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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Name of Reviewer: Mark (AKA andrema)

Watch Reviewed: Van Speyk "Dutch Pilot"

Watch donated for review.

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Company Contact Information:





Website: http://vanspeyk-watches.com/index.php
Email: [email protected]anspeyk-watches.com


"About" from the Company Website:



To provide you with a more profound understanding of the background of your Van Speyk watch, we hereby invite you on a brief journey through the prosperous history of The Netherlands since the 17th century

In the Golden Age the current Kingdom of the Netherlands occupied a global perch in terms of Trade, Science, Art and Military Power (especially at sea). This period of time formed an important part of the foundation of the wealth, both economically and culturally, that we in present time Netherlands find ourselves in.

Economic decline and turbulent years is what The Netherlands in the 18th century had to endure. Amidst this social rumble Jan Carel Josephus van Speyk was born in Amsterdam on the 31st of January, 1802. Although educated as a tailor, Van Speyk was fascinated by the adventures that go with the life of a sailor. He followed his heart and in the years that followed, he became a marine lieutenant and conducted many naval trading- and combat missions across the globe and even acquired the "ridderkruis der vierde klasse van de Militaire Willems-Orde"; the Dutch equivalent of the Medal of Honor.

On the 5th of February 1831, Van Speyk (29) became a Dutch national hero when he headed for the Antwerp harbor in Belgium to examine shiploads. A year prior, the Belgium Revolution led to the dissolution of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands and the proclamation of an independent Belgium. Upon arrival in Antwerp, a furious party of Antwerp workmen boarded Van Speyk's gunboat "No.2". Van Speyk then spoke the legendary phrase: "…and going down in history as an infamous Dutchman? I rather blow this ship and myself to smithereens, than surrender". By throwing a lit cigar into a barrel of gunpowder in the ships armory, the ship exploded. Van Speyk did not survive his act. Because of his reluctance to comply and as a result of his display of devotion to his flag, he is considered an important hero in the history of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. He inspirited the Dutch civilians.

Today, more than two centuries hereafter, we follow our hearts in the spirit of Jan Carel van Speyk by manufacturing these splendid Van Speyk watches. Van Speyk precisely unifies the feeling of a majestic Dutch history and our national pride. A watch brand with an international allure, as well as an undeniable Dutch identity.

Your Van Speyk watch is equipped with solid mechanical clockwork, sapphire glass and a brilliant classic look.

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Stock Image from the company website:



Watch Specifications:


· Case Material: Stainless Steel
· Case Diameter (mm): 45.00
· Case Length lug/lug (mm): 52.00
· Case Thickness (mm): 10.50
· Lug Width (mm): 22.00
· Dial Color: White/Light Silver
· Crystal Type: Sapphire
· Crystal Diameter (mm): 40.00
· Movement: Swiss Ronda 5040.D Quartz Chronograph
· Strap Material: Leather
· Strap Color(s): Brown and Black
· Water Resistence: 100m/10ATM
· 2 Year Warranty


Price: $289

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Packaging:


The watch arrived nicely packaged and secure. The Dutch Pilot arrived nicely packaged and secure inside a cardboard shipping box. The watch box is constructed of wood and painted with a black, matte finish. The box has a nice design, with Van Speyk logo in silver lettering on the top and stainless steel hinges integrated into the lid.

Inside the box, the watch is secured to a felt covered pillow that matches the box’s lined interior. The quality of the box is very nice and presents the watch very nicely. In addition to the watch, the packaging includes the watch’s warranty and operational instructions.

http://s864.photobucket.com/user/an...1-4481-a7a9-2dc2478e6ca6_zpse65ffada.jpg.html


Case and Crystal:

The watch's case is constructed of 316L stainless steel. The case and bezel have a nice, even high polished finish. The case is well proportioned, with a diameter of 45mm, thickness of 10.50mm and a 52mm lug-to-lug length. The case was designed with short lugs that angle slightly downwards. While on the wrist, it is very comfortable.











