By now you have probably heard of Pagani Design: it has overtaken Parnis as the homage brand of choice. WRUK takes a look at the Pagani Design Submariner.
Pagani Design Submariner Review
This particular watch, in the Aliexpress sale, set me back just £55. For a two-tone steel-cased watch with a Seiko NH35 movement, display case back and a solid bracelet, that is unbelievably cheap. In the microbrand world you’d be looking at £200+ for something similarly specified so where has Pagani cut the corners?
Presentation is spartan, but you do get a box with a foam insert and an instruction book and a cleaning cloth. The box is not the best I’ve seen but it is amazing to see in on a £55 watch!
Okay. It is obvious where Pagani got the inspiration for this design. I would not be surprised to find versions of this watch with a different dial being sold for many times the price. As it is, we have a very clear Rolex Submariner homage. If feels suitably heavy and solid: nothing light or rattly about this watch. The sample I bought has what looks like a scratch at the back of one of the lugs, but a few finishing issues are inevitable at the price.
It has a display case back to show off the NH35 movement. Since these movements usually cost nearly the same as this whole watch, I suspect that it is a clone movement and not a Japanese-built Seiko. It looks the part but I am no expert.
Dial and Hands
The dial has applied indices with metal surrounds, just like the 116613 Rolex Submariner that inspired the watch. The printing is crisp and clear and everything looks straight to me. The Mercedes hands could have a better finish but – again – this watch cost me £55 delivered!
The only real flaw in the dial is the date magnifier which has good magnification but is distorted at the bottom. I understand that with a craft knife, a lighter and some patience this can be removed but I didn’t feel comfortable trying.
Bracelet and Clasp
The bracelet is excellent. It is not loose or rattly at all, every link is solid and the centre links are plated in something gold-coloured. It has screwed links which were easy to remove with a 1.4mm screwdriver and there was no dust or dirt between the links – which is a common issue with cheap watches.
The signed clasp looks good, although there were two issues: it is quite difficult to snap it shut, and although it looks like it has a slide-lock adjustment, it does not so micro-adjusting will be tricky if not impossible. Still, for the money it is great.
Pagani Design Submariner – Video Review
What I Liked
- The watch feels really solid and heavy – you’d easily believe it cost ten times its price
- The display case back is a nice touch missing from the Rolex Submariner
- It only cost me £55!
What I Didn’t Like
- The date magnifier is distorted, spoiling my enjoyment somewhat
- The clasp is stiff and tricky to close
- There is no sliding clasp micro-adjustment like on the 116613 Submariner
Pagani Design Submariner: The WRUK Verdict
I keep having to remind myself as I type that this is not a £500 watch but a £50 watch. It’s astounding how much quality Pagani Design crams into these things for the money. If you don’t mind wearing a close homage, you really do get 90 per cent of the look of a Rolex Submariner for half a per cent of the price. From wrist distance, it looks great and certainly would persuade anyone who handled it that is cost a few hundred pounds at least.