Hello everyone, and welcome to another Singaporean watch review! On this “shiok” Saturday, I’m reviewing the new Roadster by local watch brand, Aries Gold.
The Roadster is Aries Gold’s latest automatic watch, and it’s a special one – it’s a limited edition run of only 500 pieces! Racing-inspired, let’s see how the latest watch from Aries Gold fares!
Update: I’m pleased to list the Aries Gold Roadster on my new web-store, The Shiok Shop.
Aries Gold – the Brand
Many of us Singaporeans should be familiar with the brand Aries Gold – we see Aries Gold watches stocked in watch retailer H2 Hub (with over 10 locations in Singapore) across the island. What many Singaporeans may not know is that Aries Gold watches are actually “Made in Singapore” – the brand possess their own manufacturing and assembly facilities and team of watchmakers right here on our little red dot! If you would like to details of Aries Gold’s brand story, do read my review of the Aries Gold Jolter here, in which I covered Aries Gold as a brand in detail. I also previously reviewed the Aries Gold Cruiser here.
Aries Gold Roadster – Build Quality
Like most Aries Gold watches, the specifications of the Roadster is pretty stellar for the price.
Firstly, the Roadster utilises a domed sapphire crystal. As aforementioned numerous times in my previous reviews, I’m a huge advocate of sapphire crystal due to their inherent scratch-resisting properties. Personally, I always look for sapphire crystal in my modern watches as it adds greatly to the durability of the watch. In addition, the WR rating for the Roadster is 50m, which should render it safe for most daily activities except a trip to the pool or the sea.
The most interesting aspect (from a watch enthusiast perspective) is the Roadster’s movement. The Seiko Epson YN84 movement powers the Roadster, which is a very rare sight. This is the first time I’ve reviewed a watch with the Epson YN84 movement, and I’ve reviewed probably over 100 watches till date over these two years! Some specs: it has 40 hours of power reserve, beats at 21,600 bph, and hacks. It boasts a couple of complications as well, namely a power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock, a 24-hour indicator at 6 o’clock, and an open-heart at 9 o’clock. I have to say, this is probably the most “complicated” movement I’ve personally seen in a sub-$500 watch – pretty impressive, I have to say!
A Genuine Leather strap comes default on the Aries Gold Roadster. It’s alright – the strap feels soft and comfortable, and it doesn’t have that rough, cardboardy lining that plagues some of the straps that comes on affordable watches. However, as the strap is merely “Genuine Leather”, the leather will not patina the same way top grain or full grain leather would. Granted, the patina would not be that obvious on this black leather strap, but it will certainly be a factor for consideration if you opt for the other colourways of the Roadster. Personally, I swapped out the strap for a nautical woven strap from Luffwatchstraps that I thought complemented the Roadster perfectly.
All in all, I’m pretty impressed by the specifications of the Roadster, especially considering its ~S$400 price point. In particular, I was impressed at the multi-function movement – it’s extremely rare to find complications such as an open-heart, power reserve indicator, and a 24-hour indicator together in one watch at such a price point. Kudos to Aries Gold for pulling that off!
Aries Gold Roadster – Design
Aries Gold states that the design of the Roadster is inspired by “the vintage outlook of the racing cars designed in the 1960s”. I have to give it to them – the Roadster might be the most racing-inspired watch I’ve reviewed till date!
Ah, where to start? The Roadster is simply chock-full with racing imagery. Take the power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock for example. It’s designed to resemble the fuel gauge of automobiles, fitting considering that a power reserve indicator is essentially the “fuel gauge” of a watch. At 6 o’clock, the 24-hour indicator is modeled after what I assume to be the speedometer of a car. In addition, there’s an open heart at 9 o’clock, but it has been designed tastefully to resemble the wheel of a car. When the movement is in movement, the open-heart evokes to mind the imagery of a race car’s wheels in motion – pretty cool stuff. I love the various hand designs present in the Roadster as well – there’s the industrial looking primary hands, the retro looking hand of the power reserve sub-dial, and the circular hand of the 24-hour sub-dial. It’s intricate, intriguing, and sticks closely to the racing theme of the watch.
I also appreciated the amount of contrast – depth, texture, colour – found in the dial of the Roadster. Firstly, the depth of the Roadster is simply astounding. Not only are there applied indices, the dial is also multi-layered which is simply a treat to the eyes. In particular, I love the slight indentations on the dial that Aries Gold uses to denote minutes. Furthermore, there’s also differing textures found on the dial. There’s a sandblasted portion at 3 o’clock (which you can personalise with text), a gloss black base section, as well as concentric circles in the following upper section! Lastly, I love the contrasting colours – black, blue, red – used on the dial. It makes the watch pop, and gives it a sporty and stealthy vibe. I especially love the red/black stripe at 3 o’clock, which brings again to mind the speedometer of a car. I think the numerals – 11 to 19, which denotes the respective minutes – is a stroke of genius, as it not only serves a practical function but also an aesthetic one, given that numerals are often also indicated in a speedometer. A simply brilliant dial that is evocative of racing and automobiles in every corner.