The 316L stainless steel screw-in caseback of the watch has a polished finish and an engraved center. The center of the caseback features the Van Speyk logo, which is nicely engraved. In addition, the caseback also includes the usual technical annotations, whick are engraved along its outer edge.






In keeping with its pilot watch design, the Dutch Pilot comes equipped with a diamond style crown. This large 8mm crown is easy to grip and has a nice, smooth feel when setting the time or adjusting the date and has nice action.

The polished stainless steel chronograph pushers measure 5mm X 2mm. The pushers operate as designed and have a slightly stiff action when depressed.





Dial and Hands:


The dial is very legible and has a contrasting black/white finishing. The main body of the dial is a white finish, with black painted Van Speyk logo and the date displayed at the 6 o’clock position. The hour indices are nicely raised off the dial’s surface and have a stainless steel outline, with a “blued” finish. The dial has a metallic finish which, depending on the lighting, changes color from almost white to a medium grey. The three subdials are each outlined with two engraved circles. The circles serve as a nice border for the subdials and include indexing for the chronograph functions.

The Dutch Pilot’s hour, minute and chronograph hands have a nicely polished finish, with a nice, rich “blued” finish. The hour and minute hands are sword style, with a nice beveled design. This is a nice feature and adds a bit of interest to the dial as well as gives the watch a nice upscale appearance.












The illumination of the Dutch Pilot is excellent. With a short charging, the Superluminova has a very strong glow. As you can see from the photos below, it is very nice.



Straps:


The Dutch Pilot comes with a choice of either a black or brown leather strap. I was fortunate enough to be supplied with both of these for review purposes. Each strap works well with the watch and, depending on the color you choose, definitely give the watch a different feel and look on the wrist.

The Dutch Pilot’s leather straps are “Flieger” style, with polished rivets. The straps are made from thick leather with dressed edges and white, contrasting stitching. The Van Speyk logo is imprinted on the underside of the straps. Although the straps are fairly thick, they are fairly pliable right out of the box and wear comfortably on the wrist.

As you can see from the photos below, the strap surface has a "pebbled" texture, which is a nice contrast to the smooth surfaces and lines of the watch's case.









The Pre-V styled buckles have a polished finish and are branded with the Van Speyk logo.



Movement:

The Dutch Pilot comes equipped with a Swiss Made Ronda Quartz movement. It is a Caliber 5040.D, which has a central chronograph hand, three subdials and date complication. This is a widely used and dependable quartz movement that is used across the industry.





(Stock Photos)


Ronda 5040.D Product Specifications from Ronda website:


· Type: Analog quartz movement
· Line: Startech
· Caliber: 5040.D
· Size: 12½'''
· Version: Swiss Made 13 jewels / gold plated
· Battery life: 54 Months
· Functions : 3 eyes, Chronograph - Center stop second (1/1 sec), 10 minute counter, 12 hour counter, Date and Small Second

Link to Ronda site for more information: http://www.ronda.ch/en/quartz-movements/quartz-specials/ronda-startech-5000/caliber/5040d/?tx_hfronda_product%5BsourceTarget%5D=&cHash=9b0361e5cd2fec37f394f3d4d7eb4f95


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Wrist Shots:

For reference purposes, my wrist is 7.25 inches.

The watch measures 45mm in diameter and 52mm in length (lug to lug). With the short lugs it wears very comfortably on the wrist and will fit nicely on most wrist sizes. I was very pleased with the overall appearance of the watch on my wrist. It has nice proportions and has a nice look/feel on the wrist.

With its moderate lug-to-lug length and flat caseback, the watch sits very nicely on the wrist. It is fairly light and seems to disappear after wearing it for a while.







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Overall impression and final thoughts:

Overall, the Van Speyk “Dutch Pilot” is an excellent watch, with a well thought out design and execution. Considering that you can purchase it for just over $200, the watch is a great value and definitely worth considering if you are in the market for an attractive looking, moderately priced “pilot style” watch.

