For many months now, I’ve been dipping my toes into microbrand watches. Some smaller brands, in my opinion, have missed the mark while some have absolutely nailed their vision. Today, we’re going to talk about a microbrand that has hit its mark.
Today, we’re going to talk about Momentum Watches, a Canadian-based company that has made a wide range of timepieces – from dive watches to dress watches.
For this Momentum watches review, we’ll talk about the brief history of the brand, break down the things that we love and don’t love, and review some of the best pieces this brand has to offer.
About Momentum Watches
Momentum watches have been around since 1980. As mentioned earlier, Momentum watches is based in Vancouver, Canada. Actually, the company that works on the watches itself is called St. Moritz Watch Corp. However, the company designs, assembles, and services the watches under the Momentum.
The company’s main philosophy is to design and manufacture watches with casual and active but straightforward designs. The company claims that its watches feature excellent waterproof performance at a reasonable price. Most, if not all, of their watches are catered towards people with an active lifestyle.
Many of Momentum’s watches have a familiar and classic design – another thing that’s in-line with their design philosophy. This watch company isn’t looking to buck the trend but it’s a slave to trends either. Momentum focuses on making watches that have quality, functionality, and style.
Momentum Watches Review: Pros and Cons
Is it worth adding a Momentum timepiece to your collection? Here are the things that I love and appreciate about Momentum watches and some aspects that I don’t care about.
What We Love
1. No-Nonsense Design Philosophy
Sometimes, you just have to step back and appreciate what a watch company is trying to do. Momentum is not trying to revolutionize the watch industry with advanced timekeeping mechanisms and space-age construction, their main design philosophy is to make watches for the everyday people.
That’s something that I can get behind.
Momentum watches are something that you can wear and just go about your day. Even their best dive watches and high-end field timepieces have relatively traditional designs but reliable ruggedness. The features on the watches are about as basic as you can get but that’s perfectly fine.
If you are looking for a brand with a no-nonsense approach to their watches, it’s worth looking into what Momentum has to offer.
2. Rugged, Durable Timepieces
In light of Momentum’s philosophy of watches that just works, their timepieces are ultra-rugged, durable, and require little to no maintenance.
Despite not being premium, luxury pieces, many Momentum’s products are made from high-quality components like 316L steel, sapphire crystals, AR coating, and other durable materials. These are watches that can take quite a beating which is why it’s used by many professionals.
As of now, Momentum watches can be found on the wrist of law enforcement, firefighters, coast guards, and military personnel.
3. Looking Good
Momentum watches aren’t going to win any awards when it comes to fresh or innovative designs. However, that’s not to say that the watches aren’t good looking.
In fact, Momentum offers plenty of great-looking watches.
The designs of Momentum watches can be quite derivative but I have no problem wearing them on my wrist. For instance, the Momentum 1M-SP00B6B Atlas Titanium is a nice-looking field watch with a bold and legible dial. The Momentum Fieldwalker Adventure Watch is another watch that features a rock-solid design and is frankly very fashionable.
For certain, you won’t have a problem wearing Momentum watches daily.
4. Reasonable Price Tag
Perhaps the main selling point of Momentum watches is their price tags. These watches won’t cost an arm and leg but you still get a quality timekeeping tool.
The price range for Momentum watches ranges from $99-$300 which is great considering their overall quality. Because of this, Momentum is a good brand for up and coming watch collectors or if you’re in the market for a good gift watch.
There’s simply a lot of watch here for the money.
What We Don’t Love
1. Inconsistencies with Quality
While Momentum units have respectable quality, it’s worth noting that it’s still a microbrand. With that said, I found some quality issues with some Momentum watches I’ve checked.
This is especially true with entry-level models.
This is quite understandable with lower-end models because the company has to cut some corners here and there. Perhaps the most obvious solution to keep the cost down is with the movement. While the Miyota movement gets the job done, I just feel that it could be better while still keeping the cost down. There are also strap quality issues with some of the models.
In general, Momentum watches are well-built, there were just a couple of quality issues that are hard to ignore.
