Glam Rock SoBe Tachymeter Watch Review

Glam Rock SoBe Tachymeter Watch Review

Glam Rock SoBe Tachymeter Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Last I checked, “Glam Rock” was a musical genre from the 1970s that involved flamboyant hair, clothing, and performance styles to go with progressive rock & roll sounds. Basically, think David Bowie. Glam Rock isn’t mentioned much anymore but now with the Glam Rock watch brand we can relive those days of big glittered purple hair and skintight leopard pants. Does the musical genre match the aesthetic of the watches? Sure why not. They are both sort of overproduced and loud in their own way – yet strangely satisfying.

My dedicated mechanical watch lovers can avert their eyes now. This Glam Rock SoBe Tachymeter 44m is a quartz-based fashion watch through and through. This isn’t what I would call an enthusiast’s timepiece, but is rather a pretty good looking accessory watch that fits the right demographic pretty well. It comes in a range of styles on a strap or bracelet, and features a unique bezel swapping system that works quite well.

Glam Rock SoBe Tachymeter Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Glam Rock SoBe Tachymeter Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Let’s discuss the bezel first. With a pull of the finger, the bezel comes loose and can be replaced with another one that Glam Rock provides. Each piece comes with three bezels. The system is quite good actually. You’d never know the bezel can be pulled off if no one told you, and it sits really securely on the case. Swapping bezels couldn’t be more simple and as I said, the system is engineered well. There is a bit of a problem though. Glam Rock hasn’t quite figured out what other bezels to offer with the kit. The base bezel has a tachymeter in the same tone as the case. The others included with the watch merely change the color of the bezel giving you steel tone, rose gold tone, or yellow gold tone. A rose gold bezel on a yellow gold toned watch doesn’t look good. What would have made a lot more sense is offering actually different types of bezel designs – that match the colors of the case. Perhaps that will come in the future, but for the time being, I don’t feel that Glam Rock is making the best use of this feature. If there are better bezel options out there, they weren’t included with the watch.

Glam Rock SoBe Tachymeter Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Glam Rock SoBe Tachymeter Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Glam Rock SoBe Tachymeter Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

The cases of the Glam Rock SoBe Tachymeter watches are 44mm wide with extra-wide bezels that give the watch an interesting cartoonish personality. It is a very Italian design feeling. That also goes with the neat looking large crown and pushers that have black cabochons placed in them – a curious design feature that I actually like. The cases themselves aren’t very thick actually – which is a benefit to the design. Further, there is a heft to the case that makes it feel valuable as opposed to cheap as is the case with most fashion watches.

Glam Rock felt it was necessary to place the water resistance of the watch right under the logo. I didn’t realize that this detail was so important for this style of timepiece. So 100 meters is what you get. The dial itself is a deep black with polished applied hour markers and recessed chronograph subdials. That subsidiary hands are nice looking and the dial has a good mix of bling and purpose. The main hands could all be a bit longer and one thing I noticed is that the subdial scales could be a bit more perfectly lined up with the gold-toned subdial rings. The main hands and outer hour marker scale have luminant for night viewing. Then again, these are all things watch nerds like myself notice that most people buying these would never pay attention to.

Glam Rock SoBe Tachymeter Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Glam Rock SoBe Tachymeter Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

For the price of the watch I would have liked to have seen a sapphire crystal versus a mineral one – even though Glam Rock uses those sapphire coated mineral crystals that are supposed to work pretty well. There could have been a bit more AR coating on the crystal, but legibility was never much of an issue. Inside the watch is a Swiss Ronda chronograph quartz movement that has the date as well. It would have been good for Glam Rock to use a black versus white date ring to match the dial.

