MICRO-MONDAYS: The Circula ProTrail is a high-tech field watch combining toughness and styleFergus Nash
There’s little that can beat a field watch when it comes to day-to-day wear. Divers are often too chunky, and dress watches too delicate, but the mix of practicality and aesthetics on offer with a field watch remains versatile and comfortable. Circula already impressed me with their Supersport, but now they’re back with the ProTrail — a high-tech mechanical field watch with durability and industrial style in equal measure.
The shape of the Circula ProTrail’s case pulls you in from various directions. Initially, the circular bezel frames the dial with a soft sandblasted grain, then dives into a vivid polished bevel. What follows next is a cascading set of angles that roughly follows a traditional case shape. However, the steepness of those cuts almost evokes a miniature cushion case of the 1970s, but reimagined in a post-industrial future. The crown is unguarded and slightly conical, with a subtle yet grippy knurling and a luminous logo. The case sides also have a section of rough texture that actually makes the case look slimmer on an angle.
Dimensionally, the Circula ProTrail follows a happy medium that will suit an average wrist nicely. A diameter of 40mm appears well-balanced thanks to the extension of the case sides and the business of the dial, and the 46mm lug-to-lug should be comfortable for most people. The thickness is 12mm without the crystal, although the sapphire is flat and only protrudes a tiny amount from the case. The material is stainless steel, but has been given a scratch-resistant coating equivalent to 1,300 on the Vickers scale, which sits above quartz and below topaz. There is also a 99-piece limited edition version of the Circula ProTrail in a black DLC.
Field watch dials can sometimes risk looking a bit too similar to each other, but the Circula ProTrail does a great job of distinguishing itself while not departing too far from the winning formula. An outer section has a neat train-track minutes counter with large Arabic numerals, while a circular guilloché centre section shows the 24-hour scale, as well as printing for the brand and model.
Between the three references, there are some great uses of contrast. On the sandy-yellow dial version, the central numbers and the small hour markers are actually printed in blue, which varies between easily visible and blending into black depending on the lighting conditions. The same can be said for the neat hands, which remain mostly dark but seem to have a tinge of colour going on. The black dial is probably the most versatile and popular option, with dark orange as its highlight colour. The outer section of the black version is quite glossy and professional too, while the guilloché centre appears more silvery and sleek.
In terms of lume, the black dial has blue Super-LumiNova for the 12-hour numerals and on the hands, with orange pips at the hour markers. The yellow dial is a bit more curious, as the outer section is actually entirely luminous. Usually with luminous dials you can tell from a slight tint what it is, but the yellow colour disguises it entirely until you bring the watch into darkness. The limited-edition version has a completely different dial layout, with numerals at the quarters and faux-patina lume in each hour marker.
The use of a Sellita SW200-1 should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with low-cost Swiss movements, and it’s the perfect fit for the Circula ProTrail. With a 28,800 vibration per hour beat rate, you get the luxury impression from its smooth-sweeping seconds hand along with a 42 hour power reserve that works great for daily wear. It’s the Elaboré grade, which means the timekeeping should be within -5/+7 seconds per day margins. There’s no display caseback, but the movement is encased in a soft iron Faraday cage to protect it from magnetising fields.
The Circula ProTrail pricing and availability:
The Circula ProTrail is now available for pre-order from their website with a €50 discount, and they will be shipped from November 2022. Price: €749
|Case Dimensions||40mm x 46mm x 12mm|
|Case Material||Stainless Steel|
|Water Resistance||150 Metres|
|Dial||Black / Yellow|
|Power Reserve||42 hours|
|Availability||Available for pre-order now|