Kobold SMG-1

Discussion in 'Watch Reviews' started by Six String, May 2, 2011.

  1. Six String

    Six String

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    This is a brief review of the Kobold SMG-1 that I purchased a couple of months ago. It was pre-owned - I think I may be the third owner - and the watch was in LNIB condition when I received it.

    Supposedly, the design is based on input from Special Forces personnel. It certainly has that “tool” watch look to it. I’ve read that only 100 examples were produced but I also seem to recall reading that Kobold continues to produce a couple of pieces a year for military/law enforcement personnel…a rumor perhaps.

    Let’s get the specs out of the way. I picked up the following information straight from the Kobold Watch Museum!

    Straight From The Kobold Watch Museum:
    1.Military wrist instrument with second time zone.
    2.For the high-risk operator inserted in international theaters.
    3.Perfect watch for servicemen looking for an oversized timepiece. High-tech, easy to read, tough as nails.
    Features:
    · Oversized Soarway case
    · Domed sapphire crystal
    · SuperLuminova-coated hands and dial
    · Modified, swiss-made movement
    · Screw-in back
    · Water resistant to 300 m (1,000 ft) depth
    Technical Specifications
    Movement:
    Caliber: K. 793
    Classification: Swiss, modified
    Automatic winding: YES
    Manual winding: NO
    Size: 30.4 mm diameter
    Jewels: 25 synthetic rubies
    Decoration: NO
    Shock resistance: Incabloc
    Vibrations: 28,800 / hour
    Case:
    Material: Aerospace-grade titanium
    Bezel: Metal, uni-directional (counter-clockwise)
    Glass: Sapphire crystal, domed
    Antiglare dial: YES
    Fluorescent hands: YES
    Blued steel hands: NO
    Screw-in crown: YES
    Protected push pieces: NO
    Screw-in back: YES
    Diameter: 44.35 mm
    Height: 14.0 mm
    Water resistant: YES 100 meters (300 ft)
    Pressure proof: YES 30 atm
    Shock resistant: YES
    Functions:
    Hours: YES
    Minutes: YES
    Seconds: YES
    Chronograph: NO
    Day: YES
    Date: NO
    AM/PM: NO
    GMT: YES

    I especially like the part about it being perfect “for the high-risk operator inserted in international theaters”. Yes, I confess, that is me. If you count daily walks at Beaver Lake dog park as “insertion into international theater” and walking a Doodle qualifies as a “high risk operator”.

    Caliber K. 793 is, I think, Kobold’s way of saying it has an ETA 2836 base movement.

    Here are several pictures. As usual, the good ones are those provided to me by the seller.

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    The watch, though substantial in size, is very light and wears comfortably owing to its titanium construction.

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    If you look at the pictures of the face of the watch, you’ll notice one where the bezel pip doesn't properly align with the dial. That’s because it doesn’t. It has a 60-click bezel and the pip is either just before dead center or just a fraction after. The only way to make it look centered is to “balance” the bezel between clicks. It’s a small thing but, for a watch that listed for close to $5K, I’d expect perfection. Oddly, I’ve read complaints about the same problem on other Kobold models.

    Which brings me to the price. If you’ve followed posts on Kobold at all, it doesn’t take long to notice that everybody thinks the watches are way overpriced. I won’t go there but you can buy some extremely nice, better-known watches for the price of a Kobold.

    I justify the price I paid for my pre-owned example by telling myself that I’m unlikely to ever see one on another person’s wrist…as long I stay away from the “international theater”, of course.

    The watch keeps good time. I haven’t precisely checked it but my impression is that it runs slightly fast with me adjusting back approximately a minute every 2 weeks or so. The GMT function is cool but just an ornament for me. Most of my friends and family are in the midwest and I can do the 2 hour time difference in my head without too much difficulty. The lume is fair to good. It has a cool blue glow but it’s not that bright. It does last all night, however. Readability in the daytime and in lowlight conditions is excellent.

    So, except for the bezel alignment issue, the watch is outstanding if a bit pricey. It looks cool, really does appear to be as “tough as nails” and I’m not likely to spot any others in the wild.

    Will I keep it? I don’t know. It may be exclusive but, for the trade value, I could just about have an IWC Pilot Chrono. We’ll see.

    Thanks for reading.

    Chris
  2. Baco Noir

    Baco Noir

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    That's a great looking watch Chris and very good review. :thumbsup: I do have a question though. Any idea what the weight is with the bracelet? :thinking:
  3. Six String

    Six String

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    I have read it is 145 grams on the bracelet and 79 grams on a Zulu strap. Since I grew up in America, not France, I have no idea what that means. I do know that, for a watch so thick with a very robust metal bracelet, it is suprisingly light.

    Chris
  4. DSimon9

    DSimon9

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    A great looking watrch, and I do consider walking a dog a high risk proposition. :thumbsup:
  5. Baco Noir

    Baco Noir

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    That's the beauty of Ti - strong & light! BTW - there are 454 grams in a pound or 28 grams on an ounce.
  6. SPACE-DWELLER

    SPACE-DWELLER

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    Excellent review, Chris! :goodpost:

    Love that Kobalt of yours! :rocker:
  7. Goldbug

    Goldbug

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    Very good review. The bracelet looks to be comfortable. Is that so? I like the look and your pictures are good.


    John
  8. daveathall

    daveathall

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    Brilliant review, great looking watch. :thumbsup:
  9. colemanitis

    colemanitis

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    Thanks for the review! I enjoyed reading it! :thumbsup:
  10. Six String

    Six String

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    Thanks, everyone!

    Yes, the bracelet is very comfortable. In fact, the watch has become an almost daily wear for me. Even if I start with another watch, the Kobold frequently ends the day. Lightweight, comfortable, extremely easy to read at a glance, very accurate and I really like the way it looks. If I was still working, the others would get more wrist time, but for casual wear, it fits my needs.
  11. karmatp

    karmatp

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    Interesting review, thanks. I have always been interested in Kobold ever since I saw The Spirit of America model, it really caught my eye. I also think it's neat that they are made in Pittsburgh, a USA watch is kinda different.
  12. RW16610

    RW16610

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    Great review, Chris :thumbsup: It is a nice watch and was cool to look at the pictures and read your writeup :thumbsup: :cheers:
  13. Freddy

    Freddy

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    I bought a new Kobold Endeavor from the company for 1,700+ approx. They make great watches. As with all swiss watches, today they're over $5,000. Congrats!!