Cobra de Calibre Crossfire 500m
If you are not familiar with Cobra de Calibre, they have been around for about 3 years. They have stayed consistent with design, and in fact all models have been variants of this Crossfire 500m. This latest incarnation gives some new dial choices, this being the Classic, and improved water resistance. We cover a lot of microbrands here on Watchreport, as many of them offer a great watch for a relatively affordable price, though not all the times are they home runs. The Cobra de Calibre Crossfire is a home run, in almost every aspect. A Kickstarter campaign was done earlier this year for the preorder, and it was successful of course, but, it still seems that Cobra does not get the love it deserves in the watch community. I am not sure why that is the case, because as I will discuss below, this is one great microbrand diver.
Cobra de Calibre Crossfire 500M
- 42mm Bezel 316L surgical grade Steel
- 500M Water Resistant
- Miyota Calibre 9015 @28,800 bph
- Sapphire Crystal with vintage Dome
- Easy-grip 8mm Screw-down Crown
- AR (Anti-Reflective) Coating
- 22mm Lugs with Soft Genuine Leather
- Swiss Super-Luminova Application
Price $399 USD as of 12/7/16***
Even though many of us watch guys have different tastes when it comes to design, size, dial color, etc, I think we can all agree when it comes to dive style watches, we look for quality machining/finishing, legible dials, a firm and precise rotating bezel, a screw down crown, sapphire crystal and an appropriate movement for the price. The Cobra de Calibre Crossfire 500m has all of that, plus it has a greater than normal water resistance, as well as light up the room luminescence. I would say the only thing that left me wanting was the choice of a leather strap, but more on that later.
The 42mm cushion shaped case is all finely satin brushed, and is exactly what I want in this type of watch. This is not really your all occasion watch, it is a diver, a weekend or t-shirt and jeans watch, the tool style watch that is rugged but good looking. I wouldn’t personally wear it to a wedding or an elegant dinner, but will easily be at home on your wrist for a fun night on the town with the spouse/friends. Of course, I am talking about the style factor here, but would I hesitate to go diving/swimming/bubble bathing with it? Not one bit. The strap would need to be changed out, but once you do that, go throw at it whatever you want. I highly doubt this will have any issues in the water. I do not dive myself, and unfortunately I do not live by an ocean, but it had no problems in the lake and the pool.
The all brushed case is just beautiful. You can tell no corners were cut here when machining as all edges are nicely finished. The crown action is smooth and satisfying with large crown guards in place, protecting the crown from damage. The bezel action is just superb and because of how high it sits atop the case with a defined, but not sharp, coin edge bezel, you will be able to grip it with gloves just as easily as you do with bare hands. One thing I know some might balk at is that the bezel does not have an insert, but rather a stamped bezel that has the markings cut out of a solid block of steel. The issue most have with this, is that the bezel is prone to scratching, and they would be right. You of course can scratch this bezel up, and if you wear it often, it will definitely happen. Scratches on a watch such as this really do not bother me, and the non insert bezel is a look we do not see all the time, so it offers something different in the collection. The minute markings are all there though, as well as your lume pip for timing a dive, or you know, an egg.
Applied dial markers are not a requirement, but something I always look for on a watch dial these days. Printed markers work in some cases, but applied markers give an extra depth to the dial, something I rather enjoy. Cobra de Calibre not only has applied markers, but they are outlined in chrome, giving a subtle touch of elegance to an otherwise sporty dial. The Crossfire 500 meter is really a watch that you might not appreciate at first glance, but then when you take a look at the dial elements, like the logo, the unique hour hand, and the crosshatch detail above the 6 that includes the model name and other pertinent info, you realize this is not just another slapped together watch, this is one where design and manufacture came together in harmony.
Speaking of the logo, yep, it is lumed. While this does nothing to help you see the time in the dark, it is a little added element that gives the Cobra de Calibre Crossfire 500m that cool factor. Yeah, most likely no one else will ever really notice, but it is things like this that make a watch stand out. And the rest of the lume as you can see below is equally as cool, because it glows like a damn torch. Wait, torches are hot. Whatever, look how good the lume is.
I know, I know, you might be reading this thinking that I am singing some high praises here, and have not mentioned anything negative yet, which let’s be honest, is a rarity for me. Well, unfortunately my one and only issue is the supplied leather strap. There’s nothing wrong with it really, it fits well and is comfortable enough, but it is plain looking and just doesn’t go with the watch in my opinion. A black or brown Horween leather would have been great, or a nice molded rubber strap, for those times when you do want to go in the water. The website does not list that the leather strap is water resistant, and even if it did, I just don’t trust leather straps in the water for prolonged periods of time.
Wrist shot on 7 1/2 wrist
I know I am in the minority here, but I love a good solid case back. I have said ad nauseam how I don’t care for exhibition or glass case backs on watches with mundane looking movements. While the Miyota 9015 movements are smooth, accurate and overall great, they are not pretty enough to be showcased like that. The Cobra de Calibre has a nice etched case back, and while I would have liked a stamped, more intricate design, it is not just another glass back, and for that, I am appreciative.
What more can I say, the Cobra de Calibre Crossfire 500m is a fantastic watch in my opinion. The strap issue aside, which is always easily corrected, it has everything I look for in a watch, which many of the times are things that others look for, and is right in line with many of the well regarded microbrands out there as far as quality and price. The AR coated domed sapphire crystal is beautiful, and the coating actually works unlike many, allowing for little to no glare, as it should be. The $599 price tag is not out of line at all, and all things considered, is what I would call a value, even though it might not exactly be budget friendly to all. While I love it, you may not, so make sure to look it over in photos and the Youtube video and make the decision for yourself.
Thank you for reading.