First impressions of the SAWC Albatros (en inglés) >>>

Esta review está en inglés con el objectivo de “internacionalizar” este precioso reloj (pena la actual casi inexistente presencia de la marca). SAWC/Albatros031s.jpg

I’ve acquired a taste for military watches and have been mainly focused on that style of watches lately.
SAWC (San Antonio Watch Company), named after his founder Mr. José San Antonio, is a Spanish company that started in 2004. From what I’ve seen, it looks to be a “one man show”, as he gave up of updating his web site, because he got involved in new projects that are showing hard to develop (a diver, the Odissey, and a chronograph). As of April 2006 D. José San Antonio commented that the quality of the Odissey’s prototype bezel wasn’t meeting the standards he wanted. He was expecting a new prototype and, if the problem wasn’t solved, he was considering a change of supplier, which would delay the start of production, foreseen for around August. This info hasn’t been updated, the company passed serious problems and its survival was only possible by the hand of a spanish retailer, let’s see what the future might bring (meanwhile a new GMT and a limited edition were produced).

The Albatros is their first model. The styling, on the whole, results rather original, although with a clear reminiscence of Rolex Oyster case and Tutima DI 300 dial.

Mr. José San Antonio must be an admirer of Tutima because, as Tutima, he uses the designation of “Instrument watches” along with the brand name and also connected Albatros with flight testing (Tutima chronographs are official standard equipment of NATO pilots and the German Air Force). In the case of the Albatros, it was selected as part of the personal equipment to fulfil the professional activities of EADS CASA (Spanish branch of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company) test pilots. The watch comes with the respective certificate. SAWC/Albatrostestcert.jpg

And the flight test table on the EF 2000 (Euro Fighter). SAWC/Albatrosflighttable.jpg

The main characteristics of the watch are in this table: SAWC/Albatrosspecs.jpg

Basically it’s a 200m WR all stainless steel watch (including the bezel, with serigraphed numbers and marks) with the robust ETA 2824-2 inside, so only complications are central seconds and date. The bezel is 60 clicks, unidirectional, with no lume mark. It’s fit on a solid 4mm bracelet with screwed SEL and links, and a regular clasp. SAWC/Albatros025s.jpg

Crown is big and with a very fine grip, an important detail as it’s a screw-down crown and the case has nice and big crown guards. Lume of the hands is great, while the lume of the hour marks on the dial is weak; overall the hour reading at night is easy. SAWC/Albatros035s.jpg

This watch has a lot of details that really appeal to me. Sapphire crystal with AR coating on both sides, crown, clasp, and caseback marked with the cool cross of the brand (a Templiers cross), black chapter ring with 13 to 24 hour numbering, lumed seconds hand, SEL with salient center link and the registered SLN red circle marked, all contributing for a fine military look. SAWC/Albatros029s.jpg SAWC/Albatros030s.jpg

Finally, considering that this watch costs NIB 450 euros and can be found used (although not very frequently) for 250-350 euros, depending on condition, I think this is a fantastic value. SAWC/Albatros009s.jpg