Friday, June 15, 2012

TW Steel 50mm CEO Canteen

´╗┐Let's get this part out of the way quickly. The 50mm CEO Canteen is a big watch. Really big. So, if you don't buy into today's big watch fashion craze, stay away from this beast. Are we clear about that...good.

Now, having gotten that bit out of the way, on to the review. A few years back, I had another canteen crown monster of a watch. That one was the giant Russian Zlatoust diver. At 75mm from end to end and with a thickness that was bigger than the diameter of many watches, it was just too much for me. I loved the look of it but there was simply no way to wear that sucker. Off it went to the sales forum and a new home. (I can picture Shrek the ogre enjoying it to this day). Still though, I really did like the look of that Zlatoust. My solution for a comfortably wearable replacement is the watch you see here, the TW Steel CEO Canteen.

This is my second TW Steel watch. My first, the Icon, is their entry level model. The CEO Canteen, seen here, falls in the middle of their range. TW Steel is a Netherlands based company which specializes in big watches. For the most part, their models measure in at either 45mm or 50mm in diameter. Their line runs the gamut from quartz to automatics and from chronographs to aviators.

This version of the CEO Canteen (there are smaller 45mm models too) measures 50mm in width (60 mm with the crown), 14 mm in height, 58 mm lug to lug and has a 22 mm band lug width. It features a beveled, hardened mineral glass crystal. 10 atm water resistance and a thick, high quality leather band. The crown and caseback are of the screw-down variety and the canteen crown is sealed with its own gasket. Lastly, the dial indicators and hands are lumed. The lume on this iteration of the CEO is nowhere near Seiko quality in terms of brightness or longevity unfortunately but is isn't in the terrible league like that found on Vostoks for example. If you aren't a lume junkie, you should find the CEO's night time visibility acceptable.

Internally, the 50 mm CEO is powered by a Miyota 2405 quartz movement. The movement features hour, minute and second hands along with day and date functions. Accuracy is excellent as is the case with most quartz movements.

As watches go, the CEO Canteen has sort of a split personality. Canteen crown watches are meant to keep out water. The CEO doesn't disappoint in this category. It features a 100 meter water resistance rating which isn't bad at all. Additionally, that canteen crown isn't just for decoration. I was pleased to see that it really is a gasketed screw down crown whose purpose of keeping out water hasn't been diluted in this modern iteration. The split personality part though stems from the watch face and band that, to my eye at least, more closely resemble an old style aviator watch. Under most circumstances, I would find it unlikely that these two features could tastefully coexist on one watch. TW Steel, to it's credit, has managed to make these features work nicely together though.

Overall, the TW Steel CEO Canteen feels like a keeper to me. The build quality seems excellent and it's a real looker to my eye. While this is obviously subjective, I also happen to love the brown color of this example too. In a world where high end luxury is increasingly becoming both unattainable and difficult to justify, watches like TW Steel's CEO Canteen look better and better. I found this example on sale for sub $200 as a birthday present (officially from my wife, nudge...wink) and other great deals can be found with a little patience. I am looking forward to many happy years with it.

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