Six Speed Dials Bavarian F8X

Six Speed Dials is a Pennsylvania microbrand offering inexpensive, automotive-themed automatic watches. That is an almost irresistible combination for The Time Bum, so when they offered a review sample, I was happy to oblige. The each dial is drawn from a particular car's instrument cluster. Being a die hard Bimmerphile, I chose the Bavarian F8X, which pays tribute to the latest M models, with a mixed degree of success.

Six Speed Dials Bavarian F8X Watch
All of Six Speed's watches have a Miyota 8215 under the hood. This is a 21 jewel automatic with a unidirectional rotor, 21.6k bph beat rate, and a power reserve of over 49 hours. It does not hack and isn't as silky smooth as the popular 9015, but it is a sound movement that should provide years of hassle-free service. It is also cheaper than the 9015, which no doubt contributes to the F8X's outstanding $189.99 price.

Six Speed Dials Bavarian F8X Watch wrist

I don't have an M car, but I have owned a few BMWs through the years and know that the company's DNA is pretty strong stuff. Look at any model BMW and you will notice recurring design and engineering themes evolving over decades from one incarnation to the next. As a result, any Bimmerhead will instantly recognize a BMW design cue, and the F8X succeeds in this regard. The dial does indeed resemble a BMW tachometer with its red needles, charcoal gray dial, and its numbers and minute index arranged in an arc over a black wedge that occupies the lower section. The new M4 has the M-Technic logo on this wedge (at least under the speedometer); on the watch, it is the SixSpeed "6." Other dials in the SixSpeed lineup are equally faithful. The British MK1 resembles and old Smiths instrument, the Maranello resembles the lurid yellow speedo found in many new Ferraris, and the Stuttgart 991 is a spin on the generally stoic Porsche cluster. Oddly for a sporting watch, there is no luminous material anywhere on the dial.

Six Speed Dials Bavarian F8X Watch

The 42mm polished case sits neatly on my 6.5" wrist. The website claims it is 46mm long and a wafer-thin 6mm thick. This is incorrect. The precision instruments at Time Bum Laboratories found it to be over 48mm long and 11 mm thick. Flat sides and broad, round edges make it appear beefier than the dimensions suggest. Heavy, rounded lugs seem oversized for the case and terminate awkwardly in a flat wall on the inside. For me, this is where the watch begins to lose its appeal. There is no tension in this case design, nothing streamlined or aggressive. In short, it is no sports car. Rather, it is soft, almost overstuffed and the oddly shaped lugs seem out of proportion. Had the watch been an homage to the pontoon-fendered cars of the late 1930's, or the voluptuous excesses of the 1950's, it might have worked, but for a modern sports car or sedan, it misses the mark.

Six Speed Dials Bavarian F8X Watch side

As a value proposition, the F8X is exactly the sum of its parts and no more. The $189.99 sale price gets you a good quality automatic movement, a screw down crown, and 100M water resistance. On the other hand, compromises include 306 stainless steel instead of the higher grade 316L more commonly used for watch cases, the aforementioned absence of lume, and an unpleasantly cheap looking leather strap (although it is a proper shade of Bavarian blue). The price is not bad, but other micros have done better for the money.

In the end, the Six Speed Dials Bavarian F8X was not for me, but if you find it to your liking, please see ⬩

Six Speed Dials Bavarian F8X Watch strap
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