Monday, July 24, 2017

MEET THE WATCH: Lum-Tec Combat B18 Bronze Automatic Watch

Lum-Tec Combat B18 Bronze offers great style and value
To wear a watch is to know a watch and today, I will be reviewing one that I personally have worn for over a year. Long-term wrist time has nuanced my insight of the watch and has given me a greater appreciation for it. The Lum-Tec Combat B18 Bronze is a limited edition like many Lum-Tec watches. Only 250 were made, which puts us owners into a relatively small group.

American ingenuity at its best!!!
The Combat B18 Bronze was made by Ohio-based Lum-Tec who is best known for making watches with a patented 12-layer lume process. Their technique has a catchy acronym of "MDV Technology®," which stands for Maximum Darkness Visibility. Lum-Tec's MDV lume paint essentially is built up into a thick mass by precisely applying it repeatedly. Lum-Tec has earned a great reputation for itself by offering a wide variety of interesting models that use this proprietary tech. Theoretically, the more lume that a watch dial has, the brighter it will glow and the longer the glow will last. The formula of the lume pigment also matters.... I would suspect high-grade SuperLuminova is used.

Lum-Tec's MDV lume technology is applied to hands and dials. Photo: www.lum-tec.com
While the type of paint used on a dial and hands may not seem that important to some people, there is a segment of the watch community that I affectionately call the “lume-a-holics.” Because I am one, I can tell you that if we had our way, all watches would have ridiculously strong luminescent markers that glow like tiny flashlights without fading. Would it be too much to ask to have lume that we could use for some late night comic book reading? Most lume-a-holics would think that would be perfectly sensible.

A young lum-a-holic in the making...
The lume on this Combat B18 Bronze lives up to the company's claim. With a good charge, the numerals, indices, and hands will glow like little green fireflies. This is incredible in a darkened theater or when you hear a bump in the night.

Lum-Tec generously lumes their dials and hands with MDV Technology
This strong lume also makes a statement in half-light situations such as coming from a sunny environment into a dim room. The lume is strong enough to glow green. It is a stunning effect and one that I never get tired of.

A Lum-Tec Combat B18 Bronze in a low light setting shows how strong the lume glows.
From all of Lum-Tec's watch designs, the Combat B series of watches is one of my favorites. The details, dimensions, and build quality come together perfectly to make a high-quality timepiece that is a pleasure to wear. While the materials and movements may change for the different models in the Combat B series, the cases have similar traits. Lum-Tec has used stainless steel, PVD-coated stainless steel, bronze, titanium, and carbon for the cases with a variety of hand-winding and automatic Swiss and Japanese movements.

Lum-Tec's current offering in the Combat B series. Photo: www.lum-tec.com
Starting with the case, Combat B watches measure 43 mm wide, not including the 4 mm screw-down crown. More importantly, Combat B watches have a sensible lug-to-lug measurement of 52 mm. While this may sound wide for some wrists, the short horn-shaped lugs make the fit feel compact.

Lum-Tec Combat B18 Bronze profile.
The case height is roughly 13 mm, which I would consider average for a watch with an automatic movement. These specs define a sweet spot for many watch enthusiasts because it is not overly bulky, yet it still has great wrist presence.

Lum-Tec B18 Bronze on my hairy wrist is a "just right" size
A key design feature of the Lum-Tec Combat B18 Bronze is the coin edge (like a dime) on the bezel that may be inspired by fliegers of the 1930s. This decorative treatment can be found on historic German aviator watches of World War II from Hanhart and Tutima. I think the coin edge adds a certain historical vibe to it without trying to look like those watches. Even though this is a modern timepiece, it has been designed to look much older than 2013 (or so), when it was released.

The B18 looks vintage without being an homage. It is uniquely Lum-Tec.
There is a popular trend with manufacturers today to apply a vintage aesthetic to their current watches. This means the wearer can enjoy the look of a retro watch but have modern reliability and a larger size. Many vintage watches were much smaller than we wear today, and modern movements promise low-maintenance and almost worry-free wearability. It's really the best of both worlds for consumers.

Notice the short lugs that help to make the Lum-Tec Combat B18 Bronze wearable for many wrist sizes.
Bronze, however, was not a metal that was commonly used as a watch case material in the 20th century. While we may think that bronze watches look "vintage", they just did not exist "back in the day." This material is used to imply age and it works so well doing so. You can read more about the bronze watch phenomenon here at The Riddle of Bronze - How Nostalgia Is Fueling a Desire for Bronze Watches.

