When it comes to watch design, originality can surely be difficult these days. Many times when a brand does do something original or outside the box, it is usually not meant with the fanfare the brand had hoped for. Then you have inspired pieces, or hommage pieces or downright copies, and everyone has their own take on which is which. That brings me to this Epos Sportive 3442, part of a long line of Sportive watches from the independent Swiss brand, that when you look at the case, the lugs and integrated bracelet, even the crown guards, it is hard not to see the Oris Aquis inspiration. Some would take it even further and say they copied them, and some would probably say something harsher. While there are obvious similarities, maybe more so with the diver version of the Sportive, even still, this line of watches doesn’t feel like an Aquis clone to me at all, and after spending some time with this model, I do think these watches can easily stand on their own.
42mm Stainless Steel Case
Lug To Lug 50mm
25mm Lug Width
183 Grams in Weight
100M Water Resistant
ETA 2824 Movement
See-through Mineral Case Back
Stainless Steel Bracelet or Rubber Strap
Price $1405 USD
The Epos Sportive, especially the dive model does share similarities with the Aquis, but as I said, there are many elements that allow the Sportive to stand on its own, especially with this model I have for review. Beyond the many variations, they offer of this piece (this sporty model, diver, skeleton, and more of a dress version), there are also many dial colors of this 3442 available, and all but this version shown here come with a stainless bezel instead of the DLC bezel on the dark grey sunray dial. I chose this one mainly because the colors, grey and the little bits of orange just work well together, but if you want something a little flashier, just check their website, as some of the color combos, especially with the rubber straps, are quite eye-catching.
The case measures in at 42mm, a sweet spot for many and is also only 10.4mm thick, meaning this is a great everyday watch, fitting under a shirt or coat cuff and being casual enough to still wear on the weekends with your favorite tee and pair of jeans. Much like Oris, you do have to deal with an integrated bracelet, something that I know has kept many from buying the Aquis. I get it, some just love to be able to swap straps easily but I love how this watch looks on the steel bracelet, especially how the polished chamfers of the lugs flow right down through the bracelet links, giving it just a little bit of sheen without being overwhelming.
The case sides are brushed, and here you will see the screws in the lugs to allow you to swap out to an Epos rubber strap (I am not sure if they are sold separately or if you can only buy with one, but I would hope you can purchase optional straps). The crown guards are thick and look like they would protect the large crown from any accidental hits, but remember this is not a dive watch, and only has 100m of water resistance and uses a push/pull crown. I haven’t found the crown coming out of position in the days I wore it, no matter what I was doing at the time, but I always prefer a screw-down crown, and would here as well, but that is just me.
When it comes to the dial, the sunray pattern is always beautiful to look at and when a dial is mostly uncluttered like this Epos Sportive is, a joy to look at. The Epos branding is lowercased, which I know some do not care for, but honestly, it somehow works here, at least on this model, maybe not all. The applied markers really jump off the dial and a simple date wheel is located at 3 o’clock. I would say my only comment would be that a black date wheel may have looked better, but as is, I like it and have no trouble reading it. I may not like it with a black date wheel, so it just might be me being picky for no reason, or just normally preferring a black date wheel. Setting off the sunray dial is that brushed DLC bezel, one of my favorite aspects of this watch.
Moving around to the back, you can see the ETA 2824 movement, which is pretty standard fare when it comes to movements. I was hoping for something a little better at $1400, but with rising prices of everything, that may be a pipe dream going forward. And if you like to see the movement in your watch, well you are in luck, but there is one thing I do not like and that is the use of the mineral crystal back. If this were a $600 watch, sure, but at $1400, even if it is the back of the watch and will probably never get damaged, it should be sapphire.
That brings me to the look and feel of the Sportive on the wrist, and I have to say, I really love how this Epos Sportive looks and feels. The bracelet drapes nicely and really allows for a comfortable fit, but the biggest issue I have here is the clasp. I don’t need to tell you, as you can see in the pictures below, but it is a very generic clasp, and I just expected better for a Swiss brand of this caliber, especially with such a nice bracelet.
This is the first Epos I have ever had in hand, and I did not know what to expect when it comes to lume, and with this not being a dive model, I was ready for it to be on the dim side of things. Fortunately, the BGW9 lume is much brighter than I expected and very evenly applied, and looks great in the dark. As I am always real when it comes to lume, don’t expect it to be glowing all night long, not many watches do, but you should be able to easily read the time in the dark for about 3-4 hours.
Epos and this Epos Sportive have not been heavily covered in the US, and that could be because the brand has not been marketing here until recently, but all things considered, this is quite a beautiful and well-built watch, minus that pesky generic-looking clasp. Some will be able to look beyond the Aquis comparisons, but I think any of the non-dive models should be easy, as they really do not look similar, and even with the diving model, it is not like they are a clone by any means. Like always, I am not here to sell anyone a watch, just state my opinion, and my opinion is the Sportive is an attractive and well-made watch, that is very comfortable on the wrist, from a brand that has not been bought out by one of the big corporations. I hope to be able to review more of their watches in the future and see what else they offer.