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~Enter the Armani Emporium~ ************************ Emporio Armani...The name alone sounds very chic and expensive, almost like a secret private members shopping emporium that you might need an invitation to join. In fact the name when translated does mean the House of Armani and looking at Mr Armani himself, you do get the feeling that anything the man designs will have been produced with exquisite taste and impeccable use of design. The range of watches from the House of Armani are varied and interesting and actually much more affordable then you might think (thank goodness I hear you all sigh!). I can tell you that having owned and worn a number of watches, I feel that the Armani brand of watches are very nice indeed. Although they are not quite up to the 'ooh' and 'ahh' factor of a Gucci watch to my mind, they are still fantastic little watches that are well priced and extremely stylish when on your wrist. If I may quote from the man himself Georgio Armani says that he designs his range of watches for 'modern men and women who want to dress with a casual style of sophistication' and although I certainly have found myself to be so very much more careful with what I wear when I wear my Armani watch I haven't quite managed that as yet. I loved the look of this watch from the moment I set eyes on it under the glass of the watch store counter and as soon as I placed it onto my wrist I knew it was the one for me. It has a certain style to it that drew me towards it and I still like it as much as I did when it was new. ~An Armani watch that is more than just a number~ **************************************** Georgio Armani says that a watch tells more than just the time, he says it 'reveals something about the wearer'. All I can say to that is that I must be rather prone to liking pretty sparkly things, as that is what drew me to the lovely silver toned watch in the first place. When faced with an array of watches this was the one that said 'buy me, you know you want me' and once it was on my wrist I felt that it had something about it that was modern and different from any other watch that I own. The bracelet of this watch is super thick and chunky yet doesn't feel heavy when you wear it. I have no idea how this was achieved as the watch bracelet is made form large silver toned links that make up the full watch strap, yet when I wear the watch it sits effortlessly on my wrist and stays there gradually warming to my skin temperature and looking all the while like a very classy little number. The silver toned stainless steel metal used to make up the bracelet has a lovely glossy polished look to it and as yet its condition remains good. Even though I have worn the watch a good number of times it hasn't tarnished at all, nor has it picked up any large or unsightly scratches or blemishes that would spoil its lovely silver toned sparkling and smart appearance. I have found that I can easily clean the watch bracelet and face with a soft jewellery cloth which ensures my watch comes up looking as good as new with no smudges or discolouration whatsoever. The watch glass is made from sapphire crystal glass and this means that it is much less prone to scratching and marking when the watch is in use. I have found that compared to other watches I have which do not have this type of glass, this is much better and really can help to protect the watch face from harm. I would recommend that you consider whether a watch has this feature when purchasing as it can ensure your watch face remains looking fresh and new for longer. If you are paying a considerable amount of money to buy a nice watch this is worth asking about, as I have found some other watches such as those by D&G and Guess do not have the sapphire glass and can be more prone to scratching because of this. ~Wearing the watch~ ***************** When I wear the watch I find one thing that does need a little extra skill is attaching the watch clasp fastening to the other side so that the watch bracelet clips into place. The fastener on this watch is very chunky and is completely in keeping with the look and feel of the watch and bracelet, however as it is very chunky it can be a little fiddly to attach. It is in the shape of a very large almost parrot shaped jewellery clasp and as such once it is firmly closed it offers a good deal of security when I wear the watch. I have managed to master opening the clasp and fitting it securely in place so that I can close it, but I must say that it still is not an easy thing to do and this is my only real bug bear. The easiest way to put on the watch and secure it even now, is to get someone else to help me with it. As this isn't always possible I feel that this particular watch would be unsuitable for anyone with limited mobility in their hands. I have found that many of the Armani watches do have fiddly clasp systems, so this one is not alone in being awkward to fit on to your wrist. I feel this may make certain Armani watches unsuitable for some people, although I will say that once the watches are in place the fiddly closures do help the watches to stay safely on your wrist, so to me the trade off of an extra secure and safe watch seems worth it. ~The finer details~ ************** The look of this watch is very modern and it stands out as a watch that makes a statement. It is more than just a watch and performs well as a piece of modern chunky silver toned jewellery, as well as being something that I can tell the time with. In terms of how well the watch keeps time I feel it is right on the button and stays in time when I wear the watch. If I set it and then wear my watch I find that it keeps perfect time and doesn't skip or slow down as some cheaper watches can do. The movement on this watch is a battery powered quartz watch so I did expect it would perform well when in use and am more than pleased that it does so. The watch face is in a clean and crisp brushed silver toned blend with angled stripes running across it. I feel the minimal look of the watch face with its simple silver markings set at each quarter give the watch a good clean look and make it easy to tell the time once you get used to the fact that there are no numerals to be seen. At the top of the watch face the Emporio Armani logo and name sit proudly for all to see and I rather like the way this finishes of the watch face. The watch is easy to use when it comes to setting the time and requires just a turn of the small side wheel or knob that is on the side of the watch casing. When I don't wear the watch I never leave it with the battery running and I like to pull out the side piece which stops the battery from running down. This is easy enough to do and it means that I should get longer usage between battery changes. I haven't had to change my watch battery as yet so sadly I am unable to fully comment on how long the battery will last, although I was told when I bought the watch that it should last for 3 years or so. ~ A quick time tour of the watch~ ************************** Q) What colour is the watch face A) The watch face has a brushed silver toned stripped dial Q) How big is the watch casing? A) The watch casing is 28mm in size Q) What is the watch made from? A) The watch is made with a stainless steel case and bracelet Q) What type of watch glass does it have? A) The watch glass is made from scratch resistant sapphire crystal glass Q) What type of movement does it have A) The watch has a quartz movement Q) Is the watch water resistant? A) It is resistant up to 50 Metres although I have not tested it near water ~The presentation of the watch and its box~ ********************************* With the Emporio Armani watches you do get a nicely presented product that will make a lovely gift should you decide you want to buy something from the range.. The watches come in their own soft covered black leather look cases complete with the silver Emporio Armani name and logo on the top. The lids of the boxes open with ease and will reveal your watch safely and securely presented in the middle of the casing. The outer box that you get is made from a two piece black cardboard construction and the inner box sits within that with ease. I find that the boxes are not too big and make excellent storage boxes for the watches when not in use, as the watch can sit in its original casing thus keeping it in good shape. The watch box also contains a full instruction booklet that is small and chunky and tells you all about the watch in so many languages that you should find one that makes sense to you. As I recall my watch had a 2 year guarantee with it and as yet I have no problems with the watch so have not had to use that. ~Summary and price~ ***************** I feel that the range of Emporio Armani watches is rather good and those I have experience of have performed well when worn and used. This watch is a lovely time piece that has a funky and modern twist that makes it stand out from the crowd. I feel that from the moment you wear one of these watches you get a feeling of it being a very classy little timepiece. As far as rating my watch, as I have had no problems other than it being a little fiddly to put on I feel it ought to get a full 5 star product rating. Once thing that I feel is worth a mention is the fact that the range of watches are very well priced considering they are a premium watch range. This watch comes as two variations with the more expensive one having a slightly more ornate watch face. This version of the watch is most often no more than £225 and the version I have reviewed here being the one with the classic and simple plain silver watch face should cost no more than £179 which I feel is exceptional value.