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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Reviewer: James aka TVDinner

Watch / Models Being Reviewed: Harding Watches Aquapro HA0401
Watch was donated by the brand for the review



TIME TO THRILL


Harding Watches Company Web Links:

Main Site - http://www.hardingwatches.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/hardingwatches
Twitter - https://twitter.com/HardingWatches
Instagram - http://instagram.com/hardingwatches

Link to the Model being reviewed -
http://www.hardingwatches.com/Aquapro/HA04-HA0401.html
Other Aquapro models - http://www.hardingwatches.com/Aquapro/

About Harding Watches:
When doing this review I was able to speak directly with Jeremy Barouh who is one of the partners at Harding about the brand. I was able to do a mini interview and learn more about the brand.

Question: What is the background of the Harding brand?

Mr Barouh's Reply: "Harding is the brainchild of 7 friends who have been in the watch industry for decades. The company (called "F7") is headquartered in Switzerland and that is where we manage all of the product development. The final product is manufactured in China using Japanese movements. The brand was launched in 2014 and is available in Germany, UK and Spain. In 2015 HARDING will launch in the USA and in France.

F7 stands for Seven Friends and this Swiss company owns all of the trademark rights to HARDING worldwide. The company is managed by Christophe Schaefer. He is also a long time watch industry veteran that has worked at IWC, M. Lacroix and a few other Swiss watch companies over the past decade."

Question: What is your background?
Mr Barouh's Reply: "I am the third generation of my family to work in the watch business. I started packing watches in the warehouse when I was 16 years old and have done almost every job in the business except for watch-making/repair. Prior to HARDING I worked with my family business which was MICHELE watches. We sold the business to Fossil Group in 2004 and I stayed on working with both product develop/design and also in a sales role for a few years."

Question: What type of watch brand is Harding?
Mr Barouh's Reply: "We consider ourselves a technical fashion brand. That means that we take both an aesthetic and technical approach to our watches. We are not designers who make clothing and happen to have a watch line. We are watch industry veterans that approach watch design and development looking to make a great looking watch that is also technically sound."

There is also additional information about the company on the Harding website here ---> http://www.hardingwatches.com/who-we-are.php

Harding Watches Company Contact Info:
Contact Form on Harding Website - http://www.hardingwatches.com/contact.php
or info at (@) hardingwatches.com

F7 creative lab AG
Seestr. 35
CH 6454 Flüelen
Switzerland

Harding USA
1155 NW 159th Drive
Miami, FL 33160


Harding Aquapro HA0401 Specs

Diameter: 46.5mm.
Height: 13.5mm.
Steel Quality: 316L Marine Grade Stainless Steel
Case: Brushed Steel with Black Ionic Plating
Case Back: Screw-down
Bezel: 90 Click Unidirectional Rotating Aluminium
Crystal: Anti-reflective Crystal
Water Proof: 100 M / 333 FT
Dial: Black/Luminous Index/Yellow(Grey)
Crown: Steel
Strap: Silicon, Black
Buckle: Pin, Steel w. Black IP
Warranty: 3 Year Limited
Movement: Japanese Quartz Chronograph w. Calendar
/ Hattori/Seiko VD57
Price - Around $240 USD

Harding Aquapro HA0401 Packaging:

As I have mentioned in other reviews I like when a company goes the extra mile on the branding on the packaging (and watches). It shows that they are not just using stock parts or materials and doing a little more to make the watch unique. Harding does a good job on their packaging with branding.

The watch comes in a white outer card-stock sleeve that is around a heavy blue cardboard box. As you can see the Harding name and logo is printed on top of the box.



Inside the outer box is a heavier acrylic watch box that again has the Harding name and logo printed on the outside. This heavy watch box, inside the heavy card board box is definitely going to protect the watch inside.



Inside the watch sits on a soft pillow and the inner material is also soft to protect the watch during shipping.
The silicon rubber strap arrived in a plastic sleeve to avoid any lint getting on it and the model arrived with plastic protectors on the crystal, bezel, and case back.
Overall a nice presentation and more importantly the watch was protected about as much as possible during shipping.



Harding Aquapro HA0401 First Look

My first impression was that I liked the overall look of this watch. My personal tastes have always leaned towards black dial watches with bright accents of color used. In this case the use of yellow accents on the sub dial hands, end of the mail hour, minute and second hands; and chrono pushers was immediately noticeable and attractive to me.

The watch is listed at 46mm in size but does not feel large. It is hard to miss the "black on black on black" (the dial to bezel to case) of the design.



I also noticed the silver outer edge of the bezel which stands out nicely next to the black bezel, black dial and completely black case. The silver on the outer edge of the bezel does not look out of place as it is tied back into the overall design with the silver number and lines on the bezel and silver outline of the main hands and markers on the dial.

