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ROUE CHR & SSD Watch Review: Affordable Style, Design, & Quality For Under $250

ROUE CHR & SSD Watch Review: Affordable Style, Design, & Quality For Under $250 Wrist Time Reviews

In a world of endless minimalist and Bauhaus designs, I find myself scrolling past a lot of offerings indistinguishable from their counterparts. In that landscape of phone-it-in designs, I found ROUE Watches (French for “wheel”), a brand that offers solid design, a sapphire crystal, and multiple strap options without compromising on affordability – all in a first product. The two models I picked up for review are the Roue CHR “One” and Roue SSD “Three” – an easy-to-remember naming convention for the models.

ROUE CHR & SSD Watch Review: Affordable Style, Design, & Quality For Under $250 Wrist Time Reviews

ROUE CHR & SSD Watch Review: Affordable Style, Design, & Quality For Under $250 Wrist Time Reviews

I’ve found that it’s easy to skimp when it comes to creating your first offering, particularly in the affordable category. There seems to be a business model of “quickly get in the door with a watch, then figure out the rest later.” It isn’t necessarily a bad business model as it allows for the funds to provide higher quality and better products in the future (in a lot of cases), but in the initial run, it has the potential to leave consumers feeling like the product is lacking – or worse, simply skipping over the model entirely. ROUE skipped that step and went straight to solid designs with quality parts.

ROUE CHR & SSD Watch Review: Affordable Style, Design, & Quality For Under $250 Wrist Time Reviews

ROUE CHR & SSD Watch Review: Affordable Style, Design, & Quality For Under $250 Wrist Time Reviews

I was first drawn to ROUE for their quirky-but-refined design and quickly became interested in their story. Alex Iervolino started ROUE Watches on the simple premise that the “best designs are a blend of form and function.” Alex doesn’t necessarily come from a watchmaking background, but a finance one, which means his passion was practiced in his free time. Creating everything from radios to furniture, Alex honed his design footprint before ever moving into watches and I feel that gave him an edge in creating a design that rises above the “generic” or “boring” categories that so many first-time offerings tend to place in. The quality of ROUE’s case and dials would be ample for watches well above the sub-$300 price category each of these models fall into.

ROUE CHR & SSD Watch Review: Affordable Style, Design, & Quality For Under $250 Wrist Time Reviews

ROUE CHR & SSD Watch Review: Affordable Style, Design, & Quality For Under $250 Wrist Time Reviews

There are currently 4 models available on the website. The CHR is a chronograph model, the SSD features a sub-seconds dial, the HDS is a “dual layer” dial (almost like a field watch), and the CAL is their simple time-only model. All have various influences taking cues from everything from Braun electronics to Levi jeans. All models feature a blasted black-PVD or steel cushion case, sapphire crystal, and two quick-release interchangeable bands – a significant value proposition for an inaugural offering.

ROUE CHR & SSD Watch Review: Affordable Style, Design, & Quality For Under $250 Wrist Time Reviews

Let’s start with the CHR One, arguably ROUE’s flagship timepiece. Heavily inspired by the racing circuits of the ’60s and ’70s, the obvious cues this piece takes from vintage cars is immediately apparent. The black PVD-coated case is higher quality than I’ve seen on watches three times the price and the blasted steel crown and pushers give an added touch of tone to the already slick case design. The case measures in at 41.5mm, but because of the cushion shape, and the crown and pushers, it wears a bit bigger. The first thing I noticed is that it’s remarkably light – not to be confused with “cheap.” The slight ellipse contour fits my wrist perfectly, and the lack of heft on a larger watch makes it really comfortable.

ROUE CHR & SSD Watch Review: Affordable Style, Design, & Quality For Under $250 Wrist Time Reviews

ROUE CHR & SSD Watch Review: Affordable Style, Design, & Quality For Under $250 Wrist Time Reviews

The case is less than 11mm thin so you won’t be banging this on door frames and even if you do, the sapphire crystal helps with avoiding damage and scratches. As mentioned earlier, the case quality is fantastic. I personally find the black-PVD of much higher quality than more expensive watches in my collection. Sand-blasted for a matte finish, I would have expected it to scratch easy in this price range – it doesn’t. The uniform look gives an almost “bubble” appearance to the case, and save for a small flat outer “rim” breaking up the top and bottom of the design, the case and lugs flow together perfectly. It kind of reminds me of a 1960s Porsche – where the body isn’t broken up into panels, and instead feels like one piece of shaped metal.

