If you have followed the blog for sometime you might have guessed that I am a huge advocate for the new breed of micro-brands. I love what they are doing and I think that their work should be showcased because they keep coming up with extremely interesting products.
Today we will take a closer look at Marloe’s latest chronograph, the Lomond chronoscope. Marloe offers the chronoscope in a number of different configurations but the one that stood out to me was the Vintage Coffee. Its vintage styling and tropical, stepped dial really sang to me as soon as it was announced.
One evening, while I was surfing the forums one of them popped up for sale. A few PMs later and a face to face deal was arranged. I have always preferred meeting the person I am buying from or selling to and I have made some very interesting acquaintances and some genuine friends throughout the years!
Anyway, back to the subject, as soon as I unpacked the watch and strapped it around my wrist I felt extremely underwhelmed. I just couldn’t make myself like it. I guess the strap had a lot to do with it, inspired from vintage pilot ones, the rivets felt completely out of place. Admittedly, I am a vintage person but the Lomond had so many vintage elements that didn’t really seem to bond well together. I liked the domed acrylic crystal but hated the shiny ceramic bezel, I liked the stepped dial but I found the case shape quite anorthodox and the finish way too polished. A deal is a deal though so I decided that I should offer it a new home and see if I managed to get on with it in the days to come.
The Lomond has a lot going for it. The brass subdials are very nicely, radially textured and the deep brown matte dial with the gilt writing gives the necessary vintage vibe. The stepped feature with the nicely applied red dots really take everything to the next level. An interesting fact is that the dial is actually of sandwich construction which means that the subdials are actually part of the lower dial plate. The hands are chamfered and highly polished. This means that light is reflected at every angle and it does wonders for the legibility.
A chronograph needs to be easy to read under any condition and this is where the Lomond let me down. The copper coloured subdial hands blend into the coppery background and become easily lost. The chronograph seconds hand has a painted tip but could have been longer in order to help with the sub-second readings. The pushers are nicely executed but they don’t go well with the vintage theme and feel quite contemporary and out of place. The crown is very nicely executed, and it really makes hand-winding the watch a breeze!
The case is 43mm across the top and 36mm across the bottom. Although the watch is only 13mm thick the tapering arrangement made it seem a bit thicker. The advantage of this arrangement though, is the fact the lug to lug length was kept to a very modest 46mm making the watch quite wearable for those with smaller wrists as well.
The watch is powered by the seagull ST19 movement and by turning the watch around you get an uncompromising view of it. The goldish finish makes it feel a bit more upscale and premium that the normal silvery version. The ST19 is a Chinese movement that is currently being used by a number of micro-brands for their chronograph offerings. It might not be the most reliable movement but better quality control over the last few years has really made it a reliable workhorse at an extremely attractive price point. Don’t let the “made in China” moniker put you off though since the ST19 is basically the Swiss Venus 170 that was used on Breitling chronographs throughout the 40s and 60s. Story has it that the Chinese bought the design and the machinery from them in the 60s and have been using it in their pilot chronographs since. I know that a few enthusiasts prefer solid casebacks but nothing is better that a sapphire one for hand wind, column wheel, horizontal clutch chronographs. It is quite fascinating being able to watch the movement in operation and how every component interacts with its surroundings.
The Chronoscope is offered in a number of different configurations and it is currently retailing for £449. This means that every potential buyer will find something that suits their needs. Unfortunately, and although it has a lot going for it, it failed to impress me at the end and that is why it has now left the collection.