Una vez que se publicó la reseña del Tempore Lux Racing One Chrono Mechanical me puse a pensar en la segunda entrevista que le hice a David Ramírez Jiménez en la que nos explicaba que, muy a mi pesar, la mayoría de clientes de la marca eran de fuera de España, así que me puse manos a la obra a traducirla al inglés, lo mismo que había hecho en Invicta Grand Diver 3045 review in English.
|Case||316L stainless-steel. 41mm of diameter without crown. 14mm height|
|Dial||Silver background with blue subdials|
|Bezel||Not moveable Stainless-steel|
|Case back||Screw-down with exhibition window|
|Strap||Stainless-steel 20mm width|
|Functions||Hour, minutes, seconds, chronograph|
|Water resistance||10 ATM|
|Movement||Seagull ST1901. 21.600 bph. 21 jewels|
|Complications||Manual hand-winding, 30 minutes chronograph|
|Performances||-30/+30 seconds/day. 42 hours power reserve|
|Origin||Designed and assembled in Spain|
|RRP||599€ (offer 479€ using promo code JGC20%)|
This is how a Racing One is born. A conscientious process full of details
I already tested with a lot of details the prototype and its different versions, so just as a summary, recall the Racing One Chronograph Mechanical range consists of four variants:
Any of those can be chosen with either a stainless-steel bracelet or a hand-made genuine leather strap by Jacobstraps. Similarly regarding the mechanism, it can come with a Swanneck regulator or without.
I reviewed the prototype for the 01 version, the classic panda. At that time the 04 already catch my eyes, more modern, but keeping same spirit. For that reason I asked Tempore Lux about the most sold variants. To my surprise, and guess that yours too, with a great difference, most popular version was the red and white 03. Then mine -04- in silver and blue, after it, the 02 in blue and white and finally the 01 in silver and black.
Developing a watch is not an easy task, since the idea comes to the head of David Ramírez until it finally achieves getting the watch in our wrist, there is a lot of time in the middle, and also a lot of stages. He already explained that in his interview: concept, several sketches, computer 3D model, prototype creation, fine tuning… And everything in an iterative form until result is successful.
Once prototypes were finished, at Tempore Lux performed some adjustments over what we already known, basically case diameter being reduced from 42mm to 41mm. Then the order to all suppliers is issued according to the brand specifications and designs: cases, dials, case backs, crowns, glassed, movements, bracelets, straps, etcetera.
While parts are being manufactured they are shipped to Tempore Lux HQ in Mallorca where all individual batches are received individually. David carefully checks them all to assure the quality is what the looks for, and that there are no problems.
With all the material finished and verified, it is the time to deliver it to Miguel Ángel from S’hora des rellotge, at about 6 miles from Temporelux, he will be the one responsible of assembling one by one the Racing One watches, and the person in charge of assuring its quality, hermeticism, and adjustment of the caliber. To make shipping to the customer the faster possible, this deliver was split in two batches. First will come models 01, 02 and 03 going through the whole chain first, and then the 04 once it was finished.
Everything starts with a control before the assembling. The movement is checked to make sure it works fine, and a first adjustment is done.
The dial is assembled. It requires to place the hands and the caliber, something that is not trivial and that was showed in a complete way in the video from S’hora des rellotge at their Youtube channel.
In the Racing One, the glass comes from the factory already assembled in the case, so it is only a matter of casing the dial and the movement. This requires to adjust the stem and the crown making them perfectly aligned, and then screwing down the case back.
The chronometry at 0 hours is checked, and then rechecked again at 24. All measurements are written and documented. During first 24 hours, the chronograph is started to check if works properly and resets to zero with no issues.
Then it comes the hermeticity test, again documenting its results. Finally the bracelet or the strap is attached to the lugs of the case.
Watches are now complete, but I would like to show you the whole process, in this case, with a particular unit of the watch. It is a Racing One 04 with silver dial and blue subdials, it is equipped with the swan neck regulator and mounts a steel bracelet. Do you guess who is the owner? Exactly, it is mine, the timekeeper that will star this post.
The assembled watches return again to Tempore Lux where each one will be checked.
Using a watchmaker loupe, it is checked against defects that could have been not noticed before, or either during transport. The magnification allows to appreciate details that perhaps with the naked eye would escape.
Even if Miguel Ángel regulated them with the timegrapher, David rechecks them to guarantee its performance.
Each unit is numbered and properly documented in the assembly reports, so at Tempore Lux is simply a matter of checking that all tests were correct. With the same unit number the customer who purchased it is identified, and the parcel can be prepared. Here you will see the number 128, the one already seen in the S’hora des rellotge offices.
