Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Adi Watch Review-IDF Ana-Digi Diver

When I first encountered the Adi IDF watch, my first thought was Breitling Pluton. As it turns out, I was close. Both watches use very similar Miyota analog/digital chronograph movements (see here for a database of these movements and this post on Watchuseek.com for a discussion of the Pluton) with the same functions, but their control layouts are slightly different. The watch seen here is designed for and used by Israeli soldiers. I have confirmed from a representative of Adi that this model is both issued by the Ministry of Defense and ordered by individual military units with their specific insignias. (As I understand it, they have several other styles that are also military issued as well. I'll post an update with that information when I get the details straight). Adi, as I discussed in the previous review below, is Israel’s only domestically produced watch. The factory is located on Kibbutz Yavne between Ashdod and Ashkelon, south of Tel Aviv. They make a number of different watches and I have now located an online dealer who proved both friendly and responsive to my inquiry about them. In addition, the folks at the factory have plans to augment their existing website with more English language content for those of us who aren't fluent in Hebrew.

The Adi IDF watch is an interesting piece of equipment. Visually, it’s a big watch, measuring 47mm in width (including the crown & pushers, 42mm without them) and 12mm in thickness. As style goes, The IDF has a purposeful, military look to it. (One poster on the
Poor Man's Watch Forum said it looked Klingon :) It does exhibit that no-nonsense attitude). The watch uses an integrated rubber diver’s band that is secured by four pins with Seiko style collars. The case is advertised as being made of nickel-free stainless steel and has a matt finish on all but the screw-down case back. This Adi uses a domed mineral glass crystal that is protectively set below the level of a rotating bezel (as opposed to, say a Vostok Amphibia, whose crystal rises above the level of the bezel and can collect scratches more easily). The watch is rated at 200 meters water resistance, which is accomplished without using a screw-down crown. In terms of lume, this model uses what appears to be superluminova on its hands and face. (The lume on the hands lasted quite long in my experience but the face markers faded in a few hours. The lume is not in a Seiko diver's league, but its not a bad performance overall though.). If you like the feel of diver’s watches with rubber straps, you’ll like this watch. The case design is curved in such a way as to allow the watch to sit very firmly but comfortably on the wrist. Incidentally, the graphic on the face of this model is the emblem of the IDF paratroopers. Other unit insignias are available as well.

Internally, the Adi IDF is powered by a Miyota (Citizen)
T201 quartz analog/digital chronograph movement. Accuracy is excellent, as is to be expected from a quartz movement, and the battery life is rated at three years. In terms of capability, there isn’t much that this watch can’t do, as timekeeping goes. The analog hands work predictably and the face includes a twenty-four hour scale should you need to track time that way. Where things get interesting is in the function of that digital display. The display includes a second time zone in either a 12 or 24 hour scale, the month, day and date, a chronograph timer (that is accurate to hundredths of a second), an alarm, an hourly chime and a display light. These various functions are controlled and set by the pushers on the sides of the watch and were not at all difficult to figure out. Lastly, the movement can be hacked if that feature is important to you.

The Adi IDF is an excellent field/diver watch. It is not hard to see why Adi markets this to the military. Its capabilities should prove quite useful in the field and it appears to be very rugged. Additionally, at less than $100, it won’t break the bank either. My one concern about this watch was the integrated band. Realistically, a rubber strap will need replacement after a few years. The folks at
IsraeliProducts.com were helpful in providing me contact information directly to Adi where I learned that a replacement band could be obtained when the time comes without any issues. The people at Adi are apparently comfortable with providing that sort of service when it is required. Nice to see a company that stands behind its product. With that concern addressed, I have no problem recommending this watch for anyone who needs a solid sport/diver or is perhaps in the armed services as well.
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