The Combat B18's dial suggests a time-worn appearance through clever typographic design and "aged" lume
Lum-Tec's choice of typography also makes this watch appear vintage. The numerals are rendered in a rounded typeface with a hand drawn look. The lack of sharp edges implies the passage of time, kind of like the way that sharp glass shards eventually become smooth sea glass with rounded edges. The font may also imply an era of days gone by, but the decade is somewhat ambiguous (perhaps timeless?). The use of a warm cream lume implies aging, and bright white lume would not have had the same effect.

The Lum-Tec Combat B18 Bronze on the original tan strap. I think a perfect match.
Lum-Tec also managed to design a highly legible dial that is pleasing to the eye. They enlarged the 12, 3, 6 and 9, which makes the dial easy to read at a glance. The logo and model name are tastefully proportioned and are printed in a light mustard. The dial is a matte black or maybe a very dark charcoal. All the parts work together in balance with no one element overpowering the others.

Crown pulled out. Vintage without being an homage. It is uniquely Lum-Tec.
The sword hands are well-proportioned with the hour hand reaching the numerals and the minute hand reaching the small dots underneath. The second's hand is a stick with a hammer counterweight. I think that the sweeping second's hand brings more drama to the watch dial than perhaps a small seconds sub-dial would have. This was the right choice in my opinion. I like that parts of the hands are blacked-out with matte paint. The difference between the hands just works.

Circular graining on the outer edges of the dial has an interesting reflective quality like record grooves
I want to focus on part of the watch that might easily be overlooked. Towards the outer edge of the dial, you will see small indices and numbers indicating the minutes. These numbers are printed over the only sculptural part of the dial... in this case circular graining. These concentric circles affect how the light reflects and bring visual interest to the dial. The rings are some times reflective when light skims the ridges. If you have ever looked at the grooves in a record, then you might be familiar with the effect. If you do not know what a record is, then go ask your grandparents. I also like how the bronze inner walls of the watch are exposed making a visual bridge from the outside of the case to the inside.

The B18 is part of the Combat B series of watches from Lum-Tec
The date window is a small circle and has a matching black date wheel. The circle cutout is a nice detail to match the other rounded features of the watch. A typical square date window might have been visually incongruent, and it certainly would have not matched the typography.

I think Lum-Tec found a perfect balance in this design
If you have not experienced a Lum-Tec watch from the factory, they usually come in a nice presentation case with a selection of extra straps or watch bands. The Lum-Tec Combat B18 Bronze is no exception and comes with 4 straps including a beautiful tan leather watch band and 3 NATOs – white (for sailors in dress whites?), plus black and olive drab green for everyone else. Lum-Tec could sell these as accessories, but they are included giving you more bands for your bucks.

The contents of the Combat B18's wooden display box.
All of the watch bands included with the Lum-Tech Combat B18 bronze have matching hardware.
Each Lum-Tec strap has matching bronze-like buckles. The hardware is not actual bronze, but a bronze-colored stainless steel. This is a good idea because real bronze can leave green oxidation on your skin. This is also why the case back is stainless steel and glass as you will later see.

The leather watch band with bronzish buckle is excellent.
The Lum-Tec Combat B18 Bronze is ready to be personalized to your own sense of style with just a simple strap swap. The design of the spring bars that come embedded on the Lum-Tec watch bands makes changing them a 10-second operation instead of using tools. Just compress the spring bar with your thumb and remove it. Reverse that process to put it back on. Easy as pie. I think more manufacturers should adopt this spring bar innovation.... they might sell more watch bands too.

Lum-Tec's spring bars are embedded and have a slider to unlock and lock them into place.
If you are using your own watch bands, then you will have to change them the old fashioned way with a spring bar tool, but that is not a big deal. A good Bergeon tool will prevent you from scratching your watch lugs. I have worn it on Bell & Ross style canvas bands, bund style cuffs and most recently on an olive canvas strap from my Steinhart bronze watch. All looked good proving the versatility of the watch, and how well it can adapt to your tastes. I will be keeping mine on the muted canvas strap with a real bronze buckle.