The wooden box is prepared, user documentation is signed (origin’s certificate, thanks letter and instructions manual), and the packaging is started.
Two days after that, the Tempore Lux crossed the Mediterranean sea, arriving without issues from Marratxí to Barcelona.
The packaging counts
During the prototype review I already advanced that at the time of writing, that was just a temporary packaging. It was known that for the final version it will be completely different to any other watches of the brand, and that the box will be made of wood.
First impressions are really good, the box offers a plus of elegance, while reinforcing the vintage reminiscences in which the design is inspired. Everything is coherent, because it is about that, to be inspired by the past, but doing it with the current materials and techniques. It is not a solid and thick wood, but something lighter. The hinges are metallic, it includes a black velvety base so it will not damage the furniture where you will place it.
Interior is made of a brown material, it can be leather or similar, providing good feelings and an outstanding appearance.
We can find the result of the waterproofing test, and obviously the watch.
Until now we have been talking about quality, but it is the time to talk about customization, something that I have discussed on several occasions with Tempore Lux and where I am glad that they have listened to me. It demonstrates that micro-brands can provide an intangible in the form of individuality that is impossible for a large established brand to offer. Small differences that have an impact on the perception we have of the product. Inside the envelope branded by TL we find a letter thanking us for the purchase. It is laid out electronically, but it is customized with our name.
Best thing comes right away, it is the certificate of origin where both Miguel Ángel the assembler and David the watchmaker hand-sign the document identifying our specific unit and detailing the quality controls they have passed. The idea is great, a document that really complements the value of the watch. Although if possible, I would have liked to have the little card that they used in S’hora des rellotge to control the chronometry of the watch, in a similar way to the impression of hermeticity proof that I received.
Even if is getting popular in Spain, most sales from Temporelux come from the outside, the reason why the instructions manual is in English.
Start your engines…
The case is cushion-shaped, it has a diameter of 41 millimeters excluding the crown. As I had explained, it is the same as in the prototypes with the exception that it was 42mm. Since that is the only change in the watch, I instruct you to read the test of the Tempore Lux Racing One Chrono Mechanical Prototype, because I will focus on the differences derived by its assembling and quality control in Spain instead of Asia, in the stainless-steel bracelet instead of the leather strap, and in the dial colored silver and blue versus the silver and black.
It keeps the brushed finish in the top, while the rest is mirror polished. It arises to be something important because combined with the polished steel bracelet, some might think that it is out of tune. This is not the case, rather the opposite, because the lugs are finished in gloss the bracelet seems to be an extension of it, clearly differentiating what is the bracelet from what is the dial.
The 20mm width between the lugs is kept, going to a concept that, although we have already seen in the past in the now discontinued Tissot Seastar PR-516 GL, has hardly been used. It perforated, an obvious tribute to the racing straps of the time, but using metal. As soon as I saw the first pictures of it I was already captivated, it was different, but at the same time it maintained all the legacy of racing watches. The links are solid and quite thick, exuding an excellent build quality.
To proof it the prototype with the leather strap and a 1mm wider case I weight 121 grams, while in this one it reached 201 grams. This is 80 grams more, giving a clear idea of its solidity; even if the end-links are not solid.
It has a folding clasp with push button for opening and a safety lock. It comes signed and counts three micro-adjustments that are more than enough in a watch which is not intended for professional diving. So far everything is perfect, however the feelings of that clasp are not the same as the rest of the bracelet. It is acceptable, but it does not reach the level of the whole watch. The leather straps crafted by Jacobo Ramírez can be purchased separately at 99€, but not the bracelet. So my recommendation is to buy the Racing One with the steel bracelet, and then buy the strap separately.
There are more changes through. The dial in this 04 version, compared with the 01 in the prototype I revied against the 01 of the prototype that I tested. Of course the color in the subdials changes, something that would not be remarkable, but it is. I think with this scheme in Tempore Lux they have been very accurate. They have used a petroleum blue tone that varies between a very dark gray and an almost tropical sea blue. The bicompax chronograph dials are enhanced by the internal bezel that uses the same color.
it should be noted, despite the fact that it is redundant with the prototype already reviewed, that its crystal is a sapphire with anti-reflective coating, which being slightly convex, produces a subtle lens effect; the rear window is also made from sapphire and not mineral glass as we see in even much higher priced watches; the lume type Swiss Super-LumiNova C3 even if not having too much surface available to be applied, it reaches a great performance offering good luminosity and lasting long; or the 10 ATM (100 meters) water resistance not very usual in retro-inspired watches.
