ATM (50m), but I don’t recommend getting it wet. It could survive some rain and light splashes, but no swimming.

Now we come to the dial which is super cool in my opinion. It is in this rose gold colour, you can see this colour dials on many vintage watches. And I think it looks stunning! So as we know the dial is in rose gold colour, it is matte. Around the border, there is a tachymeter scale which is kept in that vintage style too. The applied hour markers are also rose gold colour. 12 and 6 are indicated with the Arabic numerals, but the other ones are just these small dots. The dial and hour markers actually remind me the Longines Heritage 1945 watch which is on my “must buy in the future” lists 😀 There are two subdials on 9 and 3 o’clock. The subdials are sunburst black and have a circular pattern. The left subdial is for 60 second counter and the one on right is a 24-hour dial. On the watch, you won’t find any running seconds. The hour, minute and seconds hands are blued,  although I doubt that they are blued with the right technique, other than that they look pretty good. The second’s hand is in regular stick shape, but the hour and minute hands have Breguet shape. The seconds hand when the chronograph is activated moves, and surprisingly it sweeps and doesn’t tick. Overall the dial is very well executed, the proportions, colours and finishings are just right!

The movement inside the watch is a Japan made quartz chronograph movement. I don’t know the specific model, but I guess it is one of the Seiko or Miyota ones, as they make the sweeping second quartz movements. These, as far as I know, aren’t the meca-quartz movements as the second’s hand sweeps, but doesn’t reset back like a meca-quartz should. Rather than popping fastback in place, it sweeps around the dial until it hits 12. The battery life on these movements is usually between 2-3 years.

The strap is this black vintage style stitching leather strap. From the top, it looks like just a regular black strap, but you turn around and there is skull graphics all over the back, and I think it looks pretty cool. Don’t know how it goes with the theme of vintage style, but definitely something out of the usual. The strap is actually pretty good quality, and soft. It wraps you wrist nicely without that break in period.  The signed tang-style buckle is stainless steel with brushed finishing.

Overall I really like the watch. You get that nice style in nice size case and well-executed design. But the things that I don’t like is the writing on the left side of the case and that mineral crystal. But those are small things that can be ignored. The watch is only 39mm and can easily be worn by men or women, also the rose gold colour suits both. Price wise I think it is fair, but I suggest you wait for some discount, but I would buy it now while it is in stock, as it looks pretty cool and many people seem to like this design too.

Price: £175.00 (200€) @ mccabewatches.com

MODEL : JM-1030-05
MOVEMENT : Japan Quartz Chronograph with 24 hours
CASE MATERIAL : Stainless Steel
CASE DIAMETER (mm) : 39.5
CASE COLOR :Stainless Steel
BAND : Genuine Leather Strap
BUCKLE : Strap Buckle
BAND WIDTH (mm) : 20-18
WARRANTY : 2 Years International


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