Pook Watches: Nitrogen I, the unnecessary Aurelian review

Nostalgia is a powerful force. It originally described the homesickness of soldiers and was thought of as a disease, something to be overcome. Later, the word was infused with warmer connotations. It was discovered by marketers who would connect consumers to their happy memories of the past. Happy memories can be had in all sorts of dark places like prisons, labor camps, or the dystopian 1970's.

This watch, and this watch company, is a nostalgia project. I came across Pook while trying to answer one of those 3 watches for $X posts. I had spent too much fictional money on an Omega and needed a quartz filler. I looked far afield, to Finland to find Pook. My favorite watch is Sarpaneva, so I can say that the design language of Finland speaks to me in some way. This quartz chronograph was one that I would come back to often.

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Pook was founded by Andreas Prepula to honor his father Seppo and Seppo's 1960's Citizen dive watch. Seppo had ruined an Omega while diving in the Finnish archipelago. Seppo was a treasure hunter and commercial diver who wore his Citizen for decades. (Read about it here.) Pook's first watches evoke the first generation of Citizen divers.

The Nitrogen comes in three colorways and the first one comes straight from the 1970's, all orange and brown. If you grew up in the 1970's brown is not as repulsive as it might be to later generations. My first car was this:

Carsthatnevermadeitetc — Volkswagen Dasher, 1974. The B1 ...

I have a soft spot for orange.

My collection needed a chronograph, having one non-runner and having given one to my brother. I thought that I might give this a go and speculated here that I might. 

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This watch is going to be polarizing. Either that dial looks good to you or it looks like a hanging planter that your great aunt crocheted. I like it and am not ashamed to say so, although it is opposed to most of what my collection represents. I think that it is out there, far out, heavy man.

Basic specs: 42mm by 50mm lug to lug, 13.5 mm thick, K1 domed anti-reflective mineral crystal, 22mm lug width, powered by a Seiko VK 64 quartz movement.

It has a screw down crown (signed) and it has 100 meters of water resistance. 

In many ways this watch is a unicorn in my collection: it is a chronograph, it is quartz, and it is huge.  I have a PSW (perfectly-sized wrist, 6.75) and I have found the absolute edge of my capabilities at 50mm lug to lug. It does not overhang, but it fills the space. Despite being quartz, this watch is beefy. This is the largest watch that I can wear without comic effect.

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I now know what these open date windows are for: old folks with failing eyesight. I don't have to squint into a tight date window.

Things that I like: the dial is legible, the hands are fun, the colors are arresting. It is very affordable, roughly $200.00, depending on the strength of the dollar relative to the euro. The pushers have a pleasant tactile pop.

But all is not perfect. It is too thick. The lug to lug could be trimmed into the 47 or 48mm range. The lume is not great. The original strap was not to my liking. It added unnecessary height. The wearing experience improved exponentially by placing this on a Barton Elite Silicone strap.

I like the look of the Pook range and I may explore this brand again. You can find them here.

(Thanks again to @ChronoGuy for his generosity and his support of microbrands, this hobby, and collectors like me.)

Pook Watches: Nitrogen I, the unnecessary Aurelian review

4.2
Yes No
4/5
5/5
4/5
3/5
5/5
  • Fun handset
  • Unique dial
  • Bold color scheme
  • Pushers
  • Subpar lume
  • Supplied strap
  • Size (Not a problem if you like 'em large)

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Great review Greg!

Definitely one of the quirky ones. 

Thought I would pop up an image of one of the other colorways - the PVD black case...

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I also removed the original NATO/Zulu strap that came with the watch, and also used a Barton strap, but I went with the Barton James Bond NATO. My wrist is 7.5 inches so the size works a little better for me.

Fun watch and worth the price asked. The home plate sub-dials remind me of one of my all-time favorite watches...the Tudor Heritage Chrono...

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Great review thank you! New to me. I like the dial and legibility very much but its too big for me to buy one I think.

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Orange and brown was a large part of my youth. They work very well together. But the 70s put some scars so I’m very sensitive to brown. That color is divider. Sometimes it works but sometimes it’s to much of a throwback, like a dark brown kitchen.

Funky watch. A lot to like with it’s retro design, the color combo (orange and green?) and, of course, lovely C shaped case. Since I’m a PSW also I share your limits when it comes to dimensions.

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Thanks for the review!👍Although I am finnish, I have no experience with the brand. Only seen them mentioned here and there. But I am glad to see them featured here on the forum by you and @ChronoGuy . Definitely some colorful and quirky designs.😊 

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You know what I’m going to ask… subpar lume, 5/5 dial? 😉

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Porthole

You know what I’m going to ask… subpar lume, 5/5 dial? 😉

I see that little winky eye, but your question deserves a serious answer. I have been long on record for caring not a whit about lume. And yes, lume is normally applied to the dial and hands (and sometimes crown and strap). However, when evaluating the dial I considered my subjective opinion about legibility and layout. I did not consider lume.

Where I did consider lume was Wearability (and to a lesser degree Quality). If you are the sort who consults your watch in the middle of the night because you have young children or insomnia than the fading of the lume will affect how and when you wear this watch. I took off a full point for size and one for lume. It did not affect Quality as much because that category was buoyed by price (very reasonable in this case).

