Product Type: Breo Sport Chronograph
Newest Review: ... version is only 18cm long which doesn't seem a lot and although there is a bit of 'give' in the rubber, I do think there may be a few men t... more
Breo Sport Roam
Member Name: fizzywizzy
Breo Sport Roam
Advantages: Light, colourful, fun design, good price
Disadvantages: Bracelet discolours after a while. Tricky to set time
When I first noticed the Breo Roam watch it was by way of a tiny article on a page about sports clothing and equipment; two things about it appealed to me - the low price and the simple design. I bought one from the sports department of a local department store but Breo Roam watches can be bought from many high street and online retailers now. In Europe budget airline Easyjet even sells an orange version of the watch (as befits the airline's orange livery) along with the other in-flight items.
I didn't find out until later that part of the watch is made from tourmaline which is said to have a number of health related benefits such as "Increased concentration, natural detoxification of the body, improved sleep, relaxation, Improved vitality and mood". I can't say that I noticed any of these advantages while or after wearing the Breo Roam, but neither can I say for certain that it's nonsense. What I would say is that many people do wear these watches it's very often for sporting or recreational activities which probably make them feel energised anyway.
The design of the Breo Roam is beautifully simple. It's essentially a small oblong LCD screen - the hour is shown on the top line and the minutes underneath - and set into a rubber bangle; you simply slip the watch on over your hand, there's no strap or buckle to tighten it so you need to choose the right size. There are three sizes which Breo have simply classified as child, woman and man; however, since the design remains the same and the watches are available in the same colours no matter what the size, nobody would know if a man wore a watch that is intended to be for a woman, and a woman with very slim arms might think it best to wear a childrens' watch for a better fit. So long as you pick the right size it tends not to move around much during wear.
While this is a simple and stylish little watch that appears to offer good value, I've found a number of problems with it. The first is in setting the time when you first buy the watch; this is done by using an object with a defined point (but not something sharp according to Breo) to press to little holes on the reverse of the LCD display. I found this fiddly and frustrating and passed the job to someone else in the end. There's a miniscule instruction booklet for which the text is in Chinese but the diagrams should suffice (for anyone with a bit of patience).
So you have the time set, what then? Well there are issues with time keeping and I'm not the only reviewer of these watches to comment on this. After a week or so I noticed that although the time was moving forwards, it did appear to be losing time now and then and had to be reset. It would work again for a while, then it would have to be reset once more. In frustration I put the watch away, annoyed because I liked the watch but not so bothered I wanted to go to the trouble of sending it back to Breo. The watch was under warranty for 12 months but I decided that for the low purchase price I couldn't be bothered enought to sort it all out. Several months later while tidying I came across the watch, reset it and started to wear it and since then it has not presented any timekeeping issues. I'm wondering whether this was a fault with a number of batches at the time as friends who have bought one of these watches since then have not had any similar complaints.
The soft touch rubber of the bangle can be cleaned but gradually does become slightly discoloured and after a while it'll not become really clean. If you are wearing black sleeves the dye can transfer and doesn't come off the rubber. The brighter colours of Breo Roam watches don't seem to do this but do look a little tired after a while. I bought hot pink but you can buy one of these watches in lots of bright bold colours, including ranges of garish neons and pretty pastels.
Another problem I find is that I can't alsways clearly discern the LCD display. When cycling this is a problem as I want to be able to see the numbers at a glance. In addition the LCD has not light so you can't see it in poor light.
But what of the advantages? Well , when it works it's pretty good. It's light and you don't need to buy new straps for it. My other watch has a fabric strap wth a velcro fastening which regularly needs a scrub as it tends to smell after sea swimming and lots of cycling. It's water resistant to ten metres which is quite enough for recreational use. You can shower in it without a problem but Breo do warn against longer exposure to warm water.
Fianlly there's the appealing price. If you buy from the Breo website you'll pay full price (around £10) but you can get cheaper prices by shopping around. Amazon and Ebay are good places to start and prices bottom out around £6
Summary: Breo Roam - Fun to wear but tricky to set
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