We get a lot of requests to review things. In 2016, a number of them were just small variations of products we had previously reviewed, and so we turned them down. Still, when readers clue us in on a new watch company and asks us if we could “take a look” at their offerings, we ALWAYS follow up.
Even though we have never heard of Caliper Timepieces, and even though Canada is not typically known for watch-making, since it was a watch, we said “Sure!” Well, we have to say, we were pleasantly surprised…
We are happy to wrap up 2016 and ring in 2017 with a FirstLook at the Caliper View.
The View came packaged in a white Apple-esque box with embossed printing on the cover. The watch is protected in a form-fitting interior that is both functional and attractive in its simplicity, one of the reasons why we were instantly impressed with Caliper Timepieces.
Milled stainless steel case and band, sapphire crystals covering both the front AND back so one can see the Miyota self-winding mechanical movement, the Caliper View is one well-executed watch. And because the case is carved out of a solid block of stainless steel, it is water-resistant to 10ATM. Very Cool. Very.
Let’s take a closer look at the Caliper View.
- Case diameter 38mm / thickness 12.5mm
- Case milled from 316L stainless steel
- Sapphire scratch-resistant glass
Stainless steel grade 316L is a molybdenum-bearing grade, second in importance to 304 amongst the austenitic stainless steels. Molybdenum gives the steel better overall corrosion resistance, and in particular, higher resistance to pitting and crevice corrosion compared to Grade 304. Grade 316L is the low carbon version of 316 and is immune from sensitization. The austenitic structure also gives these grades excellent toughness, even down to cryogenic temperatures.
On the hardness scale, the only material tougher than sapphire is diamond. This is why quality watchmakers have been using sapphire as a scratch-resistant cover since the ’70s. The AP Royal Oak wristwatch, introduced in 1972/1973, was one of the first watches to use synthetic sapphire. Rolex used it for the first time in 1977 on the Oysterquartz.
Tough as it is, sapphire glass is not completely shatter proof, as strength is different than hardness. However, we are pretty sure the Caliper View will survive whatever we manage to throw at it.
Most watch makers/designers do not manufacture their own watch movements, but source standard movements made by specialized companies. Caliper source their skeleton mechanical movements from Miyota, which is a subsidiary of the Citizen Watch Company.
The Miyota 82S0 movement:
- Manual and self-winding
- 21 Jewels
- 21,600 vibrations per hour
- 40+ hours of running time
A mechanical watch movement uses energy from a wound spring, rather than a battery, to power the watch. The spring transfers its stored energy through a series of gears and springs to drive the movements of the various hands.
There are two types of mechanical movements found in luxury timepieces today, manual and automatic, each with its own characteristics. The choice of the type of mechanical movement—manual- or self-winding—comes down to individual preference.
With manual winding, the wearer must turn the crown periodically to coil the main spring to keep the watch running. The Caliper View uses an automatic, or self-winding, movement that incorporates a metal weight called a rotor. The rotor is connected to the rest of the gearing but can rotate freely. When the wearer’s wrist moves, the rotor swings and transfers energy to the mainspring, winding it automatically.
- Glass on back of case
- Water resistant to 10 ATM (100m)
While the gears, jewels, and other movements can be clearly seen on the face, the View also has sapphire glass covering the back, revealing the Miyota automatic winding mechanism.
The movement of the freely moving rotor can be clearly seen on the back of the watch, as are the engravings, and series number. All are excellent examples of the thought and care put into the creation of the View. It is also a reflection on Caliper’s attention to the details which make this watch stand out.
The visible internal works, protected by seals and a stainless steel housing, is water-resistant to 100m (330 ft). While not rated for diving, the View is perfect for recreational water sports such as swimming, surfing, snorkeling, sailing and the like where it may encounter an occasional dunking.
Caliper has developed a custom Milanese mesh strap for the View. They have increased the number of threads from 26 to 37, giving the strap a finer, cleaner pattern.
The Milanese mesh design can be traced all the way back to the 13th century, where it was used as a special kind of chainmail. A cousin to the Milanese mesh is the “Shark mesh.” The brilliant marketing idea was from an Omega advertising campaign for their ground-breaking dive watch, the Ploprof 600. The name was inspired by the link pattern similar to the kind used for shark-bite-resistant mail worn by some divers. While the View is not a “dive” watch, we think the Milanese/Shark mesh is a fitting choice for any watch that can withstand a 100m dip.
Like many quality sport watches, the View has a double-locking foldover clasp. It is an additional flip-lock safety tab which keeps the main clasp locked into position, preventing unexpected openings. Note the nice detail of the Caliper logo etched on the tab.
Caliper Timepieces successfully launched the View with a Kickstarter campaign back in March. The campaign was a huge success and raised over 250% of the initial goal. They have finished their first production run and are now shipping.
Of all the great items we have look at in 2016, we think the Caliper View is our best Gear&Gadget Find of the year! While it cannot compete with the whiz bang capabilities of a battery-powered Apple Watch, the View may still be working a hundred years from now, something we are certain will not be true for our Apple Watch.
So start off 2017 right and on time. Get your order in today as this one is going to be on back-ordered at some time soon. Tell them you read about it on RainyDayMagazine… and Happy New Year!!!