If you spend much time on social media, you might well have spotted the lovely Audric Seaborne–a Swiss-Made 500m diver, and maiden offering, from the Singapore-based startup. I will admit that I am a bit of a fanboy for the Glacier Blue reference. This is what made me reach out to founder Akshay Solomon late last year and arrange to have a look at the brand’s newest creation, The Strider.
The first prototype arrived last week, and I’ve had a good chance to experience it on wrist and in the metal ever since. I will state from the outset that I have not been disappointed.
The Strider weighs in at 42mm in diameter with a lug to lug measurement just under 48mm. Despite these slightly larger dimensions, it is a relatively slender 11.5mm thick–owing, in part, to the flat sapphire crystal. This is a multi-faceted watch with curves and angles in all the right places. While largely brushed, it has a sharp line of polish on its twelve-sided, dodecagon bezel–certainly one of the highlights in this design. Analogies to the AP Royal Oak have been bandied about in various watch forums; however, while such comparisons might be flattering, it would be quite unfair to think of the Strider as an homage.
Another of its unique features would be the sharp, pyramidical cutaway from the midsection of the watch to the lug tips, which, in turn, shrink the 42mm case size drastically, allowing it to wear much smaller. Add to this the downturned lugs and you have a very comfortable timepiece.
If the case shape doesn’t fetch you from the beginning, then surely the dial will. The reference on display here features a green dial, but all five colourways incorporate the same intricate waffle texture. Clearly defined indices and numerals, backfilled with C3 Super-LumiNova, also provide for excellent legibility both day and night. I particularly like the partially skeletonized sword hands, which arrive perfectly at both the inner and outer edge of the hour markers. The deep, angled rehaut provides further depth, and sports printed minute indicators interspersed with numerals and marine-inspired triangles at the cardinal points.
The watch is sandwiched in sapphire with its screwed down exhibition caseback, through which you can see the Swiss ETA 2824-2 and signed rotor. However, depending upon availability, this movement may be swapped for the SW200-1–a similarly speced clone. The Strider’s crown is also screwed down and smartly machined for easy manipulation. Embedded in each model is a colour-matched ring that really brings the design together. The tip of the crown is also signed and lumed. The Strider is water resistant to a depth of 200m.
The bracelet is a very tidy flat link and, like the case, is predominantly brushed with bevels along the edges. The endlinks are solid and female, allowing for a nice, secure drape. The bracelet has screw links and a milled clasp with push-button release. While there are only three levels of micro-adjust, the clasp is very nicely finished with a chamfered line of polish.
|Case||316L Stainless Steel |
/w HexaDori Anti-Scratch Coating
48mm Lug to Lug
22mm Lug Width
Screw Back & Crown (lumed)
200m Water Resistance
|Dial & Crystal||Flat Sapphire /w AR|
C3 X1 Swiss Super-LumiNova
|Movement||ETA2824-2 or SW200-1|
38-Hour Power Reserve
|Strap||Stainless Steel Bracelet |
/w Milled Clasp and Screw Links
The Strider, like the Seaborne before it, is designed in Singapore, but built and assembled in their partner factory in Neuchatel, Switzerland. This accounts for the “Swiss Made” label at the bottom of the dial. Audric also make claim to an anti-scratch coating called HexaDori which is meant to protect the timepiece from blemishes and add extra sheen. The Strider is covered by a 2-year warranty against all factory defects.
There isn’t much to criticize in the fit or finishing of the Strider; however, in the spirit of quibbles, I do find the half marker next to the date window to be a bit out of place–or perhaps its size (just slightly smaller than the window) does not work when so closely juxtaposed. Solution? Does it need a date window, at all? The addition of a numeral would balance out the dial nicely.
The Audric Strider is unique without being outlandish. In a world flooded by microbrands and conventional houses alike, that is saying something. There are echoes of the traditional field watch about its dial and the flat, circular bezel, but the watch transcends those comparisons. There are nods to the nautical in its indices and hands. Certainly its water resistance and screwed down crown lean toward the dive watch world. Ultimately, it finds itself somewhere in between, not unlike the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra, the Nautilus, or the aforementioned Royal Oak. Of course you won’t be paying those kind of prices for the Strider. In fact, you’ll find that it punches well above its price category in finishing. In a market crazed for the stainless steel sports watch, you would do well with the Strider.
Latest word is that the Strider will be available for the Early Bird price $499USD upon its Kickstarter launch in March (which is a steal, btw). It will later retail for $799USD. For more information, sign up for news and developments on the brand website.
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