Friday, April 22, 2016

The Good, the Bad, and the So Ugly it Hurts my Feelings

I give you the Ballast Trafalgar.

Courtesy of Ballast
Let's start out with the good - there are a LOT of very cool, very practical technical features to the Ballast Trafalgar.  A unique crown system that is, in fact not a crown at all!  It covers a push-button locking system which when active, allows you to set the time and the date by turning the bezel.  Once you have set the time and the date and secured the canteen style cover over back over the button, you can then wind from a dead stop by turning the rotating bezel.  I will let them show and tell you about these features via their video -

I think that this is actually pretty cool.  The movement in question is a Miyota 8215 and it is fair to say that Miyota makes a mighty fine movement.

The case is of stainless steel and measures a hearty 46.5 mm.  Not 40 mm, not 44 mm., but 46.5

I was taken back to that wonderful moment in This is Spinal Tap -

So while Panerai might go to 44, "these go to 11", or more exactly 46.5 ; )

Last but not least, the price is good at $499.

So that's the good, now for the bad -

If I have to read one more goof-ball watch website that goes on and on about proud British tradition, history, etc. to sell a watch, droning on with thrilling tails of Nelson, single-handedly defeating Napoleon while battling scurvy and no doubt syphilis at the same time... 

What does all of this have to do with a watch?  Absofuckinglutely nothing.

Stories of the history of the Jolly Roger?  Fascinating to some, perhaps, but again - what is the connection?  And ultimately, we get down to provenance - which remains something of a mystery.  Nothing (at least that I can see) appears on the case or the dial to indicate just where the "home port" of the Ballast Trafalgar might be, but I have a sneaking suspicion it ain't Blighty.  And in fairness, it is certainly not a prerequisite that if your brand promotes itself on British themes that it must, in fact, be a British brand.  But it certainly helps.  Based on the website, I have absolutely no way of knowing.  If anyone out there has some actual info. on this, please let me know.

And finally we get down to the ugly.  And to be fair, opinions are like backsides - everyone has one and plenty of people think that mine stinks.  Having said that, my first peek at the Trafalgar was a bit bewildering.  The second look didn't help.

To touch on it briefly (and to stick with a British theme) the dial is as crowded as the tube at rush hour.  The desire to jam a fairly large logo, large numbers, indices and a date window outline (that I can only assume was the result of a lock-in the Saturday night before the final draft was due), result in a congested dial where the space is tighter than an Arsenal jersey.

The alternating steel, black, and gold plate do not do much to settle the look.  And the strap, well, let's just say that it's not my cup of tea.

So, in fairness - you might look at this watch and wonder "where have you been all my life!".  And that, gentle reader, is what makes a horse race.

Enjoy your watches

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