Samuel James Calypso watch (Review)

I know that many people don’t like an open hearth or skeleton watches. And I get that as I don’t like most of them too and one of the reasons why I don’t like them is that some companies put a bigger price on them just for a hole in the dial. But today I found you an open heart watch for 170$! The watch is called Calypso and is from a small company called Samuel James Watches. The company is based in the USA. One cool thing that Samuel James does is that they take 10$ from each watch purchase each month and donate that money to one of the non-profit organizations (GLSEN, Green Peace, Pride Fund etc.). Each month they donate the money to a different non-profit organization. I really like when companies actually donate some of their profits for a good cause.

In the Calypso collection, they have a lot of variations of the watch that got sent. In total 17 variations with different dial, case, crown, bezel colours and different colour and material straps. I didn’t choose the watch, but I guess the one that they sent in is a best seller as from all of them it looks the best in my opinion. Maybe the PVD isn’t much my cup of tea as over time it rubs off, but it looks pretty good!

Samuel James didn’t send me it in a box as this is a review sample, but I can assure that there is a beautiful leather watch roll. The first impressions were good. I really like the look of it and for the price, you get a lot of a watch. I immediately noticed the guilloche dial and I really like the deeply engraved case back with Samuel James watches logo. I also like the thick leather strap it comes with. The strap feels very nice and looks like something that should come on a watch that costs at least 10 times more.

The case of the Calypso is made of 316L stainless steel. The case for only 170$ is very well made. The machine work is done really good, all the lines and straight and has nice sharp angles. The case has brushed and polished finishing. The finishing work is also done pretty good. I really like the polished angles on the dodecagon (12 sided) bezel. They really play in the light. All over the case, you have a black PVD coating which is well applied and seems to be pretty thick and from the looks will last a long time. The diameter of the case is 42mm, the thickness is 12mm and from lug to lug it measures at 51mm. The watch has good proportions, it actually fits on my wrist perfectly with those nice curved lugs. At 3 o’clock we have a pilot watch style crown which is very easy to use. The solid screw in case back isn’t covered in the PVD coating because if it was, it would rub off pretty fast. The case back is deeply engraved with a nice Lion logo of the Samuel James. Around that, you also have some specifications. On top of the dial sits a flat AR-coated sapphire crystal which is pretty impressive considering the crazy low price already! The water resistance is 50M (5ATM) which is more than enough for a watch like this. It can withstand rain or a handwash, but no swimming.

The dial is in black colour and has this guilloche texture which really adds to the design. Around the dial, you have a chapter ring in the same dodecagon shape just like the fixed bezel. At 7 o’clock we have the open heart window where you can see the movement beating away. The two subdials are placed a bit weirdly at 9 and 4:30. The one at 9 o’clock is a 24h dial and the other one is a small second’s. At 1 o’clock you have the Samuel James lion logo painted in blue colour. The hour and minute hands have a very interesting shape, I especially like the counterweight of the minute hand with that “S”. The Arabic hour markers are applied in silver colour. The dial is a bit weird and maybe won’t appeal to most, but it sure is interesting and there is a lot of things going on for the money!

In the watch, we have an automatic self-winding Miyota movement. I don’t know the exact caliber, but you just can’t go wrong with Miyota automatic movements, Japan really knows how to make a reliable, long-lasting movement! I measured my sample with the Lepsi analyzer and it showed that it runs at +10 to +12 seconds a day.

The strap on mine version is in this tan brown colour. The leather is very smooth and the strap is supple right out of the box. It has black contrasting stitching. The underside is lined with this soft suede-like material so it doesn’t irritate your skin. The strap is very well made with nice finishing! The Panerai style buckle is made of stainless steel and has the same black coating as the case. The buckle is etched with Samuel James lion logo. I also like that they added the built-in quick release spring bars as it makes strap change very fast.

Overall the watch is a steal! You get a lot for just 169,99$ (at the writing of the article the price has been dropped from 219,99$) like a sapphire crystal with AR coating, well-made case, a lot of details on the dial, open heart, automatic movement from Miyota and a good leather strap with quick release spring bars. I just doubt that you will find something this unique for a price as low as Samuel James has! If you are looking for an open heart watch at a very low price that is unique, this is the watch for you!

Price: 219,99$ 169,99$ @

  • 44 mm Diameter/11.5 mm Thickness
  • Mechanical Movement/Automatic self-winding, Miyota caliber. 3 Subdials Featuring: 24 HR, seconds, and skeleton Dial
  • Waterproof: 5 ATM, 50 meters deep
  • Glass: Sapphire Crystal/Scratch Resistance and Anti-Glare
  • Black 316L Steel/Corrosion & Scratch Resistant
  • 22 mm Genuine Leather. Interchangeable Band Quick Release Mechanism/No tooling required
  • Full Grain Genuine Leather Watch Case
  • 2 Year Warranty

2 thoughts on “Samuel James Calypso watch (Review)

  1. Just an FYI, I purchased one and it didn’t come in a box either – just wrapped in a bubble sheet. I thought that was weird for any watch – but I wanted you to know it wasn’t just because you got a review sample.


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