Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Wrapping up the Minuteman Darby DLC

So once again a week has come and gone here at Tempus Fugit and with it, sadly, the Minuteman DLC Darby will be winging it's way back to it's home at Minuteman Watches.

Minuteman is a young and growing micro-brand assembling their watches in the US.  But more than that, they are also endeavoring to do good, which is something we here at Tempus Fugit hold in very high regard:

25% of the profit from our net annual sales of  Minuteman products goes to charities assisting veterans & their Families.
Which seems like a pretty good deal!

With the Darby DLC, the folks at Minuteman have managed to do something that has evaded the abilities of several of the big dogs in Switzerland (Eterna and Longines spring to mind).  They have created a watch that is both emblematic of an era, as well as current and useful to today.  Military style watches are (apparently) a very tough nut to crack because there are seemingly limitless numbers of offerings from both the mighty and the micro brand, but pretty much nobody is ever capable of getting it really even close to right.  All too often, part of an indice is chopped out to accommodate a date window, or a desire to stamp the words "Military" or "Vintage" or "Combat" on the dial.  To put it simply, saying it doesn't make it so.

The Darby DLC does as advertised - hours, minutes, seconds and date in an easy to read format.  The case is solid without being cumbersome, the dial and indices are clear.  And for once, a date that can actually be read without destroying the balance of the watche's dial. 

The case is of stainless steel, with a DLC finish.  The overall feel of the case is smooth and clean, no rough or jagged bits.  The case itself measures a reasonable 42 mm in diameter without the crown.  

The crown screws down to help ensure the Darby's water resistance.  It is warranted to 200 meters, but needless to say it held up fine in the deep end of the YMCA pool as well.  The crown functions smoothly and setting and hand-winding from a dead stop was easy.

The case back is stainless steel.  It bears the hallmark of Minuteman Watches and has a nice texture and depth of finish. 

The model I tested came with a green NATO style strap, with black hardware.  A very fitting and (if I can say this) "ruggedly elegant" touch.  Unlike many watches shipping with NATO straps, this one was actually well-matched in terms of size and thickness of the strap.  It was a very, very pleasant experience to wear, which is should be the norm, not the exception, so full marks to Minuteman.

The movement is the Miyota 9015.  As has been my experience with other Miyota equipped models, the time keeping was stunningly good, and continues to help push the debate as to whether or not a Swiss movement (especially with the failure rates of some) should continue to be thought of as the top shelf.  More and more start up Swiss brands are moving to Miyota, and that should really tell the buying public something.  And it's not just about price.  The time keeping was bang-on.

Here are the pertinents, straight from Minuteman:
  • Proudly assembled in the USA by Minuteman Watch Co.
  • Stainless Steel case with black DLC finish
  • Double domed sapphire crystal.
  • Clear type A/R coating on the inside of the crystal.
  • 42mm width without crown.
  • Screw down crown.
  • 200 meter water resistant.
  • Military style Zulu/Nato watch strap
  • Miyota 9015 automatic mechanical movement.
  • Movement Accuracy -10~+30 seconds/day
  • Luminous hands and dial.

And I think I will wrap this up with a quick story.  My day job finds me working as an advisor/counselor helping people get ready to either attend college or enter/reenter the workforce.  I was working with a family with their daughter's financial aid and the father was talking about his experience in the Marines.  And here's the funny part, he looked at me and said: 
"But you know all about that James."   
my response being:
"Well, you know what it's like in the service". 
"How do you mean?"
"C'mon, that's a military issue watch.  What branch were you in?" 

No comments:

Post a Comment