ROUE CHR & SSD Watch Review: Affordable Style, Design, & Quality For Under $250 Wrist Time Reviews

Something unique about the case is the colored gasket fitting between the case and the sapphire crystal that draws your eye to ROUE’s focal point, the dial. Foregoing a traditional black or gray gasket ring for a yellow color ring enhances an already great looking dial. The CHR features a quirky and unconventional dial layout that is fitting for the brand. The first thing you’ll see is the lack of pronounced hour indices. Instead, yellow hashes along the chapter ring serve as indicators. I can see this being an annoyance for potential buyers, but I found that this “feature” along with the center second chronograph and 12 and 9 o’clock sub-dials effectively channels the dashboard of old racecars. The 3 o’clock date window also balances the offset of the registers being in an unconventional position.

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Comments

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  • Mikita

    ROUE CHR & SSD – nc rw, thnks. R th smhw rltd t BLDR?

    • Raymond Wilkie

      Eh ?

      • Mikita

        Whts p, R?

        • Raymond Wilkie

          Kno clu.

  • Jason T

    Don’t fancy the logo or the design very much to be honest, what is special about this?

  • Jonathan Smith

    I like that abtw covers smaller up-and-coming brands. Not my cuppa but all the best to em

    • #The Deplorable Boogur T. Wang

      While I agree completely with the gist of your comment; some things should be regarded with a “NO, not here” appraisal.

  • Yan Fin

    I think it’s typo on the page 1: “The case measures in at 41.5mm lug-to-lug”. Looks more like width.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    This is awful………………………..end of comment.

    • BJ314

      You are wrong. end of comment.

      • Raymond Wilkie

        I’m not,…………………..end of comment.

  • So this is a HeROUEr Mocktavia? Even the logos are similar.

    Next week, a review of the Trollexer Undermariner.

  • SuperStrapper

    “The watch is less than 11mm thin…” So, 12mm?

    The dials looks very flat and lifeless from this angle.

  • Alex Gerasimov

    i like it
    much better design then some of the 1k watches .

  • Dr Bodo von Falternfels

    On this site it seems ‘Bauhaus ‘ is s pejorative. Interesting how one person can cause a minor linguistic shift–here’s looking at you Mark C.

  • Ayreonaut
    • Good Gene 42K18

      Rut Roh

  • Mikita

    My collectn is simpl: TOCKR, BOLDR, ROUE CHR & SSD.

    • Marius

      No collection is complete without an Armogan time instrument! His name? A.R. Mogan.

      ‘Armogan’ is an old French word once used by hardy sailors of the Mediterranean to describe good sailing conditions.

      For us, this word represents a promise of movement and journeys into the unknown. A respect for the forces of nature, the environment around us. And a hint of nostalgia for a bygone age. What better word to summarize our philosophy?

      • Mark

        Another non-sense comment.

        • Mikita

          You are certainly late for the party.

          • Mark

            Try something useful with your time. From the outside it looks a losers party.

          • Mikita

            Good suggestion from someone posting same boring comments here.

          • Mark

            Mikita, seriously, TOCKR, BOLDR, ROUE CHR & SSD is fun for you ?

          • Mikita

            Mark, seriously, what’s the point of your whining?

          • Mark

            Well, you firstly replied to me so what is your point ? Anyway, just trying to understand what’s the funny behind the hater’s club. You guys are always the same ones in all articles in the ABTW. Not funny, not constructive to the watch community. You don’t like the watch ? Fine, say something smart.

          • Mikita

            So you are the one to decide what is “smart” and what is not, right?

          • Marius

            Mikita, don’t bother wasting your time with “Mark.” Considering his four-comments disqus account, I would say that he is either working for Roue Ssd LSD Chr; or, more likely, he’s an ABTW writer. His pathetic “complaints” i.e. “why are you so negative?” and “you are haters, and you are not being constructive” are awfully close to what Ariel Adams is always whining and complaining about. Personally, I seriously doubt that an actual commenter would be bothered by such things. In fact, for me, the critical aspect of the comments section is the only thing that makes me visit ABTW.

