Quadtec European Tour: Cardiff
The Quadtec arrived in Cardiff last week, so here's my review . Please excuse my poor pics and I hope you enjoy the write up...
First off, many thanks to Ernie and Quadtec for giving me the opportunity to take part in this tour. Rather than repeat all the points Colin made in his previous excellent review, I thought I'd concentrate more on how I found the Quadtec in my work as a train conductor, where reading the time quickly and accurately is important.
So, some quick pics of the package and accessories that come with it ...
A note on the packaging: I personally think a lot about how a manufacturer packages/presents his product. I know you're not going to be wearing the box on your wrist but decent packaging should be sturdy enough to survive a postal journey in the event of a warranty issue.
Two manufacturers that spring straight to mind that provide excellent value watches and very sturdy packaging is Stowa and UTS. I'm pleased to note that Quadtecs stealthy briefcase will keep the contents pretty safe and that everything fits nice and snug in the foam cut outs.
The clasp on the case could do with being a better quality though. The extra screws and mini-screwdriver is a nice touch. Strap changing was simple and easy.
After a quick read of the manual and a play with the straps and bracelet I strapped the Quadtec on with the leather band and took it to work ...
My regular work watch is a Stowa marine with its very clear and readable dial ...
My initials impression were that the Quadtec is a big watch! :-! It gives an even bigger impression of "biggness" with the large display and wide strap. Very nice. I had trouble getting my motorcycle glove over the cuff of my jacket when going to work :-D . It has a nice retro, "Space 1999" look about it that I quite like ;-) .
The large digits make time reading in all 3 time modes easy and clear. I had the time mode on EU (Elapsed Unified), your regular digital watch display, which I felt initially most comfortable with. One thing that I missed straight away was that there is no 24hr display option available. This would have been useful and made a more even display on the large screen.
I switched to the ES (Elapsed Segmented) and EF (Elapsed Forward) later in the day but I found when doing calculations, EU was the best for me but the ES mode I found my favourite for normal use. EF was nice but even after a week I still preferred the ES mode. The minutes display moving clockwise every 15 minutes seemed quite natural to me.
Changing between modes was easy with the select button and my initial fears of accidently switching between modes was unfounded as I never managed to do it in a week of wearing it nearly 24/7.
Closer look at the Quadtec
I compared the Quadtec to two other watches, the Stowa marine (with is clear readable dial) and my recently aquired Casio G-Shock G5600 (with is large relatively clear digital display) ...
There is a lot of unused areas on the Quadtecs screen that may be used for a bit more information ie, time mode. But then again, that's what makes the digits so readable.
On having a closer look at the Quadtec I found things I liked and a few I didn't, that could do with improving. The case itself is impressive, a solid chunk of steel ...
I realised that with such a solid case something would have to give for the alarm to be loud enough to be of any use and this shows in the caseback and the resulting 50m WR ...
I would have liked the case/caseback to have been a bit more intergrated rather than the slightly untidy look it appeared to me.
All five buttons on the Quadtec were easily accessible and to use. The side buttons seemed a bit wobbley, but after a week of constant playing they showed no signs of being the worse for wear :-D
The Alarm was definitely loud enough to wake me up, I'd say it was slightly louder than the G-Shock. The little Quadtec tune is a bit like the Nokia ring tone and got to me (and my wife) after a couple of days, I started waking up to turn off the alarm before it woke me up! :-D It would have been nice to have a selection of tunes or just your bog standard digital "beep beep" to choose from.
On the wrist
On the wrist I was suprised at how comfortable the Quadtec was. The large flat caseback and wide strap provided excellent comfort. I had no problem wearing the Quadtec 24/7. The leather and rubber strap were both very comfortable. The rubber strap was extremely soft, so soft that it easily moulded to your wrist so that I had to wear it loose otherwise there was no ventilation between the strap and my wrist and it soon became hot and sticky.
The leather strap was definitely my favourite :-! . This is probably one of the softest and most comfortable strap I've ever worn. Excellent!
The backlight compared to the G-Shock was weak but work perfectly, and provided enough light for reading in total darkness. In fact, some digital watches can be too bright when trying to read the time in the middle of the night so I've ended up squinting through sleepy eyes and having the after image of the screen still burning in my eyes seconds after. No such problem with the Quadtec, especially when waking up at 3 or 4am to check when to turn off the alarm before the alarm went off and my wife hit me! :-D
Again, i was also worried about turning off the alarm by accident when wearing the watch when sleeping. As the alarm on/off button is easily accessible on the front of the watch. I had no such problem in the week of use.
The metal bracelet supplied is heavy with solid links, well made. Comparable with the bracelet of my Seiko BM. I wasn't able to try it out, as Colin mention in the previous review, there was a slight problem with the micro-adjustment end piece of the bracelet...
Hopefully Quadtec will sort this out soon ;-) .
A pic of the rather nice buckle that comes with both the leather and rubber strap ....
Quadtec is definitely a nice piece of kit. The watch, accessories and packaging has been thought out and presents itself well.
It got a lot of interest from friends and strangers, but the most common question after I'd explained the 3 time modes was "What else does it do?" followed by the surprised look when I told them that's all it does. And even more surprise when I told them the price.
Not counting the Time modes there are number of digital watch out already with large digital displays that simply tell the time, ie Fossil, Diesel etc.
For me, Quadtec will need to improve on a few things to justify the price tag:
- Higher water resistance, at least 100m. 200m would be perfect! The package comes across as a sports watch, especially with the rubber strap and sporty looking bracelet. Plus the look and size of the watch will make it look out of place in formal situations.
- A Stopwatch and Countdown function. The big display screen is perfect for it. There's not many digital watches that display the time when using the stopwatch or countdown timer.
- 24hr display mode when using the EU time mode.
Quadtec have taken a bold step with the novel time mode displays. I look forward to seeing what else comes from them! :-!
Thanks for reading!