The Creux Automatiq Diamondback is a mid-priced Genta-inspired watch with a Swiss movement. Can it compete with the likes of Christopher Ward and Maurice LaCroix?
Creux Automatiq Diamondback CA-06 Watch Review
Creux (pronounced “Crew”) is a brand I had never come across until they contacted me and offered to lend me a watch for a week to try out. I had no idea what to expect when I opened the box – I try to avoid forming early impressions of unfamiliar brands before trying their products – but was immediately impressed.
The Creux Automatiq Diamondback CA-06 arrived in a piano black shiny wooden box that looks and feels expensive. I can’t, offhand, think of another brand’s box that has been built to such high quality. That set a good first impression, which continued when I opened it up to reveal the watch inside.
The 40mm case looks bigger than expected but wears smaller thanks to its 1970s-style lugless design. The crown is protected by neatly angled crown guards, and I love the way that the lines of the bevelled edges sweep back. The rivetted bezel is very reminiscent of the Genta design-school, as is the integrated bracelet. In terms of shape, size and “wrist-feel” the Diamondback gets it absolutely spot-on.
The only thing I was unsure about was the gold plated crown – If the bezel and centre links had been matching perhaps I’d have been persuaded otherwise. The case back is superb, with deep engraved text, a contrasting rotor and a great view of the 33 jewel CA24-04 Swiss movement by SwissTech.
In my video review I was unsure as to what kind of movement was within the Creux Automatiq Diamondback and promised to do some research. Like most watch enthusiasts, I assume that “Swiss Made” means an ETA or a Sellita. Now I am not in any way a movement snob (see my Swiss Made: So What? feature) but I am inherently distrustful of brands that claim a Swiss movement and then are unclear about its origins. There were rumours, for example, that early Meccaniche Veneziane models had a rebranded Chinese-designed Seagull movement inside them, which met the Swiss-Made laws, but not really in spirit.
SwissTech, it would appear, are a Hong-Kong company with a presence in Switzerland and so I can only assume that the CA24-04 movement is a Chinese design that is assembled, regulated, cased and quality controlled in Switzerland. This far-eastern link is not an issue to me – I am the proud owner of a Chinese tourbillon – but I am very aware that it will raise eyebrows with some watch collectors.
Dial and Hands
Although the hands are relatively plain, the dial is something to behold. It is made of a dense, textured pattern that catches the light beautifully. Although there is a lot going on, it never becomes distracting. The seconds are relegated to a sub-dial at 6, with a surround in a matching gold to the crown. This felt a bit too prominent to me but it is only a minor niggle, as was the placement of the “DIAMONDBACK” text within it, which I thought was both too large for the space and too small to read.
The markers are all applied and the sense of depth in the dial is phenomenal. The date window is welcome, although it feels quite small against the texture of the dial. A circular cyclops would have been welcome, perhaps inset into the crystal, like on some Panerai models.
The Creux Automatiq Diamondback has a superb-feeling bracelet, again in the Genta mould, which must be tried to truly appreciate. The butterfly clasp feels secure and is suitably chunky.
I was not very impressed that the bracelet on an almost $2000 watch featured simple push pins rather than screwed links. Yes, plenty of other mid-range brands use a pin system, although usually they are the more secure pin and collar types in TAG Heuer, Omega or Christopher Ward watches. It’s more the large engraved arrow on the back of the links I object to than the system itself, which is largely invisible except when making size adjustments.
Creux Automatiq Diamondback CA-06 – Video Review
What I Liked
- I’d have preferred a single-colour or true two-tone rather than just the crown being gold plated
- The dial is absolutely stunning and must be seen to be truly appreciated
- The build quality of case and bracelet is superb
What I Didn’t Like
- The gold surround for the second hand and DIAMONDBACK text didn’t gel with me.
- I would have preferred screwed links over push-pins on the otherwise excellent bracelet.
- I can’t help but feel the watch is a touch expensive given its SwissTech movement – there are plenty of watch brands (Maurice LaCroix springs to mind, thanks to the design language) at the same or a lower price point with less controversial movements.
Creux Automatiq Diamondback CA-06 – The WRUK Verdict
I am in two minds about the Creux Diamondback. On the one hand, it is an objectively great watch. It is well-built, it looks good and I would be proud to have one in my collection. On the other hand, there are some cut-corners that I would not expect in a watch priced at $1,850 – namely the push pins and the SwissTech movement.
I’ll reiterate that the SwissTech movement is not an issue for me at the right price point – but I know that it is controversial amongst watch-enthusiasts and could drive some away from the brand. On the plus side, Creux is very open about the source of the movement and does not try to make out that is is something it is not. So, I am going to say that if you can find this watch at a price you are happy to pay, then it will be a solid buy. Despite my misgivings, I can’t help but like it!
Buy a Creux Automatiq Diomondback Watch
Creux sells direct to the public from their website: https://creuxautomatiq.com/
[Edited on 11th November 2019 to clarify that SwissTech movements are assembled in Switzerland and meet the letter of the law for the “Swiss Made” designation, and that the price of the watch is $1,850 not $2,000. My verdict remains nuchanged.]