Today we are gonna look at a company that I think is this year is the best bang for the buck watch company. The company is called Aquatico. Aquatico is based in HongKong and was founded by Calvin. They are making stainless steel/bronze watches and also pilots watch for really cheap prices. And I got to say, the quality is something that you would expect from a watch that costs 2-3 time more. That just shows that not everything made in Asia is bad, there are some really good companies that come from there, just like watches that are made in Switzerland, they have really good ones and also not so good watches coming from there. Today we are gonna look at their Pilots watch called Blue Angels (I think the name is taken from the Blue Angels, who are United States Navy’s flight demonstration squadron, with aviators from the Navy and Marines). It is a bit strange that company with name “Aquatico” released a Pilots watch as the name suggests that they release only divers. Any case, that isn’t important, we are here to take a look at the watch.
The 40mm stainless steel case is fully brushed, and a simple barrel in shape. The size is very comfortable, but traditionally aviator watches are 42mm or more in diameter. Personally, I like it you get the look and feel of an aviator but in a more reasonable, comfortable size. The thickness is 11,5mm and in length, the watch is 50mm long. The finishing and machine work is really good and can’t see any imperfections. At 3 o’clock you will find the push-pull crown which has the logo embossed on the end and is easy to use thanks to the reasonable size and effective grip. The screw in exhibition case back has no detailing surrounding the window and I actually like that they went with the simple look, in my opinion, companies now are printing too much stuff on the case back, but not thinking how it looks. I know it is just a case back and 99% of the time you won’t see it as the watch will sit in your watch box or on your wrist, but I think every detail is important. Instead, some details are printed on the underside of the window, around the outer edge. It also has a fighter jet silhouette which is pretty cool. The water resistance is 10ATM or 100M which is good for rain or accidental drop into the water, but not suitable in my opinion for swimming as it only has a push-pull crown. Sitting on top of the case is a K1 hardened mineral crystal. I would love it to be sapphire, but the mineral isn’t the worst thing. The clarity is pretty good for a mineral crystal, and it has an anti-reflective coating on the underside that works really well, I really noticed that when I was taking photos of the watch.
The dial is made in true aviator watch style with that legibility and easy to read design. It has an eye-catching blue sunray central circle, that works well with the concentric circular engraved outer edge. The dial strangely lumed with two types of lume: Superluminova GLC3 and BGW9 (I’m not sure which is used where). The lume on my version was good but not as good as I saw from other reviews, maybe it works better with the steel dial colour version or maybe mine had a little defect from the factory, but any case it worked ok for me to read time in no-light situations. The hands have a sword shape to them and they suit the dial and style very good. The date window is at 3 o’clock and the only thing that I don’t like about it is that the date wheel is not matching the dial colour. So many companies these days are doing that. I just don’t understand why they just can’t swap the date wheel to match the dial.
The movement that you will find ticking inside is the Seiko NH35, which is reasonably well regulated at +8 to +10 seconds a day. This movement is pretty popular in the microbrand world as 50% of watches that are coming out have this movement inside them. It has proven it’s reliability and easiness to service within many years. You just can’t go wrong with Japan made movements from Seiko. It is an automatic 24 jewel movement with 41-hour power reserve and beating away with 21,600 BPH.
My Blue Angels came with a dark blue leather strap, made from Crazy Horse leather. It is a beautifully made strap with a really great quality. The leather is very supple and soft to touch. On the wrist, it wears very comfortably. The horizontal stitching by the lugs and arrow at the base are nice touches to get that kind of a vintage vibe. The square tang buckle is completely brushed to match the case, with the logo lightly etched on the top bar. It has a nice size and is easy to use. Also with the watch came another strap which was Nylon strap in blue colour, not my type of strap, but definitely good for the summer as you can make it wet and it breads better than leather so it will be more comfortable wears in the summer.
Overall I really like the look of the watch and I think right now it is the best bang for the buck aviator style watch. It has an automatic movement, great quality case and finishing, nice leather strap and a very attractive design. Yes, it has some drawbacks like the not matching date wheel or the mineral crystal, but it costs just under 150$ which is a steal in my opinion. It is a perfect beater watch, even if you have some higher end watches, you will really appreciate the design and build quality and it will last you many years!
*When they sent me the watch, they all had mineral crystals, but now all Blue Angels models come with sapphire glass! Kudos to them for listening to the customers and reviewers!