Even though I have no real rowing experience to speak of (save for a few times on a kayak), I am drawn to the simple, value-laden Cadence Oarsman watches. In fact, according to the brand themselves, the watches aren’t just for rowers, but people who enjoy the theme, and the values of hard work, determinations, and team efforts involved in the sport. I first reviewed their Oarsman Aviator watch here. Actually, they added the “Aviator” part of the name after I reviewed it, so I needed to add that in later as best I could. While the Oarsman Aviator was certainly wearable, the newer Oarsman Hammer is even better. Upgrades all around, and a more substantial feel to it. Price is more than the Aviator of course, but still really reasonable at under $300.
The Oarsman Hammer is another large watch at 45mm wide in steel. It is 49mm wide including the good looking large crown. While Cadence is an American company, they almost proudly indicate on the back of their watches that they are “Invented in [the] USA. Made in China.” Their OEM partners aren’t half bad. The case, while a bit generic in style, is nevertheless comfortable, and arrives with a nice satin finish all around. It has 50 meters of water resistance, and Cadence gave the watch one of those sapphire coated mineral crystals.
The most peculiar design area of the watch is the dial. I overall like it, but I want to point out a few things. First is the two region style of the dial, with an outer ring and inner dial with a concentric circle patter done pretty nicely for the price. Because the dial is a bit busy, Candence seemed to not want anything to interfere with the legibility. So the Oarsman Hammer has large, high contrast hands, and applied hour markers. Both with lume. The really make the dial easy to read. Even if this watch were a Breitling, it would be harder to read. To achieve this, Cadence made the interesting decision to make the hands actually too long. Probably the first time I have ever said this – but it totally works. Notice how the minute hand extends past the hour markers into the rowing rate indicator zone. The dial also has two orange oars on it that are a nice reminder of the theme.
Cadence uses specially modified Japanese Miyota OS90 quartz movements in the Oarsman Hammer watches. The movement has the time, a subsidiary seconds dial, the case, a synchronized 24 hour hand (for AM/PM indication), and a one minute chronograph that is able to measure in 1/10 of a second increments. The subsidiary seconds dial doubles as a dial for the chronograph when it is in operation. The centrally mounted chronograph hands rotates around the dial once each second. The chronograph is also used for measuring the stroke rate of a passing rower. Basically, you start the chronograph at the start of a stroke, and stop it at the end of the stroke. Find where the large central second hand lays, and it is pointing to the stroke rate. So if you are one of the rare people that merely watch rowers and are interested in someone’s stroke rate – Cadence watches are for you. I imagine some hot headed parent of a rower who just watches their kid and reminds them regularly of their poor stroke rate.
Prices at $275, the watch isn’t expensive, but more than $100 above the Cadence Oarsman Aviator watch, and $80 more than the Oarsman Remus model. Nevertheless, you get a lot more watch for your money. Even though who aren’t into the rowing theme might like this watch. It has a good look to it, is certainly wearable, and could nicely serve as a good gift watch to many types of people. The Cadence Oarsman Hammer is available to purchase via Cadence’s website.
Thanks to Cadence for the review unit. Opinions are 100% independent.