WATCH ADDICT WATCH REVIEWS
by Erik Martín
Today we are going to take a look at a very interesting offering from the company known as SZANTO based in California ( yes the Z is silent ). Szanto is producing many vintage inspired watches with hints from the past dating back to the World War 1 era where officers wore reliable, tough, and durable watches that were used as tools and were a must have for that situation. The Officer classic is actually a watch from their first collection of watches and it really caught my eye with its Guilloche dial and lumed arabic numerals in a fully polished case which looks great on the wrist from all angles. Szanto has launched a new line of watches which looks appealing as they have changed the logo and added a few new designs. Let’s get started, shall we?
The case on the 6301 is comprised of complete 316L stainless steel and is finished off with a very high polish all around including the caseback and sides. You will not find a brushed area on this watch. In terms of the case dimensions we are looking at 43MM across and 13MM thick. The watch wears slightly smaller I have noticed and that is due to the fact that we have wire lugs instead of larger bulkier lugs and of course the circular case shape. I must say the mirror like high polish did come out very well and It really resembles the finishing of a more expensive swiss watch like a Tissot or something of that nature. The lug width is 22mm so you should not have a problem switching out straps if you would like to do so as many watch addicts do on a daily basis. I, myself being guilty if changing out straps almost weekly for a slight new look to compliment what I am wearing.
The automatic movement housed inside the Officer is one we are all very familiar with, that being the Japanese Miyota 8215. I have a lot of experience with this non-hackable self winding movement and it is a reliable one. The movement features a date at the 3 O Clock position and holds 21 jewels. The power reserve is around 40 hours when the mainspring is fully wound or charged. In terms of accuracy you can expect around +10 or less seconds a day on average from these workhorse Miyota 8215 movements. Considering the watch retails at $375 from Szanto I think the movement is okay for this price point but maybe for the future I would like to see a model maybe with a Miyota 9015.
The dial is the first thing that caught my attention when initially looking at their list of models on the Szanto website. The dial is done in a very nice black Guilloche which looks classy and heavily vintage inspired at the same time. The sub seconds register is located between 3 and 5 and does stay out of the way of things. We also get the typical white/black date window over at 3 O Clock which is definitely legibile and fits snuggly inside the framed window. Working our way outwards we have “automatic” and “szanto”’printed on the dial very neatly which is surrounded by lumed arabic numerals which is surrounded by a railroad traci stype print near the chapter ring. The vintage aesthetic plays well here and overall it definitely resembles an officers watch from that early WW1 era. If I did not mention the lume used is Superluminova and it is quite visible at night (Lume Shot in Video and Below ). The crystal used is a K1 Mineral crystal which is not as good as a genuine Sapphire crystal in my opinion but it does get the job done and it does not feel cheap in any way.
The style of hands used on this watch are Marquelle hands and are very reminescent of that vintage era they are mimicking. They are long and reach out almost to the tracks near the chapter ring which is a big plus for me. As most of my readers know I hate when watch companies add short hands to watches. The hands themselves are filled with C3 superluminova and are more visible than the arabic numerals when fully lumed.
The strap used on this particular model is a black faux aged 22MM Calfskin leather ( Higher quality than “Genuine Leather” ) which certainly looks the part and matches the black guilloche dial from my eyes. The strap is not super stiff and does not require a break in period which is a positive. The buckle is a little larger than average and is completely polished with the word Szanto engraved. We also get two safety tabs for extra comfort and durability.
The caseback on the SZANTO Officer automatic follows the same highly polished theme as the rest of the watch case and matches up quite nice to the other sides of the watch. The Szanto logo is engraved in the center of the caseback with typical specification information surrounding it such as “316L Stainless Steel”, “21 Jewels”, “Japan Automatic Movement”, “100 Meters”. This model is 100 Meters water resistant which is a specification I really do like and it is quite rare to find a 100M water resistant rating on a style of watch like this one. I am one who likes to get my watches wet and not fear for the life of my watch when it starts to downpour or while I am washing my hands. If you were to throw this watch on a NATO style strap or a rubber strap you should have no problem going into a pool or shower with this timepiece. The mid-sized onion style crown is a Pull/Push crown but I assume they have a decent gasket beneath to hold out water and is tested to 100 Meters.
In conclusion, the SZANTO Classic Officer watch priced at $375 (I believe they are offering a discount on their website/Instagram ) is not that bad of an offering considering the overall quality and feel of the watch combined with a reliable and trusty automatic movement. The Calfskin leather strap is certainly a pleasure to wear and suits the vintage aesthetic very well with its’ faux crackle aged effect. The finishing and overall fit and finish is definitely on par with other watches for this price. I say this because I have reviewed over 120 different timepieces from different companies over the past year and some were well let’s say not as good of quality and selling for the same price or even higher in some cases. If you are in the market for a classic design and have an urge to fill a spot in your watch box with a classic field officer look from many years ago with modern materials and movement then I can definitely recommend this watch. The watch feels tough on the wrist, has a slight dressy look if you want, and fits like a glove on my 6.5″ wrist. Thanks for taking the time to read this article and please do check out the detailed pictures and video of the watch below.
Erik started having an interest in wristwatches at a very young age of 8 years old. I was always amused with my father’s watch which had a moon phase complication and was always glancing over at it..I received a Nike Digital watch when they first debuted in the late 90’s and wore that for a year or two. A few years down the line I started to wear watches from brands such as Citizen and Bulova in my early teenage years. When I turned 18 I then purchased a Breitling watch which I adored. That lasted a year or two before I started buying other watches such as Rolex Watches, Seiko Watches, and of course more Breitlings! I tend to stick to sports watches because they agree with my lifestyle. Thanks for taking the time to read my Bio and enjoy the watch reviews.