Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Review: Atlantic Seacrest Large Automatic

Atlantic Seacrest Large Automatic

A Swiss Made Watch maker independent of the Swatch Group, it's a relatively rare brand. Atlantic was founded by Eduard Kummer in 1888 at Bettlach, Switzerland as a firm named EKB that manufactured parts for pocket watches. It's not as old as some Swiss brands, but has a respectable history. In the early 20th Century EKB started making wristwatch ebauches (major portions of movements). During the 1920's, they started making complete "water resistant" watches and the name was changed to "Atlantic" to reflect their water resistance. Most wristwatches made at that time were not even remotely water resistant! During the 1930's Atlantic introduced auto-winding movements into their watches, and incorporated a "speedswitch" ratchet into their movements for quickly advancing the date in the 1960's.

Atlantic was nearly battered to death by the Japanese Quartz Revolution in the 1970's (like nearly all the Swiss watch industry). Many Swiss firms shifted marketing to Asian and Far East Third World countries that didn't have watch battery distribution or availability. Atlantic looked a much shorter distance East for a market, to the other side of the Iron Curtain, which also did not have watch batteries. To this day, Atlantic has a strong presence as a well-known high quality brand in countries such as Bulgaria, Romania, Poland and Hungary.

Atlantic's primary models are the Worldmaster (25j ETA 2824-2), Worldmaster GMT (21j ETA 2893-2), and Seacrest (ETA quartz or 25j 2824-2). The Seacrest is more a collection than a model with a variety of dials, two case sizes (35mm and 38mm), and quartz or auto movements (in both case sizes). The basic style spanning all Seacrest variants can be characterized as Bauhaus simplicity.

This specific example is the large Seacrest Automatic; 38mm diameter and 43mm lug-to-lug. It's powered by a 25j ETA 2824-2 that drives dauphin hands around a pale gray subtle sunburst pattern dial. It's only 10mm thick; amazing for the ETA movement inside. Execution is superlative, with a very slightly domed sapphire crystal, sapphire display back, and decorated movement including signed rotor. The plain case is a high polish mirror finish. Bracelet is likewise mirror finish links. Although the band is only 2.5mm thick, which matches the thinness of the watch head, it's 20mm wide with solid, screw links and a concealed butterfly clasp. The lack of a bezel and large dial makes the watch appear larger than its actual diameter.

The simple Bauhaus style won't appeal to all. It's most decidedly a dress watch without any lume. Although a design with high polish steel hands and applied arabic indices risks having them visually lost on a pale gray dial, they don't in the Seacrest. They're simply not bold while their size and modest height above the dial surface gives them legibilty, even in lower light levels. If you prefer an Art Deco type style to the Seacrest Bauhaus, consider their Worldmaster collection.

  • 38 mm diameter
  • 43 mm lug-to-lug
  • 10 mm thick
  • 20 mm wide X 2.5 mm thick solid screw link stainless steel band
  • ETA 2824-2 25 jewel 28,800 bph auto movement
  • Stainless steel case, crown and back (with display window)
  • Slightly domed sapphire crystal
  • Signed crown and rotor
  • Sunburst pattern dial
  • No bezel "All Dial" design
MSRP in the U.S. is $1050 (as listed by the U.S. distributor). With some careful shopping it's not difficult to find various Atlantic on-line dealers with the entire collection discounted to very reasonable prices. The large Seacrest Auto can be had for half the MSRP, often less. Takes a little searching to find the on-line dealers in the U.S., but the deep discounting it's worth the effort.

Atlantic's Web Site
Note: I have no affiliation or association with Atlantic, or any of their distributors or dealers, other than having bought an Atlantic Seacrest from a dealer in Switzerland.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for reviewing this watch, it's been hard to find much information so was very glad to see you'd taken the trouble to do so.


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