Lum-Tec Combat B18 Bronze on Bell & Ross style textile watch band

A Lum-Tec Combat B18 Bronze on a Steinhart canvas watch band from a bronze Ocean One is a great combo.
The case back on the Lum-Tec Combat B18 Bronze is stainless steel and glass to show off the undecorated Miyota 9015, a reliable Japanese automatic movement running at 28,800 BPH. The second's hand has a wonderfully smooth sweep thanks to this caliber. This might be a good time to mention that all Lum-Tec watches have a lifetime battery change or movement adjustments. All you have to do is send it back to them, and they will take good care of you.

The window in the display back shows off the undecorated but reliable Miyota 9015
Other reliable technologies in this watch include a thick non-reflective sapphire crystal, a screw-down crown and a water resistance of 300 meters. Those specs are no joke making this watch a hardy companion for weekend adventurers. You can sweat in it and get it wet knowing that exposure to the elements will leave a unique patina on the watch that is like a souvenir of your activities.

A screw-down crown makes the Combat B18 a watch capable of 300 meters of water resistance
Apparently, I already left my own mark on the bezel by adding a small flattened section of the coin edge. I only discovered while photographing it at extreme magnification. The coin edge hides it at normal viewing distances.

The B18 is meant to be worn!
A watch that tells a story is an interesting one indeed. As the surface of my Lum-Tec Combat B18 Bronze oxidizes to a unique patina, there will not be another one that looks exactly like it. This is because the catalysts and conditions that cause the patina can be unpredictable. Think of it like a fingerprint (just like the ones I left on the bluish anti-reflective coating in some of my photos. Oops!)

I purchased the watch devoid of patina. The bronze is more golden and brassy looking.
Above is a photo of the watch that I got from the seller. He had removed his patina with Brasso to give me a clean palette to start with. I appreciated this, and this is how you will receive your bronze watch from Lum-Tec. Below is after having it a few months. It looks decades and not just months older. Enjoying this slow evolution of the bronze coloration is the key to owning a bronze watch. If you don't care for this look, then maybe try a rose gold or more stable metal... or just be prepared to constantly polish it.

The bronze patina on my Combat B18 is completely natural.
Even though I have chosen to let my watch develop a natural finish, you don’t have to accept what nature gives you or even wait. The patina on a CuSn8 bronze watch can be artificially forced for a wide variety of colors from blacks, to greens, to burnished gold with brown details. The coin edge bezel and smooth sides of the case make a wonderful canvas for experimentation. The patina will tend to build up stronger in the crevices first, such as on the bezel and crown. Raised edges can become burnished (they can look lighter where the patina gets rubbed off). The end result is that the bronze case has an appearance of depth that many "inert" watches simply don't have.

Bronze can patina into a variety of interesting colors
A quick Google search will reveal a group of daring bronze alchemists with their own special patina formulas and techniques. Bronze is forgiving so if you get unwanted results, you can easily polish your watch back to the shiny brass-like color that it left the factory with. The possibilities seem endless, and the risk of ruining the watch is low making this the perfect customizer’s watch. 

As mentioned before, people interested in the Lum-Tec Combat B18 Bronze may tend to appreciate what I call anti-bling and a different sense of style. At a watch get-together that I attended, it was the watch that people most asked me to see... and some of these guys were wearing some expensive timepieces on their wrists.

There are other bronze watches competing either above or below the Combat B18's price point. On the higher end costing much more, there is the Tudor Black Bay Bronze, the Zodiac Super Sea Wolf 68 Bronze, and the  Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special Bronze, among others. There are also watches in a similar price category from Ancon, Archimede, Benarus, Halios, Helberg, Movas, Steinhart, and Raven. The similarities are only in the bronze used to make the cases, and not the designs because the models mentioned run the gamut from chunky dive watches to a retro field and aviator watches. The Lum-Tec Combat B18 has refinement where some of these others just have sheer bulk.

The coin edge seems to patina first.
The Lum-Tec Combat B18 Bronze offers incredible vintage looks but leverages it with modern technology to make day-to-day life with the watch a joy. It is a stand-out in my collection that always brings a smile. A bronze watch is still not that common to see in the real world and has a warmer, less flashy appearance than gold so the Combat B18 Bronze scores high on presence. Bronze watches are hot right now so they are on trend too. I would wear it even if it was considered nerdy. Lastly, Lum-Tec’s attention to detail, thoughtful design choices, and excellent manufacturing quality makes any of the bronze Combat B watches very desirable. I am smitten by mine.

I just can't get over how cool this watch is!
At the time of this writing, the Lum-Tec Combat B18 Bronze was not sold out, but rest assured that Lum-Tec will have different versions to entice you when it does. Prices are $1,095 from the lum-tec.com web site so check it out if you are interested.

