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Lovely big watch this.
As a watch collector (a Horophile!) I try to see the beauty in all watches from Timex to Rolex.
A lot of purists discount these Armani watches as another Fashion brand with no real pedigree and very little to offer as a classic timekeeper, but I have to disagree here.
'Fashion brand' watches are basically cheaper timepieces with a posh name on the dial. Usually the movements are mass produced and made in the Far East at a cost of pennies per unit, the cases are inferior grade steel and the glass is very cheap and flimsy mineral glass rather than the scratch resistant Sapphire Crystal fitted to most higher priced Swiss pieces.
Essentially it's the sort of thing you pick up on the market for a few quid, but with a fancy name adding a zero to the price.
Armani, however, are actually quite a nice quality watch. While most of the above is true here, I never have the impression that I'm wearing a cheap watch when I have this on. The case is a hefty 43mm across and quite weighty despite the slim 9mm profile.
The dial is a much lighter salmon pink than appears in the photo's, and the two-tone texture with light centre and dark outer ring is quite eye-catching and the black steel hands fit the style perfectly.
The mineral glass has a very slight dome which I presume means it'll be a bit thicker than usual too.
A nice clean dial means it's very easy to read, with dark batons marking the hours, a black minute track around the outside and a small date window above the 6 o'clock.
The crown (the winder) is a little bit flimsy, it's about the only low quality feeling part on the watch but is has a distinct wobble when pulled out to set the time.
Setting the time and date is a breeze, by the way. The crown pulls out to its first position easily enough to advance the date, and then to the second position to set the time with a very noticeable click. Often with these cheaper movements it can be tough to gauge when the crown is in position, and you can end up moving the date when you're trying to adjust the time, and vice-versa.
This model has a really quite awkward 22mm lug (the width of the strap fitting). Quite a few watch manufacturers use this size now but I've had real trouble in the past getting good quality replacements in that size. Usually that means you have to buy a branded strap from the manufacturer at an inflated cost which is annoying but not the end of the world - unless they discontinue the model and run out of spares (as Armani did with a blue alligator effect strap I needed!).
The strap is quite nice on this one. Double layered leather, probably with some cheap padding stuff between the layers to thicken it, but a really comfortable, supple strap that feels like it'll last more than a week.
As predicted, the movement is a cheapie, just a Chinese quartz (battery) powered module, but it keeps good time and has a very accurate tick which hits the markers almost dead-on, unlike a few others that miss the markers or make uneven jumps between seconds (not really noticeable unless you're a bit sad like me and and measure every little detail).
Oh, and this model states 50m water resistant, but after looking inside I honestly wouldn't recommend that you trust it in a deep bowl of washing up! It doesn't look like the crown/stem offers very much protection against submersion in water, plus the leather really should be kept dry anyway unless you want to shorten its lifespan by a few months.
Well, while I can't pretend to be overwhelmed by this watch I am pleasantly surprised by how high the quality is for a high-street fashion brand. I don't mean that to sound condescending at all by the way, just that in my experience most of the fashion watches are built NOT to last.
I've had half a dozen of these Armani pieces as knock-about watches and this is the nicest one by a long way. The fact that it was a gift means I'll look after it a little better than the others, though honestly it feels like it'll stand up to a bit of rough and tumble.
This watch could be had for a little over £100 in the sales, with RRP hovering just above £150.
Frankly I think it's worth every penny of that price.
This is the sort of watch that'll be ideal for someone who doesn't really wear watches... if that makes any sense! It will fit to any occasion from 'suited and booted' down to jeans and t-shirt.
I'll look at Armani as a brand to take seriously now.
Armani Men's watch (AR2427) / Shape of the case: Round / Glass type: Mineral crystal / Casing material: Stainless Steel / Wrist band material: Leather / Colour of the dial: Brown / Band colour: Brown / Digits: no digits / Batteries: yes / Water resistant: yes / Water resistance: max. 5 bar