Manufacturer: Axios Watches | Price: $549 USD (£440 GBP, €505 EUR)
Today, I’ll be introducing the first watch from a new microbrand, Axios. You might be thinking, oh, for fucks sake… here we go again, yet another start up that’s made another dive watch using a sub style case. Well, before I go any further, to peak your interest, one of the founders of Axios, is none other than Elshan Tang, the owner of one of my favourite brands, Zelos. I thought that might grab your attention, it certainly got mine when I first heard of the brand last year. So, is this diver from Axios, named the Ironclad any good, or is it just another ‘copy & paste‘ job that we’ve all seen so many times?
- Dimensions: Diameter – 40.1mm, Thickness – 13.2mm, Lug to Lug – 46.4mm, Lug Width – 20mm
- Movement: Sellita SW200-1, Automatic, 28,800vph, 26 Jewels, Hackable, Self Winding, 38hr Power Reserve
- Case Material: Brushed 316L Stainless Steel with Scratch Resistant Coating, Polished Accents
- Bracelet: Brushed 316L Stainless Steel, Solid Links & End-Links, Screw Pins, Milled Clasp
- Crystal: Double Dome Sapphire, Underside Anti-Reflective Coating
- Bezel: 120 Click Unidirectional, Ceramic Insert, Fully Lumed
- Water Resistance: 500m / 50ATM / 1640ft
- Lume: Swiss Super Luminova® C3 X1 & BGW9
- Crown: Screw Down, Signed
- Caseback: Screw Down, Deep Stamped Ironclad Logo, Unique Serial Number
- Warranty: 1 Year Weight: 148g (Sized) Where to Buy: Axios Watches
- Options: Deep Blue, First Light, Horizon, Northern Sky, Ocean Gulf, (2x Meteorite Options (+$100))
Axios Watches - The Brand
Case & Crown
The case of the Axios Ironclad has a diameter of 40.1mm. The lug to lug is 46.4mm and the overall thickness, including the double domed sapphire crystal, I measured in at 13.2mm. Without taking the sapphire crystal into consideration, the watch has a thickness of just 11.8mm. The entire case, caseback, bezel, crown and bracelet are all 316L stainless steel. The finish of the watch is mostly brushed but with the addition of polishing across the crown guards and sides of the case.
The Ironclad has a water resistance rating of 500m, thanks to the screw down caseback & crown. The proportions of the watch, in my opinion, are excellent for my average 7″ wrist, due to the relatively short lug to lug distance of just over 46mm. The Ironclad does wear extremely very well on wrist and it is very comfortable, although, I do feel it could be better, especially with regards to the way the bracelet has been designed. More on that later in the review…
The signed crown is a beauty and looks great with the etched Axios logo. There is absolutely no wobble either when the crown is in use and you can also feel a very nice pop as you unscrew it. You can also see and feel the amount of work that has gone into the crown, making it feel very premium. The caseback has a deeply stamped Ironclad logo on it with the usual various specs around the edge, as well as a unique serial number, which is a nice touch. I’m sure there were 130 of each of the colourways made, with the exception of the meteorite versions. I’ve no idea on the total number of those.
Strap / Bracelet
The bracelet that’s fitted to the Ironclad is beautifully made and there is not much I can fault it on. It has everything you’d want in a nice premium bracelet. First and foremost, it’s very nicely manufactured with no squeaks or rattles to be found anywhere. It has solid links throughout, screw pins for adjusting and re-sizing and a perfectly signed, milled clasp with 6 micro-adjustment holes. Great job!
The only negative point I can find, well, it’s not really a negative as such, it’s more something I would have preferred to have seen, and that is the end links. I’d have much prefered a female end-link, so to give the bracelet a better articulated look & feel, and so it’d wear better on wrist, rather than extending the lug length slightly, as it does with a male link.
Movement / Accuracy
Dial & Bezel
The dial itself has a printed, cleanly executed minute track, right next to the brushed stainless steel chapter ring, giving the watch a subtle, yet still a very sporty aesthetic. I’m glad that Axios didn’t polish the chapter ring, as it would’ve just looked too blingy and wouldn’t have suited the watch in my opinion. The indicies on the dial are all applied, with the markers at 3, 9 & 12 made slightly larger and if you look closely they have an almost ramp style appearance, which I like.
As you can see in the images, the hour and minute hands are nicely done with their chunky yet still proportionate design. The seconds hand is great too, with it’s rectangular(ish) lumed section and tip reaching right out to the minute track when sweeping around the dial. As you can see in the images, there is also a perfectly executed, borderless date window at the 6 o’clock position that looks outstanding, with its chamfered edges and colour-matched date wheel. 100% perfection!
The lume on the Axios Ironclad is nothing less than fuckin’ outstanding! There are only a small handful of watches that I can think of that can match or even come close to this level. The actual formula that’s been used on the Ironclad, is a combination of Swiss Super Luminova® C3-X1 & BGW9 and it’s been applied 100% perfectly! Not only is it bright, (like a miniature 20th Century Fox searchlight), it also has fantastic stamina and lasts all night. (Similar to me and the wife! 🤣)
The Ironclad from Axios is a fantastic watch and I most definitely highly recommend it! The only reason I haven’t gave it a an all singing, all dancing 10 out of 10 score and a Gold Award is its design. It is obviously a homage, but with the best of the best materials that’s available have been used. If you like the design, then by all means, get one, as the build quality is right up there with the best I’ve seen. Even watches that I’ve had or reviewed, that have cost more than twice as much don’t have as good build quality as this Axios Ironclad does.
I didn’t get this Ironclad sent to me by Axios to review either, I actually put my money where my mouth is and backed their Kickstarter campaign back in September or whenever it was in 2019. Now that the watch is here though, I really appreciate the value for money that the Ironclad offers. It is, without question, beautifully made and I honestly can’t wait to see what the future brings and what designs Axios come up with for their next watch. 👍
Axios Watches – If only all microbrands were built this well! A superb job, well done.