Amazing, inventive & cheap?

It never fails to amaze me, the wonderfully inventive, military and sports style watches that appear each year from the Far East and mostly at incredibly cheap prices.

The Infantry Chrono @ £14.99

The Infantry Chrono @ £14.99

The fact that digital module prices are so low today means that with some plastics molding equipment, a bit of imagination and flair in design, almost anything is possible.  Whether they’ll last of course is another matter entirely, though that said, the basic digital movement could well outlast you!  Though any complications outwith the basics could well be another matter entirely.

But one thing is certain – they look amazing! and if you don’t take the hype to heart and don’t take them too seriously, probably a bit of fun too.

Take the INFANTRY Mens LCD Date Day Black Dial Combo Digital Quartz Watch for example.  I mean it looks pretty good and has a fair bit of functionality with Day and Date, Alarm and Stopwatch displays.  It cites multi-time zone, though doesn’t specify details).  I do like the fact it doesn’t depend entirely on display,s as it features conventional analogue Hour, Minute and Seconds hands too.  Another plus is that it takes a conventional fitting rubber strap (nothing molded here) and has a Japanese quartz movement.  Mineral anti-scratch glass is quoted and there is also a dial light.  Case dimensions are about normal for this type of watch at 47mm x 16mm, at 115gms weight, so quite large but without being totally silly.
Then there’s the price – here in the UK via Amazon it’s quoted currently at £14.99.  Amazing!

Here’s another interesting non mainstream watch, this time from LAD WEATHER, the GPS Navigator model.

LAD WEATHER GPS Navigator

LAD WEATHER GPS Navigator

Seems to to pack a lot into a wrist worn piece and according to the advertising, this is just what it does.  I have copied the data – as there’s too much for me to just note –

■Functions
・USB charge (With dedicated cable)
・100 meters waterproof
・GPS(Auto acquisition date and time/ Acquisition and recording of the root and the current position)
・PC connection
・Root confirmation in Google earth
・Measurement(Distance/ Lap time/ Average pace/ Movement time/ Heart rate/ Calories)
・Alarm
・Countdown timer
・Pacemaker
・Digital compass
・Continuous use time:about 12hours (GPS on)/ about 1year (GPS off)
・Charge:about 500 times
・Charge time:about 3hours

■Size
・Case size:about 47x47x20mm (height, width, depth)
・Band length:about 140~200mm
・Weight:about 62g

■Attachment
・Watch box
・Instruction Manual(English)
・CD-ROM
・USB cable
・Heart rate measurement sensor
・cleaning brush
・6-months warranty

This model comes in 6 different colors, some looking quite smart I have to say, though this is a big watch at 47mm x 47mm and a depth of 20mm and it’s at a higher cost too at some £92.00 UK priced.  The advertising alludes to a retail of much higher at £350 and certainly for what this model apparently offers, that could well be right.

A little expensive for me just to try it for fun, unlike the first watch shown here, but I have heard variable comments about LAD watches, some good some not so.  This model may have sensors from Germany, maybe assembled there too, though presumably the highest percentage of parts will be Asian I would guess – the origins and details are sketchy to say the least.  They also have ABC models without GPS mode, which seem to fare pretty well against Suunto watches (and somewhat cheaper!) to such an extent I would not be surprised if the movement modules were from the same source.  There is a comparison on You Tube which is quite interesting.
However the features appear pretty comprehensive and the addition of a GPS with track functions, brings it into the same ball park as the Garmin Forerunner, or perhaps even the Fenix.  Then the price doesn’t look too bad after all – it all depends on how the watch performs and there’s only one way to find that out.  Buy one!

LAD WEATHER GPS watch

LAD WEATHER GPS watch

But with anything out of the mainstream Brands it’s always worth taking each model as it comes, make decisions on the good and bad of each, consider the manufacturing quality and possible after sales/Warranties etc. should they go wrong.  Do your homework, check You Tube, check comments, reviews and user experiences and make you own judgements.  If really cheap like the first model shown here, then it’s often worth having a  punt at it – you never know – and if a dud, then bin it and move one . . . . no worries.

At nearly £100 for this GPS model – I’d have to give it some serious thought – but for new ideas and some great and designs, there are lots of these guys around and they can be fun.

I’ve also seen if I’m not mistaken some Pyle models which are possibly the same generic watch, so it’s quite possible it could appear in another cosmetic guise and the price could well fluctuate considerably up or down – mostly down I would imagine.

I have to admit here I’m tempted, though it would have to easily readable – and you know what some digital displays can be like – but it might be worth taking the chance.

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