Editor's Note: East Watch Review is pleased to announce our newest contributor, Ron Good. Ron is an experienced collector of both vintage and modern Chinese timepieces, and curator of the Alberta Museum of Chinese Horology in Peace River. He is the only non-Chinese honorary member of the China Horologe Association.
Y'know when you see a watch render and it looks pretty good, so you get the watch, hoping against hope that the real thing comes at least close enough? I have to say: my first reaction when I opened this one up was WoW!
I mean, I recognized it; the render I'd seen before it arrived was accurate but it looks much better in the flesh than I expected, and the render was decent enough I wanted the watch.
I've noted before that I'm very happy with my first Jiusko, a 39LSB15 diver with these specs: Dial: Sapphire / Display Type: Analog / Case material: Stainless Steel / Bezel function: Unidirectional / Calendar: Day / Item weight: 8.15 Ounces / Movement: Automatic / Water resistant depth: 200 Meters / Case diameter: 43 millimeters. Screw down crown.
It's an eye-catching casual diver, superb colour, very cool two piece case construction, silk-like solid stainless bracelet. 8.5 ounces. I love wearing it. Great bracelet. 1 pic...
Given the build quality of my that one, and especially after seeing a few more models up close and personal at Jiusko's CWCF booth in Shenzhen...
...I went looking to pick out another Jiusko now that I'm home. TL/DR: Chinese built with Japanese movements (so far, anyways).
For my next Jiusko, I looked for something lighter but still automatic, and still with sapphire. Also, I really wanted to add a ceramic bezel to my collection. I love the idea of a bezel that won't scratch under any normal circumstances.
And, yup, what I found has alla that...comes in at $365. Jiusko Model 70LSB0202
The 70LSB0202 might be described as less sporty than the Jiusko 39LSB15. Crisper might be the word, or more business-like, and I think it looks great on the wrist. Something of a black Seamaster Pro-ish vibe but without being a copy in any way. I really like its looks and it's very balanced and comfortable.
Sapphire crystal, stainless case, 43.5 millimeters x 15mm, silicone band, ceramic bezel, 4.48 Ounces (roughly half the 39LSB15's 8.5oz.), 24 jewel automatic (9105? NH35A? I'll ask and get back with an answer), textured dial, lumed hands, a very respectable 300 meters WR and a helium control valve. Screw down crown.
The bezel clicks firmly with zero play, is shiny like the ceramic it is, and is well-defined. Centers perfectly. The case is obviously solid, beautifully brushed, with contrasting polished stainless support for the ceramic bezel. The silicone band is hardly felt at all on the wrist.
I was surprised by how nicely the dial texture works. It's the Jiusko logo repeated in very small rows. On the wrist and eye-ball-to-dial, the texture is clean, fine and elegant, much better than what I'd have been satisfied with...and I hope my poor camera-fu gives it what it deserves. It's beautifully done.
The watch comes with a sturdy dive case and a very nice steel and leather(ette? doesn't matter) business card holder used to carry the warranty and manual. (I used the business card holder everywhere in Shenzhen, actually everywhere I visited in China, and when it comes to handing out business cards, it's confidence building to be the best dressed guy on the block )
Nice touch, Jiusko.)
One shortcoming, and it's still common to chinese watches, in my view...the lume on the hands is approaching OK...not as bright as the 39LSB15 which I thought was quite decent. But the lume on the indices and bezel is not really there at all. I can live with that easily because I seldom need to know the time in the dark and, if I do, the hands will let me know close enough for my purposes, but if lume is your major criteria -- and I respect that -- this watch isn't for you. Get the 39LSB15 instead.
That said, if what you're you're looking for is a good, sensibly modern sized and modern looking daily wear contender, a gentleman's desk diver at a decent price, something that is gently hefty without doubling as exercise equipment, well built and that will easily keep its looks in a business environment because of the ceramic bezel, then you could do a lot worse.
I'm just as pleased with this watch as I am with my first Jiusko, and I'm convinced the quality of my first two Jiusko watches will be there in other models. I have no reason to think otherwise.
Visit the new JiuskoUSA website now to shop these awesome watches.