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4.0 out of 5 stars Its HUGE---ly impressive---But..., 29 Aug 2013
This review is from: Military XXL Retro-Diver Chronograph special crown system T260 (Watch)
I was somewhat 'taken aback' when I opened the box- it really is BiG. The TO260 looks all the larger because the bright, luminous green face on its own uses up 44mm of the 53mm diameter. The black finish to the steel case catches the eye and the milled top to the bezel is a nice feature. This bezel is secured (or appears to be secured) by six screws and has an 'engineered' look, as does the elaborate crown arrangement, the centre one being provided with a screwed protective cap. The cap is secured to the casing by a hinged, forked arm: this is neater than the more usual Tauchmeister chain, but only just allows room to screw the cap on and the thread on mine is ok but not perfect. Since the crowns are on the left side they are, in effect, 'upside down': for example, the chronograph reset button is at the top instead of at the bottom.

Despite the enormous size of the TO260 it's not the easiest of watches to read. The three black dials occupy nearly all the right side and when the black hour hand is in front of them only its white tip can be seen: it's best to use this watch between 7 and 11 o'clock, mornings or evenings! The three small dials could be larger if the hour markings were smaller and for no reason other than 'style' there are only small square dots between 6 and 9 o'clock. There is enough room for a fourth small dial on the left side, despite which the date window (at 7.30) is incredibly small. However, in Tauchmeister's defence it's the bought- in Miyota OS10 quartz movement that dictated the size and disposition of the dials, the movement being only 26mm in diameter- half the width of this watch!

The OS series chronograph looks pretty but unfortunately on this watch it is hopelessly impractical to use. Individual minutes/seconds are not marked on the main dial and there is no dial to record fractions of a second. Moreover the chronograph does not keep track of elapsed time: this means you cannot pause the hands temporarily for making a note of individual lap times in a race. The big second hand provides the stopp function but when not in use it sits at 12 o'clock directly above, and partly obscuring, its little brother. This is because the whole watch movement, along with its crowns, is 'up side down': the small second hand should be at 6 o'clock, and the 12 hour dial was designed to be at 9 o'clock instead of at 3! However, unlike most 24 hour dials, this 12 hour one does operate as part of the chronograph. Counting individual minutes on the tiny dial provided (only marked at 5 minute intervals) is almost impossible.

So there are far too many faults here in the area of style over function for more than four stars! However, the truth is that if you buy a huge extravert watch like this it can only really be for the style and a certain fun factor: if you want to be boring and actually tell the time you can always join the crowd and consult your smart phone. More importantly, like all Tauchmeisters (I have eight of them) this one is very imposing, solidly made and if your mates are as shallow as you are (or I am!) they will be impressed. I have seen watches even bigger than this made by (or, rather, for) the likes of Diesel: they are very pretty but even harder to read and not nearly as butch or robust- it's risky taking those into the shower, let alone testing them to 200 metres. The TO260 has some rather subtle features, too- for example, the glass face is gently beveled and that is not easy to achieve with large hardened lenses.

So, if you just want to tell the time, buy something like a Casio- but if you have a big wrist, really like big watches, and are more interested in style than sophisticated features, buy this one: despite my complaints, at about 130 it's quite good value.
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