I picked this watch up on Reddit for a really low price, and decided to give it a whirl as my go to weekend watch. I’ve had it I for about a month, and am moving on, but not because of any flaws with the watch itself. It’s pretty neat, and a heck of a deal.
I struggle with non-bracelet watches. Typically I find most leather straps uncomfortable, especially in situations where you might find yourself sweating — and that’s basically at any given time in Houston. However, on the Fluess I found this to be one of the most comfortable watches I have worn, especially right out of the box. Typically a leather strap requires break in, but not this one.
Add to that, despite the size of this watch, it is very light. I was surprised by this at first, but the entire package is light weight.
There are however two issues with the wear of this watch:
- It is very large, and was on the cusp of what was comfortable for me to wear.
- It is very thick, and not just the case height, but the strap itself is very thick. So add the case height to the doubling up of the leather strap where the clasp is, and a majority of my cuffs would not easily move over the top of this watch.
While I found this watch very comfortable, I also found that it worked best for me with short sleeves. It was constantly a battle for me with longer sleeves.
This watch has pretty impressive stats: it’s 150m water resistance which is a really nice sweet spot of keeping case size down, while also having a water rating where you basically never need to worry about it. But it also has a leather band, and that band is rated as water resistant too. I saw a YouTube video of someone testing that claim, and things came out just fine. I’ll also note the band did get wet once or twice and dried perfectly — this is a huge plus in my book as water resistance is one reason I prefer bracelets instead.
On the accuracy front this watch uses a Seiko NH35 movement, which is a very durable and inexpensive movement. It allows for a sweeping seconds, but is otherwise unimpressive. This was easily my least accurate watch, running somewhere between +20-25 seconds per day. Drove me nuts.
Another downside on the performance aspect is the bezel. I found the bezel hard to turn. Not only because it was not easy to grip, but also because it is very firm. The action is smooth, but it was not at all a good experience.
This watch is $285 new, I paid $135. For $135 the performance is perfectly acceptable, if not admirable. For $285, the performance is borderline acceptable.
Because the thing is, you buy this watch for the looks. The Fifty-fathoms essence of it. And it’s a heck of a good value on that front.
The case and bezel look awesome. The strap is a perfect fit for the style of the watch. The lume is ok, but good enough. The polarizing part is the face, as it uses a black sand looking finish. It is very rough, and if you look closely at it, I am not a fan. It looks almost like cheap sand paper.
However, when viewed from a normal distance it looks quite nice. Overall, it’s a solid looking watch, with a great vintage feel. I received quite a few compliments while wearing it, which is abnormal if I am honest.
The strap thing was killing me, I need a watch to fit under a shirt cuff, so I was preparing to get a bracelet for it. But I also found myself not really wanting to wear it, which is when I came to the realization that it’s not about the Fluess. It’s about my general discomfort with the entire diver style category.
Which is funny because it is the most common category of watches. But every diver style watch I have owned, I have sold, because I never felt like it properly reflected me. Ultimately that’s where this watch failed for me.
As a pure value proposition, I think it is a fantastic watch, especially if you can find it on sale. Looks wise: it is quite sharp.