I have seen the Soner company watches for while in my Facebook feed and Instagram ad’s and finally I decided I should review them, plus some of you wrote to me that I should review their watches! So I wrote to Soner and they agreed to send me a review sample! They let me chose my variant and I chose the bare Stainless steel one with black dial, there are also variants with white, blue and green dials and in yellow gold plated colour cases, and in two finishes: brushed and polished! Soner was founded by Freddie Palmgren on the Swedish west coast and is named after his two sons Widar and William. In short they are a small company that makes watches with “premium” quality, but for an affordable price from 149 euros to 209 euros depending on the strap and finish on the case.
The watch arrived in a rather small box, I actually was a little disappointed with the box as I think it should’ve been a bit bigger and a bit fancier. I have received watches that cost half what this one costs and it has a better presentation. Although I was impressed by quality of the watch and how well it was made, I just wish they made and automatic or hand wound version, but hopefully they will read this and consider this idea, for maybe a limited edition or something like that. Also another thing to mention by what I was surprised is how big it is, I knew it wasn’t a small watch by any means, but it is pretty big and masculine.
The case of the watch is made of 316L stainless steel. The case seems to be very well manufactured with nice lines and finishing. The whole case features a polished finishing. The case has a square shape. The width of the case is 37mm, from top to bottom it measures at 47mm, the thickness is 10mm. On the paper it is hard to see if i will be big, but on the wrist it is very hefty watch, but it still wears pretty comfortable due to the curve to the case and how the lugs slope down. Yes it has some weight, but not that your wrist would be tired by lifting it up all day. At 3 o’clock we have unsigned push-pull crown which is pretty easy to grasp and manipulate. The solid case back is held on with four little screws. On the case back we have some specifications and Soner logo. And funny enough we have the first QC problems with the tet on the case back which features misspelled words like Sapphire and Movement. On top of the watch case we have a curved sapphire crystal which is pretty amazing at this price and probably that’s where the money went, cause making a curved sapphire crystal and as thick as this…well… it isn’t cheap. The water resistance is 5ATM (50m) which is more than enough for washing hands or rain, but nothing more.
The dial, oh well, I actually didn’t notice that until I didn’t start checking the watch in more up close. Seems like Soner has some QC issues, or maybe just my sample has this, but actually this isn’t the first time in the last months that a brand new watch comes in for a review and it has scratches from factory, miss-aligned dial or markers, finger marks under crystal and many other things. The problem with this one is that the index hour marker at 9 o’clock is missing it’s applied polished frame, you can actually see in the photos that other markers have it and on their website that marker has the frame. At first I thought it was intended as there have been some brands with weird design bits. And why i think it is a QC problem? Well the frame isn’t found anywhere on the dial or inside the case (yes, my watchmaker opened it). Of course it isn’t cool if a customer received a watch like that, but as it comes with a warranty, Soner probably would replace it for free 🙂
Back to the dial, it is very simple and legible! I like simple dials although I have switched this year to more of a tool watches. The hour markers are white (lumed) with the polished applied frames. At 12 o’clock we have a Soner logo and at 6 o’clock we have a writing “Quartz” which in my opinion is not necessary. The index hour and minute hands are polished and have white middle parts which are also lumed. The lume isn’t the strongest or the lasting any longer than 20min, but at least it is there, and helps sometimes. The ticking seconds hand also in my opinion is not necessary as it would make the watch look more expensive. Plus I never liked ticking hands on quartz watches, that’s why I prefer quartz watches with no seconds hand at all or with meca-quartz movement that features sweeping seconds hand or chronograph seconds hand. In my opinion it aesthetically looks better.
The movement inside is a Citizen Miyota 2035 quartz movement. Well, nothing much to talk about here. It is a good movement, use in million of timepieces in various prices, batter life is 3 years. Of course the Ronda or any other Swiss made quartz movement would be better, but this isn’t bad too. The strap I hose is the brown one and surprising to me it came with butterfly clasp rather than standard tang style buckle. The leather strap is in light brown colour and is lined with cream colour leather. On top of the strap we have a Soner logo embossed into the leather which is a nice touch! At lugs the strap is 22m wide and it tapers to 20mm at the clasp. The strap is stiff, but it took about 1 day for it to wear in and be supple.
Overall the watch is pretty good, the manufacturing quality is pretty good except that small manufacturing defect on the dial, but as I said before it could be easily replaced within a warranty. I like the case shape, the weight of it, the butterfly clasp, curved sapphire crystal and the simplicity, yet masculinity it has. The watch costs 158euros, is it a lot? No, it isn’t as the specifications are pretty good for the price, and yes you can buy an automatic Seiko for that money, but you can’t compare a company that doesn’t have huge factories pumping hundred of thousand of watches a year, this is smaller company and it has a small batch numbers so they can’t offer you Automatic watches for the same price as the big companies. Is it worth to buy it? As an affordable dress watch it is perfect, not all of us watch guys have a lot of money to spend, some are students with limited budgets who want to get a watch or two.