Your Ad here? Your Ad here? Your Ad here? Your Ad here?
November 05, 2010 11:00PM
Review of Revue Thommen Bicompax Flieger Chronograph

I have been upgrading my collection as of late and looking to acquire certain Swiss Made pieces that strike my fancy, but still represent a good value. My love affair with Revue Thommen fills the bill. This RT Bicompax Flieger Chronograph has a classic simplicity and functionality that makes it a superb watch, along with enough exclusivity that you can be sure the guy next to you won’t be wearing the same thing.

This Revue Thommen, like all current RT models, is manufactured by Grovana of Switzerland. This particular model (Ref. 16064.6832) features a silver dial with a two register bicompax chrono layout. This model is also available with a black dial and silver subdials and with either a leather strap or a stainless steel bracelet.

The heart of this watch is a Swiss Made ETA 2824 25-jewel automatic movement that can be hacked and manually wound. On top of this movement is installed a Dubois Dépraz 2030 chronograph module that is linked into the ETA movement to create a functioning chronograph watch. This is one way for a company to create an automatic chronograph, instead of using the ubiquitous Valjoux 7750 movement. Is it cheaper, easier or more efficient to use a bicompax module? I can’t answer that, but a lot of companies use or have used this method and I do find it intriguing.

There are a couple of negatives that I have read about regarding the bicompax module, mainly that it seems easier to replace rather than service the unit, and it isn’t cheap, but again, this is conjecture and opinions will vary. The other negative is that it tends to make the watch quite thick and the chrono pushers slightly offset towards the face of the watch, due to the obvious way the module sits on top of the standard movement. I really don’t find this to be an issue and unless someone told you about it, you’d really not notice the orientation of the pushers.

The RT bicompax chrono has an all stainless steel case with brushed sides and a polished top bezel. The case is one piece, the bezel portion is just polished. This is a cost-saving measure instead of installing a separate bezel, but the finishing is done properly so it certainly looks like a two-piece assembly. Case diameter is a substantial 43.7mm without crown, but this watch surprisingly does not wear too big. Case thickness is 15.2mm and lug width is 22mm. Overall finish on the case is satisfactory, not super fancy, but efficient and clean.

The dial is a thing of beauty, with applied luminous Arabics encircling the outer portion of the dial. One nice touch is that all the Arabics are of equal size and none are hacked off, something that is very prevalent on many watch designs. Hats off to Grovana/RT for this design element. A legible minute track is on the outermost part of the dial, with the two subdials properly positioned at 3 and 9 o’clock. The outer portion of the dial is satin silver, the inner part is textured silver. Minimal dial printing is another nice touch.

The hands are silver with luminous infill, the watch second hand is in the subdial @ 3, while the chrono’s 30-minute totalizer is in the subdial @ 9. I love the red tipped chrono minute hand. Both subdial hands are tiny arrows, which look great. The chrono second hand is a skeleton red tip and occupies the center seconds position. Overall, it’s a very clean, legible and classy looking dial. Luminous is decent, but not blinding, sufficient for most situations.

Topping the dial is a moderately domed sapphire crystal with just the right amount of anti-reflective coating added to it. It doesn’t show an over abundance of the blue or blue green tint like some watches do, but has just enough of a tint to let you know it’s there. Nice.

The crown is signed and screws down. The chrono pushers are standard design and have a crisp feel to them. The winding action of the movement is smooth and accurate and the reset of the chrono hands is quick and perfect to zero. The sweep of the second hand on the watch and the chrono action is smooth. This is also a continuous running chrono minute totalizer, it doesn’t ‘click’ over after one minute has elapsed, but rather moves all the time. This is a sign, at least to me, of a higher-quality design.

The case back is a display type and screws down, showing the ETA automatic movement that doesn’t have any extra finishing. The rotor is signed ‘Revue Thommen’. The watch is factory rated for 10atm water resistance.

I purchased this watch with the factory stainless steel bracelet because given the choice, I would always want to have a bracelet and the option of putting a strap on instead of the other way around. I knew going in that this watch had a stamped steel deployant (cheap) and folded end links, but I went with it anyways.

The bracelet is 22mm at the watch and tapers to about 18mm at the clasp. The links are solid, fully polished and rather thin. Links are secured with standard split pins and sizing was a breeze. The clasp is double locking and signed.

I would prefer if the bracelet wasn’t fully polished, but rather a combination of brushed and polished or fully brushed, as I think it fits the character of the watch better. Strap versions of this watch go for less money and if I were to order another one, I would opt for the factory strap and keep the change. As it stands, I will keep it on the bracelet for now.

Performance has been good, running about +9 seconds a day, with a standard power reserve of at least 40 hours. No complaints here.

Presentation was outer cardboard box with padded inner box, along with polishing cloth and photocopied instructions on the bicompax movement in German. A little odd, but these watches were produced in limited quantities and this was the easiest thing to do, instructions wise.

The best part of this RT bicompax is the price, running at under $500 and even less for the strap version. This is great value for a Swiss automatic chronograph.

