The dressy beater on a budget - finally available in 36mm!

While most AliExpress brands are known for producing affordable "clomages" to highly desirable, contemporary references in the 100-400$ range, there are some interesting outliers to be found, catering more to the discerning enthusiast. One of these weirdo brands is Escapement Time.

Reportedly, Escapement Time is an one-man-operation, exclusively selling his watches via AliExpress. And while they do offer a small but varied range of watches, they are mostly known for their unnamed King Seiko-inspired dress watch, that took the YouTube reviewer community by storm. And while I loved the looks in general, the original 40mm variant was simply wearing too large for what it is, with loads of negative space and an overpowering dial that many oversized dress watches suffer from. Thus, I rarely ever wore it.

Recently, a ~36mm version got launched, rectifying the original version's one major flaw while keeping all the good stuff:

  • the timeless grace of King Seiko's classic case shapes with a thickness of merely 9,5mm
  • beautifully finished indexes and razor-sharp hands, that even continue to impress under macro.
  • blued center second hand (Escapement Time even claims that it's thermally blued, but who knows...)
  • quality Seiko VK movement featuring a 2hz beat rate, that, while being quartz, retains that vintagey stuttering sweep of old 18,000vph mechanical movements
  • full steel construction + sapphire crystal (albeit a flat one)
  • elegant ecru dial with a matte finish

It even got another small upgrade in form of a screw down crown, which makes the claimed 50m of water resistance that little bit more believable. The only downside being, that it's marketed as a ladies' watch, resulting in a very feminine, cream colored factory strap. Once I put it on dark brown ostrich, all the femininity was gone.^^

I paid a little over 80€. Most dress watches are too delicate and/or too expensive to qualify as a "daily beater". This one does - at least for me.

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100% agree on 40mm being too large for a true dress watch. As far as I’m concerned, any watch that’s going to be worn with a dress outfit (at least a long-sleeved one) shouldn’t be larger than 38mm. My Coutura SSC787 is technically a “dress” watch, but at 44mm it‘ll never be worn with a blazer. That big of a watch paired with a jacket looks awkward, clunky, and kinda gauche if I’m being honest. 

Oh and cool watch!