2. Derivative Designs
As mentioned earlier, Momentum’s timepieces are good-looking on their own. However, I must say that most of their designs are rather uninspired.
Many of their design elements look to be lifted from other brands like Seiko and Citizen. Now, there’s nothing wrong with this in general but if you’re looking for an inspired timekeeping tool, Momentum might not be the brand for you.
Don’t expect these watches to be the pinnacle of timekeeping design.
Best Momentum Watches
Of course, we can’t have a Momentum watches review without highlighting some of the best units the brand has to offer. Here are watches that best represent Momentum in my opinion.
1. Momentum Steelix Field Watch
The Momentum Steelix Field Watch is perhaps one of the most popular watches by Momentum – for good reason.
The Momentum Steelix Field Watch has caught my eye because it features a design that’s similar to a vintage Seiko. When I got the watch, it looks and feels like a well-constructed unit.
I also tend to gravitate towards black dialed watches so the Steelix is the first model I’ve checked for writing this Momentum watches review. With that said, the dial looks attractive with the charcoal color, bold numerals, and sword-style hands. Legibility is also excellent for this watch which is a must if you’re planning to wear it on the field.
The Steelix does feel a little bit heavy but it’s not that big of a deal once you get used to it. After several adjustments, the watch sits comfortably on my wrist. The nylon band could be better but it’s durable enough for people with an active lifestyle.
The Steelix Field Watch is one of the more impressive models by Momentum. Plus, it comes with a great price tag and is a great value for money.
2. Momentum M50 Mark II
The Momentum M50 Mark II is yet another popular piece by the brand. The M50 Mark II is touted by the company as their toughest watch, bar none. It’s a dive that’s good enough for deep-sea exploration, so take that as you will.
From Deep-Sea Diving to Beater
The Momentum M50 Mark II is a great option for a dive watch that won’t break the bank. With a water-resistance rating of 500M / 1650FT, this is a diver that you can reliably wear underwater. It’s no wonder that it has become a prime choice for law enforcement, special forces, firefighters, and EMT professionals.
One of the first things that you’ll notice about the M50 Mark II is its airtight construction. It just feels solid and appropriately rugged. Plus, the scratch-proof sapphire crystal does a great job of protecting the dial. Even if you’re not looking for a dive watch that will serve you underwater, this one makes an excellent beater watch.
For timekeeping and power, the M50 Mark II houses the Japanese Quartz Movement and 10-year battery life for precise timekeeping and longevity. The dial is also fully lumed which comes in handy for low-light conditions like under the ocean.
Overall, the M50 Mark II is very impressive as far as affordable dive watches go.
3. Momentum Atlas Titanium
Lastly, the Momentum Atlas Titanium is another successful creation by this Canadian-based watchmaker. It’s another field watch with a restrained look and a very nice feel to it.
Super Luminous Field Watch
First, the thing that I love the most about the Momentum Atlas Titanium is its size. The 38mm case is a good size for a field watch such as this. The Atlas Titanium sits nicely on the wrist and it doesn’t hurt that it has a striking yet restrained look.
The face just screams “field watch” style and reminds me of some Hamilton watches. The dial is bold, simple, and legible – the oversized numbers made sure of that. The superluminous hands and numbers look quite nice during low-light conditions. However, the white dial version can be particularly bright.
Of course, you can’t talk about the watch without mentioning the Titanium case. The case is gray, matte-finished titanium. While it looks nice on its own, I would have preferred a brushed finish. As is, the case has like a sort of “plasticky” feel to it. However, it’s hard to complain about titanium cases especially at this price point.
Overall, the Momentum Atlas Titanium is a simple, durable, easy to wear and use field watch. It’s another Momentum watch that offers a great value proposition.
Momentum Watches Review: Are They Any Good?
Finally, we conclude this Momentum watches review with a verdict.
The watches by Momentum comes highly recommended. This particular microbrand doesn’t break any ground but it doesn’t need to. There are some issues with quality but they’re not enough to make me turn away. There’s just so much watch here for your money.
Momentum watches are stylish, functional, and offers great value. Check them out if you’re in the market for a good entry-level to mid-range watch.