One of the things that I enjoy about my blog is seeing the progress that is made on various levels. One of those levels is personal progress. This is my fifth year of doing my blog and seeing the hard work that I put in is rewarded by the progress it has made. I am very proud of the progress that it has made which in turn makes me strive to work harder. Of course there is always more progress to be made. As it was pointed out recently, my writing/grammar can use some work. I am always willing to listen to constructive criticism whether if it is good or bad. How else will you grow without an open mind and listening ears? Another level of progress that I really enjoy to see is when I have the honor to work with a watch company on several different review projects. Getting to see the physical progress that is in the form of their watches. It is extremely awesome to see a company’s watch grow in terms of improvements in overall quality. I also love to see the implantation of recommendations put into their watches. Recommendations of ideas that I or my readers have suggested.
Today we will be exploring the official watch of the Hawaiian Lifeguards. That is currently being worn by such legends of the program as Archie Kalepa, Brian Keaulana, Kalani Vierra, Ralph Goto, and many others. I will not take away anything from the important job that lifeguards face everyday, but these lifeguards definitely have one of the best locations that I can think of without a doubt. #Iamjealous
When I opened the box I was greeted by a bright yellow dial that absolutely popped(combined with the black case didn’t hurt the pop). I definitely respect the unique color of this dial. I love a matte black dials, but the yellow is definitely refreshing to see. It is refreshing to see a dial that is not afraid of color. I definitely recommend taking a chance on a dial color that isn’t in your comfort zone. I can honestly say it is a pleasant treat, especially when it breaks away from the norm in which we find comfort in. The shade of yellow is really appealing to me. When I got to see it in person it reminded me of that Tonka truck yellow from my childhood. I was absolutely obsessed with the big yellow metal indestructible Tonka trucks.
I love applied hour markers if they are done right, but I can easily say the same thing for painted/printed hour markers. Szanto absolutely nailed it with the markers on the HLA watch. The markers are beautifully shaped. The white color is crisp and precisely finished by a black border. The yellow backdrop allows these markers pop right off of this dial making for some optimal legibility. Szanto added a very nice touch of detail to the dial with the graphic that is printed under the 12 o’clock position. It absolutely holds true to the theme of this watch screaming with Hawaian charm. This detail is thoughtfully carried over to the buckle on the rubber strap and also carrird over to the stainless steel case back. One other place that I would have liked to see this detail carried over to is the screw down crown.
This dial would not have that completed feel without the hands that Szanto chose for the HLA watch. The shape, color, proportions work well. The hands completely complement this dial and allow for important legibility. For the lifeguards using this piece, legibility is key. I personally could have gone without a date window, but being a watch designed for Lifeguards, I understand the “why” of the date window . The four lines of printed text works on this dial without becoming a cluttered or obtrusive hindrance to the dial itself.
The black PVD case is very well executed both in color and in shape. The HLA watch comes in at 43mm which has become one of my favorite sizes for a watch. The HLA wears comfortably on the wrist which of course is ideal because if this watch is being worn by Lifeguards then it absolutely should be completely comfortable to wear in the heat, water, sand, etc… The NBR rubber strap does assist in the overall comfort of this watch I believe that a nylon strap would be my second choice for comfort on this piece. While this watch is comfortable it is also functions just as well. The bezel has very little play and is very easy to grip with dry or wet hands. A bezel without extra play is something that I always look for on a watch. The screw down crown is just as easy to grip and operate. The crystal on the watch is hardened mineral crystal. I have never personally had a problem with hardened mineral crystal scratching. I have to say though if I was designing a watch that was going to be around sand a lot, then I personally would have gone with sapphire crystal for that added security in terms of scratch resistance. From HLA “we chose to use a K1 hardened mineral crystal with a very high vicker count because it will resist breaking very well and tend to scratch before breaking whereas a sapphire crystal will resist scratching much better but can break, like a potato chip. Therefore we chose the K1 for these guys given the rugged nature of their work and likelihood of banging it around a lot. ”
This is a fun watch to wear! It received a lot of compliments on the yellow dial/black case combo from the public while it was on my wrist. It comes in at $275 for the PVD version and $250 for the stainless steel version. The HLA watch is a great knock around kind of watch. This watch is not a wallet busting watch and it’s made to handle life on the beach. I would have liked to see a signed crown on this watch and a sapphire crystal. This would have made the watch a much easier choice to purchase if it implemented those suggestions. It’s a great watch to wear when you don’t have to worry about beating up what is strapped to your wrist. The HLA Watch is the official watch of the Hawaiian Lifegaurds, a portion of the proceeds from the purchase of the watch is donated to the HLA.
Thank you all for reading and as always your comments and questions are welcome below.
Thanks to Time Concepts.
43mm 316L Brushed Stainless Steel Case
Unidirectional Rotating Timing Bezel
Screw Down Locking Crown
Screw Case Back
Lumed Hands and Dial Numbers
Multi-jewel Japanese Quartz Movement
K1 Hardened Mineral Crystal
NBR Rubber Strap with patterned back
200 Meters Water Resistant