Hello everyone, and welcome to another of my reviews. In this article, I’ll be reviewing the new Voltamic from local watch label Aries Gold.
The Aries Gold Voltamic is the brand’s latest watch, and it features not only an integrated bracelet design but also a skeletonised dial. Let’s see if it’s any good.
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, which has over 10 locations in Singapore. What many Singaporeans may not know is that Aries Gold watches are actually “Made in Singapore” – the brand possesses its own manufacturing and assembly facilities and a team of watchmakers right here on our little red dot. If you would like to know more about Aries Gold’s brand story, do read my review of the Aries Gold Jolter (one of my personal favourites) here, in which I covered Aries Gold as a brand in detail. I also previously reviewed the Aries Gold Cruiser here, the Aries Gold Roadster here, the Aries Gold El Toro here, the Aries Gold Vanguard here, the Aries Gold Black Sea here, the Aries Gold Dreadnought here, the Aries Gold Diplomat here, and most recently the Aries Gold Great White here. In addition, I did a feature article on why I believe Aries Gold to be the best watch brand under S$200, which can be read here.
Aries Gold Voltamic – Video Review
For those who wish to see some hands-on footage of the watch, do check out my Youtube video on the Aries Gold Voltamic below:
Aries Gold Voltamic – Build Quality
Like its predecessors, the Voltamic has good specifications for the price.
Firstly, the Voltamic uses a sapphire crystal. As aforementioned numerous times in my previous reviews, I’m a huge advocate of sapphire crystal due to its 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. The Voltamic also has a water-resistance rating of 50M, making it robust enough for most daily activities that don’t involve prolonged submersion in water.
The Aries Gold Voltamic features the Seiko NH70A movement, which is essentially a skeletonised variant of the workhorse Seiko NH35A movement. Some quick specifications: the movement beats at 21600 vibrations per hour, has 42 hours of power reserve, contains 24 jewels, and is hacking. I’m a fan of the Seiko NH70A movement, and greatly prefer it to the Miyota 82S0 movement (which is the alternative skeletonised movement commonly seen used in microbrand watches). This is due to the fact that, unlike the NH70A, the Miyota 8 series movements are non-hacking, suffer from a stuttering second hand (some models), and in my own experience with the Miyota movements, are also more prone to accuracy problems. In addition, the Seiko NH70A movement features Cotes de Geneve decoration – visible through an exhibition caseback – which is impressive for a watch of this price point. Furthermore, Aries Gold allows customers the opportunity to engrave text (or even images) of their choice on the caseback, making it a great gifting or commemorative option.
The Aries Gold Voltamic also comes on an integrated stainless steel bracelet that has been PVD-ed black on this model. The design is Nautilus-esque, which can be both a boon or a bane depending on your cup of tea. However, the bracelet is a bit finicky due to its hollow links, and doesn’t possess the robustness of say, the Kent Hall & Co Nova Skeleton that I recently reviewed. I do appreciate the hidden clasp feature though, which gives the bracelet a streamlined look.
There’s also lume on the Voltamic, and it’s actually pretty decent for a non-sports watch. Aries Gold doesn’t explicitly state what type of lume is used, but my guess would be Swiss C5 Superluminova.
All in all, the Aries Gold Voltamic has solid specifications: sapphire crystal, a skeletonised Seiko NH70 movement, and even lume. The only knock is the ratty bracelet, though that’s par for the course at this affordable price point.
Aries Gold Voltamic – Design
While the Aries Gold Voltamic has decent build quality, the avant-garde design of the Voltamic is what sets it apart from its predecessors.
With a multi-faceted bezel, skeletonised dial, and integrated bracelet design, the Voltamic is (by far) the most visually interesting watch that Aries Gold has produced to date. There are a few colourways available, but I was most drawn to this black/gold version due to the sleek colour contrast. It gives off Hublot vibes – it actually reminds me of the Hublot Fusion Orlinski, and I mean that as a compliment.
