Elliot Brown Broadstone
A lot of companies claim they make tough, hard use watches. Whether it be dive watches, field watches, you name it. Most of those companies do not back up their claims though; they do not even attempt to. Elliot Brown does. The Elliot Brown Broadstone is not only worn by the skippers of the Clipper Round the World Race this year, they have also bolted one to the bowsprit of one of the boats, as you can see in the picture below, which has gone from the UK, to South America, South Africa and Tasmania, and is still working. That is all very impressive. The Broadstone is ISO compliant for both shock and water resistance, has a GMT hand, (UTC branding in this case) bolted down case back, sapphire crystals and much more. This thing can take a beating. While I can sit here and look up all about yacht racing and such and attempt to know what I am talking about; I won’t insult you. I know absolutely nothing about. So it is great that it is being used for those races and all, but I will review it from the watch enthusiasts perspective, because that is what I am. Lets get into the good, bad and ugly of the Elliot Brown Broadstone.
Elliot Brown Broadstone Spefications:
- 9H-3H – 43mm excluding crowns
- 12H-6H – 52mm max to tip of case shoulders
- Maximum thickness – 12mm
- Strap width – 22mm
- Swiss Made Ronda Caliber 505.24H quartz movement with custom date printing at 4.30
- 3 year battery life
- Steel & elastomer damped shock-absorbing movement holder
- Water-resistant to ISO2281 and individually tested to 20ATM/200M
- Shock-resistant to ISO1413
- Solid marine-grade 316L stainless steel case
- Anti-reflective 2.5mm sapphire crystal
- Triple sealed 6mm knurled crowns; screw-down lower crown
- Bolted down deep acid etched caseback with oversize seals, Clipper Race logo, and serial numbering
- Internal rotating timer bezel with SuperLuminova marker
- SuperLuminova coated hands that glow blue
- Red/green port/starboard hour markers
- Screw-in single-sided steel strap bars with screwdriver included for easy strap changes
- Fitted Elliot Brown black rubber strap with solid stainless wide-tongue buckle
- Additional black cotton duck strap with unique contrasting red stitching and deployant buckle
Price: $699.99 USD
If you follow us here at Watchreport or are familiar with Elliot Brown Watches in general, you might be saying to yourself that the Broadstone looks a lot like their Canford Model. Well, it does, but it is not exactly the same. It is actually a new case that has a lower profile sapphire crystal, inset crowns to minimize the chance of getting caught on something, and the lower crown is screw down that is still water resistant if left unscrewed, due to having triple seals. A lot of these changes are due to the direct feedback of the skippers in 2016’s race that all wore Canfords. Elliot Brown took that feedback and used it to create the Broadstone. Most of us are probably not going to be yacht racing any time soon, but I think these changes benefit the regular wearer as well.
As I am never one to shy away from what I don’t like or what aggravates me, the first issue I have with the Elliot Brown Broadstone is that I do not like the polished applied numerals. Now, I am the first one to admit, maybe it is just my photography or lighting, but in almost every photo, these numerals appear to be gold instead of silver. The use of brushed numerals or applied and inset with BGW9 superluminova would be preferred by me. With that said, overall, I do like the dial, the circular pattern is nice to look at, I could personally do without the date though. I have no idea what red/green port/starboard indexes are used for, but they are there. Of course, the extra hand with the arrow is the GMT (UTC) hand and can be used in conjunction with the etched 24 hour markings on the bezel.
When you spin the Elliot Brown Broadstone around, you can see this case is really like no other out on the market. Elliot Brown does not do homages and while many watches can look similar in some aspects or have familiar design cues, I have never seen a case like this anywhere else. What I enjoy the most is while it is different, it is not a crazy, out there type of case. It is conventional, yet modern, and it has that rugged appearance that goes along with what Elliot Brown is all about. Not only does the Broadstone have those lower profile crowns, but it also uses heavy duty torx screw bars to hold the straps in. I am telling you right now, as long as you do not strip the screw, which would be hard to do in my opinion, the strap is not coming off the watch accidentally. EVER. Okay, maybe not ever, but it would be a rare occurrence. Don’t worry, EB includes the torx tool, so you do not have to run to the hardware store immediately. It is a pretty nice tool as well, it doesn’t look like something that costs 4 cents to make and 10 cents to buy wholesale from China, that many brands include with the watches.
Are you OCD? Do misaligned case backs drive you crazy? I will say I am not OCD at all, but this is a detail, and in reality a small one, that most brands overlook. Elliot Brown bolts their case backs and one of the advantages to doing that is the case back graphics are always vertical. While this detail may or may not set your pants on fire, I do like the way it looks, even if it is missing the cross logo EB usually uses. The graphics in this case are acid etched, so they should look the same 10 years down the road as the day you bought it.
Two straps are included, a black canvas with leather backing and dual deployant clasp and the Elliot Brown fitted rubber. I’ll be honest, I never even mounted the canvas to the Broadstone. I love this rubber strap. I do not know if it is my all time favorite, I think that still goes to the Scurfa Diver One, but the way this attaches to the case, the thickness and comfort all add to that rugged, get out there and do anything motto of the Elliot Brown brand. This is not a wimpy rubber strap and I doubt it is going to wear down or snap on your wrist, whether you are out on the ocean doing yacht races or at your desk wishing you were anywhere else other than working.
7 1/2 inch wrist for reference
You know what I have not talked about at all yet? The price. How could I have waited till the conclusion of this review to mention it? Well, in fairness, its also listed in the specifications above. If you missed that though and wonder why I did not bring it up until now, it is because I think this is one of those watches that will get a bad rap from the value microbrand watch nuts. I do not mean to say that negatively either. I have been THAT watch nut from time to time myself. The issue is that the Elliot Brown Broadstone does not have an automatic movement, a bracelet, a lumed bezel, lumed crowns, a dragon on the case back, 4 straps and a leather travel case for $400. It does however include many things, especially from an engineering and construction standpoint that make it a real hard use watch, one that you can really go swimming with, yachting, boating, hiking, you name it. Yes, you can probably do all that with a G-Shock as well, actually I know you can. But if you are like me, G-Shocks just don’t do it for you. If you do not need a real hard use watch, that is fine. This watch is probably not for you. Hell I do not need a hard use watch either, but it is good to know that this thing is built to take it, while also being good looking and comfortable. So yes, this is that nasty quartz for $700…but it really is worth it.