My interest in stealth-themed watches began only recently. It started with the purchase of the Lum-tec V3, followed by a simple Seiko SSA051K1. But the Shadow is a different breed of animal altogether. It somehow reminds me of a super car. A Ferrari 599. Where the traditional sexy curves are mated successfully with industrial clean lines and sharp angles.
This watch was launched by Gnomon in Singapore in late September or early october 2012, if I recall correctly, in conjunction with Gnomon's 10th anniversary. Anders got a group of his regular clients together for the occasion. No one paid much attention to Anders, the food, the booze (which wasn't much anyway). It was after he noticed that most of us were staring at him with daggers in our gazes, that he finally decided to show us the watch before we proceeded with dinner.
What's the fuss about this watch? Here we go...
Firstly, the Shadow is pretty much the successor to the Reaper that was released as a limited edition of 50 pieces. I reckon the Shadow could well be regarded as the successor. Gnomon did not exactly tout this as a LE model but did stress that only 150 units will be produced.
There are some noticeable differences between the two models:
1) Size - Shadow : 45mm, Reaper : 42mm.
2) The crown position.
3) Date numerals.
4) Dial markers.
Just to name a few.
The reaper comes in a matte black case, boasting Dievas' proprietary 6Steel technology. In a nutshell, it's a tough layer of coating that is 6 times more resistant to scratches and corrosion than normal steel. To up the ante further, it receives an additional plasma layer, making it even tougher. The uni-directional bezel is treated with 6Steel technology.
The blacked-out dial reveals reveals some subtle secrets when admired upon from the correct perspective. E.g. the Dievas brand, minute stick markers, Arabic numerals at 12, 3, 6 and 9 and the model name. The Arabic numerals (3,6,9,12) are laid down in a different shade of black, and so are the minute stick markers wedged between each brightly coloured yellow round hour marker. The numerals on the date disc are also stenciled in yellow.
The case is mated to a pair of steeply angled lugs with screwed-in lugs. My first two gripes come from the crown.
Gripe No.1 - the position of the crown makes it difficult for a simpleton like me to set and wind the the watch. As most of my watches have 3 o'clock crowns, I have to flip my Shadow upside down to attend to these activities.
Gripe No. 2 - the rather huge bezel coupled with the crown guards, make screwing down the crown a relatively difficult task for a stubby-fingered simpleton like yours truely. But that said, I must admit that it's more comfortable for the wrist as there's nothing eating into my flesh at the back of my flabby hands.
The HEV is located at the 10 o'clock position but unlike the Breitling Avenger Seawolf Blacksteel that I reviewed recently, retains its original stainless steel appearance. I'm okay with it but some might find it an eyesore.
Superluminova is applied on the top right quadrant of the bezel. The alignment seems to be alright but appears to be a just a wee tad out of alignment but it's not a deal breaker for me. The bezel completes a full rotation in 60 loud but dull clicks. There's almost zero free play. A good sign for me.
The domed sapphire crystal further adds to the aesthetic appeal of this avant-garde piece. Again, a good blend of old and new. However, I don't think it has any anti-reflective coating applied on it as it is extremely reflective. Once again, reminding me of a cool super car with tinted, reflective windows and windshields.
The screw-down case back has a brushed polish centre with the usual specs engraved on the circumference and is bordered by a matte rim.
The lume is simple yet effective. pretty bright imho and lasts rather long as well. the lume on the bezel is a couple of shades duller than those on the dial.
The package comes with a pair of case-hugging black rubber straps and a pair of bright yellow leather straps with contrasting black stitch. I've fitted mine with the Reaper's full front black leather. I've opted to limit the use of the yellow straps as I'm concerned that it might soil easily.
The yellow straps are fitted with a signed Dievas buckle. The buckle is actually pretty unusual. It has a very short tongue. but it locks the strap in place confidently.
The black rubber straps are fitted with a signed Dievas deployant buckle. The buckle feels a tad stiff. Maybe its because it's still new. It's difficult to click it back on and one needs to depress the release catch to clip it in place.
My third main gripe with this watch lies with the strap - it's a lint magnet! However, it's really comfortable to use. A word of caution, though, those with smaller wrists might see huge gaps between the straps and your wrists as the straight lugs and case-contoured straps push the straps out much farther. Thus the straps might appear to be bulging out. One way to overcome this is to switch to Nato or leather straps.
The buckle comes with the requisite diver's extension. It snaps open with minimal effort and clips back in place easily.
How does this sleek 45mm feel on my wrist? Well, Very comfortable. Although the lugs are straight, they are angled just enough to fit the contours of my 6 3/4-inch wrist just right. I reckon it helps that I have a rather huge hand hahaha!
I really like this piece. It's more a casual watch than one you can pull off in shirt sleeves from Monday to Friday. I really dig the sleek design and the successful mesh of old (traditional) and avant-garde influence on this watch. Well, I guess this is the closest I'll ever come to owning a super car with moving gears in it.
The more I look at it, the more I can't help thinking I have a sleek super car strapped to my wrist.
Case : 45mm.
Lugs : 22mm.
Movement: ETA 2824-2.
Crystal : Domed Sapphire.
Bezel : Uni-directional. Blackened 6Steel.
Power reserve : +/- 42 hours.
- Aesthetically pleasing, avant-garde design.
- Reliable movement.
- Scratch resistant case.
- Great lume.
- Clear and clean dial layout.
- Angled lugs.
- Destro (left-hand) crown.
- Matching yellow straps.
- very secure delpoyant buckle.
- Crown is difficult to screw-down because of the huge bezel and crown guards.
- Destro (left-hand) crown.
- Rubber straps attract lint.
- Loud yellow straps that could soil easily.
- No anti-reflective coating on the sapphire crystal.
Thanks for reading. Comments appreciated.