Lum-Tec Combat B18 with a bronze case. The quick change watch band has bronzed hardware

Monday, July 17, 2017

MEET THE WATCH: Dan Henry 1963 Chronograph - The Vintage Inspired Bargain

Last Christmas, my lovely wife asked me what I wanted for my "big present". It is a tradition in our household to give each other a wish list. Narrowing the options makes for a more enjoyable Christmas day. On a side note, some of the worst gifts I ever received (or gave) ended up as legendary stories later. To protect the well-intentioned innocent, I won't go into detail here.

The Dan Henry 1963 Chronograph makes a wonderful present for those interested in the "look" of vintage watches
I had heard about the hot new retro-styled Dan Henry 1963 Chronograph and knew that was what I wanted to put on Santa's list. Given that we set a couple hundred dollar limit for all the presents, this watch fit nicely into our requirements. Technically, it would have busted the budget cap, but I found one on eBay at a cost lower than the MSRP of $230. I simply bought it (for my wife) and handed her the package when it arrived. She wrapped it, and I even feigned surprise when I opened it!

Christmas in our household...
The Dan Henry collection of watches has already been reviewed extensively by other watch blogs, and I invite you to read the wisdom of those talented reviewers at Worn & Wound and ABlogToWatch. Even though the Dan Henry watches universally seem to be held in high regard, I would like to give a slightly different take on the Dan Henry 1963 Chronograph. I owned this watch for just a few days but ultimately decided to send it back. Read more to find out why.

Dan Henry, the man, is a highly esteemed watch collector who has a jealousy-inducing collection for the ages. If you don't believe me, then check out his ever-expanding online watch museum at www.timeline.watch. Are some people lucky or what? It could be argued that a collector like Dan Henry made his own luck since skill and dedication was a prerequisite to amassing a world-class watch collection like his.

Pack a lunch if you visit www.timeline.watch by Dan Henry. You will want to spend some time there.
The kind of detail you can find on www.timeline.watch by Dan Henry
Dan Henry, the eponymous watch making company, creates affordable watches in the style of different eras including 1939, 1947, 1963, 1968 and 1970. Each model is representative of the time period but does not clone a specific watch. Instead, each model takes inspiration from an iconic timepiece of the period... or looks like it could have existed during that calendar year.

Dan Henry Collection of retro-inspired watches. Photo: www.danhenry.com

Retro Styled Watches Made in the Modern Age

For a while now, the watch world has been buzzing about retro-style timepieces. By 2017 many major watch brands had released homages to their own vintage designs. Blue chip watch manufacturers with celebrated heritages even re-issued 1-to-1 replicas or modernized versions of their most famous models to much fanfare. These companies included Omega, Oris, Longines and Tag Heuer to name a few.

2017 Omega watch re-issues look like the 1957 originals. Photo: www.OmegaWatches.com
Some of the factors driving buyers to return to "vintage style" watches (with modern internals) include:
  • Personality - the designs of yesteryear can be surprisingly daring, iconic or quirky
  • Wearability - Smaller sizes than today's big watches feel great on the wrist
  • Reliability - The look of a rare watch, but with modern technology and a warranty
  • Exclusivity - Wearing an analog watch in a world where most people just use a phone to tell time can make you feel like a rebel!
Maybe watch companies are trying to reconnect with collectors who are buying pre-owned watches in the vintage market instead of new watches. Vintage watches do not make watch companies who want to sell new products any money at all.  It can be argued that watch brands are attempting to recapture some of their former glory by revisiting their past, which might directly translate into greater sales for them in a challenging market. They may be thinking "If you can't beat them, join them."

The wonderful distortion of an acrylic crystal on a Dan Henry 1963 Chronograph
While the thought of buying a pre-owned vintage watch might appeal to many, for some it is simply out of their price range or comfort zone. Buying a vintage watch can be a daunting and potentially risky venture. If you do not know exactly what you are buying, you could easily make a costly mistake. The cost of ownership might be high for actual vintage watches since they might require maintenance using hard-to-find parts that are getting rarer each year. And lastly, the challenge of finding a trustworthy watchmaker who can work on fragile and precious heirlooms is not always easy.

The Dan Henry watch company offers a cheaper way to enjoy retro design, without the risk, investment or hassle involved in buying actual vintage watches. Think of it as the equivalent of buying a replica of a famous sports car. You get to enjoy the thrill of driving your favorite car that might be unobtainable otherwise.

