A elusive watch brand that I’ve been interested in for a while is Armand Nicolet. While they have the appearance for a mainstream watch, I have yet to happen upon these pieces, though that is likely to change soon. The brands have a few collections of watches and here is a piece from the S05 collection of sport pieces. What I find interesting about these watches is the use of an aggressive, sort of modern case, but with really traditional dials. Especially the dial style with the vintage looking yellowish orange Arabic hour numerals that looks at home on railroad pocket watches. You can see that there are some other styles available as well. While S05 watches come in chronograph forms, and even ones with Valjoux 7751 movements, I like this cleaner looking day-date model that has a Swiss ETA 2834-2 automatic movement.
The date is symmetrically placed in the lower mid section of the dial, and the fully spelled out day is placed in placed between 9 – 11 o’clock so as not to impede legibility the least. It is a good mixture of easy of reading and function in my opinion. Their Hunter models also have as similar style of layout that works nicely. I also like how tradition style hands have been “super-sized” for use on a sport watch. It is an easy to like design.
In a steel case, the watch is 44mm wide and 50mm tall. Thickness is 15mm. It has a totating diver’s bezel that is lined with vulcanized rubber to protect the steel (and to make the bezel a bit easier to turn). You can see that the dial comes in a few styles, and it has a cream or black tone available. Both has a retro feel to it that works. It isn’t meant to be the most refined look out there, but then again most men don’t exhibit the most refined look out there. Sometimes I worry about wearing a watch that is prettier than I am!
Armand Nicolent gives you three strap options – the 23mm wide metal bracelet (odd size, I know), a rubber strap, or a leather strap. Good options, and combined with the two dial colors you will most likely find one that you like. Actually I think you can get the watch bundled with all three straps even. I suspect a watch like this will appeal to lots of people who aren’t the typical “haute” watch lover. Price isn’t too bad. Swiss movement and a relatively durable 200 meter water resistant timepiece for between about $1,500 – $2,500.