By Jake Fogarty, founder of It's All About Watches:
You can view the entire Searock Auto collection on Roamer's website here.
Roamer, if you have never heard of the company, was founded in 1888 and, in my opinion, is comparable to Hamilton in terms of quality and price. From the research I have done, it appears they are better known in other parts of the world and not nearly as popular in the United States. The movement in this watch is the ETA 2824-2, a reliable, "workhorse" movement that is widely used throughout the watch industry. The movement on my sample came running slow, but it is not losing more than 10 seconds each day. Click "Read More" to access the rest of the review.
Case and Crown
The case of the Searock automatic is exquisite. It is well-made and well-finished. There are no sharp edges to be found (this includes the bracelet and clasp). The watch is mostly polished, with the exception of a strip on the case (note: other parts of the watch including the back of the bracelet and some of the caseback are also brushed). The polished finish is well-done and there is no distortion that you can sometimes find from low-quality finishing. If the metal has been stretched or curved (if a watch has curved lugs, for example) distortion is unavoidable. Sometimes a company may lower the quality of the finishing to lower costs, but Roamer did not and the results are clearly visible.
The crown is nicely done as well. Easily manipulated and unscrewed thanks to good designing and machining, the crown is mostly polished. It is also signed with the Roamer logo. The crown does screw down. The action is fantastic. Smooth, yet firm at the same time. Comparable to watches of a much higher price point. The caseback of the Searock Auto proudly displays the movement at work. If I could change something about this watch, it would have to be the movement. I love the 2824, but Roamer chose not to decorate it. Given that their designers chose to give the watch an exhibition caseback, I wish they also chose to upgrade the movement to the decorated one. At least the rotor is signed.
Reasoning: When one is going to pay ~$750USD for a watch, everything should be close to top-notch. The case is very well-done, but the crystal, unfortunately, creates a large amount of distortion if viewed at an extreme angle. Not a huge problem (in fact, most people don't care), but one I wished Roamer had fixed. Hence, I only retracted half of a point.
Dial and Hands
The dial and hands define the look of the watch. Sure, the case and strap/bracelet are important, but the dial is what people look at the most, it is what communicates the time. Roamer recognizes this too, and in my opinion, it is the best part of the watch. The design fits the watch well, with dauphine hands and broader, but unobtrusive markers, the design walks the line between sporty and formal. The text above the 6 o'clock marker appears large in some of the photos, but actually contributes to the design, rather than retracting (like Tudor's new Pelagos).
The lume on the Searock Auto isn't applied in abundance. Rather, it is found only on the hands. Nowhere else. At night, the dial appears somewhat barren. The time, however, can still be read easily because the lume that is present glows brightly for an extended period of time.
Reasoning: The dial is well-designed and nicely done, the only complaint I have (which I know is a lemon, hence why I only took off a small amount) is that there was a small mistake on the minute hand. The backing was not trimmed completely and there was a small bit hanging off. I would also change the magnification of the date, which was magnified (maybe) 1.5x. Of course, whether one wants a date magnifier or not is personal opinion. As such, it was not factored into the score.
Bracelet and Clasp
Easily my favorite feature. The bracelet and clasp are gorgeous. Fantastic. I can't compliment them enough. Let's start with the bracelet. While it is a three-link bracelet, it is rather comfortable given that each link can rotate (unlike some others, where the center piece is fixed to the outer ones). My only complaint is that the end links aren't solid, they're all drilled. I can't find any benefits to this design. One might argue that you can take more links out, but if the wearer is taking out all of the drilled links, the watch is too big for their wrists. The only benefit is that it lowers the cost of production. Regardless of cost-saving or not, it doesn't affect the comfort.
Closed, the clasp is pretty much invisible (with the exception of the buttons). I always take pictures before wearing the watches so the watch doesn't have a scratch on it. However, there was some dirt in the clasp engraving that was on the watch from the factory. Although it looks similar to rust, I assure you it is not rust. The dirt was gone within a half hour of wearing the watch. In case I didn't prove my point well enough:
That is not rust in the preceding photo.
Reasoning: Fantastically comfortable, easy to resize, and well made to top it off, this bracelet has it all. The drilled links didn't phase me at all, but I do wish Roamer had used screws instead of pins. Despite the cost-saving measures, this bracelet doesn't make any compromises on the comfort front, which is where it really matters.
A nice brown outer box greets you at first. The box is cardboard, but the outer box doesn't matter anyway.
After throwing the outer box aside, the inner box was revealed. Also cardboard, it was again unexciting, but it did it's job well. Of course, we are all interested in the watch and most people just throw the box out or in a closet. Roamer, recognizing this, saved their money when it came to packaging and improved the watch instead. A good move in my opinion.
Finally, the watch is revealed. There was no manual or warranty card that I could find. Whether these will be included when someone actually purchases a watch (rather than taking it out on loan for a review), I'm not sure. Either way, no one should need instructions for a three-hand watch with a date. As always, no score is included in the packaging section.
On the Wrist
This watch lands right in my sweet spot. I'll stop talking and let you see the pictures. For reference my wrist is ~7".
AGAIN, THIS IS NOT RUST (see bracelet and clasp section for more details)
Final Score: 29.25/30
Pretty darn good by all accounts. I know people are used to seeing reviews written with watch companies in mind, who say good things because they are obligated to, but this isn't how I roll. I have written this review with honesty in mind. I have not inflated the scores, but I do choose to review watches I think I can say good things about. If I don't think I could say something good, I won't reach out/accept the watch for review. The Searock Automatic is truly a fantastic watch, hence why it received the highest overall score I have ever given out on this blog. Will there ever be a higher score? Probably, but this watch sets the bar pretty high. You can view the entire Searock Auto collection on Roamer's website here.
Please note that all scores are given relative to the price of the watch.
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