Hello everyone, and welcome to another of my reviews. In this article, I’ll be reviewing the new Time Master Chronograph from Australian watch microbrand Panzera.
The Time Master Chronograph is the brand’s latest offering, and is described to have been “designed specifically to be used in the tough and accurate world of motorsport”. Let’s see if it’s any good.
Panzera Time Master Chronograph – Video Review
Those interested in seeing some hands-on footage of the Time Master Chronograph can watch my Youtube review of it below:
Panzera – the Brand
I’ve previously reviewed the Panzera Flieger 47, and covered the brand story in that article. If you’re interested in the provenance behind the brand, do check out the abovementioned review.
Panzera Time Master Chronograph – Build Quality
Panzera claims the Time Master Chronograph is “built to withstand up to 10 G-force and resilient to magnetic fields”, thus being capable of handling the extreme conditions of racing cars. While I have no way of putting that to the test, the specifications provide good promise.
Firstly, the Time Master Chronograph uses a flat 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 Time Master Chronograph also has a water-resistance rating of 100M, making it robust enough to handle most everyday activities that do not involve prolonged submersion.
Powering the Time Master Chronograph is the Miyota 6S20 quartz chronograph movement. It’s a variation of the popular 6S21, which can be found in other affordable quartz chronographs like the Vescari Chestor and the Nordgreen Pioneer. It’s accurate to around +/- 20 seconds per month, and has a smooth chronograph hand that mimics a mechanical movement. It can also measure up to 1/20th of a second, making it perfect for timing laps. However, unlike a mecha-quartz movement – like the Seiko VK64 – the Miyota 6S20 is fully quartz, does not possess any mechanical cams or levers, and as such does not reset instantly. As an enthusiast, I personally would have preferred a mecha-quartz movement, though it probably has no bearing in everyday use.
The Time Master Chronograph comes default on a black rubber strap that’s accented with yellow stitching for a racing feel. The strap itself is thick and comfortable – no complaints here. And given its billing as a professional race watch, it’s also a more logical choice as compared to leather, fabric, or even a metal bracelet (which would probably be too heavy).
However, there are quick-release spring bars for easy interchangeability should you wish to switch things up. I also like how the Panzera branding is emblazoned on the interior of the strap – an upscale touch.
The Time Master Chronograph also features Swiss Superluminova for nighttime readability. Panzera doesn’t state which specific Superluminova it uses, but the icy blue hue indicates that it’s probably BGW9. The lume is decent in strength – not bad for a non-diving chronograph.
All in all, I would say that the Time Master Chronograph has solid specifications and construction. It ticks many boxes: scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, a practical 100M of water resistance, a comfortable rubber strap with quick-release pins, and even Swiss Superluminova. My only knock is the prosaic Miyota quartz movement within, though that might actually have been a conscious decision in order to make the watch capable of withstanding 10Gs of force – a mecha-quartz movement would have had additional mechanical components that could be damaged/come loose under such pressure.
Panzera Time Master Chronograph – Design
Likewise, the design of the Time Master Chronograph is racing-inspired too.
Panzera describes the Time Master Chronograph’s design as “contemporary”, which is undoubtedly the case with its black and yellow colour palette. The sharp contrast is eye-catching, and evocative of racing. I like the big ’12’ at the top, which is rendered in striking yellow. The chronograph sub-dials also resemble speedometers, while the skeletonised hands reinforce the sporty nature of the watch. There’s also an inner tachymeter scale – again in bright yellow – for easy timing. All in all, the dial is sporty but legible, making it a bona fide racing watch.
However, there are some aspects of the watch that I personally disliked. Firstly, I didn’t like the polished applied “Panzera” brand name on the dial. It’s not very legible (see picture above), and its polished nature detracts from the rest of the dial, which is mostly comprised of matte components. I’m also not a fan of the 4:30 date window, which makes the area look cramped and breaks the symmetry of the dial. Lastly, I also wish the bezel was brushed instead of polished – the polished bezel will almost certainly be a scratch magnet, especially considering the Time Master Chronograph’s billing as a rugged tool watch.
