One watch I really love is the Omega Railmaster, however, Omega has the…ummm….gall to charge over $4K for a three handed steel watch! I have no problems with homage watches, so our friends over at Corguet, a Chinese manufacture, have a nice Railmaster homage that won’t break the bank.
The dial is a very close copy of the real Railmaster, with a vertical wood grain appearance in charcoal black. There are Arabic numerals at 12, 3, 6, and 9. At the hours are luminous triangles. The minute chapter ring is printed in clear white. Other markings on the dial are Corguet at 12 o’clock, and 164ft 50m and Self-Winding at 6 o’clock. There is also a elongated cross pointing to the cardinal points. Lume is a dark tan under room lighting and glows yellow-green. The hands are simple sticks with plenty of lume with the seconds hand with a round luminous pip about 3/4 of the way up. There is no date. The design is clean, easy to read, what really drew me to this watch.
The crown is screw down, deeply knurled, and easily winds the the watch, but is unsigned. The crystal is sapphire and flat, with no anti-reflective coating the sits slightly proud of the separate bezel. The case is a pleasing 40mm size and all brushed. The workmanship is very good on this Corguet, not Omega good, but up there with Seiko and Orient. The lugs are 20mm, so the watch is well balanced.
The movement is visible through the transparent case back. The case back is steel and screw down. I went with a Seagull movement again on this watch, the ST16 beating along at 21,600BPH. It is accurate, with less stutter than the Miyota, and hacks. Finishing is plain, but to be expected for a workhorse movement. It’s no Co-Axial escapement Omega, but it gets the job done. Power reserve is very good at 45 hours or so. The bracelet the watch came on is excellent. It has solid end links, with all solid links. The top has an identical brushing to the case, polished on the sides. Even with the traditional friction pins, the bracelet is very quiet, with no rattles and moves well with the wrist. It only tapers a millimeter from 20 to 19 at the butterfly deployant.
The overall quality of the watch is excellent, I would say not quite as good as Parnis, but pretty darn good. I wish they did an anti-reflective coating on the crystal, but that is one of only two complaints. The other is I wish the Chinese makers like Parnis, Corguet, heck, even Seagull, would get better luminous material. The glow never is bright enough or glows long enough compared to Super Luminova (Swiss) or LumiBrite (Seiko). Even a humble Seiko 5 outshines every Chinese watch I have bought.
That all being said, I really like this watch and it is a way for me to enjoy a Railmaster without taking out a home equity loan. I know the Omega has an amazing movement, but, guys, come on, it a three handed steel watch, with no date. If they just dropped a ETA 2842 with no crazy anti magnetic, that no one cares about, and release it for ~$1,000, I would be wearing an Omega, not a Corguet right now.
Case: 40mm diameter, stainless steel, 50M water resistance.
Back: Stainless Steel Display, Screw Down
Crystal: Sapphire, Flat
Movement: Automatic, Seagull ST16, 21,600 BPH, can hand wind and hack
Other: Luminous Hands and Markers, solid end link bracelet