My latest acquisition, from Amazon Italy. To give the watch its full title, it’s a Swiss Military Hanowa Challenge Black Carbon 6-4309.17.003. Phew!
Despite Amazon and several other retailers claiming that the case is made from stainless steel, the name Black Carbon does actually give a hint to the fact that it is made from carbon composite. Actually, Black Carbon is a strange name choice since the only part of the watch that is truly black is the crown. The case is more dark grey and even that is mixed with areas of light grey to create an unusual marbling effect. The end result is that the case and bezel look like they have been carved from grey marble or slate (hence the title). A bit different (which I like) but very difficult to photograph (which I don’t).
In these photos the surface looks quite rough, whereas in fact it isn't. The finish is matt rather than polished, but is perfectly smooth to the touch.
The strap is silicone rubber with a canvas insert, with the ends shaped to match the contours of the case. Nice and comfortable, but only one keeper for some strange reason. This hasn't proved an issue so far, but we shall see.
The use of carbon has kept the weight down to 75g, but it’s nowhere near as light as a Luminox (also carbon), probably because of the rather chunky stainless case back.
Bezel is 60 click unidirectional with a nice positive action and good grip, but there is a bit of slop.
Dial is a dark blue-grey colour and the numbers are applied rather than just printed.
Movement is the ubiquitous Ronda 515 quartz. Crystal is plain old mineral glass.
Lume is OK, it’s there and it lasts all night but it isn't particularly bright, especially the hour markers.
Naturally I couldn't resist adding lume to that bezel, but that has just emphasized the slightly lacklustre lume on the dial and hands, so I will probably have to re-lume those as well now. Doh!
Overall I'm pretty pleased with it. Not perfect and not everyones cup of tea I'm sure, but it's a bit different without going OTT and I like that.
Given the specs it's certainly not good value at the RRP of around £230 (no surprise there), but at £40 delivered I think I got a good deal.