          • Mikita

            Actually, I also thought that Mark must have some “special” interest here, that’s why I had this dialogue. I think he’s not related to ROUE, but I fear your second assumption may be right. Regarding your last sentence – for me it is totally same.
            P.S. I think that setting the shackles of “positivity” will just make it a lifeless place to visit.

          • Mark

            You guys don’t even like the ABTW blog ? Is it so ? You are professional haters. All my respect… You are here just for the fun of teasing others work. No matter what. Such a waste of time.

          • Good Gene 42K18

            ^when you hate “haters” so much that you become the biggest “hater”

            eh, Bredan? 🙂

          • Sheez Gagoo

            This is seriously the wrong blog for you. You should visit the…wherever, just go.

  • Good Gene 42K18

    In Cannata we trust now, baby.
    Don’t you know that we love you?
    In Cannata we trust now, honey.
    Don’t you know that we’ll always be true?
    (organ solo…)

    • Dr Bodo von Falternfels

      O Cannata
      Our home boy’s native land
      True critical love
      In all thy blog-sons’ command

      • Good Gene 42K18

        Virgo, and my name is BILL
        Now I love all the WIS’s of the world
        I’m looking for someone who has no time for Nubeo
        Is that you?

        Take my hand
        Come with me, WIS’s, to Watch Land
        Let me show you how sweet it could be
        Talkin’ watches with me

        Blog, Blog on
        Blog on, Blog on
        Nubeo sucks so bad, baby
        Blog, Blog, Blog on

        • Dr Bodo von Falternfels

          It’s another lonely morning
          In a lonely one horse town
          But I ain’t to young to worry
          And I ain’t to old to cry
          When a bad watch gets me down

          I’m gonna blog on
          Blog on
          Blog on
          Change my evil ways?
          One of these days..:.

  • Good Gene 42K18

    You will wheel the day you buy one of these.

    • DanW94

      Roue du malheur…

  • drThrillman

    I want ABTW to do a collab with Gentleman Warfare. Get the enthusiasts juices flowing for some real haute horology of a fine pedigree. bring back GW!!! (for the comments)

  • Marius

    In my view, this is by far the ugliest and most vacuous watch that I have laid my eyes upon this year. And, at $250 for a quartz watch, it’s not exactly well-priced either. The only positive aspect of the photos taken is the Florence background, especially the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore.

    Personally, I see no reason whatsoever for spending $250 on this extremely cheap-looking quartz watch when for just $100 more you could buy a mechanical Seiko SARB017, featuring a mechanical movement as well as a much more attractive design. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/242402e9bb15530e39a36c6ba88399dc2c2a3145792d385e7c37535fd8b6f6f1.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/75dae6177e7df2b78cb1ecff241c97dd648926c67f00e8b9ad89543f20929943.jpg

    • WINKS

      Ugleed.

    • BJ314

      So a person looking for a black racing inspired design with legible dials, should instead buy a stainless steel watch with a green dial? That’s a rather stupid suggestion.

    • Mark

      Is this Seiko nice ? What kind of comment is that ?

    • Sheez Gagoo

      I have one of these! It has sapphire!

  • Ross Diljohn

    At $190? Why not? Better this than the Hublot golf watch.

  • BJ314

    Not plastic watch. Not ugly. You were not invited. Why are you copying that other guy’s “thing”?

  • Spaceguitar

    I’m not a quartz snob, but man…if this were only mechanical. I quite like just about everything about these otherwise.

    • egznyc

      Yeah, well maybe you’re just a LITTLE bit of a quartz snob – but I’m one myself ;-). I rather like the SSD model. The lume looks fantastic. That crystal would be much better IMO if it were domed, but hey this isn’t a pricey piece.

  • Faux-subsecond markings on a non chrono. Sigh.

    • BJ314

      No one is relying on a watch for seconds anyway. Relax.

      • It’s poor design, useless, merely “decorative”.