The cases for all the pieces are steel, but the gold-toned versions are colored using ion plating (IP). This is fine, but for a bit more durability it would have been nice to see Glam Rock use a PVD process on the steel for the color, for more durability. For fashion lovers it is good to have a yellow gold toned case, as they are rare compared to the more popular rose gold tones these days. The Glam Rock SoBe Tachymeter 44mm is available on either a metal bracelet or strap. The bracelet is nice and has a rare feature for a bracelet – being quick release pins. The leather strap also uses quick release pins, but these are a lot more rare on bracelets. That with the bezel feature tells me that Glam Rock intends for the owners of these watches to mix and match the components a lot – which is something people who get fashion watches are looking for.

Glam Rock SoBe Tachymeter Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Glam Rock SoBe Tachymeter Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

The “SoBe” part of the watch name stands for South Beach (in Miami). Glam Rock’s designer Enrico Margaritelli lives there and you can see how these timepieces fit into the general mood and aesthetic of the area. Margaritelli is one of the most prolific watch designer’s I have ever met. The most important part of his career was working at Fossil heading design. There he learned about the mass watch industry and the idea of making more accessible products sort of stuck in. What I like about him is that he truly understands the retail side of the watch industry much more than the vast majority of designers. He is also the designer (and owner) of the CT Scuderia brand that I reviewed here.

As a fashionable watch that is relatively versatile, the Glam Rock SoBe Tachymeter 44mm is actually a solid choice. It isn’t a bad watch, it just isn’t for dedicated watch snobs. It is however a pretty good wrist companion for a lot of other types of people – doing what it was designed to do rather well. I would have liked for the price to be a bit lower. The collection starts at under $700 for the steel-toned versions on a strap going up to over $4,000 with a version that has a diamond-studded bezel. The yellow gold toned model on the bracelet retails for $925. At that price Glam Rock faces a lot of competition from brands that even offer Swiss mechanical watches. None look exactly like this model, but the competition is still fierce. The SoBe Tachymeter 44mm watch might not be for the hardcore wrist watch enthusiast, but it nevertheless a good looking and loud watch that is emotionally satisfying on a (at least my own) wrist. Visit the Glam Rock site here.

Necessary Data
>Brand: Glam Rock
>Model: SoBe Tachymeter 44mm
>Price: $925
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Maybe
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Seasoned watch lovers will yearn for more, but it makes for a eye-catching piece for those with modest budgets or who just don’t feel the need for anything high-end or mechanical. A decently exciting watch for “everyone else.”
>Worst characteristic of watch: Interchangeable bezel system is slick but bezels other than the stock unit feel ill-designed for the watch’s design.
>Best characteristic of watch: Not a “me too” fashion watch but is familiar enough to satisfy a lot of lay folk.

Thanks to Glam Rock for the review units. Opinions are 100% independent.

18 comments
Zeitblom
Zeitblom

So this is what happens if you don't study hard and go to college. Shudder! Educational.

Neil C
Neil C

Did you bang your head this morning Ariel?


DCportraits
DCportraits

You're kidding right? I'm actually saddened by this. This is the direction you'll want to turn when you want less hits on your site. Stick to legitimate "serious horological enthusiast timepiece" that aren't just "fashion" watches. Quality not quantity.

DG Cayse
DG Cayse

There is a market for everything.......I suppose.

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

Nit picking here, but IP (ion plating) is one of the forms of PVD (physical vapor deposition). All IP is PVD but not all PVD is IP. However, I know what Ariel meant - cheap IP is often crappier (especially on a watch case) than the PVD coating found on better watches.You'd think they would have a (fixed) dive style bezel option and perhaps one with the hours (as only the '12' appears on the
dial). What a waste that they have only clashing  colors of the same thing...

bichondaddy
bichondaddy

Glamrock might as well be Invicta with their inflated MSRP's....as they can be had for much less on WOW TV or on their website...if you must.  They aren't bad for what they are....a fashion watch brand.  I do think that some of the readers forget that not everyone has the disposable income to afford the watches they obviously can.  So lighten up a little....is it so wrong that some watch companies make watches that are actually affordable to blue collar guy and gal....and they look nice at the same time?   

