Dan Henry 1968
Dan Henry Watches are a hot commodity these days. Many, many watch enthusiasts have been grabbing at least one of the 5 different collections Dan Henry offers. There are good reasons for that. One, of course, is the price. They are very affordable with their most expensive model only being $250; that would be the compressor style diver I reviewed here a few months ago, the 1970. The other is the style. Vintage is the way to go these days, at least in fashion, mainly watches and apparel. When you combine that vintage style with a very affordable price, people will pay attention. The model I am reviewing here today, the Dan Henry 1968, has not been talked about much or reviewed in depth, at least not that I could find. That is why I chose to review this over the newest Dan Henry model, I wanted to see why this model was being left out in the cold. Just like the last model I reviewed, the specs are not high end, but the watch is well put together and attractive. It also has unique dial design that I will discuss more in this review.
Dan Henry 1968 Specifications:
- 41mm stainless steel case
- 22mm lugs size
- 47.3mm lug to lug
- 13mm thickness
- Sapphire coated double domed mineral glass with anti-reflective treatment
- Miyota 6S20 quartz (Japan) movement
- Leather and NATO strap
- Leather/Canvas Watch Roll
Price: $200 USD
Lets get right into the most intriguing part of the Dan Henry 1968. This watch is basically a tribute to something that never was, an Omega Speedmaster prototype that never made it past the prototype phase. As it states on the Dan Henry website, imbalance and asymmetry can be attractive, and I agree. It is not your normal setup, that is for sure, but it is clean and since I am someone that almost never uses a chronograph, I appreciate that it only has one sub-dial. That sub-dial though is your running seconds, not a chrono counter. If you are not sure how to use this particular chronograph, this is meant to be a racing timer, so timing 60 second laps is its main function. If you are not on the racing track most days, like the majority of us, then timing quick events or projects is where it is at. Hopefully none of you out there will be using it to time your love making, as that would be some pretty short sessions. ( If I was David Letterman, I would have got a little drum action from the band on that one.) Moving back to the watch, I love the placement of Dan Henry on the dial and of course, the date is in the 6 o’clock position, my favorite spot if the dial is to have a date wheel. In this case, it is white on black date wheel, giving it some cohesiveness with the rest of the dial.
As I stated in my previous Dan Henry review and the accompaning video for this Dan Henry 1968, premium materials and movement is not what you will be getting here. We are also talking about a $200 watch, and what you do get for that price is pretty nice. The brushed finishing is not the best in terms of finishing, but I found no rough edges on the watch, something I can not say about watches twice or three times its price. The movement is a standard Miyota quartz fair, and what you would expect in a watch this price. It does its job though. You still get a sapphire coated mineral crystal; that is the one thing I really hope for with new releases this year or next, an actual sapphire crystal. That is something I really want in all my watches, and it is something I will always pay more for, if need be. The case back, like all the other Dan Henry watches is not just some laser etched deal, it is a 3D stamped back, this time in a maze pattern, which is used on another DH model as well.
Comfort wise, I am very impressed. The case on the Dan Henry 1968 is 41mm, just below my perfect sweet spot these days, but it also has 22mm lugs, which balance it out and it does not seem small. The large dial opening with virtually no bezel also help in this regard. The watch comes with two straps, a NATO style that I will never use, and a vented rally style brown leather that is super soft and surprisingly long, something we normally do not see on a watch that is manufactured in Asia. For some reason, even on much larger watches, we see straps that will just fit my very average 7 1/2 inch wrist. This one, on the other hand, should be able to fit an 8 1/2 inch wrist with ease. I have 5 holes left on the strap, which I wear ever so slightly on the loose side. I could probably go up a hole, but I do not like a watch to be tight on me.
The common theme with all Dan Henry Watches is style, affordability and of course that vintage appeal. All the models, including this Dan Henry 1968 look like they would have in their time period. They are not modern or overly flashy and while I really, I MEAN really want a sapphire crystal, I understand they are trying to keep costs down. Maybe in future models they can offer an upgrade for say $25 or so, for customers that want the sapphire, and for those that don’t, they will still an very nicely built vintage inspired watch, at a very affordable price. You probably wont be blown away by this model or any other of the DH lineup, but I can easily say I have seen watches that cost many times this price and they do not look as nice. They are affordable and fun, and allow you to add a few vintage inspired pieces to your collection without breaking the bank.
As I am writing this review, I wonder what Dan Henry’s long term goal is. I have had a few conversations with the owner and he has stated that they are working on future models with better specs, but that he wanted to release the initial collections with the budget audience in mind. While I would personally like to see models such as these with a better movement and maybe more premium materials, I hope they do not leave the affordable options in the dust. After seeing two DH models in hand, I can say these do not feel like cheap watches at all, and I hope they continue to offer affordable models in the future.