I’ve been subscribing to Watch Gang’s Original tier subscription for quite some time now. I’ve pretty much always felt the cost was justifiable at $30 plus $10 for shipping, and have typically been pleased with what I have received for what I spent. Watch Gang however, has increased their price to $50 plus $10 for shipping, and I wondered if I could find a better watch at that price point. I set myself the challenge of finding the best watches I could for $60 shipped to me.
This month I purchased a Bertucci DX3 Field watch from Massdrop. The watch was $50 and shipping was free. Watch Gang sent out the Elevon Aviator this month at a total of $60 for the subscription and shipping.
I’ll get things started with the Bertucci. It features a 40m polycarbonate case with fixed spring bars. It uses a Japanese quartz movement, sapphire crystal, and boasts a 50m water resistance. The watch comes on a single pass zulu strap.
First and foremost, the Bertucci is a handsome watch. 40mm is absolutely spot on for a field watch, and the offset signed crown adds character and comfort. This is one of the most comfortable watches I’ve ever worn and coupled with it’s light weight, you could easily forget you are wearing it. No date window is something that normally bothers me, but I don’t mind the absence of a date on a field watch simply because that’s how it should be. Speaking of things a field watch should be, 50m water resistance is spot on, and the lume is more than capable of overcoming low light situations.
Complaints for the DX3 were few and far between. The strap was a little stiff at first, but got better with wear. The biggest complaint has to be the fixed spring bars. I love a Barton canvas band on a field watch, but can’t go that route with this one. Nato’s are fine, but rubber or canvas could have really put this one over the top.
The Elevon Aviator features a 43mm stainless steel case with a rotating bezel, mineral crystal, Japanese quartz movement, and 50m water resistance. My particular watch came on a stainless steel bracelet with a butterfly clasp, but some members received the same watch on a leather band.
The Aviator really threw me for a loop. The name screams pilot, but the watch reads as a diver. Overall, I felt the watch had a solid feel and a nice weight. The bezel was nice and tight, and had a brushed finish that was quite attractive. The color scheme on this one took me by surprise. The chocolate dial with white and red accents really was very pleasing to me. I always worry about stainless bracelets at this price point, but this one actually felt pretty decent. No cheap plastic feeling material to be found here.
I did have quite a few complaints with the Elevon though. First off, the watch just feels confused. The name is all wrong, and it really doesn’t give off a pilot vibe. Elevon also used 304L stainless steel, which isn’t quite the same quality as 316L. I understand the watch is cheap, but I would have rather had 316L. The butterfly clasp is always a concern for me as well. A lack of micro adjustments means that it’s hard to get a good fit from the bracelet. The lume could have been improved, and it was only present on the hands and pip. By far the biggest issue here though, was the three. The way they just cut the three in half looks so strange. I wish they had just scrapped the three or the date window altogether. It’s hideous. I’ve seen watches that have managed to pull this off, but this one doesn’t even get close.
After wearing them both a few times, I really preferred the Bertucci. It had a clear and defined purpose and style. The quality was pretty close between the two, but the Bertucci just had that little bit more that put it over the edge. The Elevon did surprise me by how much I actually did like it, I just felt that it is slightly confused, and I also just can’t get around that damn three.
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