Rossling & Co. Regatta 1959


Review and photos by Mike Razak.

Let me be frank. I wasn’t extremely excited about this review. I had rolled my eyes at Rossling and the minimalist design that seems to be everywhere now. The Regatta 1959 seemed like just another watch in a sea of identical watches. But I’ll admit it: I liked this watch a lot more than I expected. It’s not without its flaws, and it won’t stand up to the best microbrands out there but it delivers a sleek, affordable option that’s perfect for the summer months. And it beats a Daniel Wellington or an MVMT any day of the week. 

Rossling & Co. Regatta 1958

The Regatta 1959 Chronograph is a cleanly designed watch that comes in a straight-lugged 40mm stainless steel case. The narrow bezel means it looks more like 42mm, at least, so be ready for some unexpected wrist presence with this one. However, while it appears larger than its actual size, it remains extremely lightweight and thin — only 10mm, meaning it’s welcome under even the dressiest of shirt cuffs. The straight lugs are not going to win any design prizes, but they are drilled, which is a very nice touch, and at 20mm, strap swaps are a cinch. The chronograph pushers are pump-style and the standard grooved crown carries a nice blue ‘R’. The sapphire crystal has a gentle dome with AR coating that keeps the thickness down while still maintaining a consistent design language of utter simplicity that continues throughout the watch. 

Rossling & Co. Regatta 1958

The back is graced with a wave motif that complements the ‘Regatta’ name, as well as obligatory branding and depth rating (50m for this—you’ll be fine if you want to shower with it, though not much more. Of course, then you’d have to ask yourself why you shower with a watch on…). The watch sat easily on my 7-inch wrist, and there were no issues with the crown digging in. And the wearability and comfort are only increased by how lightweight the watch is (50g, compared to my Omega Seamaster which clocks in at a wrist-snapping, shoulder-dislocating 150g).  

Rossling & Co. Regatta 1958 case back

Diving beneath the crystal, the dial is the very epitome of simplicity. A vertically-oriented bi-compax chrono layout has the running seconds at 6 o’clock and a 30-minute counter at 12. The hands of the subdials, as well as the chrono seconds hand, are all blued, which is a subtle accent against the stark white of the dial. The hour and minute hands are both polished steel, with slivers of Superluminova applied, though whoever did the applying must’ve been stingy, as there’s minimal visibility in the dark, even after considerable exposure to direct sunlight. 

Rossling & Co. Regatta 1958

Dial text and markings are done in a very Bauhaus sans serif font. In my opinion, the font and printed markers are all a bit small. They occupy plenty of space, but their slenderness makes you squint and refocus every time you want to get a close reading, especially when using the chrono. Considering this, it seems odd to have put tiny numbers for just the hours around the periphery. They certainly aren’t helping anyone tell the time at a glance, so it would have made more sense to make this a chrono track of some kind. Let us not dwell on the no-frills, cut-out date window that sits like an island at 3 o’clock; it is there. One other note: on the watch I received, I noticed that the chrono seconds hand was slightly loose; when in resting position, it would list to the left of zero if tilted. I can’t say, though, whether this is a regular problem, or something particular to the review piece I received. My duty to warn has been thusly discharged. 

Powering the Regatta chrono is an unjeweled quartz Miyota OS11. There’s little to be said, but this is not the bottom of the bin, but it’s nowhere near the top, either. It runs about +/-20 seconds per month, which is typical for most quartz movements. No complaints here. 

Rossling & Co. Regatta 1958

I must rave about the strap. I’ll let you judge whether it’s good or bad that the strap is the highlight, but it is what it is. The handmade black leather strap has quick-release spring bars, a sturdy tang clasp, and a red backing. It is extremely comfortable and supple, with no break-in required. Almost immediately, I found myself wearing it on several other watches. As for the swappability of straps on the Regatta, the simplicity lends itself to diversity. As you can see from the pictures, I had this on a number of straps, from Perlon to suede to silicone. They all worked well and had no effect on the comfort of the watch; I suppose it’s one of the advantages of a simple white watch. When ordered at retail, the watch is also supposed to come with a two-piece canvas strap, though my review piece did not, so I can’t speak directly to its quality; if the leather is an indicator, then it’s safe to assume the canvas is splendid.  Same goes, I assume, for the optional suede bands. 

Rossling & Co. Regatta 1958 roll

Rossling & Co. started out in 2013 with a Kickstarter campaign that raised nearly 10x its goal from almost 1300 backers. That is to say, they were popular then, and they are clearly still popular. I can’t say they’ve come a long way—they still stick to the same minimalist design wave that propelled that first campaign—but they’re no longer reliant on crowdfunding, and they are producing decent watches, not abhorrent trash like many of the brands out today in their price point. Their Regatta 1959 is no exception. A limited edition of 300 pieces across all 6 models, it will serve you well this summer, especially as the heat continues its assault on the world. With its clean looks, lightweight case, and strap versatility, it’s a go anywhere, do anything, watch. While it certainly has its drawbacks with its poor lume and middling dial design, the overall goal of a simple and wearable watch has been achieved. It comes with a 3-watch watch roll that’s just as nice as the strap, and at $299 you can certainly do worse. 

For more information or to order your own, visit rosslingco.com. 

Rossling & Co. Regatta 1958 wrist shot

Rossling & Co. Regatta 1958 wrist shot

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