Big watches are big! There you go: Pete’s profound statement of the week. I’ll say it again. Big watches are big. They are also heavy, well, unless they are made of Titanium, in which case they are actually quite light. But, even if they are quite light, there are still big. I like big watches, but unfortunately I am somewhat lacking in the huge wrist department. You will definitely not mistake my wrists for those of Popeye. At 6.75 inches, I’m more in the class of Olive Oil. So, you can imagine my thoughts when fellow WatchWabi good guy Stacey Lucas said he would send me his Florijn to review, especially after I checked out the dimensions on their website.
|Case size||53mm (lug-to-lug)|
|Material||Stainless Steel (316L)|
|Movement||Seiko NH 35 (automatic movement with date & hacking)|
|Bezel||120 clicks bezel with dual time / hours index|
|Luminova||Hands and indexes|
|Waterproof||300 Meter (30 ATM)|
|Crown||Screwed crown with logo|
|Strap||Thick black leather strap, nato strap and additional rubber strap|
Now that is a big watch. In my collection, the 53mm lug to lug is only beaten by the PRS2 Dreadnought, which clocks in at 54mm and equalled by my Doxa SUB 300T Reissue which is also 53mm lug to lug.
The Florijn is available in 3 different models, each limited to 100 pieces. Either ‘plain’ brushed steel or black PVD. The uncoated case is available with black bezel or uncoated bezel. The other options are with and without a date cyclops.
Everything about the Florijn is big. The lug width is 24mm. I’ve never actually had a watch which had a lug width of 24mm. I’ve been used to 20mm for years and only ever bought a couple of watches with 22mm. Again looking at the numbers and images before receiving the watch really had me thinking: “man, this is just not going to work”. Well I’m happy to report that I was spectacularly wrong. The case shape, large lugs and flat caseback make the Florijn very comfortable to wear.
And talking of the flat caseback. Just look at this. Wonderful! Big watch, big flat caseback. Nice large surface to contact the wrist and distribute the weight of the head. There are a lot of watch manufacturers out there who could learn from the Florijn design guys.
One of the things I really like about the Florijn is the dial and hands set up. It is very easy to read at a glance. Instant recognition of the time, no second look needed. The hands are simple and in my opinion perfect. No fancy shapes or fiddly bits added on. They just work. The dial markers are the same and the red Florijn logo actually adds a perfect splash of color, enhancing the dial rather than getting in the way. The “Gold Standard” in dial luminosity has to be the Seiko Orange Monster. The Florijn may not reach those dizzy heights but it is no slouch either. Check the photo. I don’t think anyone will complain about the lume.
The bezel also is very easy to read and has a nice touch with both the large 1 to 12 numbers and a subset of 05 to 55 numbers. The bezel turns with a very satisfyingly loud click. In fact, I recommend the watch to any special effects guys who need the sound of an old tumbler mechanism safe. You know the way in the old movies the thief would turn the dial: 27 left, 15 right, 17 left… well the sound the Florijn bezel makes would be perfect for that effect.
As noted above the Florijn uses the Seiko NH35 movement. The NH35 is basically the resale version of the 4R35, which is based on the reliable and robust 7s26 calibre. It has manual winding capability, is hacking and if it is as resilient as the 7s26, it will run like a train with minimal servicing for many years to come. The crown unscrews smoothly, date and time actuation is also smooth and precise and the crown large and easy to grip even with the substantial crown guards.
The Florign comes in a nice presentation box with warranty card, a leather strap, a NATO strap and a springbar tool. The watch arrived on a thick rubber strap. I’ll be honest there and admit I didn’t change the watch from the rubber strap. The reason is it wasn’t my watch and even though PVD coatings are remarkably tough and scratch resistant, knowing my luck I’d do something stupid and put a scratch in the side of the case. Me and sharp instruments are best kept apart.
Just like the watch the rubber strap was big and thick with a substantial buckle. It was remarkably comfortable and even with the size of the watch head, the watch stayed put on my wrist and after a couple of minutes became almost unnoticeable. I’ve only wore a NATO strap once in my life. I’m not sure it would have held the watch as steady on my wrist as the rubber strap. however, it is a really nice touch that Florijn add the 2 extra straps to the package. They cover all the bases and are a welcome addition.
I only have one negative thing to say about the watch, and negative here is really just my opinion. If I had been buying the watch I would have opted for the non cyclops version. Yes it works very well but I think it actually works too well. I feel that the magnification is too strong and distorts the date numeral. I’m not sure what the magnification is on the Florijn cyclops. I do know that the Rolex Submariner I have uses x2.5. The Florijn cyclops seems stronger. It also seems to have a more domed cyclops. Also, in my opinion, the cyclops on the Florijn distracts from a very clean and easy to read dial because it seems to pick up too much external reflection. Other than that I honestly can’t fault the Florijn one bit.
And that brings me to the last thing that makes the Florijn a truly outstanding watch. The price. At the time of writing: mid July 2017, the price of the watch is around US$ 200 and comes with a 2 year warranty. That is just jaw dropping and has to take the prize for the best bang for the buck in the watch industry at the minute.
Florijn watches was started in 2014 by Hans Heuvelman. What he has done is amazing. For the price and quality, you’d be crazy not to buy one.
Head over to Florijn Watches and check them out