Akil Wingate | Mar 28, 2017 | 0
Tangramatic Nereid Argo Review
Tangramatic’s Quasi-Minimalist Nereid Argo Brings Excellent Value At Its Sub-$350 Price Point
I participate in some Facebook microbrand watch groups and came across a post from someone showing off a nice classically-styled chronograph. Tangramatic – formed in 2014 – is a small microbrand based out of Australia. I sent them a messaage asking for a review sample… and just a week or so later, one arrived!
One of the cooler watches I’ve reviewed this year (comedy isn’t my thing), the Nereid Argo is a watch that’s packing a lot of personality. This version sports a heavy Milanese strap, a small-seconds dial at 6 o’clock, and blue hands on a white dial; it is one of six versions of the Nereid available.
It comes rated for 100m / 330ft of water resistance- a fitting rating for a watch styled with nautical themes.
Is this affordable automatic a good addition to your collection? Yes, yes it is- let’s find out why!
Tangramatic Nereid Argo Technical Specifications
Argo – White
Automatic, Miyota 8245
Small seconds subdial
Estimated 40 hours
100m / 330ft
Sized For the Modern Man & Built to be Worn By One
If you’ve ever read one of my watch reviews before, chances are you already know that one of my common criticisms of watches – and especially watches from microbrands – is the lack of sapphire. I levy this criticism on microbrands in particular because larger brands have an established reputation (good or bad) for their quality. Micros do not, and in my opinion, using sapphire in lieu of a mineral crystal goes a long way in demonstrating the thought and quality that goes into a watch.
Happily, Tangramatic has wisely chosen to fit the Nereid with sapphire.
Combined with a tough-looking (and equally as strong) metal “Milanese” strap (and matching hardware), the Nereid is as tough as its steel-clad exterior suggests. Factor in the excellent water resistance (100m is great for a watch at this price), and the Nereid is clearly a watch meant to be enjoyed every day.
I’m not a huge fan of the strap. Metal straps don’t do it for me in general (a sentiment I lightly expressed when reviewing the Bulova Accutron ii Alpha); as good as it looks (I think the Nereid looks better on leather), there’s an immense trade-off in comfort. Of course, this is likely due to my diminutive wrists- the strap is either too loose or too tight.
I suspect that those with wrists that aren’t the size of toothpicks will likely enjoy greater comfort.
So, I swapped the stock milanese strap for a Barton quick-release leather (review coming soon) and all is right in my world. To its credit, the springbars on the strap the Nereid shipped with were super easy to remove.
Despite my misgivings with the strap, I find the Nereid to be a handsome watch. The dial reminds me of a pressure gauge that you might see on a ship, and unlike many microbrands, Tangramatic has tastefully incorporated their logo and branding onto it. The dial is an expanse of white space, clean lines, and smart styling.
I quite like the crown at 4 o’clock, and it’s machined and embossed to resemble the wheel on the desk of a ship. Next to the anchor on the dial and the engravings on the caseback, the crown is perfectly complimentary and fits the style. Overall, the Nereid is a good looker (and also, surprisingly, the only small-seconds automatic in my collection!).
Powered By a Miyota 8245 Automatic Movement
The 8245 is the dressier version of the 8215 automatic. It features a 40 hour power reserve, hand winding, and a small-seconds subdial (positioned at 6 o’clock on the Nereid). Unfortunately, it doesn’t hack.
You can hand-wind the 8245. This one is fully wound in 40 twists- you will hear an audible click when the clutch disengages (to prevent over-winding).
I don’t have a lot of personal experience with the 8245, but I’ve got quite a lot with the 8215 which, despite being a simplistic movement, has consistently been reliable across the two-dozen or more watches I’ve worn and owned with one inside.
- To adjust the time, pull the crown to the farthest position (position 2). Turn the crown clockwise to set the time.
The Nereid is Well-Priced at $350
One of the best things about the Nereid is how versatile it is. It’s a well-styled watch that works with a huge variety of straps, bracelets, and wardrobes. At 42mm, it’s a great size for most men, and its only 12mm tall so it tucks under sleeves and cuffs pretty well.
The versality of the dial and case make the Nereid a pleasure to wear. The off-set crown at 4 o’clock almost hides itself when on the wrist, and the minimal-but-not-minimal dial is timeless- this watch will age very well. Thanks to sapphire and a good quality of build, so too will the rest of the watch.
The watch world today is rife with microbrands offering their vision of the “perfect” watch. Some have ambitions that are loftier than their execution, and you see compromises made in areas that aren’t always so obvious (such as the quality of the dial’s build or in materials used). In the Nereid, there are no such compromises- it’s simply a clean, well-made, and affordable automatic.