I’m a bit of a watch guy I must confess. So when Omologato tweeted that they had made a drivers’ watch based around the Laguna Seca race track, I had to have it.
Omologato produce motorsport inspired watches, working with either the brand or a race track to produce hand assembled timepieces.
What really struck me about the Laguna Seca was the 45 degree watch face. That’s because the only other watch that has a quarter turned face – that I am aware of – is the Vacheron Constantine 1921, at a rather cool £28,850.
The 1921 was one of the first drivers’ watches. Created so that the gentleman racer could keep an eye on the time whilst driving, without removing his hand from the wheel.
It was meant to be worn under the wrist, rather than on. In those circumstances you could quickly glance down whilst driving.
So with a nearly £30k price tag I was never going to own such a watch. Until Omologato stepped in.
My watch is number 14/50 First Edition models. Priced at £299 it was a steal compared to the Vach.
I placed a deposit early and paid a few days later. Then waited around a month for them to be delivered before it finally came and the wait was over.
Opening the packaging and I was greeted with a smart white box with the Omologato logo printed across it.
Gently lifting the top reveals a black leatherette box bearing the same logo. Lifting it out and opening it up I get my first glimpse of the Laguna Seca…
The detailing is superb. Crisp white numbers and minute markers sit on a jet black face. The number 12 is in Laguna Seca blue, with the track logo sitting in the lower half of the face next to the date.
The brushed stainless steel case is highlighted with chrome elements on the lugs and around the sides. It’s not too heavy which is nice, but at 43.5mm it could be a little big for some smaller wrists.
For myself it’s at the absolute maximum that I could wear, normally I go no larger than 42mm.
It has a 22mm Italian leather grained strap, with contrasting Laguna Seca blue stitching down each side. It’s a nice soft grain and has worn well so far.
Due to my puny wrists I had to make another hole in the strap to get it to fit snuggly.
The leather bands on the strap could be a little thicker, they feel a tad fragile but have held up so far.
A brushed stainless steel clasp finishes off the Laguna Seca strap.
Flipping the watch over and you find an engraving of the Laguna Seca track and the limited edition number.
Each watch goes through four quality control personnel before being sent out, you also get a 2 year guarantee and if, for whatever reason your watch has to go back for repair twice Omologato will swap it out for a new one.
Water resistance is set to 10 metres, but I haven’t tested this out. It’s certainly splashproof though.
Overall I love the watch. It’s so different that it literally has no competition in this price range.
The price is something that nags at me a little though. Don’t get me wrong, the quality of the materials is really second to none, yes an anti-reflective coating on the glass would be nice, and some lume on the dial and hands wouldn’t go a miss…but the main issue for me is that it’s not mechanical.
You see at the end of the day no matter how nice it looks, to a watch guy, an enthusiast it’s a Quartz watch – battery powered by a Japanese movement, that while amazingly accurate just feels a bit of a let-down in a watch of this calibre.
To most people this won’t matter, but a mechanical Chinese 2813 movement only costs around £40/50 retail.
I’d much prefer to have mechanical innards, even if they are a Chinese version of a Swiss movement.
Mechanical feels so much more alive, more of a machine. You have to wind it to give it life, it just goes with the whole Omologato Motorsport aesthetic.
I know it’s something they are working toward in the future, and I really hope they fully move across to mechanical movements, or offer a more affordable line of Quartz options along with higher end mechanical ones.
The affluent end of the market they are targeting know their stuff when it comes to horology and some will question the price for a Quartz watch.