Third time lucky is the saying and that couldn’t be more true in this instance. The Scramble is Carl’s third attempt in producing a military inspired chronograph and I think he has nailed it. This is not to say that his first two attempts were not equally remarkable with both MKI and MKII long sold out and virtually impossible to find even in the used market. This should be a testament to the quality of the products that Mr. Evans offers.
For those who don’t know; Carl is the guy behind Gasgasbones straps. A company that produces watch straps and other military and Speedmaster inspired goodies! Such is Carl’s attention to detail that Bremont uses his services for the nylon straps they offer with their watches.
A few years back Carl decided to go all the way and established 6B watches. 6B produces military inspired timepieces and MKIII also known as the scramble follows the norm. Carl’s previous offerings were 44 and 42mm respectively but with the scramble a new approach was adopted. It really is an impressive little thing and by little I mean 38mm in diameter. When I started collecting, I used to prefer larger watches but shortly after 40mm became my go to size. I was expecting the Scramble to feel very small but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it didn’t.
The first time I came across the brand was a couple of years ago and I was really impressed by the looks and the packaging of the previous offerings. Unfortunately, the sizes felt a bit too big for me and I put the brand on the back of my mind. A couple of months ago I was casually browsing one of my favourite forums when my heart skipped a beat and I found myself staring at the picture of a beautiful watch bathed in sunshine. A google search soon showed me the way to the 6B website and that was it. I was hooked, not only did I like the watch but I really appreciated the way Carl described his effort, his pricing policy and the values of his brand. He just cut through all the usual bullshit which was extremely refreshing! After getting in touch with Carl and the forum member who posted the watch I decided to pull the trigger. I opted for the solid caseback model, presented in a handcrafted ammo crater and patiently waited for a few days.
For a lot of us, the unboxing is a ritual and this one didn’t disappoint. Carl included a handcrafted bund strap that I asked for, along with a nicely printed thank you card. This really was a nice touch. A lot of thought has gone into making this unboxing a really interactive acticity. First you use a key to lift a laser etched panel resembling a spitfire’s dashboard and you are suddenly presented with two straps, a watch head, a nicely engraver leather card holder and a spring bar tool. Once the watch is lifted out of its resting place, the bespoke spring bar tool needs to be opened to retrieve the springbars. As soon as these are fitted, you only lead to thread one of the provided NATOS on and you are good to go! I have opted for the solid caseback which in my eyes keeps very close to the military character of the watch. Considering the whole ritual, you might have marked the back of the lugs before you even put it on but then you might have already bonded with it. A word of wisdom to the big players; they need to take notice of what the micro-brands are doing and start offering a similar experience. Well, Omega’s SpeedyTuesday seems to be following in the same footsteps and that is quite encouraging.
The case draws clear inspiration from the pilot watches of the past such as the RAF issued Lemanias, Newmarks and Hamiltons but is highly polished and a bit more angular. Nice to see that this is not an off the shelf component and actually thought through. The highlight of the watch is the sunburst brushed bezel. It contrasts with the polished case and really puts a very interesting spin on the overall design.
Carl, spent a lot of time fine-tuning all the details and this clearly shows on the dial. Depending from the way that the light hits it, it can seem completely black or off grey but the most interesting aspect is the fact that it actually shows a lot of depth. The radially brushed subdials are recessed and the painted markers have so many layers of luminova on them that they take a very nice 3d mountain-like shape. The 6B logo counterbalances nicely the use of the running seconds function.
The hands are a nod to the past, leaf shaped and completely white, they are extremeluy readable under all conditions. My only observation would be the fact that I would like to see the chronograph’s running seconds hand a little bit longer extending all the way to the outer track. This of course does not seem to detract from the functionality of the chronograph unless you are looking to time something to 1/8th of the second accuracy.
The movement used is a Swiss Vlajoux 7750. Some people tend to hate and some other tend to love it. I am part of the second bunch. I couldn't have asked for a better choice since it is a quality workhorse movement. The pushers that engage the chronograph feature deep ridges and feel extremely well made. The clicks, as with every watch that sports the 7750 provide a very satisfying feeling.
The watch is beautifully made and oozes quality. It is a respectful nod to the MOD issued watches and it is very different to all of the other offerings out there. With a price tag of £1500 it goes against some well-established, high quality brands such as Sinn, Damasko and Guinand but it also offers the same quality. So if you are looking for something different, vintage looking, modestly sized and very well presented get in contact with Carl and I am sure he will find a way to convince you to pull the triger.
PS: Visit the website; Even the presentation pictures are amazing! https://www.6bwatches.com/mk-iii