If you were following StrapHabit last fall, you likely noticed the Real Men Wear Pink Breast Cancer fundraiser together with @brodinkee, and probably know that my mother has been going through breast cancer treatment since last spring.
At the end of the fundraiser, I set aside the last StrapHabit x Brodinkee RMWP sailcloth strap with the intention of giving it to her for Christmas. The problem was, what watch to pair it with?
Her taste in watches tends towards small, thin, and understated. Also, we had sold out of 18mm straps, and I had only kept a 20mm, which made finding a watch that fit the bill even more complicated. What I finally settled on was the Waldan Heritage. At 40mm wide, it is bigger than her typical watches, but not too big, and is nice and thin at 8.6mm. It's also very legible and uses a quartz movement, so she won't have to worry about setting it.
The next question was, what color to choose? At first, blush Pink seemed like the obvious choice to go with a pink strap, but I thought it would end up being too much pink. I then considered Olive Khaki as she likes to wear dark green, but I thought it would clash with a pink strap. I finally settled on Silvered White. It's the most subtle color offered and matches any outfit (or strap). The attractive pattern across the dial and subtle hints of blue and green sealed the deal.
I had never seen a Waldan watch in person, but when it arrived a few days later, I was pleased. The dial looks even more attractive than it does in photos. It provides enough visual interest to make the watch fun to look at, without being distracting. The blued seconds hand and subtle green hour markers also stop it from being completely monotone and boring.
The watch also appears as thin as the dimensions indicate, which is helped by the bezel design. I thought that even though it's large for her at 40mm, my mom would still enjoy wearing it.
Polished cases on affordable watches can tend to make them look a bit cheap, especially if the edges are not sharp. Waldan, however, put quite a bit more effort into the design of the Heritage case.
Two stepped rings add some interest to the bezel and also help to make the dial appear slightly smaller. The lugs also have an attractive design. They feature creases that separate them visually from the case, and a step on the side to mirror the bezel treatment. Additionally, the top surfaces are brushed, which helps break up the rest of the polished case.
The lugs curve down and are tight to the case. This helps shorten the height and makes it more wearable for those with smaller wrists.
In addition to the dial itself, applied polished and faceted markers, and a polished ring around the recessed small seconds subdial add visual appeal.
Larger dial quartz watches with small seconds often have the look of the subdial floating far away from the edge of the case. Waldan was not able to escape this, but the Ameriquartz text under it helps fill the gap between it and the 6 o'clock marker. Thus, it did not bother me as much in this application.
Because the hour markers are moved inward to allow space for green dots, the minute hand is able to reach their outer edges. This is a clever visual trick to keep the hands from looking too stubby, which is often a problem with large-dial quartz watches. Most of them don't have enough torque to turn hands that are too large. If a high torque motor (like a Grand Seiko 9F) is not within the budget, then clever design is required to avoid this.
Wearing the Waldan Heritage Sportline
As mentioned, the thinness and compact lugs make the Waldan comfortable to wear. It is also lightweight, which adds to the comfort.
My ~7-inch wrist is shown in these photos, but I also snapped a photo of my mom wearing it. Despite the angle of this shot, it doesn't quite overhang her wrist, and I think it looks quite cool on her!
The included strap is described as a "genuine Ambra Elbamatt leather strap."
It is quite soft to the touch, and the subtle light gray color looks great with the silver dial. It is comfortable and has an attractive texture to it. It is not quick release but does have an unsigned polished stainless steel buckle.
In addition to a pink sailcloth strap, I also gave her a few other colors of sailcloth straps to wear with it. You can see photos of them at the end of this article.
Another nice surprise of the Waldan Heritage is that they advertise its movement as being American Made.
Cal 70200 "Ameriquartz" is made from metal components hand-assembled and tested in the United States. It features three jewels and includes a 5-year warranty.
It's easy to put together a design for a three-hand quartz watch that is appealing to the masses, but more effort is needed to make a watch that appeals to more discriminating watch collectors. Watches with a similar aesthetic to the Heritage Sportline often end up looking very generic (think MVMT).
Through applying more careful proportions and design choices, however, Waldan has created a more appealing package in the Heritage series. Attractive dial finishes as well as a variety of interesting dial colors make it a great option for someone who is looking for an affordable dress watch, or something stylish to wear with casual outfits.
The case size and design also make it a watch that is not too traditionally feminine or masculine, meaning that it should appeal to a wide variety of people. Despite the fact that it was intended for my mom, I could also see myself wearing this watch.
At a retail price of just under $300, it's more expensive than some of its competition but is still quite affordable. Its Ameriquartz movement is much nicer than a typical "throw-away" quartz that you'd find in less expensive watches. Add in the attractive dial hardware and case finishing, and it becomes quite a good value.
Name: Waldan Heritage "Sportline" - Silvered White
Reference Number: 0196SA
Lug Width: 20mm
Movement: Ameriquartz Cal. 70200
Water Resistance: 50m
Crystal: Sapphire with anti-reflective coating
Strap: Genuine Ambra Elbamatt leather strap, stainless steel buckle
Shop Other Straps for the Waldan Heritage Sportline:
Premium Sailcloth Quick Release Watch Straps