Up close, the dial of the Voltamic looks even more striking. Being a skeletonised dial, it has inherent depth, with the beating balance wheel being highlighted at 9 o’clock. However, the multi-layer nature of the dial gives the watch even more depth, with the minute track being raised above the skeletonised portion and applied indices further enhancing the level of depth present. There’s also a great amount of texture – the skeletonised portion has a sandblasted texture, while the minute track, hands and applied indices have a contrasting brushed texture. I also like the subtle nature of the Aries Gold logo, which prevents the dial from being too ostentatious. There is already a lot happening on the dial, so the restrained position of the logo is a thoughtful touch.
In contrast, the Voltamic’s faceted octagonal bezel is far from restrained. Instead, it’s clearly meant to capture attention with its (literally) edgy design. The octagonal nature of the bezel clearly draws inspiration from the iconic Royal Oak, but the faceted design renders it different enough to escape being labelled as a mere homage. It’s a unique design that I’ve personally not encountered elsewhere, so I applaud the Aries Gold team for being innovative in its design.
The Aries Gold Voltamic has a case diameter of 41.5mm. That sounds slightly large on paper, but in reality, the watch wears slightly smaller due to the integrated bracelet design. And while the Voltamic is not exactly a slim watch at 12mm thick, it is still svelte enough to slide underneath a shirt cuff – albeit just about.
Overall, I appreciate the futuristic design of the Aries Gold Voltamic. It has a skeletonised dial with tons of depth and texture, while its faceted octagonal bezel sets it apart from other affordable integrated sports watches. I particularly like this blacked-out variant, which gives the watch a cool stealthy vibe that reinforces the inventive nature of the Voltamic.
Shootout: Aries Gold Voltamic vs Kent Hall & Co Revival Gunmetal Steel
The Aries Gold Voltamic reminds me greatly of another affordable microbrand skeletonised integrated sports watch that I’ve reviewed recently – the Kent Hall & Co Revival Gunmetal Steel.
In terms of specifications, the Aries Gold Voltamic edges out the Kent Hall & Co Revival Gunmetal steel. While both watches use sapphire crystal and possess 50m of water resistance, the Voltamic features a workhorse Seiko NH70 movement. In contrast, the Revival Gunmetal is powered by the Chinese Seagull TY2806, which is slightly less reliable/finished. The Voltamic also feature lume on its hands and indices, while the Revival Gunmetal only has lume on its hands.
From an aesthetic standpoint, both watches are clearly similar as both are PVD-ed, skeletonised sports watches with integrated bracelets. However, I believe the Aries Gold Voltamic again has a slight edge (literally). The faceted octagonal bezel of the Voltamic feels more original, while the octagonal bezel of the Revival Gunmetal can come off as a tad “homage-y”. Furthermore, there’s more juxtaposition of textures present in the Voltamic, and it simply looks like a more premium watch that’s put together better.
Where the Kent Hall & Co Revival Gunmetal trumps is in its price. At $244, it’s significantly cheaper than the Aries Gold Voltamic, which costs $390. If you’re on a tight budget, then you might be better off with the Revival Gunmetal.
Conclusion – so the Aries Gold Voltamic “shiok” or not?
Definitely so. It’s certainly the brand’s most striking design to date, pairing a skeletonised dial with a faceted octagonal bezel and an integrated bracelet. The specifications are good for the price too, with sapphire crystal, a workhorse Seiko movement, and Superlumiova lume. I particularly like the blacked-out variant with the golden dial – it’s stealthy with a touch of luxe, and eye-catching without being overly ostentatious. The customisation option acts as the icing on the cake, making it great as a gift as well.
Those interested in the Aries Gold Voltamic can purchase it at The Shiok Shop, where it is listed at $390 – 20% off its MSRP of $489. Alternatively, readers can also use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 20% off all watches from Aries Gold’s webstore. At S$390, I believe it to be good value for money, allowing watch enthusiasts to scratch that integrated skeletonised sports watch itch without breaking the bank. If you wish to customise your purchase, you can also email me at email@example.com to state your desired personalisation after placing the order.
View the Aries Gold Voltamic here.
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Local Warranty: 3 Years
Water Resistance: 5 ATM
Function: 3 Hands, Skeleton Dial
International Warranty: 2 Years
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P.P.P.P.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.