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Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider ‘Bike Chain’ Watch Hands-On

Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider 'Bike Chain' Watch Hands-On Hands-On

We see a lot of car-inspired watches, don’t we? What about watches inspired in part by motorcycles? Not as much. Well, the Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider watch offers a very literal interpretation of that design theme. It claims inspiration from the winding interstates of the U.S. highway system, and if you can’t tell by the name, the Crazy Rider also harkens back to the beloved classic film Easy Rider. Azimuth is known for thinking out of the box when it comes to their designs, and this piece fits right in with their portfolio: quirky, fun, and sure to get you a lot of looks and questions – exactly what you’d expect from Azimuth.

Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider 'Bike Chain' Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider 'Bike Chain' Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider is crafted to imitate the engine of a motorcycle and, at first glance, I think they pulled it off. Housed in a big 55mm x 38mm x 16mm stainless steel case, the Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider is offered with either a brown or black PVD-coated mid-case. In line with the rugged elements of the watch, the case features exposed screws along the winding bezel. The piece certainly emotes a rawness due in no small part to the dial.

Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider 'Bike Chain' Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider 'Bike Chain' Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The chain is where things get really interesting, as I’m sure you’ve noticed by now. Yes, that is a chain you see. Modeled after a sprocket brake drive system, the two wheels on either end rotate the chain and it actually serves a purpose – because inserting a decorative, stationary chain would just not cut it. While functionally not related at all, those that have longed for a high-end fusee & chain driven watch (as Zenith has been known to make) may be tided over by the chain’s visual resemblance until their winning lottery ticket comes in.

Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider 'Bike Chain' Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider 'Bike Chain' Watch Hands-On Hands-On

While the minute hand is faceted in a fixed position at the right, the chain rotates around the dial as time passes and carries with it the 24-hour hand in the process. There is some intricate work that goes on behind the scenes to make this occur, and the result is at least interesting. Note that the minute hand protrudes through the center of the sprocket-like wheel that must turn at a different speed in order to drive the hours. Speaking of which, it seems like Azimuth, unfortunately, could not find a way to integrate a scale for the minutes between 35 and 55, supporting the idea that function has been once again sacrificed to form.

The whole Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider might seem like a lot of trouble just to tell the time, but watches today are already way beyond that. Something like this ultimately transcends being just a watch and becomes a conversation piece, and that is really the whole point for many Azimuth designs. Azimuth is known for making pieces like their SP-1 King Casino watch which you can read a giveaway winner review of here. Oh, and in the same vein of “vehicles,” so to speak, there is the tank-inspired Landship watch (reviewed here). So, the Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider is right in line with the “fun-ness” of an Azimuth.

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Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider 'Bike Chain' Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider 'Bike Chain' Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Back to the dial, Azimuth does well to include the retro red and yellow markers here, as they really add to the nostalgic/biker vibe they have going on. Something duller and monochromatic may have been a little too boring for a funky piece like this, and this little bit of flare is a welcome addition while staying away from being too loud in terms of color. Out of everything going on with this piece, I think it is a wise decision to leave out any date window. The case is rated for 3 ATM water resistance though I don’t anticipate taking this one for a dip any time soon. This baby was born for the open road.

Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider 'Bike Chain' Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider 'Bike Chain' Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider runs on a modified ETA that is visible through the case back because, for one, they want to maintain the impression you’re looking into a motor – and you are. It’s a modified ETA rather a hand-finished in-house movement, but designs this avant-garde are rarely found outside of haute horology and associated pricing, and Azimuth deserves credit for keeping prices in reach of more buyers looking for something out of the ordinary. Mysteriously, the caseback features Russian, we believe, for “25 jewels” and “stainless steel,” along with the logo of Russian Nika watches on the movement.

Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider 'Bike Chain' Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider 'Bike Chain' Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider might have come across as overly kitschy if any other brand had made it. There are plenty of automobile-inspired watches out there, like the Christopher Ward Limited Edition C9 D-Type that take their inspiration almost solely from the speedometer of the vehicle at hand. Azimuth looks at a motorcycle and completely next-levels any kind of skin-deep inspiration and goes straight to the engine block. It’s unpretentious and light-hearted without being desperate or dumb. How many watches do you see with rotating bike chains on the dial? Obviously, the Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider isn’t for everyone, but for the watch fan seeking a loud piece with an affinity for motorcycles or really any kind of auto excursions, a watch like this serves a niche role quite nicely.

Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider 'Bike Chain' Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider Watch comes in either a brown or black PVD-coated case paired with a brown or black leather strap that features bold, colorful stitching to add to the palette. Pricing is CHF 5,250. azimuthwatch.com

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  • IanE

    Expensive conversation piece! The case looks like it’s the bit that was somehow left over after rebuilding an old motorbike – I’ll pass.

