Detomaso Milano Chronograph Watch Review

If you are looking for a timepiece that sports a timeless, classic design, then there’s a lot to love about the DETOMASO Milano chronograph. The Milano is about as classic as you can get when it comes to watch designs. It looks sharp and elegant and has benefited from excellent craftsmanship. Going by its classic no-nonsense approach, the watch doesn’t have that much to offer in terms of features. However, this is an excellent watch that you can wear from everyday wear to suited events. Read below as we go in-depth on what the Detomaso Milano Chronograph Watch can offer.

Short Introduction to Detomaso

Detomaso is a watch company founded in 1993 and based in Germany. Detomaso mainly makes watches for men and has an impressive collection that draws its inspiration from the fashion of Italy and the excitement of motorsports world. This is why you’ll see that most of the company’s timepieces are designed around raw masculinity.

The company’s main mission is to create accurate and functional watches for male-dominated areas like the mechanic’s workshop, industrial job sites, and the race track. Detomaso offers watches that cover a wide range of aesthetics from space-age designs to the refined, classic look.

Detomaso is not exactly the most popular brand out there but there are some impressive models offered in their collection.

Packaging

The Detomaso Milano arrived in a rather slick black box with the Detomaso logo emblazoned on the front. Inside the box, you’ll find a gunmetal tin that houses the watch itself. The tin contains a foam insert where the watch is embedded, a standard protective method so the product doesn’t get damaged during shipping. The face of the watch is covered by a see-through cover for scratch protection.

Inside the box, you’ll also find a guarantee card where you can input your personal details and be entitled to a 2-year warranty. Lastly, there’s a handy, multi-lingual instruction booklet which provides information on how to set the watch, general maintenance, and how to change the batteries. Make sure you stash these documentations for safekeeping.

While it’s a perfectly good packaging, I would rather have a travel zipper case or watch roll. This way, there will be more functionality for storing the watch than the standard watch box.

Design Elements

As mentioned, the Detomaso Milano is for men who are looking for a timeless, classically-designed watch. The no-nonsense approach is a perfect match from business meetings to suited events. Let’s take a closer look at the Milano’s design elements.

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Watch Face


Right from the get-go, you’ll be greeted by styling-looking Chronograph timepiece. The Milano is all about the classic look which is further reinforced by the clean lines in the face. The 12-hour clock display doesn’t have actual printed numbers but instead replaced with lines.

The bezel is lined with gold casting which gives it an elegant look. The hour lines, hands, and the three smaller dials are all outlined in gold. However, I’ve been reading that other variants of Milano have different design schemes. The watch face is encased in a tough mineral glass which to my experience, provides a good deal of protection from scratches and hard impacts.

Strap


The watch is all tied up with a calf-skin leather strap and a buckle. The strap’s exterior sports a cracked leather pattern which gives the timepiece a sophisticated, worn look. The interior is colored red which seems to be a common design element present in all Detomaso Milano Chronographs.

The type of leather used in the Milano will surely crease with regular usage. However, I like the type of leather used here as the worn-out look will only add character to the watch and is quite in line with elegant aesthetic that Detomaso is going for.

Comfort and Wearability

Considering that the strap is made of leather, the Milano is surprisingly comfortable to wear. I prefer to wear watches with metal bands especially when it gets very humid. However, the leather strap of the Milano has managed to adequately seal the humidity and sweat which really enhances the overall comfort of the piece. It’s also a good thing If you think that the leather strap is a deal-breaker, you’ll be pleased to know that the watch is also available in steel bands.

The Milano weighs about 58 grams which is just the right weight and didn’t make my wrist feel tired after wearing it for prolonged time periods. The case diameter is 40 mm which for me is just the perfect size although I don’t have the biggest hands. With that size, readability has never been an issue for me.

Timekeeping Features

The watch comes equipped with quartz 8172-220 movement made by Swiss manufacturer ISA. The ISA movement is a very decent one and as far as accuracy goes, I have no complaints. I always prefer quartz movement as it is just a more reliable and accurate way to tell time when compared to mechanical ones.

One feature that I do enjoy is that the main second hand resets. Other movements tend to “snap” the second counter back in place. In case of the ISA 8172, the second hand slowly resets back in position.

As a chronograph, the Milano actually delivers. The stopwatch works as advertised. There’s also the standard date, separate seconds, and weekday display – nothing much I can comment about these features except that they do serve their purpose.

As far as timekeeping features go, the Detomaso Milano is about as bare-bones as you can get. So that’s one way of saying that it doesn’t offer much in terms of features. However, the lack of features just go in-line with the no-nonsense approach of this timepiece.

Durability and Maintenance

For the price, the Detomaso Milano looks and feels like a high-quality piece. The watch face itself still remains pristine despite a few bumps. To be fair, I’ve only used the Milano for casual purposes and not for anything remotely athletic. The strap itself feels secure at first but with repeated use, I found that it has turned quite flimsy over time. I’m afraid I might have to consider getting a replacement band soon.

As an added bonus, the watch is water resistant up to 165 feet and is rated at 5 ATM. Apparently, the Milano is good enough for a swim and showering. However, I would not dare use it while showering or going for a swim due to the leather strap. The water resistance did come in handy during rainy weather (especially that I’m on Pacific Northwest). But feel free to use this watch for swimming, snorkeling, and other water-related activities.

Maintenance is also not a big issue since quartz watches tend to have a longer battery life when compared to mechanical ones. I’ve been doing some research and found that the ISA caliber 8172 movement has replacement prices at around $34.95 USD.

Price Point

I have the DT1052-I MILANO model which is available for about $100-$180. I won’t be surprised if other models (there’s a total of 17 Milano models available) will command a higher price point but not by much. In my opinion, that is a very good price especially considering what you’ll be getting out of the box. There are some quality issues with regards to the strap which is unfortunate because there’s seems to be no official replacements from Detomaso. Trust me, I’ve looked hard!

At this price, you’re definitely getting the value for your money. Just don’t expect a wide range of features and durability that you can get from higher-end chronographs.

Should You Buy the Detomaso Milano Chronograph Watch?

If I’m going to describe the Detomaso Milano Chronograph in one word, that would be “competent.” The gold casting and leather strap really bring it all together to achieve an antique vintage look. The watch face oozes with refined Italian charm and is accompanied with purposeful functionality. If you are not happy with this design, you have 16 other models to choose with different colors and bands.

The ISA 8172 quartz movement gave the watch the much-needed accuracy and reliability. However, aside from what you can get from a standard chronograph, there’s not much that you can expect here in terms of timekeeping features. With that said, this is a classic straightforward timepiece that you can just wear and forget.

Aside from the lack of features, there are some areas of the Milano where the quality is spotty, particularly with the strap. With repeated use, the strap in my watch has creased and has become quite flimsy. I don’t really mind the overall look but I’m worried that the strap might snap. This would not be a major issue if only Detomaso has released official replacement bands for purchase. However, I imagine this would not be an issue if you buy a model with stainless steel bands like the DETOMASO DT1052-N MILANO Chronograph Watch.

The Bottom Line

The Detomaso Milano doesn’t rank high up there with my favorites. However, there’s definitely a great value to be found here. For a chronograph below $200, it’s impressive what Detomaso has accomplished with the Milano Chronograph Watch. This timepiece is an easy recommendation for men who are looking for a classic, elegant watch without breaking the bank.

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