Shark Tawny Review
Shark Contacted Me About Reviewing the Tawny, Their Kickstarter-Funded Quartz, and Sent One My Way
As soon as I received it I was unprepared for just how big this sucker really is. At 48mm, the Tawny is a literal beast on the wrist.
I’ve got small wrists- we’ll just toss that fact out there. If you’ve read WYCA before, you know that a 38 – 42mm diameter is ideal for me. At 48mm, the Tawny is so large that it’s nigh unwearable… for me. If you’re blessed with bigger wrists, you may be able to pull off its 48mm case.
The Tawny is inexpensive – selling for around $80 on Amazon – and features an interesting quasi-minimalist design with a big red sub-dial centerpiece.
Shark Tawny Technical Specifications
Estimated 3 years
30m / 99ft
The Tawny is a Watch That Doesn’t Know What it Wants to Be
The design language on the Tawny is all over the place. Its Kickstarter campaign touts that the Tawny was inspired by the solar system, but with a red shark sitting right at 12 o’clock, its hard to see the space influence in the design. I also find it odd that a brand called Shark would produce a watch inspired by the solar system- doesn’t its name imply some kind of nautical theme?
Still, the design is pretty cool. It looks sci-fi, very Tron-esque, and I just so happen to be a fan of Tron; I dig the red on black two-tone color scheme on the dial and strap.
The elephant in the room is the bright red subdial and exposed date wheel. This subdial is the defining feature of the watch, and is even more visible than the crown-guard at 8 o’clock. Shark touts themselves as a fashion watch brand, and the dramatic styling of the Tawny is proof enough that they’re serious about it. The subdial is kind of hard to read, though.
Then There’s the Crown-Guard at 8 O’Clock
… which makes a big watch even bigger. At least it looks tough, and in theory it should protect the crown from impact. Its usefulness is questionable though, since the Tawny only has 30m / 99ft of water resistance.
30m / 99ft of water resistance is suitable for wearing while in the rain or washing your hands, but that’s about it. You don’t want to submerge the Shark Tawny (ha), and you definitely don’t want to be wearing it to places where it is likely to get damaged. Considering that, what’s the point of a crown guard?
It’s clear that most of the focus has gone into the design. If you want something that dominates your wrist and looks like it just came out of a video game, the Tawny fits the bill perfectly. After all, it’s an $89 (MSRP) self-professed fashion watch, and it’s not unreasonable for it to lack some robustness when considering you can find it for as low as $75 on Amazon right now.
Shark Did a Good Job With the Strap
The strap has a a soft, slightly pliable feeling to it. It reminds me of the strap that ships with the Timex Weekender, but the Tawny’s is much thicker and feels to be better quality. The clasp is also good – engraved – and does its job. The black coating is holding up pretty good after being opened/closed 30 times or so.
I like the red stitching by the lugs and at the tip. Aside from being a mile wide, the strap is quite low-key compared to the dial.
It’s holding up well to daily wear so far, but time will tell how good it is. The strap on the Weekender seemed surprisingly good at first, but after a few months it was clear that the strap wasn’t going to last more than a year or two. The Tawny, being literally four or five times thicker than the Weekender’s strap, should hold up a lot better.
Overall, The Tawny Isn’t a Bad Buy if You’re Looking For What it Offers
Speaking frankly, this isn’t the kind of watch that a “watch person” is going to want to own. It has a movement that I can’t find any information on – a quartz QTM9 – and it’s the size of a small moon. That’s fine though, because the Tawny wasn’t made for a watch person.
The Tawny is for someone who wants a big, attention-getting, fun addition to their wardrobe. It won’t break on you a few months after owning it (I’ve had this one for nearly six months now with no problems), it’s made pretty well, it’s comfortable to wear (thanks to the strap), and it’s inexpensive.
If you’re more concerned about how a watch looks than you are about what movement is inside, there’s nothing wrong with the Tawny.