This watch is sold by the color scheme and layout of the dial. Insofar as it worked on me it is graded accordingly. At the end of the day the watch is recommended with reservations. Those reservations will make some move on to the next watch. 😉

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Aurelian

I see that little winky eye, but your question deserves a serious answer. I have been long on record for caring not a whit about lume. And yes, lume is normally applied to the dial and hands (and sometimes crown and strap). However, when evaluating the dial I considered my subjective opinion about legibility and layout. I did not consider lume.

Where I did consider lume was Wearability (and to a lesser degree Quality). If you are the sort who consults your watch in the middle of the night because you have young children or insomnia than the fading of the lume will affect how and when you wear this watch. I took off a full point for size and one for lume. It did not affect Quality as much because that category was buoyed by price (very reasonable in this case).

This watch is sold by the color scheme and layout of the dial. Insofar as it worked on me it is graded accordingly. At the end of the day the watch is recommended with reservations. Those reservations will make some move on to the next watch. 😉

I suspected that it might be reflected in the wearability score. 😉 

It’s rare I get a serious answer to these questions, usually I’m just fed mixed messages.

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Lovely review. I adore the unusual and this ticks that box ❤️

I'm craving some orange in my collection now 

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The case’s angular girth is fortifyingly-appealing. Like a powerful but coddling embrace from a brutish but protective loved one.  

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WatchYourIntruder

Orange and brown was a large part of my youth. They work very well together. But the 70s put some scars so I’m very sensitive to brown. That color is divider. Sometimes it works but sometimes it’s to much of a throwback, like a dark brown kitchen.

Funky watch. A lot to like with it’s retro design, the color combo (orange and green?) and, of course, lovely C shaped case. Since I’m a PSW also I share your limits when it comes to dimensions.

The “scarring and dystopian“ 70’s shared in this post leave me baffled. My memories as a kid in the 70’s was instead replete with Big Wheels, Mad Magazine, Schwinn Scramblers, root beer popsicles from the ice cream man, swimming with friends in Dough-Boy pools to beat the dry, dusty Cicada-chirping heat…and a plethora of savory casseroles and diverse jello dishes found on the avocado-colored vinyl table cloth-laden dinner tables of my, and my friend’s flat-roofed ramblers‘ dining rooms.

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DariusII

The “scarring and dystopian“ 70’s shared in this post leave me baffled. My memories as a kid in the 70’s was instead replete with Big Wheels, Mad Magazine, Schwinn Scramblers, root beer popsicles from the ice cream man, swimming with friends in Dough-Boy pools to beat the dry, dusty Cicada-chirping heat…and a plethora of savory casseroles and diverse jello dishes found on the avocado-colored vinyl table cloth-laden dinner tables of my, and my friend’s flat-roofed ramblers‘ dining rooms.

I was in my teens and had a good time. But it will not be remembered as a time of good taste when it comes to a lot of things.

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DariusII

The “scarring and dystopian“ 70’s shared in this post leave me baffled. My memories as a kid in the 70’s was instead replete with Big Wheels, Mad Magazine, Schwinn Scramblers, root beer popsicles from the ice cream man, swimming with friends in Dough-Boy pools to beat the dry, dusty Cicada-chirping heat…and a plethora of savory casseroles and diverse jello dishes found on the avocado-colored vinyl table cloth-laden dinner tables of my, and my friend’s flat-roofed ramblers‘ dining rooms.

How we feel about our times is often reflected in the movies that are popular. This is what was popular in the 1970's: The French Connection, A Clockwork Orange, Willard, Dirty Harry, Billy Jack, The Last Picture Show, Deliverance, The Exorcist, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, Magnum Force, The Trial of Billy Jack, Jaws, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Dog Day Afternoon, and Death Wish, and I am only up to 1975. Those are dark and gritty movies. There is very little optimism about the future of our culture to be found until the fever breaks in the late 70's with movies like Superman. I remember the New York of 1974. It was another world.

I also remember Hot Wheels and Evel Knievel toys and large G.I. Joes. It was all those things.

70s Crochet Flower Pot Cover Small Woodsy Planter 6 Inch Pot - Etsy
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Aurelian

How we feel about our times is often reflected in the movies that are popular. This is what was popular in the 1970's: The French Connection, A Clockwork Orange, Willard, Dirty Harry, Billy Jack, The Last Picture Show, Deliverance, The Exorcist, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, Magnum Force, The Trial of Billy Jack, Jaws, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Dog Day Afternoon, and Death Wish, and I am only up to 1975. Those are dark and gritty movies. There is very little optimism about the future of our culture to be found until the fever breaks in the late 70's with movies like Superman. I remember the New York of 1974. It was another world.

I also remember Hot Wheels and Evel Knievel toys and large G.I. Joes. It was all those things.

70s Crochet Flower Pot Cover Small Woodsy Planter 6 Inch Pot - Etsy

This is true about the movies. I remember walking out of the dark overly-air conditioned Regency movie theater (after seeing Jaws with my friend Ryan Moore) and into the blazing summer sun light…profoundly relieved my terror torture was over. As I rode home in the back of the Moore’s Country Squire Wagon, I thanked the stars I wasn’t on Amity Island. BTW…that’s a helluva fine macrame pot!