HANDS-ON: H992 H1 WATCH
Switzerland can unquestionably be regarded as the hub of fine watchmaking for the rest of the world. Some of the biggest names in horology have originated from, and are based in Switzerland. The Swiss town of La Chaux-de-Fonds in particular has a reputation for being one of the most important watchmaking towns in the world as It produced more than half of the watches in the world at one point at the turn of the 20th century. It isn’t for naught that UNESCO gave La Chaux-de-Fonds the honor of “Unesco World Heritage site” and Karl Marx wrote about this Swiss village near the French border in “Das Kapital”.
The town has given birth to household names in horology, such as Girard-Perregaux and Ebel, which were founded here, and TAG Heuer, which moved to the town from nearby Marin. The watch hands maker Universo, the dial maker Montremo, the case maker Oréade, as well as the movement maker Sellita, are also based here. So it’s not surprising that the town is regarded as “the city of watchmakers” and fine watchmaking seems to be in the very air of La Chaux-de-Fonds.
We at WristReview like to keep our focus on the big brands with all intents and purposes, professionally. But for the sheer love of horology, we also love to give attention to the new and up-and-coming watch brands and see what they come up with. With that said, I recently decided to try out a completely new watch from a completely new watch brand named “H992”. It is a new watch brand originating from La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. The name of the brand has interesting connotations, as the letter “H” signifies both the “hour”, “horology”, “humanity’ and last but not least, H represents the street grid plan of La Chaux de Fonds in Switzerland. The subtle undertones continue in the brand nomenclature once we realize that the “922” represents the altitude of the birthplace of the brand, which is La Chaux-de-Fonds. The watch that I got hands-on experience with is simply known as H1 and it’s the blue dial variant of the collection.
The first thing I noticed when I held the watch in my hands, is that it surprisingly felt lighter than it looked even though the watch is made from good old stainless steel. Undoubtedly the case has hallmarks of classic Genta design and bears a strong resemblance to Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. The case size is a reasonable 42mm. Given that even though I have large wrists, the watch fits nicely on my wrist and the “feel” of the watch leads me to believe that it will fit nicely on smaller wrists just as well. Before I strapped this watch on my wrist, I was under the impression that the Omega Seamaster is the only 42mm watch in my collection that I can get away with, but I was genuinely surprised to get that ultra-comfy feel of H1 around my wrist.
The watch is protected by sapphire crystals from both sides, while the inner side of the sapphire has double anti-reflective treatment. I personally always prefer the AR coating on my watches, as it prevents the crystal from reflecting the light, not only allowing a crystal clear view of the dial, but gives the dial a cool appearance where one feels as if there’s no glass over the dial. I’ll admit that I’m a sucker for the clear view provided by the AR coating, also admittingly I have a Rolex without it; but that’s another topic for another time. The water resistance rating is also a reasonable 10 ATM (100 meters).
A register for running seconds is found at 6 o’clock position, the date window with a black background for better readability at the third hour, and the whole time telling package is completed by a set of baton hands originating from the center on the dial. The H1 also comes in other dial color variants, other than the blue one that I got the chance to review here. The other colors include black dial with silver, white with silver and green dial with degradé effect and in Black PVD.
H922 H1 is powered by the Swiss Sellita caliber SW260-1 COSC-certified automatic movement. Visible via the exhibition caseback, it’s a workhorse of a movement and it’s not my first time experiencing that movement as I have got my hands with plenty of watches that also has the movement in common with H1. Sellita movements are known for being rough, reliable and accurate as ETA movements and the COSC certification is a validation of the accuracy and reliability of it. It’s also quite rare for a budget-friendly Swiss watch to boast a COSC certificate movement in this price range; not that I’m complaining. This 31-jewel movement has a power reserve of 38 hours and beats at a frequency of 28,800 vph.
The H1 that I got my hands on was on an integrated stainless steel bracelet with double folding deployant clasp and had a very Royal Oak vibe to it due to the case shape and integrated bracelet. Other than a bracelet, there’s also a rubber strap to go along with it, if the strap suits more to your tastes. The bracelet not only looked good but felt right, it seemed to be of good quality and it was actually a pleasure to have it wrapped around my wrist.
The bracelet didn’t make any grinding or rattling sounds as I moved the watch about, which is common with inexpensive Swiss watches where parts aren’t manufactured to strict tolerances and have some wiggle room. Such issues don’t really exist here and it’s a very welcoming change.
My hands-on impression of the watch is absolutely phenomenal. Overall, the H922 H1 is a great-looking watch, and it’s very comfortable to wear, which in my opinion offers a tremendous bang for the buck.
Gorgeous watch to say the least and considering the Swiss make of it and the COSC certification of the movement, it’s a steal at that price point. Overall 9 variants are available with different dial combinations with strap and bracelet. It comes in a 922 pieces limited edition, has free delivery worldwide and has a 2-year warranty to boot. H992 H1 retails at CHF 992.