Whilst the dial was intricate and full of racing elements, the case in comparison is a bit of a let-down. There’s nothing wrong with it – it’s just that the dial was so awesome, I expected that level of detail to be present in the case as well. The case is simply brushed finished throughout, though there are some polished beveled parts. The matte crown is signed, and is substantially sized to make winding an ease, but the Aries Gold logo engraving looks a tad cheap there. Personally, I wanted to see a more refined, detailed case, with contrasting polishing techniques. That being said, given the ~S$400 price point of the watch, I can’t really complain much, though it is certainly a tad of a shame.
The caseback is nicely polished, with several relevant specifications inscribed. In addition, the limited edition serial number of the watch is also engraved! It actually comes with a unique serial number, unlike some other “limited edition” watches that just engraves “1/50” on every watch. Furthermore, you can also choose to have text or image printed on the caseback (additional S$10)! I think it’s pretty cool that Aries Gold offers customers the chance to personalise their watches – I can easily see how it can make for a meaningful gift, or perhaps the watch as something special to commemorate a specific milestone. I chose to have the website’s logo printed on the caseback, and I must say I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out! I especially like that Aries Gold did it in a translucent manner, allowing me to not only be able to see the image, but also the mechanical movement within. Again, I think that this is a stroke of genius – the best of both worlds!
I’m also pleased to report that the Aries Gold Roadster wears nicely on my 7 inch wrist! Its 44mm diameter looks big on paper, but the Roadster’s short lugs makes it wear closer to a 42mm. Whilst it certainly wouldn’t fit under a shirt cuff, it’s not that thick either at 12.75mm. Definitely very wearable for an everyday watch!
Overall, I absolutely love the design of the Aries Gold Roadster – it’s (in my opinion) the best looking AG watch till date. I love how the watch is filled with racing motifs, and I adore the sporty, stealthy vibe of this watch. I also love the personalisation options available to customers, both on the dial as well as on the caseback. Whilst the case could have perhaps been finished to a higher degree, it’s certainly a lot of look for not that much cash!
Shootout: Aries Gold Roadster vs Direnzo DRZ Type 250F
There aren’t many automatic, time-only racing inspired affordable watches out there, but another viable option is the Direnzo DRZ Type 250F. Like the Aries Gold Roadster, the Direnzo DRZ Type 250F is inspired by vintage automobiles, and thus I pitted them together in today’s shootout!
In terms of specifications, I have to give it to the Aries Gold Roadster simply because of its movement. Both watches utilises sapphire crystal, but the multi-function Seiko Epsom YN84 movement found in the Roadster simply trumps the rather pedestrian Seiko NH35 movement found in the Type 250F. It has a power reserve indicator, a 24-hour sub-dial, and an open heart – three things the Seiko NH35 does not possess.
From an aesthetics standpoint, the fight is much closer. Both watches are clearly great looking watches, and both share the same sporty and stealthy vibe due to the black/red colour scheme. However, if I had to choose, I would definitely still pick the Aries Gold Roadster. There’s nothing wrong with the dial of the Direnzo DRZ Type 250F, but it does come across as a bit flat. If you’re a fan of minimalist watches that might appeal to you more, but I prefer detail on my watches. The Roadster simply packs more in terms of racing motifs, texture, depth, and contrast. There’s also the added bonus of the Roadster being personalisable!
Given that the Roadster is significantly cheaper than the DRZ Type 250F, I have to declare the Aries Gold Roadster as the winner of this shootout.
Conclusion – so the Aries Gold Roadster “shiok” or not?
Definitely so! As aforementioned, I think this is the best watch Aries Gold has introduced till date. It possesses great specifications for the price – sapphire crystal, and an unusual Seiko Epsom YN84 movement – and has a dial that is full of depth, racing motifs, texture, and contrast. I really enjoyed personalising the watch as well! It’s a great value proposition for those who are looking for a sporty watch with great specifications that won’t break the bank.
For those interested, the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” will grant you S$5 off all purchases from H2 Hub’s – official retailer of Aries Gold – web-store! After the discount, the Aries Gold Roadster can be had for just S$401, which I think is a great price. Definitely bang-for-buck! In addition, the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” will give you 20% off all Aries Gold watches from their web-store! Depending on their pricing, one may be cheaper than the other, so do check both out.
Update: The Aries Gold Roadster can be had for just $364 on The Shiok Shop – an unbeatable price.
View all Aries Gold watches here.
|Case Material||Stainless Steel|
|Strap Material||Genuine Leather Strap|
|Function||3 Hands, Open Heart, Power Reserve, Limited to 500 pieces|
|Local Warranty||3 Years|
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wahsoshiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!
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