The Lecronos started out life as a Kickstarter campaign, where it raised well over a million HKD in funding. It is now well into production, and Lenvino was kind enough to send me one for review. Let’s see if it’s any good!
Lenvino – the Brand
Lenvino is a Hong Kong watch microbrand that was founded in 2017 by a group of watch enthusiasts who are passionate about “traditional watch craftsmanship”. With this focus on traditional watch craftsmanship in mind, Lenvino’s maiden watch collection was their minimalist, rectangular tourbillon watch, named the Tour.
After the success of the Tour (they raised over 400,000 HKD) Lenvino debuted the Lecronos, a watch at much more accessible price point. As aforementioned, the Lecronos sold like hotcakes on Kickstarter – no easy feat, considering how saturated the Kickstarter watch scene is nowadays!
Without any further ado, let’s delve into the review!
Lenvino Lecronos – Build Quality
The Lenvino Lecronos thoroughly blew me away with its build quality.
Firstly, the Lecronos 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 Lecronos is 50m, which should render it safe for most daily activities except a trip to the pool or the sea.
The ubiquitous Seiko NH35A movement powers the Lenvino Lecronos. Some quick specs: 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 NH35A movement, and greatly prefer it to the Miyota 8 series movement (which is the alternative movement commonly seen at this price point). This is due to the fact that unlike the NH35A, 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. Last but not least, the usage of the Seiko NH35A movement helps keep the price of the Lecronos down to a very affordable $174 USD (after promo code below)!
The only real flaw I could find on the Lenvino Lecronos is its leather strap. Lenvino states that these are “Italian leather” straps, but they are pretty poor. The leather strap smells like cheap leather, whilst the inner lining has that detestable cardboardy feel. I swapped out the strap on the Lecronos almost instantly.
Overall, I’m very impressed with the specifications of the Lenvino Lecronos. Despite its incredibly low price of $174 USD, it manages to feature both sapphire crystal, as well as the workhorse Seiko NH35 movement! When you think of the similarly priced fashion watches such as Daniel Wellington or MVMT available on the market today – quartz watches with mineral crystals – the Lecronos comes across as a heck of a steal. Sure, the strap isn’t very good, but that’s an easy fix.
Lenvino Lecronos – Design
I wasn’t expect much design innovation given the low price of the Lecronos, but once again my expectations were surpassed!
Lenvino clearly did not skimp on the Lecronos’ dial design. The dial of the Lecronos is meant to resemble that of a speedometer, and it is simply lovely to look at. There are a few colourways of the Lecronos (including grey, green, and even brown) but I gravitated to the black variant as speedometers – those that I’m used to anyway – are usually black. In addition, I find the date window to be very well incorporated into the dial. Lenvino cut away the date window here, exposing more of the date wheel, and I love it – it reminds me of the odometer gauge that one usually finds at the bottom of the speedometer. It might be my imagination, but I find the font of the date wheel to be similar to that of the odometer as well!
Given the dial’s unique layout, one tells time differently on the Lecronos. The short, green hand is the seconds, the slightly longer red hand represents minutes, while the longest white hand conveys hour. I have to admit that this took me some getting used to, as I kept mistaking the shorter red hand as the hours and the longer white one as the minutes instead as I’m used to the shorter hand representing the hours and the longer one the minutes. I can’t help but think that it would perhaps be an easier transition for customers if that was indeed the case – having the hours on the inner track, and the minutes on the outer track.
However, I did appreciate the amount of depth to the dial. As aforementioned, most watches that are around the price point of the Lecronos simply have a flat dial. In contrast, the Lecronos has a multi-layered dial that’s full of depth, making it a joy to look at. I appreciate the contrast in texture here as well, with the bottom brushed metallic layer juxtaposing nicely against the smooth black of the upper layers.
While the dial is full of detail, other areas of the watch are much more pedestrian. For example, the case of the Lecronos is simply brushed, giving the watch an industrial feel. There’s not much polishing/finishing techniques here – if you’re expecting zaratsu polishing, you will be sorely disappointing. The crown is also similarly brushed, and is unsigned. However, it is proportionately sized, making it an ease to hand-wind.
The caseback is also brushed, with several relevant specifications inscribed. There’s also an exhibition caseback, though an engraved artwork of a car wheel’s rim blocks the view. I’m on the fence over this. On one hand, I like the artwork – it’s pretty detailed, and it complements the racing theme of the Lecronos. On the other hand, it blocks my view of the mechanical marvel within. Sure, one can argue that the Seiko NH35 movement is not the most pretty to look at, but nevertheless I still like to see the balance wheel ticking, the rotor rotating, etc.
On my 7 inch wrist, the Lenvino Lecronos wears beautifully. It actually feels smaller than its 43mm dimensions might suggest, due to the usage of short lugs, which gives it a very reasonable lug-to-lug of 48mm. It’s not too chunky either, coming in at a thickness of 13mm. Great dimensions for daily wear!
All in all, I’m impressed by the design of the Lecronos, especially in its dial. Despite its very affordable price point, the Lecronos comes across as visually intriguing, with its speedometer inspired design reinforcing the racing theme of the watch beautifully. I love the amount of depth and contrast present in the dial as well. The case finishing is pretty simple, but on a $174 USD watch, I can’t complain much!
Shootout: Lenvino Lecronos vs Roue HDS
If you’re looking for an affordable (sub-$200 USD), racing inspired watch, your best bet – aside from the Lenvino Lecronos – would likely be the Roue HDS.
In terms of specifications, the Lenvino Lecronos trumps the Roue HDS. Whilst both watches possesses sapphire crystal, the Lecronos features an automatic Seiko NH35 movement, while the HDS uses a mere Miyota quartz movement.
From an aesthetics perspective, the Lenvino Lecronos edges it for me as well. While both watches are undoubtedly good lookers, the depth and texture contrast on the dial of the Lecronos is undeniable. I also like how the dial of the Lecronos has been specifically designed to resemble the speedometer of a car. Between the two, I would say that the Lecronos is the one that comes across as more racing-inspired. To it defense, I do really like the hands of the Roue HDS, but the watch in general just doesn’t scream of automotive inspiration the same way the Lenvino Lecronos does.
Given that both watches are priced similarly, I have to give the win to the Lenvino Lecronos here – it possesses the better specifications, as well as a more complex and intricate racing inspired design.
Conclusion – so the Lenvino Lecronos “shiok” or not?
Without a doubt. The Lenvino Lecronos may be the best bang-for-buck watch I’ve reviewed till date. At such a price point, microbrands usually excel – if they even do – at either providing an interesting design, or specifications that punches above the price point. Lenvino offers both in the Lecronos here – one gets sapphire crystal and an automatic Seiko NH35 movement (already a rare find for under $200 USD), AND a visually intriguing dial that really pays homage to the overall racing theme. The Lecronos has both form and function, and at its price, it’s a no-brainer purchase.
For those interested, the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” will grant you 10% off all purchases from Lenvino’s website, including the tourbillons! After the promo code, the Lecronos can be had for just $174 USD/ ~S$234, which is an absolute steal. If you’re a fan of all things automotive, I don’t think you can find a better value proposition. Snap these up before they sell out!
View Lenvino’s full range of offerings here.
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wahsoshiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!