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Momentum Watches - Are They Any Good?

Posted on December 15 2020


Momentum Watches

 

Momentum is a Canadian watch brand created by the St. Moritz Watch Corp. Their watch collections have a strong emphasis on rugged models designed for the outdoors. They produce field, divers and some dress watches. For the most part, their watches have a recognisable house style, often featuring a 4 o’clock crown.

I’d like to take you through a quick introduction to the brand and then present you with a list of what I believe are the best current models.

A Short History of Momentum Watches


The creation of Momentum watches follows a pattern that I’ve seen before with a couple of other brands. Where a heritage Swiss brand may have over 100 years of history and a tangled web of previous owners, modern brands tend to have simpler backstories.

In the case of Momentum watches, there are no surprises. Vancouver based St. Moritz Watch Corp began producing watches in the 1980s. As well as their own designs, they also created watches for their clients. It’s a very similar story to Szanto watches in California and Iron Annie watches in Germany.

The St Moritz company gradually moved away from producing watches for third parties and focused on their own brand, now called Momentum. From the beginning, this brand was centred around tough and reliable sports watches.

By aiming at this particular niche they were able to gradually expand and gained a reputation for selling watches designed for watersports and diving. They are now stocked by Canadian and European dealers and have service centres in the UK, US, Australia and Canada.

 


 

Are Momentum Watches Any Good?


I’d suggest that they are. But before I answer the question explicitly, let’s take a quick look at the DNA of a typical Momentum watch.

Although they do have some dress models, most Momentum watches have quite a recognisable style. The watches tend to have a military edge to them, with plain silver bezels and simple black or white dials. In many cases, the numerals on the dial will be large, bold and highly legible.

If there’s any colour it is most likely to be a touch of red on a second hand or similar.

More often or not their watches will have an easily replaceable canvas Nato or leather strap.

However, what stands out most is the crown positioned at 4 o’clock. It’s not unusual and is a feature that Seiko regularly use, but it’s not that common either. It is certainly eye-catching and gives a lot of the Momentum stable a distinctive appearance.

This styling is matched with a Canadian assembly process. The brand is still housed in Vancouver and imports movements from the areas that you’d expect. Quartz movements tend to be Swiss-made and the smaller number of automatic models are powered by Japanese engines.

So they assemble watches in Canada with parts from big-name manufacturers like Seiko and ETA.

The result is a watch range that is designed to be durable - with cases made from Stainless Steel or Titanium. They will have either sapphire or mineral crystal and reliable Japanese or Swiss movements. Importantly, Momentum makes a real effort to ensure that the watches have good water resistance. For a field watch like the Atlas that is 100M and for a dive watch 200M.

With a good selection of authorised dealers and local service centres, you should be fairly confident about the quality of the watches and the brand’s ability to deal with any problems that you do encounter.

The Best 7 Momentum Watches


As you’ll be aware, I’m a fan of military-style watches and regularly feature field watches on this blog. It’s one of the reasons that I keep encountering Momentum watches. Taking that into consideration, I’ve attempted to create a list of the best the brand has to offer.

I’ve judged the watches based on style, specs and value for money. The list includes a bit more colour than is truly representative of the complete range, but I wanted to show the depth of the brand. Having previously mentioned the commonalities of the Momentum collections, I’ve ignored that a little by highlighting the variety of styles available.

To kick off the list, however, I’ve chosen a watch that is faithful to the Momentum DNA.

 

Momentum Steelix Ivory SE Watch
Ask me to describe a Momentum watch and the Steelix is the picture that I have in my head. It has the typical chunky case, machined from a solid block of Stainless Steel. The crown is at 4 o’clock as I’ve come to expect from the brand, and it has a Seiko quartz movement.

This Ivory dial variation is a Special Edition, but other than the light dial, it’s very much the classic Momentum watch.

The large black numbers contrast with the ivory dial and are easy to read. The propellor style hands are large and prominent and are fully lumed. There’s something elementary that I like about watches like this. It is straightforward, militaristic and masculine.