        (Typo on my part, not “second” but “sub second”)

  • Ontos
    • Good Gene 42K18

      Clever saying. Now finish this one: “The sky’s not the limit, _ _ _ _.”

      • Sheez Gagoo

        …you need to go closer to the sun cause it`s dam` cold up there but don`t burn your wings, bro.

    • Dan Henry Collection

      I like, very Seiko or Tissot Style 1970s strap.

  • Playboy Johnny

    No.

  • #The Deplorable Boogur T. Wang

    Per the author:
    ” It isn’t necessarily a bad business model…” it is a HORRIBLE ‘Business Model’ and it shoots the shit out of any hoped for credibility of the brand…and the person(s?) responsible for attempting to foist this onto the trusting public.

    Just my opinion.

  • BNABOD

    Yikes 2 pages and Roue meaning Wheel. Awesome name keep on trying

    • Mikita

      ‘Roue’ is an old French word once used by hardy carriage riders of the Mediterranean to describe well oiled wheels.

      For us, this word represents a promise of movement and journeys into the
      unknown. A respect for the forces of nature, the environment around us.
      And a hint of nostalgia for a bygone age. What better word to
      summarize our philosophy?

  • Ian john horwood

    No way, i’m stick with my snxs75’s as my lowly-est beater’s. These 2 are just a horrible waste of money, and those dirt cheap quartz miyota movements are just a peice of junk.

  • Thank you ABTW and Travis for this nice article. I’d like to share some things with the readers. The brand design is based on 1960s and 1970s European motor culture and its watch design from 1960s to 1980s. In fact there are elements from Omega wrist and hand stopwatches, Heuer, Lemania, Yema and others. The timepieces also had influence from German designers as Dieter Rams/Braun (silicone straps), Richard Sapper and others… Idea is apply a cleaner, matte elements to consecrate designs. No brightness, no over decorative elements. Perhaps the article pictures do not transmit well exactly due to the matte finishing. I confess it is hard to take good pictures of these watches. The cases are all made of 316L stainless steel with the best manufacture quality available and the multi-layers dials are absolutely perfect. Every model comes with two interchangeable straps. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/95dda316f432de79607b075f3ae9c2975735101dcc44046aa1b38cc10380376f.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d892d99a26f4670318be5017eff87636a16ff5b4b288e7a5f65da0d05b6423ed.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/96db2502b58019c460e87c6b8cde449fd356b66a25029e2f8f4a57deadcf5100.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6505d08bfab1b840ab556fc6299b12c20b226e587cec9ed9ccea42e89fb19941.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/44297940d1f888c70dae19741c17c8246245ade9bb77b66df591acad1a3dd607.jpg Please find other models from the line below: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f2d2345bba5abdc8605049e7f6788fa7eefc585b6c0e82f3d9592df21a488af3.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/525c07b457f2e2638a2daa4221bac4b57b5e7142ced4d0b9352a90820f0f671d.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/19df371745ba92767c99e273e4f3d358f50fa57e7b0f0c349e33f4171e80f21a.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/56e0e548b7a0a6427a4700f7840338858a617ee6935c9c5aa114ad4b6e8c55bb.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a722bc51ec0d6343a2d072eb2da8c5538336e19987e809e7083f1b49cd6af097.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5024f60667c2d3814b7b02815066a769751c7b602f5ddf26ea67507cc6d3dc41.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7f32f8a9b0f16c1fc973210736a50b43e5c3cdfcb987865e4db1ee76548a810d.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d3016e4266bf805f18a6c8a4b894e1cab4e3eda64c1fa35dde32711cb0cc82b6.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6cbded4235baf4aaa77ed94d4031cb4b84810a4302878f3a9f764b00c6a47710.jpg

  • Good Gene 42K18

    I don’t always hate on haters. But when I do, I prefer to hate on John Shade. Stay angry, my friends. 🙂

  • R La R

    Jezzzz. So much hostility, bloated male egos and negativity in these comments I think I’m just going to stop reading them. They can ruin an interesting and informative review. Thanks for the article Mr.Cannata. My SSD3 arrived yesterday and although I’m usually not interested in quartz movements, I’m very happy I decided to buy this one.