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Modern Digitals / Not-So-Smart Watches

Discussion on MODERN LED, LCD, OLED and E-INK watches
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abem

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Modern Digitals / Not-So-Smart Watches

Post14 Oct 2015, 04:49

Howdy,

Lately with all of the interest in smartwatches, I've found myself drawn to a small number of modern "dumb watches" with notable styling and build quality. I thought I'd post a photo of a few favorites to show how they compare in size and styling (sorry about the dust - I should have been more careful):

DSC_6261 (900x600).jpg


Braun BN10:
The Braun BN10 has minimalist styling, easy click wheel operation, and a high contrast negative LCD display with a light blue LED backlight. The display has a pretty light green tint and the font used for the digits is super readable. The crystal is mineral glass as opposed to sapphire, but this also makes it less reflective and probably slightly more readable against its wide black face. The backlight is not very bright but it's perfect for dark adapted eyes. It also has a stopwatch, timer, and alarm, if you like that sort of thing. It's a bit less comfortable than most watches due to its faces and edges and significant mass, but sacrifices must be made for fashion.

Hamilton Pulsomatic:
The Hamilton Pulsomatic is a tribute to the 1970s era LED Pulsar models and shares their retro futuristic styling. The first thing that one notices is the massive, wide stainless steel TV case surrounding a huge domed sapphire crystal. At first, the Pulsomatic seems almost comically large but I've grown to like it and it's actually quite comfortable with the wide strap. I have a tendency against rubber straps on principle since you expect a watch like this to last for decades while the rubber strap almost certainly will not. However, I have to admit, it is comfortable and I like the sporty look and the parallel grooves match the stepped sides of the case nicely. The photo hints at the way the sapphire and high contrast negative LCD display combine to produce some interesting subtle optical effects which combine with sparkly reflections from the outer convex and inner concave sapphire crystal surfaces. The nice italic slant and spacing of the digits reminds me of the P2/P3 displays and the thin segments lend a refined look.

Ventura Sparc Rx:
The Ventura Sparc Rx is in a class of its own - amazing build quality, great design, and super readable ultra simple display. It's constructed of beautifully machined stainless steel throughout. When you pick it up, it's quite heavy but when you put it on, it smoothly hugs your wrist. The high contrast display and domed sapphire make it a joy to look at with its ultra bold digits. The wide contrasty digits occasionally have a slight color shift varying from a slight copper sheen to slightly blue green depending upon the angle. You can also rotate the watch to whatever angle you prefer which is kind of nice if you ride a bicycle or motorcyle (or for no logical/practical reason whatsoever).

They may not be super smart, but they make up for it in other ways!

-abe.
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Kasper

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Re: Modern Digitals / Not-So-Smart Watches

Post17 Oct 2015, 09:00

Hi Abe,

i must admit...the Hamilton Pulsomatic is one of my favorite watches to wear. It feels supercomfy around my wrist even for 196 grams. It has that massive look but still a simple display. Only time and day date. But the biggest advantage is that it's
an automatic like the Ventura Sparc Rx, so no battery required. The only thing i'm missing is a light. Btw mine has a metal band.

The ventura sparc digits are just to big, makes it look less refined.

The braun is still on my wishlist...looks great and modern. But green digits..maybe it was more refined with grey or white digits.:-)
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Caruso

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Re: Modern Digitals / Not-So-Smart Watches

Post31 Oct 2015, 00:08

Oh my. The Braun looks positively small in that pic, the others must be giant!
Check out my vintage digital channel on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/user/danhay1137
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holly35

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Re: Modern Digitals / Not-So-Smart Watches

Post01 Nov 2015, 15:05

Ive had both the pulsomatic and the ventura.In fact most venturas.I have to admit that if i was to chose one it would be the pulsomatic on rubber.It has the classic styling with a modern update.Automatic so no messing with batteries.The Ventura px is a tad small and thick and the Ventura buckle style is not the most comfortable.Although the digits are large and very clear,they are perhaps a bit too child like in appearance ,it just does not look like its expensive.No i prefer the pulsomatic,now i must track one down sometime...on rubber and stainless or i wonder about the gold version?...........
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charger105

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Re: Modern Digitals / Not-So-Smart Watches

Post02 Nov 2015, 08:19

Kasper wrote:
The braun is still on my wishlist...looks great and modern. But green digits..maybe it was more refined with grey or white digits.:-)
:dwf:


The digits on my Braun are more of a creamy yellow. Not nearly as green as it appears in Abe's photo.
I like the Braun. Very good value for money considering it uses a Ventura movement.
Rgds.
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abem

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Re: Modern Digitals / Not-So-Smart Watches

Post03 Nov 2015, 01:27

Hi.

