Biatec Corsair CS 01 (Review) – High-end watch Made in Slovakia!

Today we are gonna talk about a watch from a very interesting brand Biatec about which I have known for some time, but finally I got my hands on a review sample to show you just how good are their watches! The most interesting part in my opinion is that the brand is based in Slovakia and from what I understand they make their watches there also.

The word “Biatec” (or “Biatex”) originates probably from the name of a king who started to appear on the old Celtic coins minted in the area of today’s Bratislava (our capital) during the 1st century B.C. The name is also used to refer to the coin itself. As a company they are very proud to be based and born in Slovakia so they wanted to make a strong connection between their brand name and heritage and this is where Biatec name comes from. Biatec is based in Zvolen, Slovakia, which is about 2 hours North of the country’s capital, Bratislava. The founder, Peter Kozar, created the brand within the last year after selling various brands of watches. He linked up with the co-founder and designer, Milos Jakubec to create high-end, yet affordable, mechanical watches such as the Biatec Corsair. Milos is an accomplished watchmaker and assembles the watches in Slovakia.

They not only make “affordable” high-end watches, but they also have some concepts for some really crazy watches like case made of sapphire crystal with a tourbillon movement. As I can read on their website, there is basically no limit to what they can make, it just depends on how much money you have and they are fully assured to get the best materials and parts to make your one off watch!

The watch I chose is the Corsair which is basically a Pilots watch. Corsair collection, was inspired by the Vought F4U Corsair, which is still considered one of the most formidable American fighter jets of all times and by pilots who were flying it. Also they have a diver called Leviathan and a more dressier piece called Majestic. And besides the other three collections there are some Limited Edition watches which are only available in very limited quantities. Basically most of their watches use Eterna Caliber 3901A or 3902A, the Leviathan is the only one using Sellita SW200. Eterna by the way are the original creators of the famous ETA 2824 caliber which has been in production since 1982 and was based off of the original Eterna caliber 1427. The “-2” designation indicates the generation. I chose the Corsair as I wanted to check out the Eterna 3902A caliber and also as my readers have more love for the sports watches. The Corsair that they sent me is the newer that has CS designation with a black dial, but there are also Blue and Silver dial versions and also a PVD black version. The CS is the newer version of the Corsair and the main difference is that they got rid of small seconds subdial at 9 o’clock and updated the movement from Eterna caliber 3901A to 3902A.

The Corsair CS came in a very beautiful wooden black piano lacquer box. The inside of the box is lines with yellow leather and on the inside of the lid there is text “Inspired by the past, driven by the future” which in my opinion is a great message! Inside the box it has a cutout area to fit the watch. From a presentation perspective, this was a good start. Naturally, though, what lies inside the box is more important, the Corsair CS 01! With the watch inside the box there is a certificate which also works as warranty and on the other side we have instructions manual, also there is a cleaning cloth. The first impressions were wow, the watch looks stunning and the level of finishing kind of suggests that it costs 2 or 3 times more. But the watch was a bit on the thick side, I was actually expecting it to be a bit thinner.

The case of the Corsair is made of 316L stainless steel. The case is very well machines with nice sharp edges and lines. The finishing of the sides of the case and a little portion of case back is satin brushed. The bezel, top of the lugs and part of the case back is high polished. Under the loupe the brushing and polishing is very consistent and on the same level as Rolex in my opinion. The case diameter is 40mm, the thickness is 13,5mm and from lug to lug it measures at 48mm. Overall the watch seems small, but the thickness means that it sits pretty high on the wrist, almost like a diver, although I have divers that are thinner than it, that is probably one of my only gripes with this watch. At 3 o’clock we have a screw down Diamond shape crown with Biatec shield logo on top of it. The crown is beautifully made in my opinion, all the machine works so precise when inspecting under the loupe. The crown action is really good, the screw in/out process is very smooth and also it is very easy to grip the crown as it is 9mm in diameter. Between the bottom lugs we have screwed polished serial number plate. I actually like how they placed it as most of the brands would put the plate or engraving on the side of the case which I don’t like much. On the back we have an exhibition case back with a flat sapphire crystal and double AR coating from the inside. I like how there is this polished circle around the crystal with all the specifications. There is also a Viton® sealing under case back which makes it resistant against chemicals. On top of the watch sits a Sapphire crystal with AR coating on both sides.

The dial is matte black and very nicely made! The applied 3D silver numbers are applied with Super-LumiNova® T3 grade A. I really like the applied numerals as they are very bold and very easy to read even at the slightest glance! At 12 o’clock we have the classic pilot’s watch triangle with two dots on each side. It is an integral detail on Pilot’s watches since the early time of B-Uhr (Beobachtungs-uhren, literally Observation), which was made to allow a pilot to immediately figure out the 12 o’clock indication in relation to the upright orientation of the dial, and hence to read the time at a glance, both during daytime and nighttime. At 12 o’clock we have a printed Biatec logo and at 6 o’clock we have an applied model name in silver colour “Corsair”. Around the dial we have a minute track and on the 6 o’clock we have writing “Made in Slovakia” which I doubt you will find on any other watches than Biatec. The sword shaped silver hands are filled with Super-LumiNova® T3 grade A. Overall the dial in my opinion is very well executed and super legible! The lume on the watch is pretty good, it glows bright and for about 1,5-2 hours.

Inside the Corsair beats a Swiss made Eterna calibre 3902A. Which is the first time I have checked out this calibre. I actually am surprised that they didn’t go the standart way as any other company with ETA 2824 or Sellita SW200 as those are pretty easy to get. But from what I read online the Eterna is much better actually. Eterna actually intoduced the calibre 39’s fairly recently, just in 2015. Overall there are 88 variations in the calibre 39 family and from what I read on the Hodinkee article they are also very easy to service, customize and theyr are available to other brands just like the ETA or Sellita. And looks like Biatec took an advantage of that and chose this movement to be put in their watches. Biatec also customized the movement by putting a custom rotor that resembles the propeller blades of a plane and the bridge of the movement has a perlage decoration to top it all off. The movement in all honestly looks spectacular. The movement has about 65hour power reserve, 29 jewels and it beats at 28.800 Vph. The movement is great, but in my opinion it is pretty badly regulated, my example was running at +30 seconds a day and if this was my watch, I would definitely send it back to get regulated or give it to my watchmaker as these movements can run as low as -2 to +2 seconds a day easily.

The strap that came with the watch is a black leather strap with white contrasting stitching. The strap has a nice taper and it measures 20mm at the lugs and 18mm at the buckle. The strap is padded and the part at the lugs is 7mm thick. In my opinion the strap should be thinner as the watch is small and it kind of looks weird on a strap so thick. Despite the padding the strap was actually super supple and soft, and hugged the wrist right away! The tang style buckle is made of 316L stainless steel and is signed with Biatec logo. The buckle has a satin brush finishing on top and the sides with bevels are high polished. It is nice to see that Biatec takes attention to the smallest detail as many brands forget to finish well or design the buckle.

Overall I actually really liked the watch, the quality is amazing and it is good to see that other countries are getting in the watch manufacturing too, not only the Switzerland and Germany. The price in my opinion is also quite fair at 1150 euros. The only thing that I don’t like is that this exact sample wasn’t regulated well, as at this price the watch should run much better than this. I don’t know if the watch had some shock or something, but when I gave it to my watchmaker to check, we un-magnetized the watch and it still ran with +30 seconds a day. But other than the regulation the watch is great! I like it a lot and can I suggest it? Yes! If I should choose between this and maybe Longines, Mido or Oris, I would take this every day!

Price: 1150€ @ www.biatecwatches.com

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