Yet another guilty pleasure watch.. the U-Boat Thousands of Feet Chronograph LE. The flightdeck was big and obnoxious, but the Thousands of Feet is EVEN MORE so. Think of U-Boat meets Bell & Ross, and then juice it up with some steroids and you have it. Is it cool? Yes. Is it practical? No.
The Thousands of Feet Chronograph is a limited edition, much more rare and limited in production than the regular Thousands of Feet which is a manual winding model. It features a gigantic 50mm case, and is quite thick, affording the wearer a lot of wrist presence. The watch also stands out and can sometimes skirt the line between Fashion Watch and Horological Timepiece… and that is often the predicament I find myself in when selecting the timepiece of the day. Sometimes I find certain watches just look too much like Fashion Watches and that’s just not the statement I want to make.
From an overall design perspective, the watch is not loud, and it features a fairly balanced overall appearance. The black matte sandwich dial and PVD coated stainless steel case are all features that would generally minimize attention. However, put all that into a 50mm Square watch, and you have about as much elegance as a bull in a china shop.
The crown is the pushdown type, but still allows the watch to achieve 100m water resistance. Pushers and crown are located on the left hand side of the watch, which is always a welcome change for me. While its harder to adjust, I just find it adds a subtle layer of interest to the watch. Also, it means sometimes you forget and start to put the watch on backwards, which keeps your mornings interesting.
Here’s a shot of that side-mounted sapphire exhibition window that lets you observe the side of the movement, which also has the U-Boat logo and some horizontal lines printed on the inside of the glass. The serial numbering for the model is also etched in here next to the viewing glass.
And there is the exhibition back, which is tinted, but still clear enough to see the ETA/Valjoux 7750 chronograph movement inside. The movement is with little decoration, and is mostly bone stock aside from the signed rotor. The back interesting, and though you barely see it in the pics, it has the Overall Diameter (50mm), Water Resistance (100m), Made in Italy, Steel Type (316L), and the movement (ETA 7750) inscribed on the back in case you forget. Handy!
And finally the all important wrist shot as seen on my 6.75″ wrist. For a square 50mm watch, it wears pretty good. One of my problems with this watch is the strap to head size ratio. I find that the strap is too thin and weak for such a big and bold watch head. It cries for something stronger… perhaps digging into my Panerai strap drawer will yield some positive results. It has a lug width of 24mm, and I have a lot of 24mm straps! Perfect.