Recently, I had my first look at a forged carbon cased watch and provided my thoughts in a previous review. The cost of a forged carbon/carbon composite cased watch, based on what I had seen on the market, could be quite high with some of the lower costs nearing $1000 USD. As always, I am on the hunt for alternatives and I know many of our readers either refuse to pay an extreme amount for a timepiece or, quite frankly, cannot afford such a frivolous expense. In steps Chronologia Watches, a company which provides carbon fiber cased watches at a much more reasonable cost for many consumers, may provide an optional choice. Chronologia is a new company that launched in 2015 and produces Land, Air, Sea and in the near future, Tactical style watches. The first carbon fiber watch I reviewed was a pilot style watch so I decided to stick with a pilot watch for this particular review. The Air series from Chronologia provides several different styles from which to choose and the Pilot Series R003.1 will be the focus of this review. You can read more about Chronologia Watches in general at: Chronologia The Pilot Series R003.1 comes with the following basic specifications:
- Carbon Fiber Case
- 100 meters/300 ft. water resistance
- Swiss Quartz Movement
- T25 Trigalight Tubes
- Silicon Rubber Strap
- 45.5 mm Diameter
- Retail Price $275 USD
I haven’t mentioned packaging about the watches I have been reviewing recently because quite frankly, all of the packaging has been rather bland and unexciting. However, I want to briefly mention the packaging provided by Chronologia. Rather than some typical cardboard container, Chronologia packages their watches in a nice zipper style travel case. On top of the nice travel case, they also supply a small flashlight that also has a UV light to boot. Pretty nice extras considering the great value the watch already presents.
Moving on to the watch, the carbon fiber case is probably the best place to start. Like the previous carbon fiber watch I reviewed, Chronologia also chose the shredded carbon fiber construction rather than the layered almost marble looking carbon fiber. In most other instances, the carbon cases have a layered, almost marble like appearance, due to larger pieces of carbon being utilized. The knowledge I acquired from my past review led me to believe that some possible issues with separation of the layers could be possible using the larger carbon pieces. I am not uncertain if Chronologia researched the potential issue, thus opting for shredded carbon (smaller pieces) themselves but I find it interesting that more than one company has chosen this approach. Once again. the end product has an almost stone or granite type appearance rather than marble. which the layered larger carbon fragments provide. While I have to admit I have never handled one of the larger carbon fiber layered watches, I prefer the overall appearance of the shredded carbon design. I do not dislike the marble appearance offered by some companies and hope to have one in hand at some point to gain an even greater perspective regarding the differences.
Examining the specifications reveals a rather robust case diameter of 45.5mm and just under 50mm horizontally when factoring in the crown. The lug tip to lug tip measures 53mm and the watch weighs a feather like 80 grams. So, based on these specifications, the watch will provide the necessary wrist presence while feeling almost non-existent on the wrist. At almost 14mm thick, the watch may not be best suited for wearing under a dress shirt, placing this watch clearly in the sport watch arena. An oversized, 9mm, signed, push pull crown is positioned on the 3 o’clock side of the case. The crown has large gear shaped machining, making it extremely easy to grasp and engage. There is no play or wiggle once the crown is engaged. The PVD finishing of the crown looks fantastic against the carbon fiber case. I have grown use to more watch companies supplying a screw down crown, even on pilot watches, so I would have very much enjoyed seeing a screw down crown on this model.
Next, the Pilot Series R003.1 is fitted with a large 37mm sapphire coated mineral crystal with quite possibly some interior anti-reflective coating based on my experience photographing the watch. Beneath the crystal is a large black textured dial with an almost pebbled type appearance. The dial is extremely clean and uncluttered with the typical branding placement painted above and below center dial. I have to admit while I believe lume can sometimes be more of a gimmick than necessity on any watch, I was quite pleased that this model as with all Chronologia watches utilize T25 Trigalight Tubes. Tubes are located at the 12, 3, 6, and 9 which provide a continuous glow without charging using a light source. The tubes will glow for around 25 years or so while the isotope decays. The other hour markers are coated with what appears to be green Superluminova which upon initial charge, glows fairly well but fades rather quickly.
All of the carbon fiber cased watches produced by the well known micro-brand companies utilize an inner core of some sort whether titanium or stainless steel. Based on my past conversations and research, I was under the impression that forged carbon cases could not be threaded to support a screw in case back thus the need for a core. So I have to admit, I was quite surprised when I discovered that Chronologia watches do not utilize a core, and the case back is screwed down directly into the carbon fiber case. So obviously carbon fiber cases can be threaded but what about the durability of the threads? I guess the durability aspect remains to be discovered over time after some battery changes.
So what is housed in the Chronologia Pilot Series? Before I discuss the movement, I would like to mention the remarkable screw down stainless steel case back. The case back is highly engraved with typical specification information noted around the perimeter. At the center of the case back is an almost turbine appearing design with the Chronologia logo engraved at the center. Truly a cool case back for such a value priced timepiece! Beneath the remarkable case back is an extremely reliable Swiss Made Ronda 763 quartz movement. The use of quartz obviously keeps the overall cost of the product down but I appreciate the use of Swiss Made quartz movements which seem to be dependable in the long haul.
Finishing off the Pilot Series R003.1 is a 4mm thick silicone rubber strap. The strap has a nice design measuring 24mm at the lug and tapering to 22mm at the tail and buckle. Personally, I am not a huge fan of silicon because I always find myself wiping them down as silicon collects lint and dust extremely easy. The strap looks nice and is quite soft and supple on the wrist, providing a significant level of comfort. I have lost count on how many times in the past I have complained about strap length. Far too many watch companies choose to provide little man straps with their watches. The silicon strap provided by Chronologia is perfectly sized with 10 sizing holes. On my 7 ¾ inch wrist, I have a ton of up sizing options to accommodate expansion and the strap will easily fit well over an 8 inch wrist. Outside of the choice of silicon, I give props to Chronologia when it comes to length and appearance.
In a past review, I highly recommended checking out a forged carbon cased watch. My opinion remains unchanged. Once again, not everyone is going to drop significant coin for the carbon fiber watches offered by the well know micro-brand companies. Chronologia provides a more affordable option for checking out a carbon fiber case watch and if a pilot watch isn’t to your liking, by all means, check out the other styles available. Chronologia Watches are not currently offering a sapphire crystal or an automatic movement, however, the Pilot Series R003.1 still provides the carbon fiber case, quality Swiss Made Ronda movement, solid overall design and T25 Trigalight Tubes as a luminous property. Thank you to Chronologia for working with WatchReport.com on this review. I would like to thank you for reading my review and look forward to your comments.