There’s something to be said about dedicated professionals that fully immerse themselves in the specific tools associated with their day jobs. While slightly archaic, the pulsometer is exactly the kind of tool that fascinated a small group of French physicians which eventually created the Doplr brand. Their debut model – the Doplr Pulse watch – is a modernized and attractive iteration of a medical device that can trace its roots back to the days of pocket watches. Today, advances in electrocardiography have rendered these devices ultimately useless, but the same can be said about the traditionally-styled mechanical wristwatches we obsess over daily. In spite of this, I still found the Doplr Pulse watch a joy to wear, which is surprising considering how gimmicky pulsometer watches can feel these days.
Typically I’m the last guy to reach for a slim, white dial time-only watch on leather. I find more satisfaction in the sport watches I own and can get a ton of mileage out of them in most situations. But, what attracted me to the Doplr Pulse was the simple detailing and execution of the stepped dial, which results in a fun and visually engaging wristwatch experience. For starters I just love the Doplr logo – a playful variation of Aesculapian snake symbology associated with health care and medicine. As soon as I noticed it I knew I was going to have some serious fun with this watch. And, speaking candidly, I even considered buying it outright.
Perhaps this is because the Doplr Pulse is a watch that teeters between dressy and sporty style cues. One of the most noticeable features supporting this is the strap, which Doplr refers to as “Performance Brown.” With a warm, cognac color tone, the strap is both easy on the eyes and comfortable with a rubberized underside that makes it feel like you have something a little more casual on wrist. Doplr also offers a range of straps (including a fully synthetic version) to match both white and black dial variants. Customization is also a breeze using Doplr’s online ordering tool.
The case itself is stainless steel, 40mm wide, and about 10mm thick with 100m of water resistance. It’s not a game changer by any means but the design is inviting enough for anyone seeking this kind of classic styling. At 3 o’clock however, is a very disappointing crown assembly that I found too small and difficult to manipulate. It’s the only real detail I’d change but the rest of the case does an excellent job of framing the dial. It’s here where the watch really starts to show some character and I’m glad Doplr kept things simple in this regard.
Realizing the depth of this dial was delightful in person and the stepped design together with the applied numerals and indices really makes the Doplr feel like more than another white dial dress watch. There are simple, luminous Arabics at 12 and 6 o’clock and raised rectangular hour markers throughout the rest of the dial – all of which are lumed with BGW9. The simple sword hands serve as an adequate match for the dial and the double-sided red seconds hand really ties in the entire medical theme. Now, my days of taking vitals in a pediatric setting are far behind me at this point, but Doplr did a great job of implementing both a pulsometer scale and an asthmometer for respiratory rate along the periphery of the dial. Both are more than capable of getting the job done, but I can bet that most medical professionals will still reach for something like the Edan M80 before fiddling with a watch the next time SHTF.
A solid ETA 2824-2 powers the watch at 4Hz with 38 hours of power reserve. I quite enjoyed the decorated rotor as well, which revisits the Doplr logo, features a tiny bit of decoration, and “Watches for Medicine” printed along the lower edge. The sample I tested was perfectly reliable and I think a watch like this totally fits with a simple, carefree movement like the ETA 2824. Along the edges of the display caseback, Doplr also conveniently prints the watch’s specific limited edition number.
Even if you aren’t a medical professional, I still think the Doplr Pulse has a lot to offer if you are into the history and design of pulsometers. I for one still can’t get the Longines Pulsometer Chronograph out of my head, so that might be why I came so close to adding this Doplr to the collection. But for now, I may just wait to see what the brand’s next move is. The Doplr Pulse is limited to just 300 pieces, is almost sold out, and a portion of all proceeds will benefit Médicins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders). The watch can be configured with a black or white dial and pricing is still set at €1,450. doplr-watch.com