When my friend and fellow Watchwabi founder, Ariel Javier, sent me a message saying: “Hey, Pete, I’m sending you a watch to review”, I answered: “great, what is it?” The reply was: “Not telling you. It’s a surprise!” I thought it over for a minute and then decided that I didn’t want to know. This way there was no expectations, no prejudgement. This really would be an ‘unboxing of the unknown’ kind of experience. A couple of days later a package arrived and I opened it to find this.
Hmmmm, Revolo, now where have I heard that name before? Who cares? Man, that’s a sharp looking big watch.
I had, in fact, heard of Revolo before. They were a Kickstarter campaign back in May 2016. Two chaps; Ron Westrade and Geert Tibosch decide that there was a market for a watch company which allowed people to design their own watches. Revolo Watches was born out of that Kickstarter beginning.
If you visit their website you can build literally hundreds of different watches based on a selection of different cases, movements, dials, hands, straps, bracelets, buckles and crowns. You really do have the opportunity to build a watch to suit any occasion, whether it be sporting, dinner or just wanting to have something different from anyone else. The watches are made in Amsterdam and shipped free worldwide.
The watch Ariel sent me was based on the 43mm cushion case. I hadn’t designed this watch but it was very easy for me to go through the steps on the website and configure a watch exactly the same as the one that I now had in my hands. Total price was 659 Euros which translates to approximately 780 US Dollars.
The watch shipped in a nice presentation box which included information on Revolo and the 2 year warranty. Even though the watch comes from Holland, Revolo has service centers in Holland, Germany and the USA.
So, what is it like? Well, I have to say I am impressed. The build quality, fit and finish are excellent. The case is 316L Stainless Steel, also known as Marine Grade Stainless. Any Metallurgists out there will know that 316 is a higher grade Stainless Steel than the “standard” 304 grade. Higher amounts of Nickel and Molybdenum gives it greater pitting corrosion resistance especially in sea water. By the way, the blue on the crown in the picture above is a plastic coating to protect the crown. It can be easily removed. I have to say I like it and if there was an option for a crown with permanent blue coating I would chose that.
Even for a relatively large watch, it is very comfortable thanks to the large, flat caseback. It just hugs the wrist, and speaking of casebacks, this one is a sapphire glass display back and shows the movement and its nicely decorated rotor. The movement in this watch is the Revolo, Swiss Made, 26 Jewel automatic version. Other movement choices are Miyota 821A, 21 Jewel Automatic or a Ronda 515 Quartz.
The eagle eyed among you may have noticed 2 little ‘pins’ on the bracelet end piece in the photo above. I’ve highlighted it in the photo below. Now this is a really nice touch. It makes changing out the bracelet an absolute breeze. Simply pulling the pins retracts the spring bars and the bracelet can be removed without any tool. Say goodbye to scratched lugs. In all my years among watches I can honestly say I have never seen this system. Whoever designed this needs to stand up and take a bow.
As you can also see from the above photo the bracelet uses a butterfly deployant clasp which operates very smoothly and when closed just shows a continuous bracelet which looks great. Remember though that this type of clasp doesn’t offer any type of micro adjustment and resizing is on the link level. Unfortunately the resizing of the bracelet is where I ran into problems.
As I mentioned earlier, I think the overall fit and finish of the watch is very good indeed. I can’t really say the same for the bracelet. The first thing I noticed about it was how sharp the edges of it were. There really needed to be a final manufacturing pass the take the edge off. I’ve had bracelets before which felt the same. I needed to use a small file to smooth the edges out. They were inexpensive bracelets, so I was OK with doing that. I wouldn’t expect to do it on an $800 watch. The next problem was trying to remove the links so I could resize the bracelet. This bracelet uses split pins. Nothing wrong with that, and in fact I prefer pins to screws. However, some of the pins were inserted in the wrong direction (the underside of the bracelet has arrows showing the removal direction). I had real problems removing several pins that wouldn’t come out no matter which way I used the removal tool. I ended up breaking the tool! What should have been a simple operation turned into a real pain.
But, in all honesty, how many times do people resize bracelets? Once, maybe twice. It isn’t a daily occurrence. I had another pin tool and putting the bracelet back to full size was a piece of cake as all I did was remove / insert the pins I had originally removed. The reality is that the bracelet wore well. It didn’t clink or feel cheap. Maybe this one was an anomaly which should have been caught by the manufacturers final inspection but wasn’t.
Looking at watches in a review is nice and even with the dimensions of a watch it sometimes is difficult to gauge the size. The actual dimension of the watch are. Width = 43mm without crown. Length (lug to lug) = 52mm, Thickness = 13mm. My wrist is 6.75 inches.
The next image shows it against a vintage DOXA SUB 300T which is 45mm wide, 45mm long and 13mm high. The most startling thing is the size of the dial on the Revolo. At 32mm it dwarfs the DOXA’s 28mm and makes it much more easily readable and readable is where the watch really shines.
Large dial, large numbers and big hands which really contrast against the black dial. This is a watch that just takes a split second glance to register what time it is in daylight. Although not a lighthouse in terms of luminosity. With a fully charged lume it is also easy to tell the time in the dark
Based on what I have seen with this watch, I think Revolo has done a magnificent job in creating an avenue for people who want a great watch which can be customized to suit their own tastes. I hope they go from strength to strength.
Go check them out at
© Dr. Peter McClean Millar