I would say the biggest thing I miss on the CH8 is the drilled lug holes the CH6 had. With preorder incentives and return buyers, you were given extra straps (the horween and a black canvas), and it is just a strap changing type of watch. Drilled lug holes make it easier to do and reduce scratching the lugs. With that said, the CH8 comes with a very nice strap changing/screwdriver tool that makes it much easier.
My biggest gripe about the model in hand is the domed crystal. This is what I was sent for review, and while it looks great from the profile, it does produce a lot of glare. It just happens with a domed crystal such as this, and you can see the hard time I had capturing real world photos of the dial. Fortunately, it is also available with a flat sapphire crystal, which I feel is the way to go…at least for me.
But enough about that. What do I love about it? Pretty much everything else. The case finishing is superb for a watch of this price point, and something people have come to expect from Helberg. Fine brushed finishing with high polished bevels mirror polished case back and crown, fine coin edge teeth on the bezel, and the fitting of everything is smooth.
One of the things that sets certain brands apart are the details. Take a look at the dial photos. From the hands to the applied markers, the chrome outlined date located at the 6, all nice touches atop a matte black dial. Even the brand name and logo are applied chrome. If I had one criticism, maybe just the logo and the model “CH8” would have been better. As is, the model name is only mentioned on the case back.
When it comes to the case back, it has a nice engraving on a highly mirror polished case back. As always, these comments are my personal opinions, but I would have preferred a blasted or brushed case back. You can see in the photos that I scratched the case back up already, which is just easier to do with a mirror polish. This was just from moving around the watch while taking photos.
That said, the case back feels great against the wrist; smooth and comfortable. The diameter is measured at 43mm, but the watch appears larger due to the 44mm bezel. The black/orange sapphire bezel is fully lumed, and just striking in my opinion. The lugs and overall case design are inspired by the Squale 50 atmos, though this is just a larger, chunkier design with the same crown position. Speaking of the crown, a little hard to grab, but winds and moves effortlessly, and screws down with ease.
As I said, there were many preorder incentives, but the straps I received for review (I believe) are all available on the Helberg Website to order. There is a lot to like about these straps, and I will try and cover it all. The black ostrich and the brown horween both have something I have been wishing for many years, rectangle sizing holes. Very reminiscent of an isofrane. If you have ever owned an isofrane, what makes them so comfortable, besides the soft, pliable rubber, is the close together rectangle holes. I am not sure, but Helberg might be the first to have done this to leather, at least in a production volume. The large, but not massive, Helberg CNC buckle is another one of those awesome touches. Big Boy brands take note, you need to step up your strap and buckle game. Take a look at these straps. These say quality… period! My favorite of the bunch, and this will come as no surprise to some, is the brown horween. I love horween leather and this one is no exception. I do not know how much this strap is off hand from Helberg, but you should definitely think about picking one up. It will be worth it, trust me.
Lume, lume, lume. I know you guys are sticklers for lume as I am. Actually, I shouldn’t say that. I am not a lume junkie like some are, but I am in the camp of, if you are going to apply lume paint, it should be generously applied to the hands and markers. And in this case, the bezel as well. Helberg did just that, and used BGW9 superluminova.
Everyone perceives value differently. Some look at value as something inexpensive. I look at it as what you get for the price. The Helberg CH8 is a value. The standard configuration with a flat sapphire and steel bezel will run you about $572 for the steel version, and $616 for the bronze. For the version I reviewed here, $693. When you look at all the details and add them up, the CH8 is a good value. Some fashion brands charge this much for their watches and they have low water resistance, mineral crystals and quartz movements. Head to Head with other micro brands, I still believe the Helberg CH8 holds its own, and might surpass many.
If you like a vintage look in a modern size, and you like to be able to configure your watch to your specifications, you might want to check out the CH8 model by Helberg. Helberg/H2O has some interesting things happening next year as well, so keep your eye on this brand…..Or don’t. Its not like we are watching you or anything…….or are we?? 🙂
Thank you for reading and thank you to Clemens Helberg for providing this model for review. Please leave your comments below. Check out the Helberg Website HERE
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