Nice size on the wrist but not to tall that you can not wear with a dress shirt.



Harding Aquapro HA0401 Non Crown Side

Whenever I look at a watch with Brushed Black Ionic Plating I am mainly looking for consistency in the color on all surfaces of the watch. The Aquapro I reviewed had very even coloring and brushing on all areas of the case. As you can see in the pictures below the non crown side of this watch is very clean and very black in color.



The watch sits flat on the wrist as shown below. The 13.5mm height allows this watch to have both a sporty feel and low profile overall.



The angle of the lugs adds to the comfortable way the watch sits flatly on the wrist.



Harding Aquapro HA0401 Crown side

There is a lot more happening on the Crown side of the Aquapro. The overall black color was again evenly applied on this side of the watch and all surfaces. The crown is stamped with the Harding logo as shown below.

The crown is not a screw down crown. I confirmed with the company that the Aquapro model uses a Triple O ring construction to achieve the listed 100M / 330 Feet water resistance without a screw down crown. Personally I prefer a screw down crown so you do not accidentally pull out the crown and adjust the time/date.



As you can see there are 2 pushers, a crown, and the crown guards. Again you can see how flat the watch sits on the wrist.



One of the best features of the case is the yellow (almost gold color) accents on the upper and lower pushers. This was interesting to me as the additional color outside of what is on the dial draws your eyes to the pushers on the side of the case naturally.

I found the crown and pushers very easy to grab (or push) and manipulate.



Harding Aquapro HA0401 Strap


As we all know there are many different levels of silicone straps. Some have strong smells and some are stiffer then others. The silicone strap that comes with the Aquapro is very soft, pliable and comfortable. The textures on the top and bottom of the strap are different which is interesting.



The outside of the silicone strap is almost a weaved pattern/stamp. It ads a texture and depth to the look of the strap. 2 matching silicone strap holders are included.



There are 9 (nine) position holes on the strap allowing for a lot of room to adjust up or down in size.



The underside of the strap that goes against your skin is smooth as shown below. This is the opposite of the top pattern and makes the strap wear very comfortably on the arm.



The underside of the strap reminds me of a shoe sole in design.



The buckle is branded with the Harding name and is finished in a matching
Black Ionic Plating. The next 2 images also show the stamped pattern on the silicone strap clearly.



Close up of the buckle. You can see how clean/even the
Black Ionic Plating is.



Harding Aquapro HA0401 Case Back

The Harding logo/shield is deeply stamped on the case back. What was interesting is while the rest of the case is brushed the "H" in the logo on the case back is polished. Nice subtle contrast to the rest of the case. The case back is a screw down which is important with the 100M WR.



It was hard to take pictures of the case back to show the even coloring of the black ionic plating. It matches the consistency found on the rest of the watch case.




Harding Aquapro HA0401 Dial, Bezel, Details

Harding uses mineral crystal on the Aquapro. The crystal is very clear. Sapphire would have been a nice feature upgrade for this watch but probably would have increased the cost as well.

From the Harding site -
The face of every HARDING is sealed with high-grade, shock-resistant mineral glass. Our craftsmen then apply a double-coated anti-reflective treatment on the internal side, for better legibility so you don't miss a minute or a measurement.
Wanted to use this picture again so you can see how nice the yellow hands and accents look against the black dial, bezel and case. A few other notes that I always check on all review watches:
- The bezel lined up perfectly with the main markers on the dial.
- I confirmed the 90 clicks of the bezel as listed in the watch specs.
- The bezel movement is very firm and clicks into place loudly
- The sub dial hands lined up perfectly at the 12 position of each sub dial.



Close up of the main hands on the watch. The hour and minute hands and markers on the dial have a silver boarder with white lume paint inside and yellow painted tips. The second hand is a skeleton hand with white paint and a yellow tip. Overall the hands are easy to read against the black dial background.



Sub Dial close up #1 - Chrono Second Hand



Sub Dial close up #2 - 1/10 Second Hand Sub Dial
As you can see the sub dial hands line up perfectly at the 12 position on each sub dial.



Close up of sub dial #3 - Minute Hand Sub Dial



All printing on the dial is crisp and clean. The company name and logo are printed on the dial at the "3" position.



I REALLY like the date window. On many reviews I have suggested that the date window have an outline color to help it stand out. On the Aquapro the date window is outlined in yellow (to match the sub dial hands, etc) The white background and black font are very easy to read with the black dial color all around the date window opening.



As mentioned earlier the accent color on the pushers is a nice feature and attractive to me. The main crown design is easy to grab and pull out if needed.



Close up of the stamped crown with the Harding logo. You can also see the shape of the crown guards. I am not sure what purpose the crown guards serve with the top and bottom pushers protecting the crown between them.



Wanted to show where the strap connects to the lugs. With the placement so low on the lugs it should be very easy to switch out for other straps if desired.

