Sometimes you throw on a pair of red shorts and a thin white tee in the waning days of summer, if only to capture whatever feeling is left of the sultriest season of the year. The right timepiece can round out the vibe, embodying that feeling around your wrist in a small but significant way.

Unwrapping the Torgoen T18 Blue Orange Carbon in late August, it hit me: this is a watch whose powers are at their peak during the final few days of summer. Between the orange silicone strap, blue carbon dial, and contrasting orange hours and arms, this sporty chronograph was made for casual wears on long days when there may be water, and definitely some sweat. The 45mm case is a hefty hunk of 316L stainless steel, measuring a substantial 14mm thick and housing a G10.212 ETA movement. If that caliber sounds familiar, it’s because the moving parts also underpin the infamous Omega x Swatch MoonSwatch. While the much-discussed quality issues surrounding Swatch’s bioceramic piece appear to be specific to its particular hardware, not the ETA movement, we will say the idea of using a rugged, reliable movement beneath a K1 mineral crystal has a certain not-too-precious appeal to it, especially when the aforementioned seasonality likely involves a certain level of activity, and possibly some water.

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The T18 is generally successfully executed. The hard points are solidly rendered, with a subtle blue anodization to the case to set it off against the orange accents. Legibility rules here, with aviation-inspired orange hands creating large, outlined shapes against the contrasting background. There’s a bit of detail around the subdials, with the 30 minute and 1/10th second timers being framed in tiny raised brackets. The 60-second timer ditches the frames, balancing out the dial’s somewhat busy ornamentation with a small dab of restraint. Rounding out the dial is a date window at 4 o’clock, and four inset trim pieces around the edge of the face with fine hash marks. There’s also a subdued, finished quality to the metal bits, though the weak link—pun intended— is the strap. Rather than echo the unassailable hue of the case, the color saturation of the orange strap feels somehow watered down. Think: more light fruit sherbet, than whole milk ice cream. While the stainless-steel buckle offers a satisfying contrast against the smooth rubbery strap, the silicone itself feels cheaper than I’d like. That said, I’m curious about how the other strap colors in the family—white, red, blue, yellow, and green—come across in person.

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At least on my 6.75-inch wrist, the 45mm Torgoen T18 wears comfortably and feels just about as big as I’d want to go given my relatively small diameter proportions. While the 24mm lug width is a bit on the wide side, the chamfered caseback creates a comfortable contact point on my wrist, and flexion in all directions yields no interference or discomfort. While the orange-on-dark-blue scheme is easy to read at a glance and the date easy to set, I find the hues a bit more typical than other colorways. Glancing at the other options, the white band and its contrast against the black carbon fiber face takes on a striking look that might be more versatile than the orange theme.

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The T18 is priced at $450 and unlike limited production Torgoens like the P51 Mustang-derived T51 ($495), this one is not limited by production numbers. How will its admittedly specific styling cues hold up as we go into autumn, and more critically, into winter? There might be a certain evergreen aspect to this timepiece’s adaptability to other seasons, though I will say it seemed most appropriate in the summer. While I wish the orange of the strap was a tad richer looking, considering its price point Torgoen is doing good things with a simple formula: substantial, easily legible timekeeping that’s rugged and usable enough to be worn every day.

Brown Hand Arm Sleeve Wood


Visit Torgoen.com for more information.