Hello everyone, and welcome to another of my reviews. In this article, I’ll review the Classic 1986 Automatic from the local watch label Black by Blue Brave.

I previously reviewed the racing-inspired HS7, but frankly, its Hublot-esque aesthetic wasn’t my cup of tea. However, the Classic 1986 Automatic looked more up my alley, and I promptly asked Black by Blue Brave if I could review one. Let’s see if it’s any good.

Black by Blue Brave Classic 1986 Automatic – Video Review

If you’re interested in seeing hands-on footage of the Classic 1986 Automatic, do watch my YouTube review of the watch below:

Black by Blue Brave – the Brand

I also previously covered the brand story of Black by Blue Brave in my previous review of the HS7 and other accessories. If you’re interested in learning more about the brand, you can read that article here.

Black by Blue Brave Classic 1986 Automatic – Build Quality

The specifications of the Classic 1986 Automatic are rock solid for its price.

Firstly, the Black by Blue Brave Classic 1986 Automatic uses a domed sapphire crystal. As mentioned numerous times in my previous reviews, I’m a huge advocate of sapphire crystal due to its inherent scratch-resisting properties. I always look for sapphire crystal in my modern watches as it adds greatly to the watch’s durability. And despite being a dress watch, the Classic 1986 Automatic has an impressive water resistance rating of 100M, rendering it robust enough for virtually all everyday activities.

Secondly, the Black by Blue Brave Classic 1986 Automatic is powered by the Miyota 8215 movement. Some specifications: the Miyota 8215 possesses a power reserve of around 42 hours, has 21 jewels, an accuracy of -20 to +40 sec per day, and hand-winds. It’s visible through an exhibition caseback, and features a lovely gilded custom rotor that’s also adorned with Geneva striping. Such a nice custom rotor is rare at this sub-S$300 price point – even the BOLDR Charizard Pokemon watch fails to have a custom rotor despite being more than twice the price.

The Black by Blue Brave Classic 1986 Automatic comes default on a matching faux alligator leather strap. The alligator embossing does reinforce the dressy nature of the watch, but the embossing is shallow and the lining is average. It’ll get the job done, but being only Genuine Leather, the strap will not patina over time, and likely won’t last very long. There is a signed buckle however, which is a nice detail at this price point.

All in all, the Classic 1986 Automatic punches above its price point. It has a domed sapphire crystal, a surprisingly high 100M of water resistance, and is powered by a robust Miyota movement that has the bonus of being nicely decorated. The only kink is the lacklustre leather strap, though that can be easily resolved through a third-party option.

Black by Blue Brave Classic 1986 Automatic – Design

While it doesn’t reinvent the wheel, the Black by Blue Brave Classic 1986 Automatic does possess a classic design that makes it stylistically versatile.

The Classic 1986 Automatic comes in four colourways – Black, Green, Blue, and Ivory White. Of the four, Blue and Green are the most striking due to their sunburst dials, which interact beautifully with the light. Under the shade, the dial is a deep royal blue. In direct light – like above – the dial morphs into a vibrant purplish palette. The sunburst dial feels alive, resulting in a captivating wear on the wrist.

Other aspects of the dial are also well done. For one, the applied indices and logo give the Classic 1986 Automatic a sense of depth. In addition, the slender leaf hands accentuate the dressy nature of the watch, while the lollipop seconds hand gives it a retro touch. My only knock is the date window – I would have preferred for the window to match the dial colour, or perhaps at least have the font in blue.

The case is a simple affair, and is polished throughout without much contrast of textures. However, there is a stepped bezel, which further reinforces the slightly vintage vibe of the Classic 1986 Automatic.

There’s also a signed crown, which isn’t always the case at this price point. The crown is well-sized, making handwinding an ease.

The Classic 1986 Automatic’s 42mm case size is a tad large for a dress watch, though it still wears decently on my 6.75-inch wrist without overhanging. For a dress watch, I would have preferred a 40mm case size instead. It’s also a tad thick at 13mm (due to the Miyota movement and the domed sapphire crystal), though it still manages to squeeze underneath a shirt cuff.

Overall, the Classic 1986 Automatic features a simple design, but isn’t boring due to its lovely sunburst dial. The dial is elegantly executed, with a slight vintage touch that references the aesthetic norms of the 1980s.

Shootout: Black by Blue Brave Classic 1986 Automatic vs Aries Gold La Oro

If you’re looking for an affordable but well-specced everyday dress watch, then the best alternative would be the Aries Gold La Oro.

In terms of specifications, both watches are evenly matched. Both watches feature sapphire crystal, are powered by a Japanese automatic movement (Seiko NH35A for the La Oro, Miyota 8215 for the Classic 1986 Automatic), and come on a genuine leather strap. The Black by Blue Brave models edge out the Aries Gold with a slightly higher water-resistance rating of 100M to 50M, which will matter to those who are often around water.

From an aesthetic standpoint, both watches share multiple similarities. Both the La Oro and Classic 1986 Automatic possess striking sunburst dials, applied indices, and a date window at 3 o’clock. They even have identical dimensions, with both watches being 42mm wide and 13mm thick. If I had to choose however, I would probably lean towards the Classic 1986 Automatic – its retro look not only gives it additional character but also makes it more dressy. When paired with a suit, it is the Black by Blue Brave model that stands out more.

Where the La Oro has the edge is in its price as it’s cheaper than the Classic 1986 by about S$60. If you have a tight budget, the La Oro would be the better option. However, if you can afford to spare the S$60, then go for the Classic 1986 Automatic – it’s the better watch.

Conclusion – so the Black by Blue Brave Classic 1986 Automatic “shiok” or not?

The Black by Blue Brave Classic 1986 Automatic punches above its price point. At less than S$300, the Classic 1986 Automatic is not only well-specced, but also has an alluring dial that separates it from the generic dress watches one often sees at this price point. I love the sunburst dial and how it transforms in different lighting conditions, while the retro touches elevate the watch – it looks right at home with a suit. If you’re looking for a classic-looking, everyday watch that will withstand the trials and tribulations of everyday life (without burning a hole in your wallet) then the Classic 1986 Automatic is a great choice.

Those interested in purchasing from Black by Blue Brave can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” for 25% off all items from its web-store. After the discount, the Classic 1986 Automatic can be had for just S$284, making it an attractive value proposition. I like it much more than the HS7 – I hope the brand releases more of such watches in the future.

View the Classic 1986 Automatic here.
View the rest of Black by Blue Brave’s offerings here.


Case Thickness13MM
CrystalSapphire Crystal
Material316L Stainless Steel
Power Reserve48 Hours
Dial ColourRoyal Blue
StrapLeather Strap
Strap width20MM
Strap ColourRoyal Blue
Interchangeable StrapYes
Water ResistantUp to 10 ATM

P.S: Check out The Shiok Store here – it serves as a curation of my favourite products from my favourite brands.

P.P.S: Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wah so Shiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!

P.P.P.S: If you haven’t already, do follow my social media channels on Facebook here, on Instagram here, and on Youtube here.

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.