When I heard I was going to have the opportunity to review a sports watch, I thought, "That's PERFECT timing!" I had just told my wife that I wanted a new sports watch so I didn't have to wear my stainless one for everything. I hadn't heard about Sprout Watches until I opened up the package, and was pretty happy to read about this company. They make their pieces out of bamboo, corn resin, organic cotton, conflict free diamonds, mercury free batteries, and lead free mineral crystal.
- Eco-friendly materials (corn resin and bamboo in this case)
- $75; great price
So I'm typically not a flashy guy. I don't wear bright colors normally, except for the obnoxious bright orange socks occasionally on rides. My current watch is stainless steel, and quite heavy, so when I pulled this bright timepiece out of the box, I thought, "hmmm, this will take me out of my comfort zone." Don't get me wrong, I don't mind the bright accessories, as long as they're not overboard.
The time had come to swap out watches, but prior to that, I gave the Sprout watch a good once over to learn what it had to offer. This particular piece has the turquoise corn-resin band, black corn-resin case and bezel (non-functioning), gray corn-resin day, date, and 24-hour sub-dials, mineral crystal, and water resistant to 165 feet.
Going from the stainless hog to this corn-resin fly weight was definitely something to get used to. As is human nature, I initially associated heavier weight with durability; I couldn't help but initially feel that the watch was going to brake or wear out quickly; gladly, such concerns were in vain.
Once I was used to the feeling of a lighter piece, I actually started to like it better; it is nice to not have a weight on the end of my wing.
For the first "public appearance", I stepped out to a local brewery with some friends and of course the questions started: "So, DLR, when did you decide to get trendy?"
Hey, that means people are seeing the watch, and noticing it right? It turns out there are some definite benefits to stepping outside of the stainless steel color spectrum. Thus far, I've had nothing but good feedback from friends and family on the looks and style of the piece. I find that it does its job well; it tells me the time, date, and day well. However, the day/date/24hr indicators are a bit hard to read on this particular piece in bright sunlight or when glancing at the wrist while riding. The gray background with black letters makes it a bit difficult to decipher without squinting and having to take a deliberate look. Maybe a lighter color for the text on these indicators would work better.
Also, and on a completely personal note, I find I don't use the 24-hour dial at all, which makes me wonder how many people actually do. I'm sure there's a large enough contingency to warrant the feature but had this been my watch to design, I suspect 12-hour would be good enough. Finally I was rather surprised to note that the bezel does not rotate. This really isn't a big deal anywhere outside of diving applications; but future generations of this particular watch could easily go from good to great! Speaking of, one spot on the band that I feel could be improved upon is the hinge/clasp area shown below.
While I experienced no durability issues personally, this is an area that would likely benefit from a good be 'beefing up' due to its lightweight feel. Of course, my opinion could very well stem from my being used to the stainless hinge on my other watch. I'm positive weight weenies will appreciate every single ounce of weight saved.
While it may seem like I've bagged on this item, I feel like that isn't truly doing this watch justice. At the end of the day it does its job; it looks cool, puts up with dirt and water really well, and gives you the satisfaction of knowing your watch was made entirely of eco-friendly products.
I would definitely suggest this watch to others, as it is definitely worth the money. The 'dings' I have come up with in my critique would not keep me from and wanting to wear/use it; like I mentioned earlier, a lot of my criticisms likely come from wearing a stainless tank prior to this piece. As you can see below, my hairy arm is actually cooler just by sporting it:
One of the absolute coolest aspects of this watch and, actually all of Sprout's product line, has to be the materials used. I really like the idea of the eco-friendly construction and recommend anyone give their unique pieces a closer look when considering a new watch.