Discussing new watch brands is always a personal thrill. The thrill is even stronger when the new watch brand has its origins based in a well known and well respected micro-brand watch company. Some immediate assumptions are made that the same great quality found with the more established brand is going to transfer easily over to the fledgling brand. Of course, assumptions can sometimes be a major personal flaw leading to a huge letdown. The focus of this review is going to center around Belmoto Watches, specifically the Track-Day model. For those of you completely unfamiliar with Belmoto Watches, maybe Magrette Timepieces is a more familiar sounding watch company? Dion McAsey is the owner and founder of Magrette Timepieces and also the fledgling watch brand Belmoto. Magrette has been around for several years now and has achieved a high level of admiration from watch enthusiasts around the globe. The high level of quality and great customer service from Magrette Timepieces is undisputed and the same excellent quality seems to have transferred over to the Belmoto brands as well.
While Magrette focused heavily on dive style watches, Belmoto seems to be focused more on touring/racing inspired timepieces. The Track Day model, the subject of this review, is one of two models currently being produced under the Belmoto label. The Track Day is available in four different variations. For review, we have the Dark Blue and Blue in Silver variation. You can read more about Belmoto Watches at: http://belmoto.gt/.
The basic specifications of the Track Day model are as follows:
- 316L Stainless Steel Case
- Sapphire Crystal
- 200M water resistance
- 42mm case diameter
- Japanese Mecha-Quartz Movement
Price $500 USD
First, I want to mention that the same great packaging and cushion case watch design is utilized for the Belmoto brand that consumers have come to love from Magrette watches. The cushion watch case is composed of 316L stainless steel which is high polished at the bezel and brushed throughout the rest of the case. Horizontally, the Track Day measures 42mm in diameter and 45mm including the crown. However, measuring from 10 to 4 including the crown at the 10 o’clock position and the function pusher at the 4 o’clock position the watch measures a whopping 49mm. The lug tip to lug tip measurement is 51mm and the case is 13mm thin. The model should look great on most wrists based on these noted specifications, and due to weighing only slightly over 90 grams it should feel extremely well balanced and comfortable. One other great feature to note about the Track Day case is the drilled lug holes for easier strap changes.
The watch crowns measure almost 6mm in diameter and seem perfectly proportional to the case size. Each crown is screw down which helps achieve the 200 meter water resistant rating. The crowns are signed with the Belmoto logo and also correspond perfectly with the brushed and high polished finishes of the case. The crown at 3 o’clock position as one might expect controls the date and time complications of the watch while the crown at the 10 o’clock position controls the inner bi-directional rotating bezel.
Both crowns are extremely easy to grasp and have no play or wiggle when engaged modifying the complications. I have personally reviewed a few watches with the crown at the 10 being non-screw down which I never quite understood. Over the years I have been given many reasons for using non-screw down and quite frankly none ever really made sense to me. I am extremely pleased that Belmoto used screw down so the inner bezel isn’t being constantly knocked out of place. If the inner bezel is getting knocked out of place constantly, why have one? Besides obviously contributing to the solid water resistance, the screw down option will allow for accurately maintaining a secondary time zone. I really like the second time zone option over using a tachymeter bezel to perform land speed calculations, etc. The function pushers measure 4mm in diameter and are black PVD coated which provides some additional color contrast on the watch. The top function pusher engages and stops the chronograph while the bottom resets the complication.
The Track Day is fitted with a large 37mm double domed sapphire crystal with a superior anti-reflective coating on the inside. Beneath the sapphire crystal is one of my personal favorite type of dials. The Track Day dial is what is referred to as a sandwich dial with a dark blue top piece resting over a luminous portion providing some extra depth to the dial. Sometimes chronograph watches can be a bit cramped but the Track Day has outstanding symmetry with two eye design and minimal branding. The eye at the 9 o’clock tracks minutes while the eye at the 3 o’clock position displays 24 hour or military time. A large legible date window is positioned at the 6 o’clock position rounding finishing off the complications on the Track Day. Of course any racing/touring style watch needs a touch of flair on the dial and this model doesn’t lack that little touch incorporating red complication hands and silver colored sub-dials.
The Track Day has a screw down case back which is heavily etched with the Belmoto name and logo at the center and various specification information around the perimeter. I want to point out one aspect of the etching that I found refreshing. Sometimes when a well known watch brand starts another company transparency is sometimes an issue but not with Belmoto. The case back itself notates the relationship with Magrette. Beneath the case back is a pretty cool Seiko VK64 Chronograph Hybrid Mehca-Quartz Movement. I have to admit I really didn’t know much about this particular movement at first but now have a great appreciation. The VK64 consists of a mechanical component which allows the chronograph to have an instant zero reset similar to what is viewed on the highly regarded Valjoux 7750 automatic movement. Who said quartz can’t be cool? As I stated in the video, I’m not certain if this mechanical aspect helps preserve battery life but it most certainly seems other quartz chronographs when reset draw significantly from the battery.
Finishing off the Track Day is a very nice racing style blue leather strap which corresponds well with the blue colors of the dial. The strap measures 22mm at the lug, tapers to 20mm at the buckle and measures a respectable 4mm in thickness. The only potential issue with the strap may be the length. My measurements are showing the length to be 115/80 and only 7 sizing holes. On my 7 ¾ inch wrist I found perfect comfort with two sizing holes for upward sizing remaining. So my guess is someone approaching an 8 ½ inch wrist may need to consider having a custom strap option on hand.
Based on my initial impressions, Dion McAsey is going to have a very successful venture with the new Belmoto brand. All the same great quality found in Magrette Timepieces has most certainly transferred to the new brand without a hitch. I also want to applaud Dion and Belmoto for its transparency regarding the relationship between the two companies. As far as the Track Day model itself, the consumer is going to be quite pleased with great specifications ranging from the cushion case, screw down crowns, sapphire crystal, all the way down to the very cool hybrid mechanical quartz movement. Quartz can most definitely be cool!!!
The Belmoto website states, “Belmoto follows a code. Be yourself. Work for yourself. Race to the end. Fight for the strong finish. Build a life of pleasure earned through passion and pain. Get out in front of the fight. Love as fast and as hard as you drive. There is no competition. Are you character driven?” I certainly believe the brand is off to a solid start. I would like to thank Belmoto for working with WatchReport on this review. I would like to thank each of you for reading.
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