Xeric NASA Apollo 15 American Moonphase Quasar
Xeric has been around since 2013 offering somewhat unique and a very different approach to telling time. These designs may not be for everyone and there been a ton of mixed reviews over the years about how bad the automatic movements are, the build quality and finishing among other things.
Movement: FTS AmeriQuartz Caliber 7129 Moonphase. Assembled in the USA, 1 Jewel, Accuracy: +/-20 sec per month
Functions: Super-LumiNova Planetary Hours / Minutes / Star Seconds
Case Material: Hand-finished 316L Stainless Steel
Case Dimensions: 40mm wide by 11.7mm thick (includes domed crystal)
Case Lug to Lug: 47mm
Water Resistance: 5 ATM
Crystal Material: Anti-reflective coated, double-curved sapphire glass
Strap Material: American Horween leather with tool-free, quick-release springbars
Clasp Material: Solid stainless steel
Wrist Circumference: 6.5"-8.75" (165mm/222mm)
Weight: 2.7oz (76 grams)
I first saw Xeric when they released their first Kickstarter a while back and told myself why would anyone want such hard to read pieces on their wrist. Many of their pieces are really out there and at the time was something new to the micro scene which is why I think they did very well in the beginning. After years of reading mixed reviews boasting and blasting Xeric watches I caved in and chose the quartz version from their recent Kickstarter campaign which had a Moonphase option over their Americhron Xeric Caliber X3.1 Automatic without. I chose quartz over the automatic just because it was cheaper and thought the crazy seconds hand would be a bit easier to read if I saw it ticking rather sweeping.
Covering the moonphase area there is a color matched piece of plastic which did a have a scratch which was a little disappointing. The lume star markers around the dial are done alright with the exception of a few being oddly shaped and smudged. The printed logo isn't too bad but could be a bit bolder. The metal grille on top of the dial is supposed to be inspired by a spacecraft window. The space window is surprisingly cut well finished decently.
The hands which hold 2 moons, one for the hour and one for the minutes could be better. The detail on the moonphase is nicely done, but again you can see some of the poorly lumed star placements on a few of them.
The case could have been done a lot better even at the price range it is at. The crown seems to hang just a tad bit lower which is ok with some watches however with the curving down toward the case back it just seems more noticeable. The brushing on the case isn't the best and again it could be better even at this price.
The crown is just too small for people with larger fingers. While it is designed nicely with the pattern mimicking that of a tire of a moon rover its really there just for looks. Hopefully the automatic versions have a bigger crown.
This particular model came with Horween quick release leather strap with a branded stainless steel buckle. Its sad to say but the strap outshines the watch in terms of quality
The case back is another area where the watch loses a lot of its quality. While the lunar rover pays tribute to Apollo 15 that's really all that is nice about the back. The engravings around the backing could be a lot better and really cheap screws were used to hold the case backing down.
The lume junkies out there will probably love this watch. The lume is bright and lasts for decent time. The one thing I wish is that the moonphase window was perhaps a bit darker. Telling the time has always been non-conventional and sometimes very hard to read. The slightly smaller but longer minute hand can be read somewhat easily when aligned to the minute track but again its tough.
The Xeric Apollo 15 I picked up for about $215 from Kickstarter and retail now will cost $375. The pros of this watch being the Lume, strap and overall color with a cool looking metal space window frame inside, but that's about it. I know we cannot expect much in terms of quality for a $215-$375 watch, but if this going to retail on higher end of $375 I dont think even a that price it would be worth it.
Would I personally buy another Xeric maybe not, but for those who like the story behind American History of Apollo 15, love crazy lume, moonphases, and hard to tell time then maybe pick one up?