The colour palette is steel, leather and ivory. There is no pretentiousness or over-complication. For me, this is what the brand does best. Field and tool watches designed for people with an active lifestyle.

Momentum Steelix Ivory SE 1M-SP741S4C

  • 44mm Diameter
  • 10mm Thick
  • 22mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Japanese Quartz movement
  • Sapphire Crystal
  • 200M Water Resistance

 



Momentum Logic 2 Watch

 

The Logic 2 retains some of the elements of the Steelix, but in a more colourful and refined design.

The case is the familiar style used by Momentum. It has the simple lines, plain bezel and 4 o’clock crown. If it wasn’t for the blue gradient dial this would be an interesting take on the tool watch aesthetic. Indeed, that is how I would describe the black version.

This variant interests me more. The addition of colour moves the watch away from the outdoors theme of the brand. They market the model as a dress watch, although it doesn’t quite have the finesse I’d be looking for in a formal watch.

I suspect that is why I like this piece. It’s not easy to pin down. The case tells me that it’s a field watch, but the dial is playful and striking. The plain hands and indices could be that of a dress watch, but it’s just a little too rugged to convince me.

The cyclops lens over the date window is a nice touch that wasn’t on the first generation of the Logic and along with a sapphire crystal, the watch has 100M of water resistance. More than you’d need if you planned on wearing this to the office.

Momentum Logic 2

  • 42mm Diameter
  • 11mm Thick
  • 22mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Swiss Quartz movement
  • Sapphire Crystal
  • 100M Water Resistance

 



Momentum Fieldwalker Watch

 

Again, I’m going to be picky with this one. Don’t get me wrong, I really like this model, and the reviews have been favourable. But the name ‘Fieldwalker’ and the marketing have this piece down as a field watch.

Given the specs - a double domed sapphire crystal, a Seiko automatic movement and 200M water resistance - I’m confident that this would make a great outdoors watch. But it doesn’t look like a field watch. That would be fine, except that it looks suspiciously like an aviation watch.

In fact, it looks almost exactly like a Damasko pilots watch, itself inspired by the classic German Flieger designs. This watch would have been more accurately named Skywalker, although I suspect that might already be in use elsewhere.

The Fieldwalker is actually a really nice piece. Again, I love the simplicity of the case and the crown positioning. And the dial, which I’m viewing as an aviation-style, is bold and legible. It has the cross-hair in the centre, the propellor hands, and the orange second hand that is popular in this style of watch.

In order to maintain that readability, there are two different coloured lumes and a neat date window in the traditional 3 o’clock position.

At 44mm, it’s on the larger end - but most modern Flieger watches tend to be larger than average. Overall, it’s a great looking watch - particularly if you’re a fan of Damasko, but have been put off by the price. The Fieldwalker is an affordable alternative.

Momentum Fieldwalker 1M-SN92BS0

  • 44mm Diameter
  • 14mm Thick
  • 22mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Automatic movement
  • Sapphire Crystal
  • 200M Water Resistance

 



Momentum M50 Watch

 

We can all agree that the M50 is a dive watch. It’s described by Momentum as a bulletproof watch and does have some tough features.

While I prefer automatics, if durability is a concern then quartz is most practical. The M50 has a Japanese Miyota quartz movement, a sapphire crystal and a whopping 500M of water resistance.

Those specs should be more than enough, and the brand is keen to point out that the M50 has been worn by Vancouver ERT, Maryland State Police and others.

There are a white luminous dial version and a more standard black model. I prefer this distinctive blue model with the ring designs on the dial. It’s busier than I’d normally like, but despite everything going on with the watch, it’s not overwhelming.

The numerals are clear and the bezel has a quirky insert. It looks heavy duty and is complemented by a similarly tough-looking knurled crown. At 12mm thick it’s not too chunky and should make for a comfortable everyday watch.

Momentum M50 1M-DV52U0

  • 44mm Diameter
  • 12mm Thick
  • 22mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Japanese Quartz movement
  • Sapphire Crystal
  • 500M Water Resistance

 



Momentum Torpedo Blast Watch

 

The Torpedo Blast is another colourful quartz diver, again with the signature 4 o’clock crown.

