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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


Walter Brennan? Singing? It can't get worse than this. Or can it?

A couple of weeks ago on one of the forums I was bemoaning the fact that I wanted a cheap Tudor snowflake hommage, and was having problems finding one. Then, a good pal of mine PM'd me and told me he had one that he wasn't wearing, and I could have it if I wished. I jumped at the chance, and a few days later, this bad boy showed up:



Now, a bit of backstory: My first "How Bad Can it Be?" was some months ago, when I tore Stauer a new one for their appalling bad Noire watch:

How Bad Can It Be? Part I--Stauer! - BDWF Forum Index Page

In this first review, I decided to see how difficult it was to find an automatic watch for around a hundred bucks; with the dollar weak and, let's face it, the Chinese economy strong, it should be difficult to find any auto for this price, but I decided to plunge in and see what was available.

The watch today is by an ebay seller and goes by the name--I think--of Tiger Concept. It's pretty much a stock Chinese case and bracelet, used, no doubt, by a hundred other fly-by-night companies to counterfeit the Rolex Submariner. It might be the exact same stock that Alpha uses in their branded watches; I don't have one on hand, so I can't say for sure. This one at least doesn't rip off Rolex too much--it's branded on the dial, and uses snowflake hands:





So I suppose it makes it closer to a Tudor hommage than anything else. The ebay site says it uses a "Pearl self-winding movement", whatever that is; I'm not sure, but it's definitely an automatic, with a 6-beat-per-second sweep. The same ebay seller shows a similar watch available, with Rollie-like Mercedes hands and a water resistance on the dial of 5000 meters (!). They also offer these things as kits, if you decide you can assemble a watch better than a child-laborer who's forced to work twenty hours a day.

Here's the rub: I was perfectly ready to assume that this watch would be every bit as horrible as the Stauer--but it isn't. It's not bad at all, really--and is some ways, it's quite good.

In terms of size, the TC is 40mm ten-to-four, 44.5 with the crown, 12.25mm thick. Lug to lug, it's 47.3mm. The bracelet is 19 and change at the lug, tapering pretty substantially to 16mm at the clasp. The links are a nice 3.7mm thick.

Okay, so the Chinese know how to use calipers and make a watch that's pretty much Sub-sized. How's about the rest of it?

The case is fairly well machined and finished--there's a lot of waviness in the reflection of the case sides where it's brightly polished, there are a few places where the brushing is a bit iffy, but there aren't any sharp edges left on the case--which is something that Deep Blue can't claim--and the edges of the bezel are well notched and the crown looks pretty good:



The bezel has the standard aluminum insert, turns okay (although it sits low on the case, and it's sometimes difficult to get a good grip) and seems to be a 120 click, although I really didn't bother counting. The markers on the bezel also line up perfectly with the hour markers--which is something that doesn't always happen with, say, Orient. The crystal I assume is mineral, with some sort of AR coating inside. The cyclops actually magnifies the calendar:



Which isn't something that Invicta can claim, although, admittedly, this is setting the bar pretty low.

The lume is weak, but it's there, and lasts for ten-to-fifteen minutes, long enough to drown, if somebody is dumb enough to use this as a diving instrument. It doesn't pass the Conjurer-quick-glance-inside-a-dark-car test, although, surprisingly, it is still bright enough to read after six hours on a dark early morning--it's actually better lume than on the Orient Mako XL--again, this is not saying much, but the XL costs at least twice as much as this watch.

The crown screws down--I don't know if it's water-tight to 200m, as the dial claims--and the winding doesn't sound gritty, like a Miyota 8215 can sound. The caseback is as sterile as nudist's convention at Chernobyl, but, again surprisingly, the endlinks appear to be solid:



Like so many budget watches, the downfall here is in the bracelet. From the lugs to the clasp, it's OK, with screwed links and fairly substantial:



But then we get to the clasp, and if this Tiger's actually got big fangs, it's also got pyorrhea:





It's very cheap, stamped steel, with that stupid Rolex pretend-link engraving. The expansion part of the clasp is also stamped, the whole thing rattles alarmingly, and the safety-closure inspires dread. There's a diver's extension, but the less said about this, the better.

Again, I'm not sure what the "Pearl" movement is, but it's not too bad in the accuracy department--on the wrist, it runs about 20 seconds slow after about ten or twelve hours. Off the wrist, dial up on my nightstand, it stays perfectly accurate after seven hours at night. Normally I'm not that big an accuracy dork, but after wearing the TC for a few days, I was pretty impressed that I didn't have to reset it--perhaps there's so much variation in the movement--which is a bad thing, BTW--that maybe the watch, like Mr. Burns' multiple health issues on The Simpsons, reaches a weird stasis and runs pretty accurately.

On the wrist, the TC feels, well, good:







It's not like wearing a handcuff, it's light, it drapes well, and it feels OK--unlike some rather expensive boutique divers I've owned, which felt like--well, handcuffs. There's a fair amount of rattle, even on the wrist, which could be from the rotor inside, banging around, something that bodes ill for the lifespan of the watch. I've read on one of the forums somebody referring to the Rolex Sub-size as the Golden Mean in sport watches, and this may well be right.

