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Recently I was afforded the opportunity to review a Bianci chronograph. The company has a great website which can be seen at Roberto Bianci Watches : Le Chateau Watches : Affordable Designer Watches : Ceramic Watches : Chronograph Watches : Professional Commando Watches : Diamond Watches . The watch that I have reviewed was their B265 chronograph. I have to admit that I was quite excited to check out this watch as I have always been interested in ceramic bracelets and cases. Unfortunately due to restrictive pricing I could never afford to really check out the material. Thankfully there is now a price point that I have yet to see duplicated in the ceramic watch market. More on the value of the Bianci line in my review.

I received the watch directly from their US representative and the presentation of the watch rivals watches that are in my collection valued at double the cost of the B265. The watch arrived in a very well done presentation box with the company name on the top. Inside the outer carton the watch itself was housed in a very nice leather case with a decorative trim emblazoned with the words BIANCI SWISS. The watch itself sat on a standard cushion and all the surfaces of the watch were wrapped in a protective plastic covering. I felt like the presentation box was appealing, and protective. Also in the box I received a warranty card and instructions for the movement. They were even kind enough to remind the purchaser that the watch has a screw down crown.

The case and crystal are very well done. Ceramic cases are usually a shiny finish but ceramic is very scratch resistant. The B265 also has a sapphire crystal. Due to the scratch resistant qualities of the crystal, the case and the bracelet, I suspect that this watch will be a very handsome sports watch despite the rigors of every day wear. I have worn the watch for a week and can see no "desk swirls" or any marks on the watch at all. The ceramic and sapphire materials at this price point are really quite an exceptional find. According to the Bianci website the B265 is regularly priced at 499.99 but is on a special price of 224.99 right now. Honestly a sapphire crystal and ceramic materials are hard to come by on the market for under 500.00. At either price, I would consider this piece a value given the materials.

The fit and finish of the watch are exceptional as well. I have looked for flaws, dings, or uneven fit and cannot find any errors in the watch that I have. The chronograph pushers and the main crown have a metal finish that stands out against the black shiny finish of the case. There are no uneven gaps around the pushers at all, and the crown screws down very securely. The exterior of the fixed bezel also has a metal finish while the top has the black ceramic look. The bezel has flat surfaces that span from hour marker to hour marker. The bezel also has attractive screws set in it at 2:00, 4:00, 6:00, 8:00, 10:00 and 12:00. While the screws probably offer no structural significance other than to possibly hold the bezel to the case, the look is quite sporty and gives the watch a nice "industrial" look. The case also has a screw down stainless steel case back that is inscribed with the following. SAPPHIRE CRYSTAL, ALL CERAMIC, SWISS MOVEMENT, 5ATM WATER RESISTANT, BIANCI B265.

The watch comes equipped with a Swiss quartz ISA 8172-220 chronograph movement. The center second hand is used with the chronograph function and remains stationed at 12:00 when not in the chronograph mode. The sub dial at 1:00 displays the seconds. The sub dial at 6:00 has a nice day pointer complication that changes days at midnight and the dial at 10:00 is used to display minutes when in the chronograph mode. The watch has a 30 minute chronograph function. One feature I discovered that I enjoy is the resetting of the main second hand. Unlike many other movements that "snap" the chronograph second counter back in place, the ISA 8172 allows the second hand to "slowly" reset to its stationary position.

The dial itself is very attractive with silver backed sub dials against a black textured background. This is my first negative comment on the watch. While its appearance is attractive, in some lighting it can be hard to sometimes see the sub dial hands against the similar colored background. Usually tilting the watch slightly alleviates this issue though. The hour markers are "coffin" style at all the hour markers except 12:00, 3:00, and 9:00 markers which are displayed with Arabic numerals. The 6:00 markers are non existent due to an attractive plate which defines the day pointer dial. The main hands are easy to read and have luminescent paint applied. The lume is rather faint, but read-able all night. Beneath the 12:00 marker the dial reads BIANCI SWISS. The chapter ring of the watch has minute markers and each hour marker is defined by Arabic numerals 05-60.

My only fault with the watch is with the bracelet and the case lugs. The lugs are designed in such a way as to be exclusive of any other kind of bracelet or strap. In other words the watch has an integrated bracelet design. The bracelet links are faceted which gives the watch a very sport look, particularly in bright light. I have gotten several compliments about the look of the bracelet. But I often like to switch out straps and bracelets and that can't be done on this watch. The case is designed to look as if it has an approximate 20mm lug width but it is only done with a designed groove in the case. My next criticism comes in the bracelet clasp. While I do love the streamlined look of a nice locking double deployment "butterfly style" clasp, this type of clasp rarely allows for micro adjustments like many of the popular "diver style" bracelets. This means that you may have a hard time getting that "just right" fit. I may be lucky in that after removing the maximum number of links that I could, the bracelet fit my 6 3/4 " wrist comfortably. However, if your wrist is smaller than mine, you may have a loose wearing watch.

Another issue with the bracelet is the pin style. I appreciate the added security that comes with a pin and collar design. But it certainly makes sizing the watch a challenge. This style of bracelet pin is used by many companies including Seiko and Citizen. But one must take special care when sizing the watch. If you are not experienced wit this design, I suggest caution. Most jewelers can size a bracelet of this sort, but I have had issues with lost and damaged collars even from reputable jewelers. I have been collecting watches for over 10 years, I have many watches with simple split pins, and I have never had a bracelet fail. Again the pin and collar system may appear more secure, but for collectors who like to size their own watches, it's often a challenge.

In conclusion I think that the strongest interest for me personally in this watch is the case, and crystal material offered at this price point. Honestly before discovering Bianci watches I thought I would never have an opportunity to wear a ceramic watch due to price. Bianci has ceramic watches in many different styles and this makes them very affordable. In terms of case and crystal material I would give the B265 9 out of 10. You just don't see very many ceramic watches with sapphire crystals at this price. In terms of the movement and functions I would score the B265 at 7 out of 10. Personally I am not a fan of day pointer movements, but the ISA movement does exactly what it should. In terms of design and appearance I would rate the B265 a solid 8 out of 10. The watch is attractive and sporty and has a very elegant yet tough appearance. In regards to bracelet function and design I would have to rate the B265 6 out of 10. The bracelet is safe and secure, but with sizing issues, the lack of micro adjustments and the integrated design I can't rate it much higher.
Overall, if you are interested in a ceramic cased chronograph with a solid and distinctive design, I cannot find a reason to not try out a Bianci sport watch.

I am also very excited that Bianci is offering Watch U Seek members a special coupon code for 20% off of a purchase from their site. All you need to do is enter the code "useek265" in the coupon code box, when purchasing and you get 20% off.
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