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radicaldog

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Bulova & Accutron both have rich histories in space exploration. Their Gemini line, as well as others, honor that achievement.
Ditto for Casio and others. But somehow in the horological world there's innovation and historical significance, and then there's innovation and historical significance achieved by expensive brands. Somehow the latter seems to count far more. The marketing and status signalling are so pervasive and confounding that it's become almost impossible to talk about watches qua watches.
 

Woofa

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My new watch arrived yesterday and I have written my first watch review On watchuseek.

This is my review of the Lake and Sons Limited Edition Automatic Pilot Watch.

Background
I am in the process of overhauling my watch collection which mainly consisted of pieces I inherited from my father and some relatively inexpensive watches I have worn throughout the years. As I look to sell some of my old pieces and move on, I have been spending quite a bit of time online and in local B&M stores looking at watches of all types and at all price levels. What I really needed to start was a new watch that I could wear throughout this process (which will probably take some time,) that would not involve a large investment but which I could fill a place in my future collection. One look at this watch from Lake & Sons Pilot and I knew immediately that it could fill this slot for me.

Lake and Sons
Lake and Sons sells from an online platform (www.lakeandsons.com) based out of St. Paul Minnesota billing themselves as selling “Premium Gifts and Accessories for the Modern Man.” Their website is modern, clean and easy to maneuver. They sell about a dozen items including humidors, watch boxes and at the moment, four limited edition watches*. Typical of many online sites I was immediately able to sign up and get a 10% off coupon for immediate purchase. In addition, Lake provides Free U.S. shipping via USPS Priority mail in addition to quicker pay options if requested.

*In addition to the pilot watch there is a dive watch and two dress watches at a higher but similar price point.

Limited Edition Automatic Pilot Watch

Price:
I paid $116.10 in total: $129.00 for the watch minus the ten percent discount and I chose the slower free shipping.

Shipping Time:
My original purchase was the afternoon of April 7th , my watch was shipped on April 13th and delivered April 19th.

Unboxing:
The watch comes nestled in a nice white cardboard case with the Lake and Sons Logo.
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Watch basics:
Case width 40 mm
Case height 11.5 mm
Lug Width 20 mm
Lug Height 47.6 mm
Weight is 66 grams with my added strap.
Case is made from 316L Stainless Steel.
Watch is water resistant to 10 ATM (100 meters/330 feet.)
Crystal is a flat sapphire.
Watch has a 5.6 mm width unbranded Crown at the 3 o’clock position.
Watch has a date complication at the six o’clock position.
Watch comes with an olive green woven nato strap.
Watch has a Seiko NH35 Automatic movement.
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The Movement:
While I am not expert enough to discuss this in detail, a quick online search indicates that this is a very popular movement in lower priced watches and is in fact the unbranded version of the Seiko Caliber 4R36 used in watches such as the Seiko Orange Monster and Seiko Turtle. While I cannot confirm, online information indicates that this automatic movement contains 24 jewels, vibrates at 6 ticks per second with a power reserve of 40 hours and is a hacking movement.

Strap:
This watch comes with a premium nato strap in a nicely contrasting olive green. Lake and Sons is etched into the buckle. There is little doubt that this watch lends itself to any number of strap colors and combinations. For the moment, I have replaced the supplied Nato with a two piece canvas phalanx strap in navy blue I had previously purchased from Crown and Buckle. I generally prefer the watch sit directly on my wrist as opposed to the added thickness of a wraparound strap.

Fit:
This watch fits pretty perfect on my 7 ¼ inch wrist. It is a little thick at 11.5mm made slightly more so if you use the wrap around nato band but well within reason even for someone like me who prefers watches slightly smaller than I normally see. Downward turning lugs do make for a comfortable fell on the wrist.
239C7A45-A965-4BB2-AE57-F2A3E1C9AF1E.jpeg

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Lume:
Having left this watch outside in the sun for a few hours, I did not get significant lume off of this dial. However, I do not consider a big issue on this watch.

Case:
This is an attractive SS case which is brushed on the sides and lugs with polished on the thin piece on top. Case back is cleanly and clearly etched. at 66 grams with my band the watch has a solid feel.
8FF0F1A9-7056-4DE3-89C2-AA556CDE53F2.jpeg

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Dial:
This is meant to be a modern take on a vintage military pilot watch. While similar to many of the more austere dials found on these types of watches, this one has a more playful tone with large markers (especially at 3, 6, 9 and the triangle at 12 which I think could be made slightly smaller to better fit the overall look,) and the red, white and blue short end to the second hand. The dial is black with white raised white numbers and yellow lume markers. The numbers are clear and well sized. The hands are an alpha design and fit well in the general design. There is a contrasting white seconds ring around the perimeter with numbers every five seconds. The date complication sist at 6 o’clock and has contrasting black numbers on a white background. Personally, I would be just as happy to get rid of the date complication completely but I know how popular these can be. If it needs to be there, I would prefer it moved somewhere less conspicuous and reversed color to match the dial with a black background and white numbers. Overall the dial has a playful feel and the red, white and blue tip is what made me want to buy the watch.

Overview:
All in all this is a nice quality pilot watch with great features at this price point. An automatic movement with 100 meters of water resistance, date complication and a sapphire crystal is a great value for just over $100 delivered. In my opinion, this would be a great watch to purchase for a young man or woman thinking of a future beyond a swatch or apple watch. In particular the gift boxing would seem perfect for a high school graduation gift or similar. That is not to say that it can’t also be used as a great everyday watch for someone older looking for something a little bit more special than your run of mill department store options but not wanting to move beyond this price point. I believe this watch will be a pleasure to wear while I develop my collection and will not seem out of place when it sits next to additional pieces. In particular, I think it will be a fun piece I can use for travel or for those times that I am hesitant to wear something more expensive.

Finally, the watch came with a 20% off coupon which I plan to use to purchase one of their beautiful 12 slot watch boxes with glass top. This looks like a great watch box for $80.

Determination:
This is not the watch you are going to purchase instead of a high end pilot or military watch by Hamilton, Oris, Stowa, or if you have the budget, IWC. However, for pennies on the dollar this is a great example of what is available in todays market for those not able or willing to shell out four figures but want the look of a vintage pilot and the enjoyment of an automatic watch. I think this is a smart purchase for the right person and particularly so as a nice gift.
 
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