The caseback is a simple affair, featuring a stark motif of the brand’s logo. I believe there’s a typo on the caseback of my model – it’s supposed to read “Timemaster 45”, not “Flieger 45”.
Panzera has paid attention to detail, and it shows on the pushers and crown of the Time Master Chronograph. The chronograph pushers and crown feature a crosshatched texture, giving them a nice tactile feeling. The crown is also signed with an intricate rendition of the brand’s logo – a nice touch.
The Time Master Chronograph has a case diameter of 45mm and a lug-to-lug length of 54mm. That’s a tad too big for my 6.75 inch wrist – you can see that the lugs overhang above. However, the watch is thankfully relatively svelte at 12.5mm thick, and also weighs a mere 90g due to its usage of a quartz movement.
All in all, the Time Master Chronograph possesses a contemporary sporty design that reflects its automotive inspiration and should appeal to those with larger wrists.
Shootout – Panzera Time Master Chronograph vs Tissot Supersport Chrono
If you’re on the hunt for a fairly affordable, largish racing chronograph, another prominent consideration would be the Tissot Supersport Chrono.
In terms of specifications, the Tissot Supersport Chrono has a slight edge over the Panzera Time Master Chronograph. Although both watches use sapphire crystal, Swiss Superluminova and possess 100m of water resistance, the Supersport Chrono has a Swiss ETA quartz chronograph movement, which arguably is more reliable and ‘premium’ than the humble Japanese Miyota quartz movement of the Time Master Chronograph. However, the ETA movement beats at 1 beat per second, while the Miyota 6S20 movement beats at 4 beats per second, thus giving it a ‘sweeping’ second hand that mimics that of mechanical movements. If that’s a key consideration, then you would actually be better off with the Time Master Chronograph.
From an aesthetic standpoint, it’s another close fight. I would say the Tissot Supersport Chrono has a safer design – it has a symmetrical dial, an external tachymeter bezel, and a brushed case. In contrast, the Panzera Time Master Chronograph is more adventurous in its design. It’s much more liberal with its yellow accents and is arguably sportier in nature with its skeletonised hands and crosshatched pushers and crown. Which watch appeals more to you depends on your personal taste though personally, I believe the Time Master Chronograph to be the more striking of the two.
Despite having similar specifications, the Panzera Time Master Chronograph is a considerable ~S$150 cheaper than the Tissot Supersport Chrono. If the heritage of Tissot and the Swiss-made nature of the Supersport Chrono speak to you, then you might be better off paying the premium. On the contrary, if you prefer a bolder design and a sweeping chronograph hand, why not save some cash by opting for the Time Master Chronograph?
Conclusion – so the Panzera Time Master Chronograph “shiok” or not?
If you’re looking for a large, sporty, racing-inspired chronograph that doesn’t break the bank, then the Panzera Time Master Chronograph fits the bill. It’s well-made, durable, and has a striking appearance that results in considerable wrist presence. It’s also fairly affordable at under S$500.
Those interested in purchasing the Time Master Chronograph can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy a whopping 40% off all regular-priced items on Panzera’s web-store. After the discount, the Time Master Chronograph would cost just S$486, which is more than fair considering its specifications. The watch also comes with 2 years international warranty (as opposed to the usual 1 year of most microbrands), so one can rest assured about its reliability.
View the Panzera Time Master Chronograph here.
View the rest of Panzera’s offerings here.
Scratch-proof sapphire crystal
100m water resistance
45mm case diameter
316L stainless steel case
Miyota Quartz (Cal.6S20)
Case: 45mm diameter, 12.5mm thickness, 54mm lug to lug
Weight: 90 grams (excluding the strap)
Straps: Fits wrist sizes circumference from 17cm-24cm
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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.