The excellent Dan Henry website is a pleasure. Photo: www.DanHenry.com
With prices around $230 including free shipping, Dan Henry just might be the leader in affordable neo-vintage. At those prices, people on a budget can afford to pick one up as their main watch, and collectors with many timepieces might see it as a well-priced novelty to wear occasionally. It might also fall into the sweet spot for gifts for birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, weddings, groomsmen or graduation.

While the Dan Henry 1963 Chronograph is not a direct copy of any particular watch, many watch nerds might guess at its possible inspiration. That would be none other than the amazing first-generation Heuer Autavia that sold at auction for a staggering $125,000. Is it a direct copy? No, but comparing the models below might convince you of the similarities.

Both models of the Dan Henry 1963 Chronograph compared to a first gen. Heuer Autavia.
If you are still reading, you might be wondering where the watch review is. I am getting to that, but I thought that some background would be helpful to show how the Dan Henry 1963 Chronograph fits into this neo-retro market, which is exploding... with new "old" designs.

The Dan Henry 1963 Chronograph Watch Review

I should first state what many reviewers have already said about this watch, which is that you'll be getting a great value for your money. Dan Henry did not cut many corners and I am not sure how the company produced the watches and made money on them. Asian production might be the short answer (unconfirmed), but that should not be a slur. Leveraging world-class production facilities can result in an amazing product. As consumers, we should be happy about this, especially for a watch at this price point.

The 1963 Chrono's vintage style without the headaches, cost or maintenance or a real antique watch.
There are 2 versions of the watch with the color of the bezel being the only difference. One has a stainless steel metal bezel and the other a black bezel. The latter makes the watch look smaller and that is the one that I tested. More on this later. Both models are limited editions with only 1963 of each being produced.

The Miyota 6S20 mecha-quartz moment has a date wheel, but the Dan Henry 1963 Chronograph does not use it
The watch is powered by a Miyota 6S20 mecha-quartz, and not a mechanical movement. This is perfectly acceptable for the price, and this movement has a great party trick with the central chronograph hand smoothly sweeping instead of ticking. The second's hand moves 5 micro-movements per second and the dial even has hatch marks in 1/5th of second increments. Ironically, this movement would likely be more accurate than mechanical movements that cost way more (rated at +/- 20 seconds per month). The smooth sweep gives the illusion that the watch is a mechanical chronograph when activated.

The excellent presentation and attention to detail hide the fact that this watch cost only $230 shipped.
The width of the case is 42.5 mm, which is going to fill the sweet spot for many wearers. The lug-to-lug distance is a very wearable 50 mm, and that also will fit a wide variety of wrists without hanging over the sides. The height is about 14.5 mm tall so not too high for most people.

The crown has no crown guards and the and is signed with the Dan Henry logo.
The dial is a tri-compax design with 3 sub-dials showing running seconds, 1/10th of a second and a 1-hour chronograph totalizer. Each sub-dial has circular graining and a raised metal edge. While it can be confusing to figure out in photos, the dial at 6:00 is the second's dial that continuously runs.

Close inspection of the rest of the dial reveals that the 12 and other stick indices that are actually cutouts in the 2-layer dial qualifying this as a sandwich dial. Most companies would have probably just printed those features on the dial (to save money) so you have to applaud Dan Henry for going the extra mile. White is used for printing the logo and hatch marks for the chronograph, theoretically giving the chronograph 1/5th of a second accuracy. There is no date on the dial, which is definitely retro. This keeps the layout clean.

The satin black bezel has 12 distinct positions and is used for tracking a 2nd GMT time zone
The polished steel hands are covered in false patina lume, as is the lower layer of the sandwich dial. Tritium lume that was used on watches of the mid 20th century eventually changes to a similar color, which adds to implied age of the watch. The shape of the hands is classic without seeming to be copies of any particular watch. To my eye, they are perfectly sized and have enough variation in width to be useful. The diamond-shaped tip of the chronograph hand is pure joy.

The dome crystal as an interesting reflective quality showing the environment the watch is in... like a fisheye lens.
The crystal is highly domed mineral glass with a sapphire coating and anti-reflective treatment. I had not heard of sapphire coating on the mineral glass, but apparently, this combination exists. I would suspect that this costs more than just regular mineral glass so kudos to Dan Henry once again. The high dome shape significantly adds to the vintage vibe on this watch. It greatly distorts the dial on the sides and creates the illusion of old hesalite (acrylic) crystals, which were used on watches in the 1960s and beyond.

