In the uncertainty that was 2020, there were some watch manufacturers that pushed through like show ponies, and one of these companies is Swiss Watch Company. Owned by Steven Roemer and family run by Steven and his sons, SWC is the creator of a number of watches made for the US Armed Forces, the popular MK1 and MK2 Divers (MK1 reviewed by @ranchracer), the SWC Sport (also reviewed by yours truly) and the creator of the 2020 released field watch, the SWC “Bunker”. This latest novelty may quite possibly be their best release yet.
There are many things that make the Bunker a unique field watch. Starting with the titanium case which makes the Bunker extremely light, this watch almost disappears into your wrist. If you are not a fan of the look of titanium, you may change your mind when you see how it compliments the shape of the case and bezel, and works with the cream colors on the dial.
The Bunker case itself is only 9.9 mm thick, which along with the narrow sloping lugs allows it to wear much smaller on the wrist than expected. As a female collector with a small wrist, I usually assume a 41 mm case will be too large and masculine due to the lugs hanging well over the sides of my wrist. With a lug to lug measurement of only 46mm, the shape of the case and the slender width of both bezel and lugs allows it to wear surprisingly well while still maintaining a functional and sporty look.
The dial is the thing that immediately draws you in – the soft, matte, latte cream color with the white sans-serif even numbers alternating with white stick indices creates a comfortable symmetry and high visibility. The inner dial consists of a 24-hour scale in black, which further compliments the well composed layout and color balance. Next to the chapter ring runs the seconds also in smaller black font. Add to this the delicate yet highly visible obelisque hands with polished edges, and you have a lovely field watch to guide you through your day, as well as your night. I’m not kidding about that second bit either. The lume – 20 layers of X1 grade Swiss made Super-Luminova on all numbers, indices and hands (hour, minute and the counter weight disk on the orange-tipped seconds hand) does not disappoint. After having the Bunker here for review, and after both of us spending quality time with it, we can confirm that the watch continued to glow the entire night and that the lume is on par with the likes of all the big brands. Before I forget, the crystal (which is topped with a liquid layer of sapphire) has numerous layers of anti-reflective coating, and despite this being worn here on the ranch, (above water of course) the view of the dial was not “spoiled” by fingerprints or mild horse slobber, which was the true test.
The Bunker ships with a quick release leather band in soft saddle brown with white stitching and a titanium buckle with the SWC logo as well as with SWC’s popular soft hook-and-loop nylon strap. All of this fits into the bi-fold leather “wallet” style case that has two pockets to hold everything. This unique strap (first paired with the SWC Sport) connects to the top lugs and does not pass under the case itself (like a NATO), so you have direct contact between your wrist and the case to give you a close, sleek fit. Both @ranchracer and I feel with the strap options and styles the size of this case works for both of us. There are plenty of holes in the leather strap and infinite size possibilities with the hook-and-loop strap, so there are no bulky folds of excess nylon strap near the case to distract from the beauty of this watch.
Do we like the Bunker? Yes. Would we buy it? Yes, and I was able to buy one for @ranchracer for his December birthday before they sold out. We have grown to enjoy and trust this brand for their quality and innovation. They even go the extra mile with this one by regulating each SW200 movement prior to shipping and include the data cards for the customer.
I was sad to have to send this review watch back, but now that we own one I’ll be able to borrow it – that’s if I’m able to get it off of Ranch Racer’s wrist!
Ranch Racer’s Take:
While this review was all Perpetual Girl, I did have an opportunity to wear and evaluate the loaner piece and quite liked it, so much so that PG in fact surprised me with one of my own for my birthday. It was a nice surprise, and honestly I couldn’t be happier with it. I’d already come to the conclusion that it was probably the best piece released yet by the brand, which I believe was proven by the immediate sellout of the first run. It strays a bit from their more wild and innovative side, but in this case that’s OK. It’s a piece that was clearly designed and conceived to bring more folks into the SWC fold and it appears to be succeeding on that front.
First and foremost it’s a rock solid field watch with outstanding readability, and of course like every other piece from SWC you get top notch quality in every aspect of the product. Things such as individual movement regulation with confirmation card, huge amounts of Super-Luminova that easily lasts through the night (think Rolex and Seiko diver quality here), a coating of sapphire OVER the multiple coatings of AR, multiple included straps, and of course the personal attention each and every customer receives from the brand really set SWC apart. What’s more, all of the above comes at an almost unbelievable price point, proving once again that the terms “Swiss Made” and “Expensive” can indeed be mutually exclusive.
With its titanium case and lightweight nylon hook-and-loop strap options the Bunker is hands down the lightest watch in my collection (and also one of the most comfortable). I’m not normally a titanium guy, preferring the weight and presence of stainless steel or precious metals, but in this case it was the perfect material for this type of piece. Looking down at the Bunker on my wrist with the khaki nylon strap I almost feel like I should be sitting in a Sherman tank wearing my WWII army helmet with my trusty Colt 1911 at my side! Yet on the leather strap with the elegant cream colored dial and delicate obelisque hands I could easily wear this one with slacks and a sport coat. Talk about versatility. Another hit from the folks at Swiss Watch Company, priced at $399 USD. You can find additional details at swcusa.com where you can also sign up to receive updates on the next run of this fantastic piece.
- Material: Titanium
- Size: 41 mm
- Thickness: 9.9 mm
- Lug-to-Lug: 46 mm
- Crystal: Sapphire with 16x anti-reflective coating
- Case Back: Screw-back
- Water Resistance: 10 atm
- Inter-lug Width: 22 mm
- Sellita SW200
- 28,800 vph
- 26 Jewels
- Includes leather with pin buckle and stretchable nylon with hook-and-loop