I’m Sorry, who?
First, allow me to pull back the curtain a bit.
We get a lot… a lot… of press releases from new watch brands. And a lot of them are either launching on kickstarter, or got their start on kickstarter. Tuseno is no different there. But unlike a lot of these other “baby” (as in young, not watches for children) watch brands, Tuseno doesn’t rely on some odd styling gimmick to (try) to get your attention. Our watches have dials made of stone! Our straps are made of sustainably sourced bamboo! The hands of our watches are made of an alloy that once made up the rails of the first transcontinental railroad!
Sure, those gimmicks might make a watch unique. But the thing is, at least for this audience, it also can make the watches look tacky. And that is anything but the case here.
Tuseno, instead, has stuck with a dead classic design, powered by a highly respected Seiko mecha-quartz hybrid movement. Stone/Bamboo/Rails be damned. And that’s precisely why I hit “reply” to their PR email, instead of the usual “delete.”
The “First 42” is the name of the model shown here, and so far their only design. But it’s a versatile one. It’s a dress watch, but can be worn casually at the same time. At 42mm, it’s easily wearable by anyone, and the slightly raised Arabic numerals, slim hands, recessed sub-dials, and blue chrono seconds & subdials hands are all well executed. It feels good in your hands and comfortable on your wrist. It has a nice, solid weight to it. Doesn’t feel cheap in the least.
The movement is Seiko’s VK64. It’s a quartz, but some of its parts are taken from mechanical chronographs. So you get the reliability/accuracy of a quartz, all while getting the feel of a mechanical every time you push down a plunger to start, stop, or reset the chronograph. Sapphire crystal. Water resistance is just 50m, but that’s not too unexpected for a dress watch. Leather strap is nice and soft, right out of the box, and the butterfly clasp clicks in and out definitively without wiggle or hesitation. Subdial at 9 tracks the 60 minute chrono. Subdial at 3 o’clock tells military time. Wish that thing could have been an hour tracker for the chrono, or, a second time zone, but, perhaps that’s asking too much.
Full marks for the presentation. Like, all the marks. A+. Beautiful velvet bottomed* case w/ extra slots inside for bands, plus each watch comes with an extra stainless mesh band. Worldwide shipping is free, but you’re on the hook for international returns.
So the price. $388 ain’t cheap. That’s $100 more than what the Helgray Silverstone now goes for. (Also powered by Seiko’s Mecha-Quartz hybrid movement… and used to run $379?) And at that price point you’re at entry-level Hamilton automatic field watch territory. The Tuseno is a much more dressed up watch compared to the Hamilton. Obviously. But while they do deliver on the looks and feel, some in the watch wearing community might wince at the price.
Enter here to win the white dial Tuseno “First 42” Chronograph shown in this post. One entry per person. Deadline for entry is 12:59 PM ET on 11/1/16.
UPDATE: Congrats to D. Gillette who won the drawing for the Tuseno Chronograph!
*”Velvet Bottomed” sounds like it should have been a finishing move for The Godfather from WWE, no?