The high domed crystal makes for a funhouse view of the dial, especially when seen from extreme side angles.
Now let's get back to those coin-edge bezels. They are bi-directional unlike most diver's watches... meaning that they can turn both clockwise and counterclockwise. They have dual purposes and can be used to track durations longer than one hour, or can also be used as a GMT to track time in another time zone. I have to admit that the bezel was the reason I changed my mind about keeping this watch. Perhaps I am a little snobby about bezels and prefer the feel of a solid clicking 60- or 120-position unidirectional dive bezel. The Dan Henry 1963 Chronograph's bezel just did not cut it for me, but months later I realize that the company never intended for their bezel to act like a dive watch because it only has 12 detented positions (indicating that a GMT was the more likely intent).

Dan Henry 1963 Chronograph on the included black NATO strap. 
The Dan Henry 1963 Chronograph also came with 2 watch bands... an aged leather 2-piece watch band and a black NATO strap. Both are appropriate for the design of the watch and give more bang for the buck.

Each Dan Henry 1963 Chronograph comes with 2 straps.
Also, these are the variety of straps with the lug pins built in... just pull a lever on the strap to release it from the watch case. Nice!

No tools needed for strap changes.
We are not finished yet... turning the Dan Henry 1963 Chronograph over shows a wonderful and deep engraving on the back of the world famous Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird. This is not some random accident because this record-busting spy plane had its first flight in 1964... as they say "close enough to 1963 for government work." It is hard to imagine that this titanium plane was made before men went to the moon, and its speed record of over Mach 3.2 still stand today. These are declassified figures so only guys with top clearance know the full truth.

The back of the Dan Henry 1963 Chronograph has the infamous SR71 Blackbird spy plane!
The packaging was a top notch affair too. A 2-part plastic cylinder with a cool diamond patterning opened to reveal a leatherette watch roll. The watch roll held the watch and 2 bands and would make a great travel case for the watch.

A reusable watch roll stores your watch and accessories. The watch roll came in the plastic tube.
You would think that after reviewing the Dan Henry 1963 Chronograph so favorably that I would not have returned it to the seller. I struggled with this decision, and I did not do it lightly. It takes some cajones to return your "wife's Christmas present," but she was not offended in the least. She knows that I am picky.

The truth is, that I could not get beyond that bezel. This is a case of me having a different expectation than what the designer had intended. The bezel is perfectly logical in the context of this watch, in fact, it makes a lot of sense. I was just used to bezels that solidly click and make a lot of racket as they ratchet (say that quickly 10 times in a row!) I will admit that I misunderstood it, but now I get it. Duh!

GMT bi-directional bezel on has 12 detents and low friction. This is not a noisy bezel like you may be used to.
There is another reason that is not exactly fair to Dan Henry Watches but is valid to an opportunistic watch collector on a fixed budget. If you are patient, you can find more valuable watches with even higher build quality for the roughly same amount of money. This, of course, is a form of "cheating the numbers" by comparing pre-owned watch prices with new watch prices. Pre-owned watches almost always sell far below the MSRP (not counting some brands like Rolex that seem to hold their value or go up).

I bought the Victorinox Swiss Army Dive Master 500 Chronograph instead. Photo: Stephen McGee
In this case, I decided that I would rather have a buddy's Victorinox Swiss Army Dive Master 500 Chronograph with a metal bracelet, a watch that originally sold in stores for almost $1100. For me, the DiveMaster 500 was more of my taste at the time, and it is built like a tank being able to dive to 1,660 feet. It also has a 60/60 center chronograph, torch-like lume, and sentimental value since I got it from my good pal Stevo (Thanks, SM!).

Victorinox Swiss Army Dive Master 500 Chronograph with the Dan Henry 1963 Chronograph.
In the end, my recommendation for the Dan Henry 1963 Chronograph is to just buy it. I have a tinge of regret returning mine. Rarely are watches that are this inexpensive also this detailed, or try so hard to give value for your hard earned money. This retro watch was designed by a man who is as picky a watch collector as the rest of us (or more) and had the vision to make great watch designs available for the masses. Buy one if the retro style tickles your fancy, but don't blame me if people mistake it for a Heuer Autavia at a glance. That can be our little secret.

From a distance, the Dan Henry 1963 Chronograph could be mistaken for a Heuer Autavia.