Valimor has always been one of my favourite watch microbrands, offering affordable watches inspired by Arthurian lore. Its latest watch is the Kilgharrah, with dive watch-esque styling. Let’s see if it’s any good.
Valimor Kilgharrah – Video Review
Those interested in seeing some hands-on footage of the watch, do watch my Youtube review of the Valimor Kilgharrah below:
Valimor – the Brand
I previously covered Valimor’s brand story in my review of the Caliburnus here.
Valimor Kilgharrah – Build Quality
Like its predecessor, the Kilgharrah offers good specifications for the price.
Firstly, the Valimor Kilgharrah utilises a domed sapphire crystal to protect the dial. 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. Furthermore, there are three layers of internal anti-reflective coating on the underside of the sapphire crystal to prevent unwanted reflections. The Kilgharrah also has a water resistance rating of 100M, making it robust enough for most everyday activities that don’t involve prolonged submersion in water.
The Valimor Kilgharrah is powered by the new Miyota 8315 movement, which is a step up from the Miyota 82xx movement found in the Caliburnus. It has 21 jewels, beats at 21,600 beats per hour, and an accuracy of -20 to＋40 seconds per day. Its greatest strength is its 60-hour power reserve, which is one of the highest in this affordable price segment. This means that you can put the watch away on Friday night, and pick it up on Monday morning with the watch still running.
My review unit came with an Italian calf leather strap, which feels premium to the touch with a suede-like texture. The strap is handstitched, and is lined with nubuck for added comfort. The Kilgharrah is currently only available on a rubber strap or a bracelet by default, but using the promo code below will entitle you to the free leather strap. There’s also an ornate buckle, which is a sight to behold. Most watches at this price point treat the buckle (or even the entire strap) as an afterthought, so it was nice to see Valimor pulling all the stops here.
The Kilgharrah also features Swiss Superluminova. Valimor doesn’t state on its website which specific lume is used, but the blueish hue indicates that it is most probably BGW9. In any case, the lume is strong and impressive – no trouble reading the time at night here.
All in all, the Valimor Kilgharrah has very decent specifications, especially considering its ~S$400 price tag.
Valimor Kilgharrah – Design
However, the true strength of the Kilgharrah is in its design.
The Kilgharrah pays homage to Arthurian legend, with its dial chock-full of rich design elements. Firstly, the dial is actually textured, with a dragon scale pattern that evokes the fable of King Arthur. The medieval nature of the dial’s font keeps the watch thematically relevant, as do the sword hands and the fleur de lis second hand. The applied indices also give the multi-layered dial further depth, while the golden applied dots reinforce Kilgharrah’s regal aesthetic. Lastly, the fume blue dial adds further visual interest to the watch, making it eminently striking on the wrist.
The rest of the watch is equally striking, with Valimor using angular edges to maximum effect. For one, the 60-click unidirectional bezel has jagged edges that Valimor says resemble a “dragon’s dorsal fin”. I love the angles of the crown guards, as well as the brand’s trademark Swarovski crystal crown (that also features crazy edges). There’s plenty of texture too, with the brushed finish of the case sides contrasting nicely with polished bevelled lugs. It’s definitely one of the most intricate cases that I’ve seen at this ~S$400 price point.
With a case size of 40mm, the Kilgharrah sits right in my sweet spot. It wears phenomenally on my 6.75-inch wrist, having sufficient wrist presence without being ostentatious. Although it’s not the slimmest at 13mm thick, it still manages to fit underneath a shirt cuff.
All in all, I really like the ornate design of the Kilgharrah. The watch has details in spades and pays tribute to the fable of King Arthur without being garish. The result is a complex and attractive watch with an attention to detail that punches above its price point.
Shootout: Valimor Kilgharrah vs Aries Gold Great White
In terms of specifications, both watches are pretty much even. Both the Great White and the Kilgharrah use sapphire crystal, as well as Swiss Superluminova. The Great White has a higher water resistance rating of 300M, but the Kilgharrah has the upgraded Miyota 8315 movement with a slightly longer power reserve. However, the Great White does have a ceramic bezel, which tilts this battle slightly in its favour.
From an aesthetic standpoint, both watches possess intriguing dials. The Great White has a unique corroded dial, while the Kilgharrah has a lovely blue gradient dial that is full of details that pay homage to Arthurian legend. Between the two, I find the Kilgharrah to be the more striking one, with not only a dial that has plenty of depth and texture, but also an angular case that is eminently striking.
Given that both watches are similarly priced, the Great White will probably be better for those who prioritise robustness, while the Kilgharrah will appeal more to those who prioritise aesthetics.
Conclusion – so the Valimor Kilgharrah “shiok” or not?
Most microbrand watches at the ~S$400 price point have solid specifications, but lack design impetus. I’m pleased that the Valimor Kilgharrah is not one of them. Make no mistake, the Kilgharrah – with a sapphire crystal, 100M WR rating, Miyota 8315 movement and Swiss Superluminova – is still a well-built watch. Yet, its main appeal stems from its singular devotion to honouring Arthurian legend with intricate design details. The Kilgharrah is one of the most unique watches I’ve seen at this price point, making it the perfect watch for those looking for something different.
Those interested in purchasing the Valimor Kilgharrah can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” for a free Italian leather strap (worth S$125). That’s icing on the cake for a watch that is bound to be a conversation starter – I’m hard-pressed to think of another watch that offers as much breathtaking detail for so little. The Valimor Kilgharrah starts at 290 Euros/~S$424, and is limited to 50 pieces per variant.
View the Valimor Kilgharrah here.
Certification: EUIPO Design Patent
Case: Ø40 mm – 316L Stainless Steel
Ceramic Insert : Engraved And Lume Filled
Bezel: 60 Click Unidirectional
Dial: Triple-Layer Structure
Dial Color: Gradient Colour Effect
Hands: Diamond-Cut Hands
Bracelet: Integrated quick release spring bars
Glass: Domed Sapphire Crystal with 3 AR Coating
Luminous: Swiss Super-LumiNova®
Crown Crystal: Swarovski®
Water Resistant: 10 ATM (100 m)
Caliber: Japan-Made Miyota 8315 Automatic
Functions: Hours, Minutes and Seconds
Hacking Seconds: Yes
Thickness: 13mm (Without Crystal)
Lug Width: 22mm
Limited edition of 50 pieces, each with a unique serial number.
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.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.