In summation, I wore the Tiger Concept snowflake for about a week, off and on; I wore it doing a bunch of yardwork, which is about as active as I get, and no problems. One could be uncharitable and say that the Chinese have been pumping out these hommages for so long, they should know what they're doing by now, but Tiger Concept (or whatever the name of this company is) produced a surprisingly good watch, for pretty much no money, and that's saying something; overall, it's a better watch than some I've owned for a lot more cash.
 

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Awesome! Thanks for the review. I've been waiting for an in-depth one of Tiger-Concept watches for a while.

I also found out earlier the pearl self-winding movement is a DG2813, and the ETA he offers is an Asian clone. Shame about that bracelet clasp, the bracelet actually looked pretty nice.
 

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ETA Watch Case for 2824 SNOW FLAKE hands submariner | eBay

This is a link to the seller and it is another name not tiger concept. the crystal is saphire. It is a KIT (you put together).
I did see the make an offer so the price of $99 is not a firm on. The cheap movement is an additional $ 30 and I have had this movement and it is jsut as reliable as the 2836 clone the guys sells so save your $ and get the cheap one. the bracelet looks nicer than the one i got on my watch (see review for 30 ATM custom Proplof diver). Not the worst bracelet but not the best either. The site says you just drop in the movement and i am wonder if it is so easy why does the seller simply sell the watch 100 Complete ? It looks nice and unique to me.

I also saw he sells the DEEP SEA homage and that one has a nicer bracelet and is also saphire. If you do not want the snowflake hands and want the mercedes hands then go with other Ebay sellers . It is the same watch and it is very nice looking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Awesome! Thanks for the review. I've been waiting for an in-depth one of Tiger-Concept watches for a while.

I also found out earlier the pearl self-winding movement is a DG2813, and the ETA he offers is an Asian clone. Shame about that bracelet clasp, the bracelet actually looked pretty nice.
Thanks for the kind words and info on the movement, Citizen V! Actually, as bad as the clasp is, it's not much worse than the one on my old Rolex Air King.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
ETA Watch Case for 2824 SNOW FLAKE hands submariner | eBay

This is a link to the seller and it is another name not tiger concept. the crystal is saphire. It is a KIT (you put together).
I did see the make an offer so the price of $99 is not a firm on. The cheap movement is $ 30 and I have had this movement and it is jsut as reliable as the 2836 clone the guys sells so save your $ and get the cheap one. the bracelet looks nicer than the one i got on my watch (see review for 30 ATM custom Proplof diver). Not the worst bracelet but not the best either. The site says you just drop in the movement and i am wonder if it is so easy why does the seller simply sell the watch 100 Complete ? It looks nice and unique to me.

I also saw he sells the DEEP SEA homage and that one has a nicer bracelet and is also saphire. If you do not want the snowflake hands and want the mercedes hands then go with other Ebay sellers . It is the same watch and it is very nice looking.
Thanks for the info, Steve! The pal who gave me the watch did, in fact, tell me that the watch was offered as a kit, although he requested that he get it from the ebay seller put together, which they did for him. In terms of absolute price, as I stated in my impressions, I was trying to limit my selections to watches priced (or street-priced) at around $100--I might have violated this slightly with the Tiger, but hopefully, not by much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Great review! It was very thorough, well-written, and incredibly funny. The bit about it being as sterile as a group of chernobyl nudists had me rolling.

The watch looks stunning.

Wear it in good health!
Thanks for the compliments, 3ther! I appreciate them. I actually recycled the nudists joke from a review I did a few years ago at BDWF, but it was well received there, and I thought I'd trot it out again.
 

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I am drunk and replying to a thread I know nothing about. Congrats on something, and also nice work on your tutoring. I hope it was in math. Damn you iPad for giving me the ability to make drunk comments from the bathroom. I need to shave and shower now inside a stinky well lit fortress. That is all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am drunk and replying to a thread I know nothing about. Congrats on something, and also nice work on your tutoring. I hope it was in math. Damn you iPad for giving me the ability to make drunk comments from the bathroom. I need to shave and shower now inside a stinky well lit fortress. That is all.
Thanks for the effort, cheapy! Get some sleep, and be careful shaving!
 

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Thanks for this review conjurer, as Citizen V said, I've also been waiting some time to hear what these concepts are like. It is a remarkebly beautiful watch for the price you would pay on the bay, and issues aside, I would possibly buy one now if it weren't for that questionable water resistance. Any chance you could get it tested for the benefit of the forum? to 200?

Alex
 

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Well said, on all accounts.

I've had the below Tiger Concept for several weeks now and have really grown to enjoy it, despite the completely insane WR markings on the dial. I went for the "upper" movement in mine and it has been keeping pretty decent time, about +6 a day on the winder. The bracelet on mine is different as it is the vintage style, but the clasp feels about the same as you describe.

 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for this review conjurer, as Citizen V said, I've also been waiting some time to hear what these concepts are like. It is a remarkebly beautiful watch for the price you would pay on the bay, and issues aside, I would possibly buy one now if it weren't for that questionable water resistance. Any chance you could get it tested for the benefit of the forum? to 200?

Alex
Thanks for the kind words, Alex! As I don't dive, I really don't care too much about the WR myself. The case seems well made enough to take swimming and so forth, but for something like this, I really wouldn't recommend it for a backup timer or anything like that to a serious diver.
 
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