What? ANOTHER Burett, ALREADY? Jeez, Mort...

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What? ANOTHER Burett, ALREADY? Jeez, Mort...

Post by Mortuus on 2014-01-11, 17:22

I came across this watch on eBay not long after I purchased my first Burett (the “Continental” quartz chronograph, Model B4203 BSSA) from World of Watches.  I don’t know if it’s a sign that watches are declining in popularity or if people just aren’t looking in the right places, or if the economy is still terminally ‘soft,’ but during the last 12 months, I’ve come across some absolutely incredible – even shocking – buys on auction sites in general, and eBay in particular.

Case in point: this beautiful Burett ‘Neo-Icon.’

Normally I try to avoid mentioning what I’ve paid for a given watch; it keeps me from embarrassing myself if I pay too much, or keeps me from sounding egotistical and/or losing my credibility if I quote an astronomically low price.  However, in this case, I’m willing to take the risk.  I was one of two bidders for this watch, and I paid $167.86 USD (plus free shipping) at auction’s end.

$167.86 USD.

That’ll take the ruffles off your cheerleader skirt, eh?  I think that’s less than what I paid for my first (and only) Invicta Ocean Ghost back in the early days of my ‘geekhood.’  Put another way, $167.86 USD is about half to a third of what I’d normally expect to pay for a Burett Neo Icon.  Take a look at the technical data below, and you’ll see why:

Brand: Burett
Model: "Neo-Icon"
Model Number: B3201 NS
Condition: Pre-Owned (overall Excellent)
Type: Sport Chronometer Three-Hand
Country of Origin: Switzerland
Gender: Men's
Display Type: Analogue
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial Color: Silver Sunray
Lume: Yes
Case Color: Stainless Steel
Weight (Prior to Sizing): 190 grams  
Case Width (W/O Crown): 42mm
Case Thickness: 12mm
Case Back Type: Exhibition (sapphire)
Bezel: Unidirectional, 60-click
Bracelet Type: Stainless Steel (3-link 'Oyster' Type)
Bracelet Width: 24mm (Non-Tapering)
Bracelet Length: 8"
Clasp: Diver's push-button fold-over with keeper
Movement: Swiss ETA 2824-2 Automatic (Hacking)
Miscellaneous Notes: Water resistant to 200M/20 ATM; date display at 3 o'clock; Lumed 'arrowhead' style tip on seconds hand; packed in an extremely well-made “Burchbox.”

All of that for $167.86 USD.  I don’t even need to make mention of Chazz Bono’s nether regions to make my point, said point being that this is one hell of a lot of watch for such a ridiculously low cost.  (It makes me cringe when I think about how much more I’ve spent on lesser watch brands over the years…)

Design: This is a genuinely beautiful watch.  It’s an amazing mix of brushed and polished surfaces, from its three-segment bracelet, with polished center and brushed outer links, to its signed clasp, with brushed bottom, polished sides and high-shine safety clasp.  The polished case mixes perfectly with the circular-brushed, sawtooth-edged bezel, which operates smoothly and stays in place firmly.  The dial features a very clean sunray finish, with lumed ‘broadsword’ hands, large, modern numerals at 12, 6 and 9, and baton hour markers everywhere else, save for the 3 o’clock position, with its smallish date window.

Flip it over and check out the case-back; I don’t know what to call it, but there’s a type of – what, gnurling?  Coin edging?  Beading? – effect that beautifully frames the sapphire exhibition crystal.  Details like that are, if I can use a term from my long-ago third-grade days without sounding silly, just plain way kewl.  And while you’re looking at the case-back, take a glance at the way the lugs seamlessly join up with the case, giving it that pocket-watch-meets-bracelet classic look that I never get tired of seeing.

The overall fit and finish are excellent, as the watch achieves a well-put-together feel without being stiff and uncomfortable.

Combine all these features, and you have a deceptively simple-looking design that’s pleasing to both the eye and the ‘engineering intellect’ that lives, to varying degrees, in every fan of Horology.

(So how’s that for a butt-load of descriptive-as-hell adjectives…?)

Condition: the pictures really do speak for themselves here.  There are only a few scratches in the stainless steel, but they’re limited almost exclusively to the bottom of the clasp.  There are some tiny ‘pockmarks’ on the left side (between the 8 and 10 o’clock positions) of the case, but they’re nearly indistinguishable from the reflections off its highly polished surface.  The rest of the watch is virtually pristine.  The seller claimed he had only worn it a few times, and I believe him.

Operation: Like the song of the same name from Carlos Santana, this watch is smooth.  Whether you choose to wind it up or shake it around – sounds almost vulgar, doesn’t it? – this watch, with its ETA 2824-2 auto movement, operates in a constant whisper-quiet mode that, thus far, has been averaging about +15 seconds per day.  There are no wobbles or squeaks; even the bracelet stays quiet with normal wear during the day.  Like my other Burett watch, I often forget it’s there.

As to the matter of lume, I would aver that it’s about average for a three-hand ports watch; the baton hour markers all have super luminova on their tips.  As already mentioned, the broadsword hands have a good deal of lume on them, though most of it is out toward their ‘pointy ends.’  The chapter ring has lumed ‘pip’ markers at all hour positions, and there is, of course, a pretty decent-sized pip at the top of the bezel.  Naturally, it all takes a bit of time to charge up, but in the end, the watch and its lumed areas easily pass the Conjurer-quick-glance-in-a-darkened-car test, not to mention the Mortuus-quick-glance-in-a-closed-morgue-‘meat-locker’ test.  (Next time: old Mort’ll do the quick-glance-in-a-darkened-mausoleum-vault test…it’s fun to do, but, truth to tell, it’s a bit of a bitch getting back out again…)

Down-Checks: None.  (No, really…)  Okay, okay, I’d prefer to have a bit larger date window, but I can read this one without too much trouble, so it’s not much of an issue, to be honest.

Summary: It’s pretty obvious that I think very highly of this watch; paying $167.86 USD for a Burett with an ETA 2824-2 obviously doesn’t suck, but it’s all the other things I’ve noted in the above paragraphs that make me a confirmed fan of this watch.  Design.  Appearance.  Operation.  Comfort.  All excellent.  A great follow-up to the purchase of the Burett Continental. Not much more I can add to that.

Except, of course, to say, as always, many thanks for dropping by…

 What a Face 


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