“There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail;
There gloom the dark, broad seas.” — Alfred Lord Tennyson
A ‘dromo’ is an ancient Greek word for a beacon, or a seamark, used to guide mariners, but it is also the Latin word for a seafaring vessel. Pick your poison. Either definition suits the latest launch for Alcadus. The DROMO certainly makes me want to take to the ocean. Beneath the glorious box sapphire dome of this blue reference, you might even think they’ve captured the seas.
The DROMO harkens back to those early skin divers of the 50s. Think Zodiac, Blancpain, Longines…Its 316L stainless steel case is even appropriately sized for the era at 39mm in diameter and a modest 45.5mm lug to lug. I particularly like the slim lug design here, which allows the circular silhouette of the bezel to form the majority of the case shape when viewed from above. They protrude ever so slightly beyond the bracelet endlinks, as well, for a real vintage profile. The large unprotected crown, which is signed and lumed, also feeds into the vintage vibe. The DROMO is largely brushed, but for a slim chamfer of polish along the outside of the lugs. The knurling on the bezel is also book-ended by two thin lines of polish.
However, the one area where the watch is all modern is its tall sapphire box dome. Despite the small dimensions of the watch, it is unmistakeable on wrist in the way it catches and distorts light around its outer edges. In conjunction with the Sunray Blue of the dial, it can appear like stormy skies one moment and smooth sailing the next. There is very little text on the DROMO, and the simple applied dot and baton indices provide for a very clean design. The sword hands and custom seconds are also a great choice. All these components have been treated generously with Swiss Super-LumiNova. The sapphire bezel insert, matched to the colour of the dial, is also lumed–though less so than the dial elements.
The screwed down caseback of the DROMO has been etched with the image of an ancient Greek trireme–which could be propelled by sail, or by its three rows of oarsmen. The reference pictured here is a prototype, but has been rated for 30ATM, or 300m of water resistance.
The bracelet of the DROMO is surprisingly good. I say that because if a microbrand will cut corners to keep the retail price down, it is often at the expense of the bracelet. The DROMO has a well-executed stainless steel, fully articulating flat-link–not unlike that found on the Halios Fairwind and Universa. Though it is not beveled, it does have screwed links for easy alterations. The clasp is a simple fold-over, signed with the brand name and logo. It has seven levels of micro-adjust.
The DROMO is powered by the popular Miyota 9039, which is dateless, and offers a smooth 4Hz sweep.
|Case||316L Stainless Steel|
45.5mm Lug to Lug
12.7mm Thick (including dome)
20mm Lug Width
120-Click Bezel /w Lumed Sapphire Insert
Screwed Down Crown (Signed & Lumed)
300m Water Resistance
|Dial & Crystal||Box Sapphire Dome /w AR (5 Layers)|
Blue Sunray (modelled here)
Faceted Sword Hands
/w Custom Seconds
C3 Swiss Super-LumiNova
42-Hour Power Reserve
|Strap||Stainless Steel Flat H-Link |
/w Signed Clasp
The box sapphire crystal of the DROMO towers 2mm above the bezel. At that height, it must breathe a different mix of oxygen. It has also been coated in five layers of anti-reflective coating, so it is genuinely crystal clear. However, at even the slightest angle, it offers insane Dali-esque edge distortions. You could spend a pleasant afternoon just gazing at it. Despite this artistic expression, the dial remains highly legible. By what voodoo, I know not. But it is a sight to behold.
The stamped metal clasp of the DROMO is a bit of a let down, given the otherwise impressive specs and aesthetics. Drilled lugs would make a nice addition, as well.
The DROMO is a beautiful diver. Its high dome and attractive dial layout are a winning combination. The well machined bezel and the sapphire bezel insert–which is a is dead ringer for the dial colour–are also highlights. I’m very impressed with bracelet construction (if a little let down by the clasp). Its various nods to vintage skin divers are nicely balanced by the contemporary accoutrements and materials. Its smaller size also recognizes recent shifts in the watch market. Overall, its minimalist design language suits it, and the brand vision, well. Beyond the Sunray Blue shown here, the DROMO will be available in Sunray Green (with gilt highlights), Sunray Salmon, Yellow, Glossy White, and Black. At the moment, the DROMO is set to launch on Kickstarter early in the new year.
At the time of writing, pricing has not yet been finalized; however, the watch should retail in the neighbourhood of $300-350USD. For more information, please visit the brand website for updates.
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