The Top sub $200 Sport Watch? – The Golana Aqua 100

The Top sub $200 Sport Watch? – The Golana Aqua 100

Golana Aqua Series: AQ110 Rubber – $158$180AQ100 Leather – $110$115

With all due respect to Casio’s Rescue series, a rugged sport watch doesn’t have to look like you wear it to the gym.  Golana proves that, and they deliver some slick styles for barely more than what you’d pay for a Fossil.

Click for the up close.

They’re a Swiss brand which has remained a well kept secret, despite being around since the 50s.  Maybe they just jumped across the Atlantic in the last few years, and Amazon only launched a Golana “store” on their site in September of 2009.  Each watch comes with a Swiss Quartz movement (automatic purists, feel free to head for the exits now), simple styling, and beefy but not obnoxiously huge proportions.

The Aqua series has the plainest look and comes equipped with two large crowns.  The one on the right side of the dial adjusts the time and date, while the crown on the upper left adjusts the rotating bezel.  That bezel by the way?  It’s inside the case.  Unscrew the large lock-down crown, give it a spin, and that outermost minute ring rotates.  Nifty.

The online reviews are split.  Some are are glowing.  Some are the exact opposite, calling into question the quality of the movement.  Many of the complaints come from people who ordered through a different, probably sketchy website, but then leave their negative reviews on Amazon.  I’ve had mine for about a month and wear it often.  No troubles with the time keeping yet, but expect an update if anything goes wrong.

Amazon labels the diameter of the “case” as 44mm or 48mm.  The 48 is the diameter from the edge of each of the large crowns.  44mm is more accurate.  Where it is abnormally larger, is in the thickness of the case.  These are like a couple Skagens stacked on top of each other.

Unless the movement shorts out, these seem to be as good as it gets for the price point.  Plenty of variety when it comes to detail colors, bands, etc… (see below).  When sold direct by Amazon and not some gray-market third party website, Golana sure looks to be a low risk, high reward option for extremely minimal cost.

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Got any experience, (good, bad, or otherwise) with Golana Watches?  Leave it all in the comments section below…