  • MEddie90

    Not a watch I’d wear but it’s a pretty cool idea and I can appreciate that it’s been designed to a budget. In many ways it reminds me of the MB&F HM8 that we just saw a few articles ago, a workhorse movement put into an unusual case with an unusual method of displaying the time only this time its been built to be affordable with a solid ETA and less of the fine finishing.

    At the price it’s a hard sell seeing as you’re into second hand Rolex territory but as an unusual folly project I think it will find a market.

    • Jason

      Why would anyone assume that someone looking at buying a watch like this be interested in the used Rolex market..

      • The Deplorable Boogur T. Wang

        We see you pendejo.

      • MEddie90

        Most people into watches like to form a decent collection of more typical pieces (dress watches, sports watches, divers etc) before venturing into the world of more avant guard or unusual watches. My point is that for a majority of collectors looking in the same price segment they would rather go for something a little more typical and time honored from a proven manufacturer than something of an unconventional nature from a newer brand.

        • Jason

          I guess we’ll agree to disagree on that one

  • Prodig

    Ugliest watch of 2016 award! Cannot unwatch this!
    Gonna read your reviews and videos on OMEGA Dark Side of The Moon. This might surely help to ease the pain!

  • I think they could have indicated more of the minutes but just didn’t see the need as this is already hard to read – but legibility is not really the point with this watch anyway, so no need to get hung up on it. Interesting idea even if the execution leaves me feeling like it’s only 90% done.

    • Jason

      Why would anyone assume that someone who might be in the market for a watch like this would also be looking at the used Rolex market…

      • I didn’t say anything about the used Rolex market.

    • Omegaboy

      Wonder now they handle chain stretch . . .

      • laup nomis

        Just get a new one every MOT. Then a chain set every other. I’ve left enough showers of mangled bits of chain down the road, to just fork out the money and pre-empt the road side embarrassment.

  • The Deplorable Boogur T. Wang

    I’ve been a “biker” for 40 + yrs.
    I’m pretty sure that if I showed up wearing this ‘watch’ I’d get my ass kicked.
    And deservedly so.

  • SuperStrapper

    Unbearable and priced ino ridiculousness considering its just an immature novelty, but the concept is quite cool.

  • BNABOD

    trying something new is ok but I have no idea who would shell out 5K for something that looks like it was finished with sandpaper. I can only see the resale add “for sale awesome biker watch msrp of 5k now 800 bucks A steal, come get it while supplies last, a once in a lifetime opportunity to own something truly ugly”

  • Raymond Wilkie

    You’r right, it is crazy.

  • My biggest concern with this is the chain over time messing with power. It’s a fun watch, and one I would like to take a closer look at, but it goes some way to demonstrate why the truly avant garde comes with such a higher price tag. Just take a look at some of the fuseé chains out there or the TAG Monaco V4 transmission.

  • The horological equivalent of a “No Ragrets” tattoo. Sure, it’s a conversation starter – for one that I’d prefer not to have.

    What’s telling is that the author spends most of the article sugar coating it. Essentially forgiving its multitude of design, function, ergonomic, and economic disasters by repeatedly telling us it’s supposed to be weird, quirky, avant-garde, unusual, fun, unpretentious. Despite the obvious, we’re told that it’s neither dumb or desperate. Nope. Not buying it in any sense. Being another ridiculous, pricey, goofball, terrible looking watch, it fits right into the Azimuth collection for sure.

  • Seems as though they started with a design idea they could not fully execute, and decided at that impasse it was a finished product.

  • hatster

    Christmas has come early. Or at least some of the gifts that we will be seeing inside Christmas crackers…someone in R&D is wondering why he is seeing a full commercial version of the design he scrawled on a beer mat in a drunken haze.

  • Omegaboy

    The holes in the strap are beautiful.

  • Oh…my…gawd…

  • Omegaboy

    Azimuth has created an analogy here: Chains stretch over time. Bwahahahahaha.

  • DanW94

    Like it or not, at least they made an attempt to incorporate actual motorcycle design elements into the watch as opposed to the lame-ass, halfhearted auto/watch collaborations we routinely see. Look, the power reserve indicator mimics a fuel gauge you see in 90% of all production autos from the last 40 years. Yawn….

  • Shawn Lavigne

    i wouldn’t touch this with a ten foot pole. i have the feeling that it will be on the fritz more than on the wrist.

  • Bill W

    Is it too much to ask for this watch to add a chronograph?? 🙂

    • laup nomis

      What with more chains going between the sub-dials. It’ll look like a Hells Angels bike-chain fight, all in miniature, and on your watch dial. Its certainly original 🙂

      • Bill W

        Yes, that’s what I’d like. Exactly what you just described. Jesus, Azimuth! C’mon!

