Advisor Ascent

Within 12 hours of its launch, Advisor Watches had fully funded their new Ascent supercompressor style sports watch. This is no surprise given its combination of rugged good looks, quality components, and low pre-order price (super early bird rewards started at $245 USD). There are two models from which to choose: the Classic, with a Seiko NH35a movement and a traditional dial; and the Skull, with an open-heart laughing skull dial and a Miyota 82SO inside. Each model offers different colorways. For this review, they let me sample a "Blackmax" Classic prototype with a black dial, C3 lume, and an IP black case. 

Advisor Ascent Classic Blackmax

The Ascent wears large. It's not that 42mm is terribly big by today's standards, but several design elements amplify its presence on your wrist, such as its 13.5mm height, vertical case sides, angular lugs, twelve-sided bezel, and of course the twin crowns. The result is a watch that projects athletic bulk without engulfing my 6.5" wrist. Well, not too much for my taste anyway.

Advisor Ascent Classic Blackmax wrist

A bit of polish on the bezel and crowns highlights the otherwise businesslike brushing on the rest of the stainless steel case. The crowns are particularly stylized with a deep channel in their bodies, and polished and scalloped fluting on their signed heads. The 2 o'clock crown sets the rotating internal bezel, and the 4 o'clock sets the time. This latter one is a push-pull on the prototype but will be a screw-down in production, which will go far to ensure the Ascent's 200m depth rating. Despite the absence of texturing on the sides, I found both easy to grip and set. 

Advisor Ascent Classic Blackmax

The caseback secures with four tiny screws and bears a stamped and blasted illustration of a diver rather foolishly approaching a giant octopus. Very nicely done. 

Advisor Ascent Classic Blackmax caseback

Up front, you have a flat sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating. The lumed internal bezel drops to a sunray dial with an applied logo and thick, dart shaped hour markers, affording a pleasant sense of depth.  A printed index is positioned near their tips. While I like the way its placement looks, I hate the way it functions because the body of the triangular minute hand passes over marks instead of pointing to them, making it awkward to set and read. It's even worse with the second hand as its tip completely overshoots the index, leaving you to read it by the broad end of the tip and the shaft. Ironically, had the index been in the conventional perimeter position, hand length would have been perfect. 

Advisor Ascent Classic Blackmax

A framed date window echoes the hour markers' shape. It reveals a black-on-white disk. I don't take much issue with the white, but I suspect it likely looks much better on models with white BWG9 lume than it does next to the yellow C3. Lume, by the way, is excellent, glowing brightly on the hands, markers, and bezel. 

Advisor Ascent Classic Blackmax lume

The 22mm leather strap was a bit of a let-down. It is properly finished and quite pliable, but its surface showed noticeable wear the first time it was strapped to my wrist; not the appealing character marks you might see on an oil-tanned strap, but surface cracking and loss of color. Straps are never deal-killers for me as I tend to swap them just for the hell of it. Still, I would remove this one immediately and leave it in the box in case I ever sold the watch.

Advisor Ascent Classic Blackmax strap

Super early bird rewards are all taken, but you can still preorder the Ascent Classic in steel or gold IP for $265. The Blackmax will be unlocked if funding hits S$50,000. They are about halfway there with 21 days to go, so the chances look good. On the whole, the Advisor Ascent Classic is a nice watch that is reasonably priced for a 200m diver with a workhorse Seiko automatic inside. That said, the awkward index position is a quirk I'd find hard to live with. 

Visit the Advisor Ascent Kickstarter page for more information or to place an order. ⬩

Advisor Ascent Classic Blackmax macro



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