Last year I had the pleasure of reviewing the Ghost Explorer, a contemporarily styled sports watch from Australian-based Creux Automatiq. It was a surprisingly sophisticated and solid piece of kit, so when I saw posts of their forthcoming line, the Diamondback, I was keen to get my hands on one.
Fast forward to me opening a DHL package, and unboxing the Diamondback CA-08, and I immediately noticed a few significant differences on this watch from its predecessor – most notably a smaller case size, solid dial and a brand new bracelet. It’s two changes that go a long way to changing the overall look and feel of the watch, while still in line with the brand’s overall aesthetic.
According to the brand, the Diamondback name owes to inspiration from the venomous reptile of the same name but, just quietly, I think it’s got more to do with sounding cool and neatly echoing the recurring diamond motif on the watch. And while there are a few colourways of Diamondback on offer, this green and gold version is, for me, the clear winner.
The diamond detail on the dial is very cool, and creates a complex look that pairs well with the lume-filled gold-tone hour markers and hands, as well as the small seconds dial. However, as with all textured dials, you do lose a little legibility on the print, and in this case I think the ‘Diamondback’ text could have been omitted. The date window also sits in a somewhat odd middle ground for me. I would have either made it slightly larger, or removed it. What really drew me to this watch, though, was the bracelet. Now, I’m the first to admit that it’s not an original design, but there’s only so much innovation you can have in this space. And as far as a two-tone homage to the Vacheron Constantin 222 goes, it’s pretty good, and works well with the sporty case shape (which itself owes a healthy nod to Genta et al). The centre links are plated to a .03 microns, and polished — a more matt, brushed finish would also look excellent. The version I trialled was still a prototype, so it lacked the final buckle (an integrated deployant) and the half links for finer adjustment. Even so, it’s a strong look.
Beating away inside is the CA24-041, made by Swisstech for Creux Automatiq. It’s a solid movement, and nice to look at, but nothing exceptional, and certainly the 36 hours of power reserve is a little light on by today’s standards.
The Diamondback is a nice watch, and more than speaks to the smart evolution of the young brand. Smaller sizes, solid (yet still complex) dials speak to a brand that’s flexible enough to respond to what wearers want, while keeping its core identity strong. A well-done watch.
Creux Automatiq Diamondback CA-08 pricing and availability
Creux Automatiq Diamondback CA-08, $2050 USD, available from their site.