Manufacturer: Northwind Watches | Price: £295 GBP (€325 EUR, $360 USD approx)
Before I start writing this review, I want to make it clear that I can only review what is sitting right in front of me. I pride myself on telling it how it is, the truth, pure & simple. Under no circumstances will I ever do paid reviews. If it’s crap, I’ll say it’s crap and obviously if it’s great I’ll recommend it. Now that I’ve got that out of the way, let’s get on with the review.
- Dimensions: Case Diameter – 43.6mm, Thickness – 13.4mm, Lug to Lug – 51.7mm, Lug Width – 22mm
- Movement: Seiko NH35A Automatic, 21,600vph (3Hz), Hackable, Self Winding, 41hr Power Reserve
- Case Material: Brushed 316L Stainless Steel
- Bracelet: Brushed 316L Stainless Steel, Solid End-Links, Push-Pins, Signed Clasp
- Crystal: Sapphire, Anti-Reflective Coating
- Bezel: Fixed
- Water Resistance: 20ATM / 200m / 660ft
- Lume: Swiss Super Luminova® C3
- Crown: Screw Down Caseback: Screw Down Exhibition
- Warranty: 1 Year Where to Buy: Northwind Watches
Northwind Watches - The Company
The northern man has shaped the world we live in. From the tribes that stopped the Roman Empire to the Victorian industrialists who shaped modern Britain. From the first train and first electric light bulb to the Venerable Bede or the scholarly monks of Lindisfarne. War, industry, innovation and the constant pursuit of knowledge have defined this area.
Northwind have created a watch brand inspired by these people and their history. Their mission is to make watches for the modern man that give more than a nod to our past. They are designed to be aesthetically pleasing, but rugged and reliable. They mix steel and leather to capture the essence of what our regions history most exemplifies; a contrast of heavy industry and beautiful landscapes. A region of unspoilt beaches and hills, but also one of mines and factories.
Northwind pay homage to the men that were at the forefront of industry, invention and academic study. Designed in the North East, their mechanical watches are created for today’s northern man who works and plays just as hard as his forefathers. Northwind believe that the North is more than just a geographical location. It’s a state of mind.
The Armstrong has a water resistance rating of 200m, thanks to the screw-down caseback & crown. The proportions of the watch, in my opinion, are huge for my 7″ wrist and I personally think it’s just too big for the majority of wrist sizes. The crown is nice, however there is a fair amount of wobble when the crown is unscrewed. The crown isn’t signed either, which is a bit of a disappointment as if you ask me, a signed crown shows pride from the company and also in their product.
The bracelet itself tapers from 22mm at the lugs to 20mm and back to 22mm at the clasp and to be honest, it is a proper hair nipper. Sized up for my 7″ wrist I had to remove 4 links, which was easy enough to do with the push pins for adjusting & re-sizing. Solid end links and brushed links throughout is a great choice. However, the clasp is pressed. Northwind chose what is esentially a good bracelet, but there is just no refinement or comfort with this one. It’s just really disappointing that oozes cheapness.
The chosen movement for the Northwind Armstrong is the microbrand go-to movement of choice, the super-reliable Seiko NH35. A great workhorse that is a 21,600vph, 3Hz, 24 jewel movement with self winding and of course hacking. Checking the accuracy after running the Armstrong for around a week, mainly in my Barrington Watch Winder, I thought the accuracy was pretty poor with it showing an average of +19 spd. WOW! Definitely no regulation been done on this one, although to be fair, it’s still within the manufacturers tolerances.
Dial, Bezel & Lume
The first thing I noticed after taking the watch out of the packaging is, the damn thing has a misaligned chapter ring. It was after that I noticed other discrepancies throughout the entire watch. There is nothing more annoying than a misaligned chapter ring or a bezel that doesn’t line up properly. As the Armstrong has a fixed bezel I suppose they can’t f**k that up. However, this misaligned chapter ring would just do my tits in every time I looked down at the watch. I couldn’t wear it even if the rest of the watch was half decent.