The picture below also shows the unique design of the bezel. The cutout pattern along the outer edge of the bezel is subtle but gives your fingers easy to find grab points when turning the bezel.



Harding Aquapro HA0401 Lume

The lume was average and adequate on the Aquapro. It was not exceptional but did what it was expected to do.

If I could make a suggestion it would be somehow adding lume to the large second hand (maybe the outer edges of the skeleton second hand)

The Harding website has the following info listed for the Luminescence of their watches:

Components like watch hands, markers, numerals and bezels are treated with a super-luminous technology that maintains brightness even in extreme low-light conditions. Plus, it’s non-radioactive and non-toxic so you can put your HARDING to the test.





Harding Aquapro HA0401 Movement

The quartz movement used in the Harding Aquapro is
a Hattori/Seiko VD57. The watch kept very accurate time during the days I wore it and while working on this review. The chronograph features worked perfectly and as advertised.

Some details about the movement I found online.

Outside Diameter: 12 3/4 Ligne or 29.5 mm
Movement 3.70 mm thick
Has a date display at 3:00
Dial is white
Requires watch cell 371
Requires watch hands: hour 1.10, minute .65, and sweep second .20 mm
Has NO jewels
Hattori Japan quartz movement
Japanese assembled




Harding Aquapro HA0401 Wrist Shots

The Aquapro has nice overall size at 46mm but does not wear as a large watch in my opinion.
Additionally it is not heavy on the wrist with the silicone strap (vs a full bracelet model)









Due to the colors used this watch is VERY easy to read the time/date on.




Harding Aquapro HA0401 Final Thoughts

I have stated many many times in the past that FOR ME I have to like the overall look of a watch FIRST to even consider adding it to my collection. It does not make a difference what movement is inside or what materials were used to make the watch because if I don't like how it looks I am not going to buy it ever.

I like the overall look of this Harding Aquapro model a lot. The colors used, chronograph dial layout and design, size, weight, and wrist presence made it attractive to me. This is a watch I could see wearing a lot with jeans on weekends or after work. It just has a nice casual feel to the design. The sub $300 price point makes this an affordable option.

As with all of my reviews there are some things I would suggest adjusting if I could make changes.
- I would definitely add a screw down crown (and screw down pushers). It is to easy to pull out the crown and spin the time or accidentally hit a pusher to start the chronograph feature.
- I would add a sapphire crystal. I just always prefer a sapphire crystal
- I would add lume (somehow) to the large second hand. Just seems to be missing in my humble opinion.

Thank you again to Harding Watches for providing this watch for review.

Thanks for reading.


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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
My unofficial measurements of the Harding Aquapro HA0401 model

Lug to Lug = 54mm



Diameter = 46.5mm



Case thickness = 13.5mm



Strap width at case = 22mm



Crown width is 7mm



Strap lengths (next 2 pictures)





Thanks for reading!


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Discussion Starter #3
There is a bracelet version of this model. Looks like this

 

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Thanks for taking the time to review this watch.

It looks very interesting.

I like the almost perlon look to the silicone strap as well.
 

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Enjoyed your review. Thanks


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Thanks for the terrific review James, AND interview ! Wow !!! :smile-thumb2:Definitely is neat hearing from people behind a watch company while looking at one of their watches, and reading a review James. You get a further understanding of the brand, but also how the designers, or builders of the watch want you to see their watches. Definitely am seeing the technical fashion themes with this watch, but also some serious dive watch themes. All of the different details you pointed out within the dial, bezel, even added cool gold/yellow on the pushers remind you of something that high end watch brands might try. So the watch seems to go above, and beyond just fashion from here, but definitely has that cool technological feel. What's so nice is that the watch doesn't look exactly like any one watch. It honestly seems to be doing its own thing while paying tribute to different classics we may know from today. I love that whole black dial with different colorful accents as well, and here it really sets the tone for the entire watch. Think it's pretty pheneomenal James. Thanks so much for the awesome look, interview, and review !!! :)
 

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Really cool watch. I kept thinking needs a bracelet as I was reading the review and low and behold it has one. Love the black with yellow accents.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yea. I am looking forward to seeing the bracelet version soon!
 

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Nice review as always. Also, a very nice looking watch. I am impressed by the visual presentation of this watch. If it looks as good in person it is clearly a winner. Thanks for the review. It looks like Harding has done their homework and made a watch that will have wide appeal to the watch enthusiasts as well as the community at large.
 

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Thanks for an excellent review and photos. The dimensions are a little too large for my taste but it's a nice looking watch and seems to be a pretty good value.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I am impressed by the visual presentation of this watch. If it looks as good in person it is clearly a winner.....
Me to Marc. First thing that grabbed me when doing this review was that I honestly liked the overall look, layout, and colors for this watch. Appreciate the feedback on the review!
 
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