Ratio Skysurfer RTS 307 watch review

All the way from Singapore, a diminutive flight watch with one hell of a trick up its sleeve when the lights go out: the Ratio Skysurfer.

Ratio Skysurfer RTS 307 Review

Watches have been getting bigger and bigger for decades. In the last few months, however, I’ve spotted a noticeable downward trend when it comes to circumference. The big shrink is not just happening with big brands like Tudor – microbrands are also getting in on the action. Ratio has spotted a gap in the market for people who like the look of an aviation watch but don’t want a 50mm monster strapped to their arm.

At a glance

Ratio Skysurfer

About £160 (£145 after 10% off code WRSKY10 at Creation Watches)
Case size
Water Resistance
Seiko NH38A

The Ratio Skysurfer arrived from the brand in a red box with a sort of faux-leather section stitched on the front. Sadly, just moments after I filmed my unboxing video the whole thing fell apart and broke into two pieces. It did its job getting the watch from Singapore to the UK but no further. A tool watch like this deserves a decent watch roll or similar for storage, so factor that in if you don’t have a multiple watch box – or, like mine, yours are all full.

Case and Movement

The first thing that struck me about the Ratio Skysurfer was its size. Usually, Type A flight watches are 48-50mm or larger. This watch is just 38mm. That makes it a viable candidate for white-collar workwear. It also makes this style of watch wearable for the more modestly wristed enthusiasts. I love 36-38mm dress watches, and the Ratio Skysurfer could easily work in place of my Rolex Datejust. Inside we have a Seiko NH38 (so no ghost date position when you pull out the screw-down signed crown). Solid, reliable and accurate for a budget automatic movement.

The case finishing is good for the price. It’s as good as anything else I’ve seen at this price point, with no sharp edges and neat brushing right the way around the case. Although the case back is only lightly etched, the choice of design makes it more legible than most and, again, for the asking price I can’t complain. What’s more, this watch has a surprising 200m water resistance which speaks to the tolerances in its production and easily beats almost every other similar watch I have seen.

Dial and Hands

That dial! I chose this particular model of Ratio Skysurfer when offered a watch for review, as I have been after a full-lume watch for quite some time. The whole dial glows brightly in low light after a moment’s charge, and the watch is very easy to read when the lume is activated. The dial is printed with no applied features, but in this case, it works really well to highlight the plain black hands and make the watch super-legible.

I often complain about the lack of a date function, and it would have been welcome here, with the smaller dial potentially allowing it to be placed in an unobtrusive position that doesn’t unbalance the design. But that’s nitpicking for a watch that offers this much value for money.

Strap and Buckle

I always comment that the first place to spot cost-cutting is in a watch strap and it’s the Ratio Skysurfer’s weakest link. The strap is of similar quality to other watches in the same price range: it’s fairly stiff and quite plasticky to the touch (though it is made of genuine leather). The stitching is quite nicely done, though, and the buckle is decent.

Ratio also sent me a NATO, which is a standard 18mm – nothing fancy like seatbelt nylon, but which is perfectly serviceable. I will most likely switch to this strap from the leather as, even with the added bulk of the strap, the Ratio Skysurfer is still slim enough to fit under my shirt sleeve.

Ratio Skysurfer – Video Review

What I Liked

What I Didn’t like

  • Full lume dial is superb
  • 38mm is a very wearable size for this type of watch
  • A bargain for its asking price
  • The box fell apart almost instantly
  • The strap could be better
  • A deeper case back engraving would look great

Ratio Skysurfer – The WRUK Verdict

I’ve had to really scrape the bottom of the barrel to find the three obligatory things about the Ratio Skysurfer that I don’t like: it’s a really nice watch for a really great price. It fits a neat gap in the market for a smaller aviation watch, and it fits a neat gap in my watch box for a full-lume watch. I highly recommend the Ratio Skysurfer, and it is in contention for my watch of the year.

Buy a Ratio Skysurfer

You can buy a Ratio Skysurfer watch in the UK from Creation Watches. Get an extra 10% off with code WRSKY10 at the checkout.

By Mike Richmond

Mike spends what little spare time he has writing for WRUK; and what little money he makes building up his collection of timepieces.

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