Hey Watch Family, If you are reading this you either know me from Instagram (@Thecharlestonwatchsociety), or you know Nick (the owner and designer of the Traveling Watch/ Watches by Nick.) This is my first official review for Watches by Nick , and I will be reviewing a plethora of different watches on this very blog. I will be going through and giving you my take on many of my personal watches. I will also be getting hands on with many contemporary grails.I will focus on a few incredible vintage pieces that are floating around Charleston. I am also going to throw in the occasional watch (es) that I think you need to know about, or just think are down right cool. I will be quest appearing on @watches_by_nick (Instagram). Make sure that if you are not already following us, you are checking in periodically.
With this being my first official review. Nick being generous enough, and interested in hosting my reviews, I thought it fitting to start off with the review of the Traveling Watch. I was presented with this incredible opportunity to be a host, and essentially go on a stay-cation with the Traveling Watch. What is the Traveling Watch? Nick thought it would be a great way to allow people to get a first hand look at one of his fine watches. The Traveling Watch is a military inspired Field Watch that Nick created. This watch set out to hit the mean streets of America, to see the sites that have made this country great, and eventually the world. (Any takers in Russia? Comment bellow, no seriously!) I think it’s a rad idea; so even if the watch had been horrible. It would have still got a point for a serious cool factor.
What is the Traveling Watch I call it a bespoke field watch. You might call it a modified Seiko, and we are both technically right! For this reviews sake, since I am the writer I am going with the bespoke Field Watch. A Seiko 7S26 automatic movement powers the Traveling Watch. Seiko’s 7S26 movement is a tried and true work horse, no frills, gets the job done movement. This is the very movement that is in many of the Seiko watches we have come to love. It is also a movement that has helped Seiko dominate the practical watch market. Even if you are a complete watch snob, who looks down on Seiko you respect this movement. It was originally introduced in 1996 and has continued through to today (There are several variants) the 7S26 movement has 21 Jewels with a Vph of 21,600 A/H and a killer power reserve of 40 hours. (Give or take) It’s even magnetically resistant to about 60 gauss. Just in case you like to bounce your watch off things, rest semi assured, it is outfitted with Diashock shock protection. The Traveling Watch boasts a clean traditional black and white dial. It has small yellow triangular indices marking the hours. (Suggesting a little quasi-Patina) As it is inspired by the traditional military styled Field Watch, the hours are marked clearly in white, with a set of smaller 24-hour markers on the inside track, placed perfectly below the traditional 12-hour markers. The white hour markers sit on a bed of black for the dial, again making for easy readability and a super sweet traditional look. This design makes for optimal visibility, and the ability to tell accurate time whenever, wherever. Nick did not stray far from tradition. He did however add some sweet new upgrades that you will be hard pressed to find, on most traditional Field Watches. To help make the dial more visible and in my mind more readable, there is a domed magnifying crystal. The watch is also fitted with C3 lume to help you see in the dark, or while you are making the dangerous trek from bar to bar. Everything I have discussed above fits perfectly into a 39mm stock Seiko case. (Hitting my sweet spot, between 36mm-42mm) I know that can be small for some people. The wrist presence that this watch projects will quickly help you forget that you ever needed a larger watch. The Traveling Watch was issued with a standard NATO strap, but after what seemed to be an incredible visit to Artisan Strap Company, it was decided that it needed to be on one of their beautiful 20mm leather straps (check them out!)
What is the Traveling Watch? Like I stated before, it is a bespoke military style Field Watch, powered by an incredibly reliable automatic Seiko 7S26 movement. Nick’s Traveling Watch is like an ode to the traditional timepieces that we used on the battlefields years ago. While the watch plays into tradition, it still has a subtly modern, and contemporary feel that you are sure to notice.
It is true, I absolutely fell for this watch, and Nick’s brand in general, but no watch review would be complete without the cons list. This part is not that hard, there are definitely a few things I would change and or like to see. The domed magnifying crystal can make it hard to see at an angle as it distorts the view from the side. The exhibition case back is an excellent touch that I feel most people enjoy. I do as well; it is always fun to see what you have under the hood. The Traveling Watch has the original Seiko exhibition case back, which to me feels slightly unfinished. That is an incredibly easy fix that I believe Nick is addressing. Remember this is a bespoke Seiko watch. No one is hiding that fact; I guess I would like to see a slightly more personalized exhibition case. That might just be me, because I see this watch completely independent of Seiko. Being that it is powered by the 7S26 movement it is lacking a hacking seconds hand. Last but not least I would like to see a screw in crown. Not because I want to go diving, but because I feel it would add a bit of a twist to this watch. Overall I had an amazing romantic week with the Traveling Watch. Matter a fact my fiancé told me if I want to do this again I either need to bring her along, or better yet she wants an one of Nick's beautifully engraved pieces.
Final thoughts; the fit and finish are great, the movement that powers this watch is one of the best, and it allows the watch to be durable, reliable, and affordable. The color scheme is perfect, and as I said extremely traditional. The watch itself was extremely durable; this watch has seen its fair share of cities. While visiting the different places it has accumulated many love taps, yet it never skipped a beat. I would love to see a hacking function, and a more personalized exhibition case back. I had many different people ask what kind of watch it was, and it was definitely fun to compare it to my Hamilton Khaki Field Watch. (Which I will definitely review) Nick has a passion for horology, and this shows in his watches, he strives to create a quality product for an affordable price. What did they say, build it and they will come!! I think so…..