I popped into Watches of Switzerland while at Heathrow today and tried on the Supermarine Chrono blue. I didn’t know that the government had cancelled the Duty Free status of airport merchandise — even less incentive to buy from the airport now, given that you can push for 20% discount at some boutiques and dealers.

I was actually pleasantly surprised by the watch. I still think it needs a regular case back to help shed another 1mm of thickness, but its actually not as cumbersome on the wrist as the other Supermarines.

I may have actually bought the black dial if it were in stock (the assistant told me that she had sold it yesterday). I am also not a fan of the pinchy rubber strap — though the bracelet is even less impressive in the flesh (it definitely needs work on the finishing and lack of micro adjust; isn’t a patch on Omega’s fit or finishing quality).

I also tried out the Tudor root beer, but the lack of solid gold links and micro adjust put me off (though it is quite a bit thinner than the Bremont; the 40mm case size looks a bit lost on my wrist at just under 8” as well).

I really like the gilt/bronze (whatever it is) aspects on the dial and handset, which finishes the watch off nicely, and the bezel movement is an improvement on the Endurance’s (though not as snappy as Rolex or Omega’s). The blue is pretty, but I have had blue watches in the past and hated them because they’re hard to wear with anything black.

All in all, I was surprised. I think that the black model, with a stout double ended NATO (to eliminate further thickness), or black or brown leather strap, would be a nice piece. However, I am definitely not a lover of the bracelet or the rubber.

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