Craig of That Dapper Chap reviews the Crowder ATP watch and tells you how to get a 20% discount when you buy.
|The four Crowder watch designs|
Founded by James Rea as a very successful Kickstarter campaign, the story of how the Crowder ATP watch came to be is a genuinely heart warming one, and I am sure that this along with a beautiful design has made the campaign the success that it is.
|The watch that James inherited from his Grandfather|
During World War Two, James’s grandfather was issued an Army Timepiece as many British servicemen were. Many years down the line James was lucky enough to inherit his watch. James loved that his watch had a unique style compared to modern watch design and that the materials had much more character.
The watch had a classic but minimal style, since it was a utility piece issued to all troops.
|James Grandfather Frank Crowder (right)|
James is second generation in a family specialising in Jewellery and Watchmaking, and has been learning traditional skills from a young age. Inspired to recreate a version of his Grandfathers watch he set out to make a modern timepiece with that same classic style, making use of high quality materials from a bygone era and the Crowder ATP watch was born which I shall review for you now.
|James Rea the creator of the Crowder watch in his family workshop|
As we’ve established this review focusses on the Crowder ATP watch. With its classic styling and vintage feel it’s a watch that is going to appeal to a lot of gentlemen.
The watch features a vintage style solid brass case and dial which has luminosity allowing you to see the hands in the dead of night. In addition it boasts a vintage style domed acrylic glass and a screw down stainless steel case back.
|The black dial version with yellow and black strap|
This is a smaller watch and is like the Times Weekender sizewise. The face has numbers at each hour mark and minute marks along with second hand subdial.
I particularly like the shape of the hands which remind me of a vintage airplane propeller.
|Time for an espresso. My own Crowder watch with cream face|
Priced at £149.00($226)I think it’s a very reasonable cost and fits in well with other watches in the marketplace that have removable straps such as the Daniel Wellington, making it a very accessible and wearable item for the majority of normal guys like you or I that simply cannot afford that £3,000 Rolex and want something less ‘showy’ and ostentatious on their wrist.
|The blue faced watch with blue and yellow Nato style band|
|The silver dial version with black leather strap|
Packaging & Presentation
For me this is where the Crowder watch makes one of it’s bests statements. This element alone shows that a great deal of thought and consideration has gone into this timepiece and that there was a true passion and genuine personal story behind its creation.
|My Crowder watch in its tin box with the guarantee card|
My Crowder ATP watch arrived in its own presentation case which is based on a World War Two ration tin which I just love. Inside my watch nestled snuggly in a specially shaped foam cushion. With it I found a guarantee card, which itself is based on a World War Two ration card, maintaining that true heritage story. It’s this attention to detail that makes me love this watch just a little bit more.
|A full view of the Crowder presentation tin|
The watch works perfectly. I set the time at Greenwich meantime using the speaking clock as I do with all watch reviews, and I checked in a day later to see how it faired. I’m pleased to tell you that it kept perfect time.
|My own watch fitted with an alternative strap|
The watch feels solid and more expensive than its price. The crown is nice and stable, moves well and snaps back healthily into its position.
It’s lightweight and is very comfortable on the wrist. The beautifully soft calf leather strap is particularly nice against the skin.
The watch is also protected by a 2 year warranty just in case there are any manufacture defects.
|The Crowder collection|
If you’re looking for a well made, classic style watch with a strong vintage feel this might be the one for you.
If however you’re in the market for a less subtle timepiece, something large that makes a statement, this is not it. This watch is relaxed and informal, it doesn’t shout, and the owner wears the watch rather than the other way around.
|The embossed calf leather watch strap|
Pro’s & Con’s
The story behind the watch and the true vintage feel is a very strong selling point for me. As I said earlier it is lightweight and not cumbersome in any way. You can put it on and not know it’s there.
The fact that you are able to change the strap is a massive bonus as you can change the strap every day to suit your outfit for that day.
|My vintage style Crowder watch|
On the less positive side the furniture on the strap is quite chunky and I can’t help but feel that if they were a little smaller they would look more in proportion to the face. They are not intrusive and do suit the general styling but for me they take the eye away from the face.
The size of the watch could be a pro or a con, depending whether you’re a large watch wearer or a small watch person. I am perfectly happy with it’s size but I’d be equally happy if it was larger (wouldn’t all men)
Having said that we must remember that this is a sensitive replica of a much loved watch and respects the original dimensions.
|Side view of the crystal dome and heavy duty brass case|
One last observation is that the distance between the lugs isn’t wide enough to accommodate the many Nato straps that I already have for my other watches which all share the same size of strap. This means that I will have to buy additional straps just for this watch or just stick with the original and the one other I have which happens to fit.
|The Crowder watched fitted with an alternative strap|
The team were a bit split here as the watch is very specific in it’s charm. Some of the team immediately noted the vintage style while others needed to be told the story.
This watch isn’t for some members of the team who prefer a very modern or a minimalist look.
|The blue raced watch with blue and yellow nato style band|
My particular version appealed more to the ladies than the gents. The ladies thought it was classic and classy while a couple of the men thought it had a slightly feminine look and prefer large chunkier stainless steel watches which this most certainly is not. Having said that they did feel that the watches with the black and blue faces had a much more masculine look to them.
They all liked the fact that the strap can be changed at will and thought this was a real bonus.
|My own Crowder watch|
Overall I’m a fan. I love the look and I love the concept. James is keeping his Grandfather’s memory alive, and sharing his story makes the watch feel like a very personal item and one with a lot of thought and heart in its creation.
|Vintage styling with the Crowder watch|
James has very kindly agreed to give That Dapper Chap readers a HUGE 20% discount when you buy one of his watches. That’s £30 off! How great is that! Just go to CrowderGB.com choose your watch and then add DAPPER20 at checkout to get your discount. Easy peasy!