Pros: classic good looks, functional, easy to read chronograph, Swiss automatic cache, beautiful dial

Cons: cheapish bracelet, functional but not incredible case finishing, no movement finishing

Verdict: superb value, a chronograph that works as well as it looks; exclusivity, even among WISes. Another hit from the current stable of RT watches.


Thanks for reading and enjoy the pics.

Excelsior!

-Marc

SubjectAuthorViewsPosted

Watch related news! It's a happy day, a new watch arrived Revue Thommen Bicompax Auto Chrono Watch or Accessory Review Jpeg Attachments

MCV3747November 05, 2010 11:00PM

Great value & pics. Congrats Marc Smile (n/t)

Anonymous User275November 06, 2010 07:49PM

Thank you! Adam! (n/t)

MCV355November 06, 2010 09:26PM

A really beautiful timepiece here, Mark ! SmileThumbs up! (n/t)

IF417November 06, 2010 04:45PM

Thanks, Ioannis! (n/t)

MCV321November 06, 2010 05:25PM

I have a confession to make. Blushing Image Attachments URL

Anonymous User788November 06, 2010 03:58PM

The Tissot was in the running and will land here eventually! (n/t)

MCV288November 06, 2010 05:25PM

Cool! Thumbs up! I'm still curious as to what gave the RT the leg up over the Tissot this time around, though. Wink

Anonymous User487November 06, 2010 10:14PM

Simple, I wanted a two-register chrono this time around! Laughing (n/t)

MCV323November 06, 2010 11:44PM

Ah! Given that, I reckon you made an excellent choice.. URL

Anonymous User660November 07, 2010 12:31AM

Looks like a winner to me! Thumbs up! (n/t)

Jimmy50310November 06, 2010 02:19PM

Thanks, Jimmy! (n/t)

MCV303November 06, 2010 05:23PM

Thanks a lot Marc. The lume shot is stunning Thumbs Up Marked for archive in Watch Reviews (n/t)

Reto282November 06, 2010 06:57AM

Thanks, Reto! (n/t)

MCV261November 06, 2010 05:22PM

Great review and I always love your pictures! Thumbs up! (n/t)

pumpkin2001286November 06, 2010 05:54AM

Thank you! Phil! (n/t)

MCV254November 06, 2010 05:59AM

That was the sound of the other shoe dropping. laughing laughing I knew you had something>>

Anonymous User291November 06, 2010 02:29AM

Thanks, Dave! (n/t)

MCV273November 06, 2010 04:42AM

Great photos - Thanks Marc (n/t)

Loddonite316November 06, 2010 12:18AM

Thanks, Dom and Welcome to PMWF! (n/t)

MCV457November 06, 2010 01:14AM

classy design (n/t)

BILLANAGNOS(GREEK)314November 05, 2010 11:48PM

Thanks, Bill! (n/t)

MCV378November 06, 2010 12:01AM

Sharp looking watch, congrats! (n/t)

Dre354November 05, 2010 11:41PM

Thanks, Dre, I still want your Orient Anniversary Edition, though! (n/t)

MCV496November 06, 2010 12:02AM

Get yer own! Rolling on the floor laughing my a.. off

Dre296November 06, 2010 04:49AM

Yep, that's pretty much the only way I could justify it! (n/t)

MCV365November 06, 2010 05:17AM

Revue Thommen is made by the same CO that makes Steinharts & Debufare, called Grovona URL

BILLANAGNOS(GREEK)548November 05, 2010 11:40PM

Wow. Cool It only took ye 4-1/2 years to catch on! Thumbs up! Impressive.Laughing Jpeg Attachments URL

Anonymous User525November 06, 2010 12:14AM

Yes, they contract manufacture for several 'brands' (n/t)

MCV501November 06, 2010 12:02AM

Great review MarcClapping!, where does one purchase a Revue Thommen? (n/t)

jeremd676465November 05, 2010 11:32PM

They're not widely available, you pretty much have to get them from Europe (n/t)

MCV405November 06, 2010 12:00AM

Really awesome looking dial. I love the applied hour numbers.

DJM406November 05, 2010 11:24PM

It was ever so slightly hacked off that it was not worth noting...

MCV265November 05, 2010 11:59PM

Gee Dan way to point out the poor guys faults, why not tell him he's uglyLaughing (n/t)

jeremd676439November 05, 2010 11:29PM

Hey now, he didn't go that far! He's just picking nits 'cause he's jealous! Laughing (n/t)

MCV450November 06, 2010 12:04AM

Touche' Marc, I am Envious. I really dig the dial/markers combo. (n/t)

DJM379November 06, 2010 12:48AM

Yet another GREAT review Marc! Clapping! Clean dial, functioning chrono, and hack? Looks like a deal! (n/t)

Nuvolari385November 05, 2010 11:19PM

Thanks, Michael, 'tis a beauty! (n/t)

MCV302November 05, 2010 11:22PM



  PMWF.com Sponsors! Definitely worth your visit today!
Show your ad here! Mail admin at pmwf.com for rates Show your ad here! Mail admin at pmwf.com for rates
Show your ad here! Mail admin at pmwf.com for ratesShow your ad here! Mail admin at pmwf.com for rates Show your ad here! Mail admin at pmwf.com for ratesShow your ad here! Mail admin at pmwf.com for rates