There are no major changes on the rest. So feelings coming from its finishings and materials are comparable. They appear to me as typical from a higher priced watch.
Hand-wound and chronograph
We have the same caliber as in the prototype, a Seagull/Tianjin ST1901 that inherits from the historic Swiss Venus 175 movement in production between 1942 and 1960, that is, despite being a current product, it retains all the essence of those times. I already commented that it is surprising how beautiful it is and how well decorated it comes, nothing to do with a Japanese or a Swiss caliber to begin with.
I ordered it with the optional «swan neck regulator», an invention that dates back to the American watchmaker George Reed who patented it in 1867, and engineered to allow the movement gear to be adjusted finely, but also reducing the risk that once fixed, it will move and therefore become out of adjustment. Additionally, its aesthetics also seems unquestionable to me.
In the pre-series prototype we judged the performance of the caliber as good, giving a more than respectable +12.25 seconds per day. In this final version, considering that it is a caliber that beats only at 3 Hz. (21,600 bph), I was expecting slightly better results thanks to the work of «S’hora des rellotge», but I would never have bet what it achieved in the timegrapher: -1 second per day while fully wound. Also with a zero beat error and almost perfect consistency.
I already mentioned it at the time, but thanks to its design with a column wheel instead of cams, the sensations we have when acting on the watch are extremely pleasant and fast, something that was essential for timing purposes in those years. It is also noticeable that the winding mechanism works more precisely, perhaps because of what Miguel Ángel explained about the alignment of the stem.
A world of feelings
«To race really fast, you have to slow down a second after what fear tells you, and accelerate a second before what logic dictates»
That sentence was said by Gilles Villeneuve (1950-1982) the driver who was active until his fatal accident at the Zolder track (Belgium) and I think it makes clear the historical legacy of that time. A competition where the human level still prevailed, where things happened at speeds of seconds. A time when a good chronograph was the signature tool of pilots and enthusiasts. Well into the 21st century with electronics fully introduced in our lives, things move at nanoseconds, magnitudes that neither our bodies nor our brains are capable of perceiving.
This Tempore Lux is without any doubt the watch for those who want to fee all of that, the apogee in which the purity of the motor and watchmaking converged. Because it is true that a current car is much faster, more efficient, safer and therefore more practical; but it no longer communicated the sensations of being connected to the machine.
Starts with the most obvious, that is its winding mechanism without automatic complication. A feature that makes you be aware that the watch needs you and that it moves thanks to the fact that you wind it up every day. Of course you could do it without any problems every day and a half, but you already know that it is best to do it every day and at the same time. As an experience of possession, this also develops a habit in us that extends the enjoyment phase of the watch, not only when we wear it, but up to the moment we pick it up before putting it on to wind it.
It is a watch that feels somewhat larger than those 41mm may indicate, firstly because of the 49mm distance between lugs, and secondly because its weight that in my wrist configuration (removing 4 links) gives 183 grams. However, it is not like the Vintage One, it coexists perfectly with the cuffs of a shirt if they are not too tight sitting on the wrist like a driving glove.
To this I shall add being a watch that has been designed and assembled in Spain, a value proposition that in addition to have an intangible side, also has others in which it is noticeable.
Maybe my point of view is partial because I am a lover of watches and classic cars, so it is an idea I like. I admit that I have tried to find some negative impressions, and I have not succeeded. Everything seems incredible to me, a pure watch to travel to the past.
Although it may seem unbelievable, it is almost impossible to find a manual winding chronograph that is inspired by the races of the 60s and 70s. In the previous review I mentioned the more affordable Seagull 1963 and its variants (Suggess and similar) with the same caliber and an aesthetic that has nothing to do with Racing One, and also the Vintro Le Mans, which although similar, was an automatic. Currently things have been changing, and pending the launch of the Tissot PRX Chronograph, we have watches like the Soldat Promessa or the Straton Comp Driver Automatic. However, both the Tissot and the Straton Watch Company and the Soldat Watch are much more expensive and use an automatic caliber.
If you are looking for a manual winding watch, this Racing One is a very good choice. But if you are also interested in retro inspiration or in the automotive industry, without no doubt this is the watch you were looking for. Now that we are no longer in preorder it will cost you €599, but if you use the promo code «JGC20%» you will have it at €479, which being below the €500 barrier, is great.
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|Unique and attractive design
Quality designed and assembled in Spain
|Quality of the bracelet closure
High official price