Swiss Watch Co. Sport

 Review and photos by Mike Razak

Don’t let the name fool you. The Swiss Watch Company is anything but generic. I reviewed the brand’s debut watch, the now sold-out Diver almost a year ago and came away quite impressed. While the name of both the brand and the watch were the epitome of blah, the watch itself punched far above its price. SWC has opened up pre-orders on their newest model, the cryptically-named Sport, and it offers as much as it’s predecessor, if not more. So move past the name (they already got grief from IWC as it is, can you imagine what Richemont would do if they tried to officially change it to SWC?) and let’s take a look at the Swiss Watch Company Sport.

Swiss Watch Co. Sport
I went go hands-on with one model each of the automatic and quartz variants. The biggest difference between the two is the GMT subdial on the quartz model. Aside from that, they’re almost identical. The 41mm case reminded me a bit of vintage Heuer cases if you put them on steroids and made the lines extra modern. The finishing alternates between brushed and polished, with a gleaming bezel surrounding a domed sapphire crystal and well-defined edges throughout. 

Swiss Watch Co. Sport

A gentle curve defines the 47mm lug-to-lug and allows for relatively easy wearing. In fact, my wife—who usually prefers more diminutive watches—had on the quartz and actually liked it. I’m sure the mint green didn’t hurt, nor did the quartz’ 11.9mm thickness compared to the auto’s 12.3mm.

Swiss Watch Co. Sport

A simple screwdown crown at 3 o’clock is easy to operate and doesn’t make a fuss of itself. The watch lacks crown guards, which is fine, but I would have loved to see what kind of guards SWC would have designed for this watch. On the quartz, you’ll find a push-pull crown. Don’t worry, both watches have an ample 100m water resistance. The difference was to avoid confusion on the automatic crown, which features a ghost position due to the movement’s date function. The screwdown crown lets you know for sure the crown is locked in, instead of stopping short on the date position and having water seep in. These guys think of everything.

Swiss Watch Co. Sport wrist shot

The dial is what makes the Sport unique, and not just for its aesthetics. One of my friends remarked that it looks like it came straight out of Tron, and I can’t help but agree. The ultra-modern markers are without a doubt the standout here. They’re unlike anything I’ve seen before, and that alone deserves plaudits. The auto Sport dial comes in the burgundy seen here, as well as blue, black (with DLC case), and “swamp” green.

Swiss Watch Co. Sport

(Why specify the type of green but not other colors? Why not Red Red Wine Burgundy, Unfathomable Sadness Blue, and Frostbite Black?)

Swiss Watch Co. Sport

What’s truly incredible though, is the construction of that outer ring. While it may look like the indices are applied, they aren’t. Instead, the outer ring is a single matte-finished piece of ceramic, with the raised markers being polished and then filled with Super-LumiNova (the color depends on the model: C1 for the burgundy auto, C3 for the green quartz). Around the edge are tiny little shark teeth to mark the minutes.

Swiss Watch Co. Sport lume

The hands are high polished alpha hands with a simple seconds hand. They feature the same lume, but on my prototype, they were quite dimmer than the markers. Happily, both the markers and the hands will be much brighter on the final run. One of the best things about the SWC Diver was its insane lume, which outshone both my Omega and my Nodus. Hopefully, the production models for the Sport can get there.

Swiss Watch Co. Sport lume

I love the simplicity of the applied logo and feel it stands on its own, and yet just below it comes the dials only weak spot. Before Is ay this, I want to make clear that I do like this dial. But muddling an otherwise beautiful burgundy block pattern (reminiscent of the AP Royal Oak’s grande tapisserie) is the etched “Swiss Watch Company” badge. While it’s subtle and far less distracting than on the brand’s Diver, the dial would’ve looked better were the name relegated to the caseback.

On the quartz models, which come in mint, blue, salmon, or “cream gunmetal” (which sounds repulsively violent), the 6 o’clock area is occupied by a radial GMT subdial with well-lumed hands. The subdial features cardinal numerals to aid legibility. I’ll also note here that it is adjust by a corrector nestled into the case at 4 o’clock.  

Rolling the watch over, the screw-on caseback features the same pattern as the dial and is surrounded by the obligatory SpecText™. I like the motif here even more than on the dial, as it catches the light so well with the alternating finishes to the blocks. I’m not one to take my watch off just to look at the caseback, but this one is mesmerizing. Furthering comfort, the undersides of the lugs areconcave, giving them more curve against the wrist than you'd expect from their profile.

Under the caseback of the auto Sport sits a Swiss Sellita SW200. SWC is very clear that the SW200 used is not “Top Grade,” but rather regulated in house to the same specs (+4/-4  seconds per day) and will come with documentation thereof. The quartz models feature a Swiss Ronda 4210.b movement. This is no cheapo throwaway movement, so save your eyerolling. It features a 50-month battery live, 8 jewels, power-saving mechanism, and gold plating. And it keeps time to -10/+20 sec/month. Not bad, if you ask me.

The 22mm lugs accommodate a number of strap options offered by the brand. Included with each Sport are a silicone and a nylon Velcro strap. The silicone is color-matched and vented for excellent comfort, features a sturdy deployant clasp, and laughs as it repels dust easily. The long end of the strap features a polished SWC badge near the lugs, which is there and you’ll just have to deal with it.

The nylon Velcro strap is much better than it sounds. When I hear Velcro I think abrasive, but that’s not the case here. The straps are elastic and soft. They secure to one end by a traditional spring bar, and looped through like a NATO on the other end. Due to the narrower lug gap, I did find they required a bit of finessing to loop through, but once on, proved comfortable.

The stainless steel bracelet is not included, but will be available as a discounted add on prior to shipping. And I’d recommend you get it. Even though it’s already great, it will only get better as they plan to size down the ratcheting clasp. The polished center links pick up the polished finish of the case and flow from naturally from the bezel. The fitted endlinks feature quick release springbars meaning a) the female endlinks are fixed to the bracelet, and b) install and removal are a snap. The ratcheting mechanism means that you can fine tune the fit on the fly (which is great as your wrist swells throughout a hot summer day). I’ve honestly never installed and sized a bracelet faster.

The Swiss Watch Co. Sport is another solid offering and shows continued growth from the brand. I think it’s better than their diver and their chrono—in fact, I would love to see a diver and/or chrono interpretation of this watch. The Sport is decidedly modern, with a solid case and thick lugs that give it exceptional wrist presence, a dial that breaks the mold, and two solid straps (plus the optional bracelet). 

And if that weren’t enough, the pricing is just ridiculous. For all that and a top-regulated Swiss movement, the auto is available $389, while the quartz can be had for just $289. The Kickstarter campaign is live and wrapping up very soon, so hop on it before prices jump to retail (about $100 more). And kudos to SWC for getting their ducks in a row before launch: the Sport will deliver in November, just two months after the campaign closes.

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