Yes, I agree - the green color of the digits on the BN10 is quite a bit more subtle than in the photo. I had the saturation dialed up on the camera to show some of the optical effects of the Pulsomatic crystal. If you have any qualms about the color, don't worry - it's quite subtle. The LCD on the Braun is as good as any digital watch (it is a Ventura designed movement after all). In the Braun's favor, the display is easier to read in low light than the Pulsomatic and the digits are more refined looking than the Ventura. It's also the only one of the three with a backlight. I only wish the Braun were just a bit more comfortable on the wrist. Perhaps the rubber strap version is a little more comfy than the metal bracelet version (though I do like the look of the bracelet). Anyone have the Braun on a rubber strap? The Braun really is a good value for the money and can often be found slightly used for under $300. For example:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Braun-Mens-BN01 ... SwDNdV0SRx

In favor of the Pulsomatic, as Kasper has noted, with that wide band/bracelet, it's insanely comfortable. I find that on occasion, I get into a habit of wearing it and will go for days without wanting to wear anything else. Also, like the classic Pulsars, if you get a tiny hairline scratch on the Pulsomatic, you can remove it with a few careful swipes of an emory cloth. With the others, it would be difficult to remove a mark and have it indistinguishable from new. That and the sapphire crystal make it a good candidate as a daily or at least commonly worn wristwatch.

Holly mentioned that he was thinking about the gold version of the Pulsomatic. It does look nice but in photographs it looks like the LCD has a silver colored reflector rather than the gold colored reflector that is depicted in the renderings. You may also notice that the digit spacing in the Pulsomatic renderings is different than in real life (the position of the first digit, in particular). So, perhaps they intended to have different reflectors but that didn't make it in to production or maybe they just took some artistic liberties when doing the renderings.

Any thoughts on how long the rubber strap on the Pulsomatic will last? Would it be wise to get a replacement for safe keeping at some point? It doesn't look like any other type of band or bracelet will work with the Pulsomatic, which could be a problem in the future.

-abe.
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Re: Modern Digitals / Not-So-Smart Watches

Post25 Nov 2015, 21:11

I am still a huge fan of not-so-smart digital watch. And being a Casio / G-Shock fan helps as well.

And I love the design of Ventura. I have Sigma and Kappa. The numbers looks very natural, and you wouldn't think twice about how different it is from the 7-segment digitals until you look closely to realize they are more than just meet the eye.

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Re: Modern Digitals / Not-So-Smart Watches

Post06 Dec 2015, 12:03

I have to say,given the choice of any new digital (away from the few models listed in this thread) my choice would be the Ventura Sigma.....it is a work of art for the wrist.It has ,in my opinion Venturas best movement,best dispaly type and the most responsive and smoother operating scroll wheel (the latest ones are not as good imo)
Most attractive brushed durinox case material and finish.Even the rubber strap is thicker and softer than the newer ones.Destined to become a classic once they sell out. ( production and build is all done by hand and remains in the hundreds not tens of thousands) ...and its in the movies. ;-)
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Re: Modern Digitals / Not-So-Smart Watches

Post06 Dec 2015, 22:34

Is the Sigma comfortable enough on the wrist? I'd seen reports that some people found it uncomfortable to wear.

I'm not sure that an association with a Nicolas Cage action movie can be considered a net positive, but the styling is appealing and does in some ways seem like the closest thing to a modern successor to Pulsar's optimistically futuristic design aesthetic.

-abe.
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Re: Modern Digitals / Not-So-Smart Watches

Post07 Dec 2015, 22:01

I have to say Sigma isn't really the most comfortable watch to wear for my wrist size. But its not uncomfortable. My Kappa in titanium with strap is more comfortable to wear all day.

I think the case shape and construction is still beautiful to look at and it stands out from all other watches, mechanical or digital. I feel like the watch is in a class of its own. I am bias but I love mine, and its a keeper. :)
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Re: Modern Digitals / Not-So-Smart Watches

Post08 Dec 2015, 20:19

All depends on your wrist,very small wrists may find it a bit too much.My wrist at 7.25 approx is fine ,it is as comfortable as any watch i have had.it is in a class of its own.......... :-D

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