First of all let's just get this out of the way...it's pronounced like this: FEE-YA-TA. It's three characters, 飞亚达 (Fēi yà dá). So when pronounced it would be with three syllables.
Fiyta is a brand that has been around since 1987, and is currently one of the most successful Chinese watch brands both abroad and at home here in China. They have a very wide selection of watches from sporty to elegant and everything in between. Fiyta has sponsored of the Chinese manned spaceflight program since 2003 and their watches were actually worn during China's first spacewalk, which is just pretty cool. I hope to be bringing you a lot more Fiyta watch reviews soon because there are a lot of their watches that I really enjoy. The brand sources movements from various suppliers, including ETA and Miyota (the watch featured here), as well as domestic manufactures. But the big news this year in the China watch world was the announcement of the collaboration between Fiyta and the Beijing Watch Factory, which you can read about in detail here.
Fiyta GA8490 Photographer
Ok, so on to the Photographer. When it comes to watches, or fashion, or any other item I choose to use or wear daily, I try to avoid gimmicks. I don't mind a little something extra, but I would like that extra something to at least be practical in theory. So I see this watch with interchangeable bezels that alter the appearance of the watch face to resemble a camera lens, and the first thought that goes through my mind is this: Why?
Why? Why not. I think one thing that separates some watch enthusiasts from others is how seriously they take themselves. Let's be honest, not many people actually need a watch at all, much less all of the functions and favorite complications that we love. We wear watches because we appreciate the history, the mechanics, the design, or because they make us feel a certain way. At the end of the day we all have our own reasons, and to each his own. I might not walk down the street with a 49mm camera lens on my wrist, but if I see you wearing one I'm certainly going to be interested! Gimmick? Perhaps. But I appreciate any brand that's willing to take a risk and do something different just for the simple fun of it.
So as mentioned above, the watch comes with interchangeable bezels. The pusher at 10 o'clock allows you to manually unscrew the bezel and change it out with another. There is a wide 49mm bezel that resembles something like a wide angle camera lens filter, as well as a sleek 'lens cover' bezel with a textured leather appearance and eye catching red stitching. The cover bezel has a small window through which the time can be read. Another notable thing about this watch is its use of discs in place of hands to tell the time, reminiscent of another watch I recently reviewed here. The hour is indicated at the 9 o'clock position. A red arrow on another smaller disc indicates the minutes, and the seconds are indicated by the only hand on the watch. In the image below left, the time is 9:59, and 40 seconds.
Changing the bezels is actually pretty fun. The action is smooth and easy but doesn't feel fragile at all. The pieces are solid and firm and lock into place when the pusher is released. Check out this video I found on youtube.
The watch with the normal bezel is about 44mm wide, and the case and bracelet are black Ion-plated steel. It's a fairly thick watch, at about 16mm. The Miyota Automatic is visible through the case back.
The price I've seen in China is around 9,800RMB (1,500USD), which is consistent with prices I've seen elsewhere online. Fiyta does have have online retail outlets available in the US, so a simple google search should find you some results. More Fiyta here soon!