While preparing my review and evaluating the watch, I was hard pressed to come up with many, if any, shortcomings of the watch design. However, as I do with all of my reviews, I have compiled a few are areas that could be improved or changed to accentuate the look of the watch. Below are a few features of the Dutch Pilot that, I feel, could be addressed. These points are nit-picky, but warrant mention:


· I would have preferred non-illuminated sub-dial hands. It isn't that the current hands are offensive or distracting, but it would be my preference to non-lumed, polished sword style hands.

· Currently, the date window on the dial has a fairly plain painted outline. I would have preferred to see a blued stainless steel frame around the date. This would add another touch of refinement and accentuate the dial. Not a deal breaker, but it definitely would have been nice.

· The chronograph second hand is slightly out of alignment. It really doesn’t bother me and it can be easily fixed, but it is an issue and would probably drive many WIS crazy.


· The date in the date window currently sits fairly low. I would suggest that either the size of the window be lengthened or shifted downwards to accommodate for this.



As I said, these points are very minor or unavoidable and nit-picky to say the least.


Thanks for reading ~ Mark
 

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The blued hands really pop! Really nice watch and price. Great review as well, the attention to detail was amazing, especially with the chronograph pushers. Love it!
 

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Thanks for the excellent review! It definitely looks much more expensive than it is...:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
For those who aren't located in the US (Euro Zone members), here is the official retail pricint:



***269,00 euro (incl. VAT) = 349,00 USD (this price is for forum members inside the EU)

***222,30 euro (excl. VAT - outside EU delivery) = 289,00 USD (this price is for forum members outside the EU)
 

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Discussion Starter #8

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As a Dutchman I'm a bit disappointed that yet another name of a historical figure was used for a brand name. I find it a bit easy. Leeuwenhoek Watches (after famous Dutch inventor Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, he invented the microscope) seems a next candidate ;) And the 'famous last words' are inaccurate. So much for the mumbling and grumbling :D.

For the money, the watch is nicely finished and the blued hands make it stand out. But I wouldn't buy it.
 

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Nice.... Like the colour theme and the hands look awesome. What I don't like is the case thickness but that's just me. I like thick watches.

Great review as always and awesome pictures Mark.
 

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Great review, thanks, and great deal, it seems to me. It is kind of cool that the last two reviews I read (this, and TC's Obris Morgan review), both are very well priced, affordable pieces, as opposed to some where the components and likely production cost are not that much different, but the mark-up is way higher. Maybe there is still hope...
 

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Nice review. It's put them on my radar, and I've started searching them online. I like seeing nice watches at a price point under $400. While they might be similar to other brands, I'm not sure which brands and if they cost the same, or 50% to 300% more.

I have read some disparaging comments elsewhere about this brand. Mostly centering around the movement. Maybe I should post this question in another part of the forum, but can anyone tell me more about the Swiss Ronda movement. Thanks!
 

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Nice review. It's put them on my radar, and I've started searching them online. I like seeing nice watches at a price point under $400. While they might be similar to other brands, I'm not sure which brands and if they cost the same, or 50% to 300% more.

I have read some disparaging comments elsewhere about this brand. Mostly centering around the movement. Maybe I should post this question in another part of the forum, but can anyone tell me more about the Swiss Ronda movement. Thanks!
I think we have a lot b of automatic fans as I am myself. But I can also appreciate a good quality quartz watch

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk 2
 

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Thanks hikenbike.

I don't have an aversion to quartz or a preference of one over the other. I tend to lean more towards looks, affordability, and function.

Some criticisms I read about Ronda centered around them actually being Chinese movements and not Swiss. I know the phrase "Swiss made" has undergone many changes through the years and is not without its controversy, and I am not against Chinese made products. I'm having difficulty finding any reliable information online in regards to the function and reliability of these movements. When I say reliable, I try to filter out stuff that is obvious corporate propaganda, as well as stuff where people have an ax to grind based on a philosophical attitude.
 

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One of the things I love about these reviews is the background on the company. Great review Mike.
 
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