Today we are gonna take a look at one pretty cool Pilot watch. It will be quartz, but don’t be bothered by that as it is very well built and machined. The company is called Monchard and the watch we have in for review is the Skytoucher GMT Pilot’s watch! The company is based in Sweden. The company is pretty new and not so well known, but I like what they are doing, kind of similar approach to the brand like Corniche.
Monchard has two lines: Skytoucher Automatic and Skytoucher GMT (which we have here). The Skytoucher Automatic as you know has an automatic movement and is more of a dress watch. They have 6 different colour variations there. They cost 433$. Then we have the Skytoucher GMT which is a Pilot’s watch with a second GMT hand in the middle. It is a quartz driven watch. There we have 7 colour variations and the price for this one is 325$. Some may say it is a lot for a brand that isn’t even recognized in the microbrand market, but let’s take a look at the watch and check if it is worth it!
The Skytoucher GMT came in a pretty big piano finish wooden box. The box is very elegant and well made. Inside the box, you will find your basic stuff like an instructions manual, warranty and the watch. First impressions were good, but the faux patina is a little bit strange colour wise, to me, it looks a bit too orange and needs to be more of a sand colour. On their website, the watch looks a bit different colourwise, than in real life. But the watch itself looks pretty cool, I really like the deeply engraved case back and the leather strap which has this distressed look to it.
The case of the Skytoucher GMT is made of 316L stainless steel. The machine work is exceptional, at this price it is really hard to find a watch finished at this level like the Skytoucher GMT. It has a mix of polished and brushed surfaces and it looks very classy. The diameter is 42mm, the thickness is 12mm, from lug to lug it measures at 50mm and the lug width is 22mm. The watch on the writ is very comfortable and pretty light due to that quartz movement, but not to the point where it cheapens the watch, it has some weight, but it is much lighter than an automatic watch in similar size.
Around the dial, we have a fixed bezel which is polished. At 3 o’clock we have a screw down Pilot style crown which is signed with Monchard logo. The crown has a really nice action, plus due to the size, it is pretty easy to operate too. At 9 o’clock on the opposite side of the case, we have a small plack that’s screwed on. On the plack, we have some numbers engraved on it, and I believe it is the reference number. The solid screw in case back is very nice with deeply engraved old plane propeller and some other details. Definitely one of the best case backs of the last year! Around the case back, we have some specifications and other information. Also, there is a text: “Fortune favours the brave” which I think is their motto. On top of the watch, we have a flat sapphire crystal with a blue AR coating. I think the AR coating could be a bit better as there are still a lot of reflections. The water resistance is 100m (10ATM) which is more than you will ever need in this style of watch. Technically you could go swimming as it has a screw down crown and the rating is higher than the usual 50m on a pilot’s watch, but then you should change the strap for a nato or rubber strap.
The dial Monchard is calling Old Radium. But I think they didn’t nail the colour, it to me feels a bit too orange and has no texture, looks like a new lume in light orange with no patina. The dial itself is matte black and all the marking are printed in the old radium lume. The dial layout is in the classic Pilot’s watch style with the triangle on top and all the minute and hour markers. On the indie of the dial, you have the second 24h dial which is for the red arrow GMT hand. The date window is at 3 o’clock an this is the other thing I don’t like, I know many people like these 3 number date windows where you see yesterdays and tomorrows date, but I don’t like them, kind of makes the dial too busy. On the inside dial at 12 o’clock, we have the Monchard watches logo and under that, we have the Skytoucher GMT name. At 6 o’clock we have the “Swiss movt.” text. The hour and minute hands are shaped like swords with black outlines and that old radium style lume in the middle. The lume on the watch is ok-ish and lasts for about 2 hours till it fades away.
The movement that makes everything work on the Skytoucher GMT is the Swiss Ronda 515.24H Quartz movement which is a decent quartz movement. Many companies use Ronda quartz movements when they want something outside the Miyota or Seiko ones. You just can’t go wrong with them. The QC is really good in their factories and I never heard that something would go terribly wrong on these ones unless you don’t screw in the crown right and the water get’s in. The battery life on these ones is usually 2-3 years which is normal for them. My trick to get more battery life is to take out the crown while the watch sits in the watch box, they usually last half a year more than usual this way.
The strap that Monchard chose is a really good one. I like that slightly distressed look on the leather and it has a nice texture on top. The light brown colour also works very well with the polished accents on the case and the style of the watch. The underside is lined with this cream coloured leather. On the underline, you see that there is a writing that states “Italian Lether, Hand Made” which is nice to know and usually these type of straps are going for 80$ and up when you order them from a strap maker. The stitching on the strap looks very tidy and can’t see any loose threads. Right out of the box, the strap is very supple and will take your wrists shape right away! The tang-style buckle is nice looking with laser etched Monchard logo in the corner.
Overall the watch is pretty good. I usually don’t like quartz watches as they have no soul in my opinion, but at least they are better than the smartwatches everybody is wearing now. Quartz watches like mechanical will last a long time and could be passed on to other generations, but where will you put your smartwatch which is outdated in a year till the next update comes? If I had to choose between this and an Apple watch, I would take the Skytoucher GMT without thinking much and I suggest everyone who buys smartwatches, better spend money on this or any other proper watch. Back to the Monchard, I think it is a well-made watch with nice attention to details. The price for quartz is maybe a bit too high, but when you take into consideration what you get it is acceptable. So if you are looking at this one, I suggest it!
Price: $325 @ www.monchardwatches.com
- Case Finish: Brushed and polished
- Case Material: 316L stainless steel
- Crystal: Sapphire crystal with AR coating
- Water Resistance: 10 ATM (100 meters)
- Extra Functions: Dual time zone (GMT), Date
- Case width: 42mm
- Thickness: 12mm
- Lug width: 22mm
- Lug to lug: 50mm
- Lume: Super Luminova “Old Radium Lume”
- Movement: Swiss Ronda 515.24H Quartz