Ayreonaut
Ayreonaut

Ariel, please explain why you are reviewing this junk watch.  I really do wonder why this one qualifies over other watches available at a mall kiosk.

EranR
EranR

The thing about yellow gold is, the more you cover an already cheap looking watch with it, the even cheaper it actually looks. There is a certain kind of gentle, classic touch, required to produce a good looking piece in yellow (or any) gold. It's not that rare, with so many proper watch manufacturers able to do this, but it's not something you'd achieve by watching watch ads at the airport and saying "Hey, why don't I add some watches to my line of $29.95 jeans I'm selling so well?"

pat I
pat I

Ulysses31 nailed it.  I can imagine this thing dangling from the business end of a claw machine in Dave and Buster's.

I'm sure Glam Rock could sell a ton of these watches at the next "Shahs of Sunset" convention.

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

When I first saw a picture of this watch I laughed.  The gold version looks like something you'd win from a machine at the funfair.  The steel version doesn't actually look THAT bad, but overall for what it is the pricing is Gaddafi-levels of delusional.

IvanGopey
IvanGopey

10 ATM isn't 100 feet. It's 100 meters or about 300 feet.

aBlogtoWatch
aBlogtoWatch moderator

@DCportraitsThis isn’t what I’d call a “new direction” but more a look at something different. Watch enthusiast publications can sometimes get stuck on just a few brands and I like to mix it up a bit. If the occasional quartz piece covered from time to time turns some people of then we are sorry to offend!

Jacquess
Jacquess

Ridiculous price, no manufacturing credentials, cheapest solutions employed on every facet of the watch. I have nothing against fashion watches, but ewwww.


aBlogtoWatch
aBlogtoWatch moderator

@AyreonautThis is a very fair question, but one that will take longer than a comment box to explain. First of all, the designer of Glam Rock watches is a very prolific person who I consider to be one of the more important designers of our time when it comes to mass consumption watches. He is part of the reason that Fossil watches are so popular. He has designed an incredibly diverse mix of timepiece. Yes, it represents a totally different segment than what we are used to, but in a sense I am trying to discuss Hyundai car design to a demographic of people who usually but $100,000 plus cars. At the same time, this is well-designed for a fashion watch. It has some clever features, no useless elements, and is something more than suitable for a particular demographic. I’ve seen horrid fashion watches out there. Ones with non-functioning features on dials, uncomfortable straps, outright copycats, and more. Yes, watches such as this are frequently discounted, but so are most lower-end Swatch Group or Japanese watch brands. Would you be concerned if I did a review on them? I make it clear in the article that for many dedicated watch lovers this watch won’t pass muster because it aims at a different demographic. Having said that, I truly want more people in more places wearing watches. The typical stuff we discuss on aBlogtoWatch will always be for us “watch one percenters” who have the right taste and education… and hopefully budget. Though I refuse to outright alienate the rest of the interested population as I don’t believe this should be a restricted club.

DCportraits
DCportraits

@aBlogtoWatch Ariel, first off thanks for responding to my post, definitely unexpected. I have nothing against quartz watches. I have two TAG professionals that are quartz and I don't underestimate their ability to tell the time just as well as my Rolex or LeJour. But I stand by the fact that Glamrock is a ridiculous brand with very little credibility and judging from the rest of the comments posted my feelings aren't companionless. I think you do a great job Ariel, keep it up. Quartz, automatic, $150 or $150000, I'll keep coming back.

aBlogtoWatch
aBlogtoWatch moderator

@DCportraits @aBlogtoWatch I actually replied a while ago, but recently learned that an error in the commenting system meant that only I knew what was being commented. Glam Rock uniquely told me that success for them with some celebrities has been because they are an unknown brand. Which makes sense because celebs won't touch big name stuff without murmurs of endorsement deal. The bottom line is that while these are clearly not watches for seasoned watch lovers, a lack of credibility is due likely to a simple lack of people talking about them. Thanks for the note!