I have definitely been the type of person that doesn’t take himself too seriously for as long as I can remember. One of my quotes that I say on what seems like a daily basis is “life is too serious”. Which is usually quickly followed up by “you have to laugh and have fun”. It’s true. It drives me batty when I see people that take everything so seriously, I even see it within the watch groups on social media. Watches are meant to be fun, this crazy hobby is meant to be fun, you know? That’s what I see Zoid Watches doing, they are having fun with their designs and with this hobby and from my perspective as both a watch enthusiast & as a watch reviewer It is truly awesome to see.
Today we will be exploring the Zoid Dragon Watch which is a piece that I needed to see in person when I heard about it. I have been a HUGE Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z fan for a long time. I was into the character designs well before I knew the storyline and well before it made it’s way to broadcast television. I grew up before the internet so you youngsters have it soooooo easy. I had to search for Dragon Ball stuff in obscure comic shops. When I saw the model that is in for review, I immediately knew that was the one. Fast forward to when the watch arrived, which was packed more secured than a gold bar from Fort Knox. It took me some time to get into the watch itself which made me feel like the dad from Christmas Story when the leg lamp arrived.
It was the classic story of survival of the fittest once I did manage to get to the watch, who would win my attention first? The dial or the case? I have to say that both fought equally hard because both the case and the dial on the Zoid Dragon are badass. Let’s get one thing out of the way before we move any further into this review. This watch is not meant for everyone. (It’s a limited edition of 8) Ok, now we can move forward. We will tackle the case together first which is a brushed stainless steel case with black PVD plating 50mm x 12 mm case, which makes this watch have quite the demanding wrist presence. The finish on the case is nice and even and gives this massive watch some stealth mode. If I had to put this watch into a category that had a well known company’s inside of it, the Zoid Dragon would be in the company of U-boat and Graham. The 22mm lugs have a good amount of curvature and I think that it’s quite impressive considering the thickness of the lugs.
The massive bezel is extremely easy to take grip of and operate thanks to the no slip edges. The Dragon’s bezel does have more play to it than I am accustomed to which is a minor thing but worth mentioning. The crown protection system is quite unique and adds a bit of a menacing look to the Dragon Watch. You gently pull on the top of the crown protector which is the piece that looks kind of like a trigger, which releases and opens on a hinge revealing the push/pull crown. The crown itself is easy to grip and operate because of the knurled edges. It’s quite an elaborate looking crown/protection system which is more for looks than function, but nevertheless it does look cool. If you are interested in viewing the Seiko NH37 movement then you will be pleased to know that the exhibition caseback is your viewing window. The stainless steel caseback is held in place by 6 screws. One thing I would have liked to see on this piece is a solid caseback with an engraved dragon or something along the lines of the dragon mythos.
Now onto this dial, about time right? You may wonder what the textured dial is all about which turns out to be graphite lava emulsion and the dragon itself was precision cut with a laser. I like the texture of this dial because it gives the dragon itself a very cool 3-dimensional look. How the colors were applied to the dragon is quite fascinating to me because of how small the dragon actually is. Let’s face it, the dragon is the highlight and main focal point on this dial, so one would only hope that is would be executed with precision. Zoid made the right decision going with skeletonized hands for this piece so the view of the dragon would not be completely obscured.
There is a 24 hour sub dial that is off to the side of the 4 o’clock and 5 o’clock position, but more towards the center of the dial. It’s a unique looking feature but one that I don’t think I would utilize much on this piece. I like how the date window is located off to the 9 o’clock position as opposed to the traditional 3 o’clock position. The triangular shaped applied markers are quite awesome in my opinion because they remind me of Dragon teeth and they glow nicely in low lit situations.
Massive case + unique dial = crazy fun wrist presence. This watch offers a very different style of wearing due to it’s shear size and beautiful dial. Like I mentioned earlier this watch isn’t for everyone, especially those who are wrist uptight aka why there are so many boring, unimaginative watches flooding the market right now. I personally love experiencing different watches from different countries, different imaginations, different forms of inspiration and execution. This is what the Zoid Dragon is all about. For those of you who share my opinion on watches, then this might be a watch that you may want to give a second look. Since I was a little kid, I have always had a special place in my heart for Anime style cartoons and this watch speaks to me on that level as well.
The bezel is definitely my area of suggestion for improvement a little tighter with less play and it will be just right. My other nit picky suggestion would be to incorporate the crown and crown protection system to work with a more involved button system, making more functional that aesthetics. I can recommend this watch to those that share my feelings on Anime, unique watches, etc. It is an extremely fun watch to wear and a watch that has crazy wrist pressence.
The watch comes in at $985:
* Case: 316L Stainless steel case and brush finish with black PVD plating.
* Movement: Seiko NH37 Automatic time module with self winding mechanism and up to 40 hours power reserve.
* Water Resistance: Up to 50m/ 5ATM
* Winding cown: Pull out crown with custom embossed ZOID logo.
* Dial: Graphite lava emulsion with laser cut dragon outline.
* Hands: Custom hands applied with super luminova.
* Hardened sapphire crystal.
* Strap: Genuine calf leather with embossed croco pattern and hand-stitched details.
* Buckle: 316L Stainless steel with Black PVD plating Special cast buckle with laser engraved logo.
* Case back: 6 piece screw case back.
* Case size: 50mm
* Case thickness: 12mm.
* Fits wrist up to: Diameter of 75mm.
* Limited edition of 8 pieces. (Every backcase is engraved with a serial number for example, “Dragon No. 01/08).