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Thread: B&R Marine

  1. #1
    Grand Master
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    B&R Marine

    Am now concerned about writing a review because the last watch I did this for, I sold six months later as it gradually gathered dust. Anyway, here's a B&R Type Marine:

    First impressions, it feels smaller than its 40mm (actually 39.5mm) diameter suggests. The crown is at 4 so doesn't need big protectors, and the crown is quite small as it is. It's very functional, almost minimalist. It's flat, too, the 12mm depth is mostly due to the almost bubble-backed caseback. The case itself is maybe 7mm at most. Still, when it's on, it starts to feel like a 40mm watch after all as there's not so much visual "break" between the black dial and the black bezel.

    The design is quite unusual; a '70s-style angular case originally designed by Sinn in the '80s, dropped by the original manufacturer in the '90s but picked up by B&R, and still for sale in the '00s. AIUI this was one of the watches that B&R "cloned" from Sinn when it started out marketing watches, and after developing its own facility to make its own watches it took on this one after Sinn pulled it from its own line-up. Even the bracelet is the same. B&R did give it some anti-magnetic properties, though, and their own bezel/dial/hand treatment.

    Anyway, this one is light (120g, half of which is the bracelet itself) and very low-profile. The flat crystal is fractionally proud of the slightly sloping bezel, and is AR-coated inside with some sort of hardening treatment on the outside, according to B&R.

    I like the white-on-black date wheel and clear numbering. The bezel has 60 steps, not 120l quite Submariner-ish, as are the hand shapes. IMHO the white-painted hand set is a bit austere, and I'd probably put silvered Demineur-type hands on, if it was me.

    The bracelet is very well made with a lovely clasp of just the right size and heft. The downside though is that the lug links (20mm lug width, flaring to 24mm, and tapering to 18mm at the clasp) already have some burring in a straight line where they rub against the case when the watch is taken off. The thing to do here would have been to change the shape to prevent the link from rotating "up" so far. A bit of a shame, as the burring started straight away and there appears to be no way of avoiding it unless you never take it off. The lugs are drilled, at least, but don't leave much room for thick straps.

    FWIW timekeeping is excellent. It's not a thermocompensated movement but currently behaves like one, not having gained more than a second in the last month. The second hand hits the markers spot on, although as always there's occasionally a bit of backlash which throws it out by 1/5th of a second before it catches up a few seconds later.

    IMHO it's not quite worth the 700/800 list price as there simply isn't that much to it. It's quartz, small, an old design with minimal finishing - although what there is, is very good. The brushing, for example, is as fine and as even as you could reasonably expect. However it is cheaper than any entry-level quartz Omega, Breitling and no more than a Tag diver, and with a 20-25% discount it makes much more sense. It's not easy to recommend a watch as unconventional as this, but IMHO it's certainly a more imaginative set-and-forget choice and technically at least the equal of anything else in the price range.
    ...but what do I know; I don't even like watches!

  2. #2
    Master Chartman69's Avatar
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    Re: B&R Marine

    Having just got the B&R 01/96 I have been a fan for years, this is a very nice clean uncluttered piece, quartz or not , I wish I had the dosh to get one :( but spent up :(

  3. #3
    Grand Master Dave E's Avatar
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    Re: B&R Marine

    Good write-up, thanks.

    Incidentally, I stopped writing reviews after a couple here because I ended up flipping both watches involved. I think I got too focussed on details and what I didn't like about them as a result of writing reviews and it contributed to the flip a little.
    Dave E

    Skating away on the thin ice of a new day

  4. #4
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    Re: B&R Marine

    I love B&R they make nice watches good review thanks

  5. #5
    Master
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    Re: B&R Marine

    Cheers for the review, I have had my eye on the Demineur for some time now, I prefer the hands and dial set on that one to the Marine. So far the price has put me off but if I could get one as a day to day wearer for say 600 quid or so then I might go for it. The nylon strap on the B&R website for these looks interesting, know idea how much it costs but it could make a nice change from the bracelet.

  6. #6
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    Re: B&R Marine

    Quote Originally Posted by NJH
    Cheers for the review, I have had my eye on the Demineur for some time now, I prefer the hands and dial set on that one to the Marine. So far the price has put me off but if I could get one as a day to day wearer for say 600 quid or so then I might go for it. The nylon strap on the B&R website for these looks interesting, know idea how much it costs but it could make a nice change from the bracelet.
    Sorry, only just read this. The nylon/velcro strap and the rubber strap are both about 20-30, although the rubber strap needs a tang buckle or deployant and I'm not sure how much they are.
    ...but what do I know; I don't even like watches!

  7. #7
    Master
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    Re: B&R Marine

    Thanks Andrew, that's good to know and less then I would have expected.

