I recently discovered the haphazardly named Ralf Tech line of watches (I’m sorry, but the name “Ralf Tech” inspires no horological confidence). Ralf Tech is a pretty well known diving equipment maker, who now has a few nice lines of diving watches. The French company makes some really nice watches at good prices starting at a few hundred bucks to about three grand for the top of the line limited edition automatic chronograph watches.
Oddly enough, you need to go to Ralf Tech’s dedicated watch site, because their regular site has no mention of their watches. Oh, and their watch site is only in French. Honestly, a lot of their watches are really cool, but I am going to focus on just one right now from their WRX line (Subaru is gonna be pissed about that one) of watches. The main pictured watch is awesome because it has a perlage polished aluminum face. There is also a matte polished (is that an oxymoron?) aluminum face version. Perlage polish creates that pattern of overlapping polished circles that is highly reminiscent of high grade machinery. I’ve never see this type of polish applied to such an affordable watch, and never to a diving watch yet. If we are lucky, this trend will take root and slowly move in on the reign of carbon fiber faced watch that have absolutely saturated the market.
The Ralf Tech WRX comes with three possible movements. First is a movement that is probably licensed from Seiko called E-Matic. It is the same as a Seiko Kinetic movement, having a rotor that recharges a battery that powered an quartz movement. It has a power reserve of 60 days. There are also two limited editions that have true automatic mechanical movements with an ETA 2824-2 or ETA Valjoux 7750 chronograph version. These are of course the picks of the litter, but are going to be more expensive and harder to come by. By the way the ETA 2824-2 movement based WRX watch is about 1500 Euros.
These are hardcore diving watches at heart. Water resistant to a healthy 400 meters, that 47.5mm wide watches have a very thick 6mm sapphire crystal that is doubly coated with anti-reflective coating. The cases are chunky with a completely protected crown, and large bezel that can be operated with gloves on. The styling of the watch is pure function without being ugly. I like the large Super LumiNova covered hands and widely separated number markers. These are going to be great for low light usage. You’ll noticed that the line offers various color treatment that are white, black, blue, or orange. These are for style or underwater visibility. There is an available rubber strap, but the standard strap is a high quality stamped leather strap with a deployment or buckle clasp. With nice looks and fair pricing (even though they have a silly name), I am going to give the Ralf Tech WRX diver watch line my aBlogtoRead.com Seal of Approval award. Now they just need to have wider US presence an English language watch website.
See Ralf Tech items on Amazon here. [phpbay]ralf tech, num, “”, “”[/phpbay]