One of the first design points that’ll notice is that unorthodox crown. Not only the positioning but its size. It’s large, but by being placed at 4 rather than 3, it doesn’t niggle the back of your hand. Stylistically, it makes for an interesting case shape with some nice curves - including the crown guards.

Other elements that incorporate the Momentum DNA are the large numbers and the propellor hands that we’ve come to expect. There are a couple of colour variations, with the yellow chapter ring also available in blue or red.

Although the design is memorable, the watch itself is fairly typical of a divers watch at this price-point. It’s 44m wide, a size that seems to be the standard for the brand, and has a quartz movement. There’s an option for either a mineral or sapphire crystal and the water resistance is rated to 200M.

It’s an inexpensive and legitimate dive watch that doesn’t just follow the crowd of Submariner clones.

Momentum Torpedo Blast DV74YS7S

  • 44mm Diameter
  • 12mm Thick
  • 22mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Japanese Quartz movement
  • Sapphire Crystal
  • 200M Water Resistance

 



Momentum Flatline Watch

 

Taking the case style of the Logic, and the aviation looking dial of the Fieldwalker, the Flatline is among my favourite Momentum watches.

Like the Logic, the case is 42mm. That suits me better than the 44mm of the Fieldwalker and I’ve a slight preference for this model over the previous two. It still has a dial that more than hints at aviation and military influences, but it is toned down from the Fieldwalker.

The brand suggests that this model is equally at home “trekking in the Himalayas or surfing off the coast of Vancouver Island”. It’s not a watch that I considered in my piece on Surf watches, but I’m sure that it would be up to the job.

My preference would be to retain its primary role as a field watch with a military feel. It has a simple dial, red accents and a handy date window that shows three dates. It’s conservative and functional. At 9mm it is also reasonably thin, so will be fine with shirt cuffs if you wear the same watch for work and play.

Momentum Flatline 1M-SP18BS0

  • 42mm Diameter
  • 9mm Thick
  • 22mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Japanese Quartz movement
  • Sapphire Crystal
  • 100M Water Resistance

 



Momentum Atlas Watch
The final watch I’d like to represent is a G10 style military watch. The design is one that you’re probably aware of. It’s a reasonably well-known look favoured by the British Army and produced by CWC, MWC and others.

I was pleased to see that this watch is faithful to the originals and comes in a couple of sizes, including this 38mm model. Part of the appeal of the G10 is its modest size. Although the entry-level MWC G10 is only 36mm, it doesn’t feel tiny. The 40mm MWC is probably as big as I’d like to go with this style, and the 38mm Atlas is spot on.

Sticking with the case, it is titanium. I’ve discussed titanium here and actually included a G10 model. Compared to steel, titanium is light, and that can only be a good thing when you’re weighed down with kit in the Army. The darker, matt finish is also handy in a combat environment.

The screw-down crown is a nice size and has a knurled finish. The dial is slightly different from the CWC and MWC models, with the larger numerals referencing Momentum’s house style.

With the quartz movement and water resistance taken into consideration, we have a slim, modestly sized and lightweight military watch. That ticks a lot of boxes for me.

Momentum Atlas 1M-SP00B6G

  • 38mm Diameter
  • 10mm Thick
  • 20mm Lug Width
  • Titanium
  • Japanese Quartz movement
  • Sapphire Crystal
  • 100M Water Resistance

 


Conclusion


Momentum is a Canadian watch brand created by the St. Moritz Watch Corp. Their watch collections have a strong emphasis on rugged models designed for the outdoors. I’d place them alongside MWC, Luminox, Traser and similar brands.

Their collection includes field, divers and some dress watches. For the most part, their watches have a recognisable house style, often featuring a 4 o’clock crown. There’s an emphasis on legibility, functionality and water resistance.

I hope from this article that you can see the common themes among the Momentum range and that I’ve presented you with a selection of the best watches that the brand has to offer. They are hand-assembled in Canada, using parts sourced from around the world. Importantly, the movements that they use are produced by large and reliable Japanese companies, Seiko and Miyota.

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