    • Larry Holmack

      And what about the missing skulls…and the custom paint job done by Horny Mike from Count’s Kustoms in Las Vegas???

  • Marius

    Actually, this is not a terrible watch — especially if you put it into perspective.

    I agree that the price is rather high, but keep in mind that the Hublot Classic Fusion costs almost $10,000 despite using a similar ETA caliber and having a modest fif & finish. Similarly, most Brewmont watches sporting ETA movements can easily cost $6,000, although their overall quality level is not exactly stellar.

    Furthermore, let’s not forget that the MB&F HMX also uses a simple Selitta movement, yet costs upwards of $30,000 and all the blogs praised this watch as if it was God`s gift to mankind. OK, I agree that the casework of the MB&F is of a much, much higher quality, but at the end of the day, the HMX can cost up to $50,000 which is absolutely insane even factoring in the quality case.

    As DanW94 argued, at least Azimuth made an attempt to create something special and out-of-the-box. I’d much rather take this watch than some Brewmont or Hublot, that’s for sure.

  • secretpanels

    “… exposed screws along the winding bezel”

    Uh, pretty sure that bezel does not have a winding function. Does anybody proofread these articles?

    • beardedman

      Roads don’t have a winding function either, but people have been talking about winding roads for a very long time. :->

    • Meandering, like “the winding interstates of the U.S. highway system” The claimed inspiration for this turd.

  • CryptoReporter

    FUGLY.

  • word-merchant

    Oh Jesus, enough of this stupid unwearable statement shit already.

    • laup nomis

      Oh I don’t mind it so much. (Okay, I do really). But stuff like this makes me feel completely normal and sane.

  • Andre Braz

    The designer is drunk ? My God…. terrible….

  • mtnsicl

    No thanks. And, I’ve been riding motorcycles for 45 years.

  • beardedman

    I saw the picture in my email and had to click the link just so I could see the comments. I don’t even want to read the article… the comments themselves are the story. I suppose there is a market for “novelty watches” as I do see quite a few. I lump these into a somewhat similar class as novelty cufflinks. Something a person who can’t or won’t do a thing properly will wear to ham it up. In this case, it would have to be a ham with pretty deep pockets.

  • otaking241

    MB&F is kicking themselves for not getting this to market first…and charging $90K for it.

    In all honesty the $5K asking price doesn’t seem ridiculous for such a novel design–at least they’re using a legit Swiss movement and you have to imagine a lot of R&D went into producing the parts for this. I’d prefer a higher level of finish all around and a more refined design but I think the target here is Harley and not Ducati so maybe it fits? Not a biker so can’t comment from personal experience there…

  • commentator bob

    Azimuth is a weird company, part Swiss, part Singaporean I believe.

    This watch, as do their other watches, does have “Swiss Made” on each side of the 30 minute marker.

    Sure a Hamilton or Tissot, especially at grey market prices, makes this look expensive.

    But as Marius points out below, this is an incredible deal compared to a number of brands, including the ones he references and others like Romain Jerome.

    If nothing else this watch deserves credit for its 24 hour dial.

  • Shinytoys

    That’s a wild looking ride…

  • HectorAsuipe

    It would be an ugly clock on the wall of a stripper’s apartment (left behind by her cycle-customizing ex-boyfriend who is serving 3-5 for selling crystal meth but I swear he was just using and not selling and he really wants to get clean and help me finish court stenographer school). I wouldn’t want it for free.

    • mdv4054

      Actually, I’d take it for free. But that would be to sell it because some moron out there wants it. So yes, I’ll take his money free of guilt.

  • Absolutely fantastic steampunk design !

  • Bill W

    What’s that strap made from? Abe Vigoda?

  • Dénes Albert

    It looks like a cross-section of a squash pregnant with a caterpillar – and that’s probably the most flattering thing I can say about it.

  • Semido

    I like it. Cool but too expensive though.

  • OmniWrench

    You certainly have to admire their dedication to a concept. Not for me by any stretch, but a conversation-starter to be sure.

    It’s also amusing that the hour hand looks a bit like an exclamation mark… 03!

  • Bill W

    If “crazy” is in the name of your watch it’s a virtual guarantee that I won’t like it…

  • Timestandsstill

    A number of years ago when I first started getting into watches and thought $5000 was the most I would ever be able to spend, I was absolutely smitten with this piece from Azimuth. Thankfully I had to wait long enough to get it that my tastes evolved and I never pulled the trigger. But it was an interesting piece nonetheless. Their Spaceship was quite novel at the time as well. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/558317785ee808ba3c86c16cbee5bf13b998a52c2386e3b5e3963ab6f4e8a67d.jpg

  • Perhaps not a looker but definitely more original than Bremont/ CW “homages”. They forgot to put in a tiny chain tensioner and that’s my only complaint here 🙂

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