  8. #8
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    Re: B&R Marine

    Reviews here are often, wittingly or otherwise, marketing techniques for Sales Corner interest (q.v.). I was worried about the karma involved:

    Quote Originally Posted by andrew
    Am now concerned about writing a review because the last watch I did this for, I sold six months later as it gradually gathered dust
    But I needn't have fretted. Six months on, I wear this all the time. Slim, simple, good-looking in a slightly austere way, supremely comfortable. Only the 60-click bezel niggles, and it feels looser than it was (though not loose). And ~3 months after setting, it's now +4 sec beyond GMT, or 1.33 sec/month fast. It's not thermocompensated, but that'll do me.
    ...but what do I know; I don't even like watches!

  9. #9
    Grand Master
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    Re: B&R Marine

    Great review of one of my favourite B&R's .. but this sub-forum is dangerous, it makes you want to buy a watch more so than the others ..
    /vince ..


  10. #10
    Master golfg60's Avatar
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    Re: B&R Marine

    nice watch ,i like bell&ross i have 2 :wink:

  11. #11
    Master
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    Re: B&R Marine

    Quote Originally Posted by andrew
    Only the 60-click bezel niggles
    Really, I was thinking the other day how pointless 120 click bezels are. IMHO as a tool for timing a bezel should have exactly 60 clicks no more no less, I think the only reason for 120 clicks is its cheaper to get a nice tight feeling action without the click being too loud or pronounced. Personally this is a plus point for me and has elevated that model a little.

  12. #12
    Grand Master
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    Re: B&R Marine

    Quote Originally Posted by NJH
    I think the only reason for 120 clicks is its cheaper to get a nice tight feeling action without the click being too loud or pronounced.
    A good point I'd not considered before. When using the bezel in a general context, the ability to set to the nearest half-minute can be useful (parking meters, cooking, you name it). If the watch has a 24-hour bezel, you need 120 clicks to be able to line it up on the "odd" hours.
    ...but what do I know; I don't even like watches!

  13. #13

    Re: B&R Marine

    Looks nice did not know B&R were making such a standard diver looking watch...

    S

  14. #14
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    Re: B&R Marine

    Good review, it's a no nonsense watch. I'm hoping to add the Hydromax to my list, I've seen it for less than 1400

  15. #15
    Craftsman
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    Re: B&R Marine

    Very nice looking watch, enjoyed the review alot

  16. #16
    Banned
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    Re: B&R Marine

    Iv got a B&R type demineur and i think its great, nice and affordable...rubber strap though....

  17. #17

    Re: B&R Marine

    Superb

  18. #18

    Re: B&R Marine

    Are these more rugged and reliable than Marathon TSAR's/SAR's etc?

  19. #19
    Master
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    Re: B&R Marine

    Quote Originally Posted by burnside
    Are these more rugged and reliable than Marathon TSAR's/SAR's etc?
    Depends what you mean, or rather what the watch is being used for. I have a modified SAR, the crystal is very thick and the watch in general is pretty chunky, however mine is the Auto and the quartz would I suspect be more reliable/tougher + there was a little controversy about the crown seals on SAR's. You may find it from a forum search. Personally mine seems perfect in these regards.

    I think the biggest difference between the 2 is that the B&R is a slim, svelt little thing that could be worn under a shirt etc. whereas the SAR is completely dominated by the massive bezel and crown, some love these characteristics of the SAR others not.

  20. #20

    Re: B&R Marine

    really nice

  21. #21

    Re: B&R Marine

    clean and classic just like the review

  22. #22
    Journeyman
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    Re: B&R Marine

    classic, clean watch....like it!

  23. #23
    Grand Master
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    Re: B&R Marine

    Quote Originally Posted by burnside
    Are these more rugged and reliable than Marathon TSAR's/SAR's etc?
    As the other chap said, it depends what you mean. In terms of reliability, the movement is as reliable as it gets, really, being an ETA 955 with a 10-year battery. The case shape is old-fashioned, being an '80s Sinn design, and I reckon it's this that contributes to its ruggedness rather than the sheer mass of steel employed: the crown is at 4 and recessed, the case is slim, and B&R claims that a coating has been put on the outside of the sapphire crystal (not AR, that's on the inside) that makes it even more resistant to scratches than regular sapphire - although no more resistant to shattering, presumably.

    It's also antimagnetic, which explains that although it's barely 40x12mm in size and has no lugs at all, it still weighs 135g on its ful-length bracelet, same as a Submariner. (There's an iron core inside the case.) Though it's definitely a sign of the times that someone else in this thread called it a "slim, svelte little thing" :lol:

    I've whacked it into a door jamb on a couple of occasions and there is no sign of a mark on the crystal or bezel. If it was bigger and deeper, I'd probably have done more damage.
    ...but what do I know; I don't even like watches!

  24. #24

    Re: B&R Marine

    This is a superb watch, I particularly like the tool look and the integrated bracelet ...

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