One of my favourite affordable brands of the last 12 months has definitely got to be Montres Militaire. A high-end retailer in Perth called the Swiss Watch Box originally introduced me to this company. Subsequently I was fortunate enough to write an in depth hands on review of their fantastic Officier De Marine. At the time I felt this was one of the most competitively priced bronze watches on the market. In my editorial published September 30th 2013 I also mentioned that Markus Tschopp was the owner of the business. In fact the real proprietor of Montres Militaire is also the owner of entry-level watchmaker Ancon.
Normally when I write articles, I like to include a history of the brand, which I feel adds substance. I also feel it gives readers an insight and appreciation of the methodology behind the company. All I know about the owner of Ancon is that he is a Hong Kong based businessman called Angus Yang. Although I have spoken to him on a couple of occasions he didn’t divulge much information. Nevertheless he seems to have the expertise required to establish a successful watchmaking business.
In contrast to Montres Militaire, which are manufactured in Switzerland, all of Ancon’s watches appear to be made in China. They are also a fraction of the price and most of the models retail at well under the $1,000 threshold. All of the designs are attractive but my personal favourite is the X-35 Concept. Dimensionally the watch measures 45mm (56mm with the crown) x 16.5mm, which is clearly designed to make a bold statement. Generally I found the timepiece sat comfortably on my wrist and I didn’t experience any friction from the lugs. Ultimately this is down to the stylish case design and use of (black PVD coated) 316L stainless steel in manufacture. Apart from extreme sports I feel this watch would be a suitable choice for most occasions.
When the X-35 Concept was first released, it caused quite a bit of controversy. Primarily this is because the façade appears to be a combination of both SevenFriday and Linde Werdelin watches. Realistically this point is hard to dispute as the resemblance is striking. However I feel this is a massive compliment to both brands as Ancon has extracted only the finest elements in their bold design. The three dimensional dial is very effective and offers the recipient a glimpse of the mechanical movement. Other distinctive characteristics are the multi-layered bezel and oversized crown.
Beneath the robust exterior lies a Japanese Miyota 82S7 self-winding movement. The caliber comprises 21-jewels and oscillates at a frequency 21,600 vibrations per hour. This mechanism is perfectly showcased through the sapphire crystal exhibition case back. Functionally the X-35 Concept features hours, minutes, small seconds and day/night indication. The watch also has a power reserve of 42-hours and is water resistant to a depth of 200 metres.
The X-35 Concept has a black rubber strap with PVD-coated steel 316L buckle. Priced at $699.
For more information visit the company’s website: http://www.anconwatches.com