Given that things seem to be going not-so-great over at 'The New Renato," I find myself continually checking the internet - and even a few friends of friends - trying to find NOS Renato watches at a decent price. It's not always easy, and I have to admit that I've paid way too much for some of these colorful pieces, but I guess that happens when you have a newly-arrived, NOS collector's case that needs to be filled up, and a declining level of quality that appears to be making the Renato brand 'of old' a fond memory from the past
With that in mind, here are my two latest finds...
Bracelet: Stainless Steel
Movement: ss Ronda 5040D Quartz Chronograph Movement
Crown: Screw Down w/ Function Pushers
Clasp: Push Button Dual Deployant
Bracelet Measurements: 8-1/2" L x 30mm W
Case Measurements: 56mm L x 50mm W (including lugs)
Case Thickness: 13mm
Water Resistance: 30 ATM - 300 meters - 990 feet
Additional Features: Watch comes packaged in a black Renato engraved watch box with an instruction booklet, a certificate of authenticy card and a polishing cloth. Movement country of origin is Switzerland. Watch country of origin is China.
I find the last two sentences in the 'Additional Features' line above to be fascinating; how many companies or sellers would have even thought about adding such a descriptor to their product summary, even as recently as one or two years ago? I would guess that this is almost certainly in response to the Doxa-Invicta-Swiss Legend-and other dust-ups which made even some of the most devoted geeks question exactly what was in their collections. Unfortunately, from what I'm able to tell, even the most recent Renatos still bear the words 'Hand Made' adjacent to the six o'clock position on their dials, not to mention much larger, engraved writing on the caseback, as well.
Leaving all that behind, I really like this watch. The multi-textured green dial is very pleasant to look at, and it's laid out in a very nice, uncluttered manner. Fit and finish are excellent throughout, including the bracelet with its decorated dual-deployant clasp, and the balance between the 'diamond-gnurled" texturing and satin finish is spot-on perfect. No fingerprint problems here...
The Ronda 5040D movement does its job well, from standard timekeeping to chronograph function. The screwdown crown is very easy to use, and the pushers operate firmly enough to preclude accidental activation of the chronograph.
Overall, this is a very nice NOS Renato find. It is very comfortable, despite its large size, and the tapered bracelet feels good against the wrist. As is often the case with Renato watches, the large size may keep some would-be buyers away, but for those who don't mind a little heft, it's a nice addition to your personal collection.
Bracelet: Stainless steel
Movement: Swiss ETA 252.272 quartz
Crown: Screw down w/ rectangular function pushers
Clasp: Push button dual deployant
Bracelet Measurements: 8-3/4" L x 27mm W
Case Measurements: 56mm x 40mm
Water Resistance: 30 ATM - 300 meters - 990 feet
The Jakal has been around for several years and, like its other four-sided counterpart, the Stallion, it has been very popular among Renato collectors. It features a great deal of texturing on the outside of both the braclet and the case, but the inside of the bracelet is satin smooth and very comfortable against the skin. Like virtually every other Renato bracelet, it features a decorated dual-deployant clasp that snaps firmly into place and stays put. It also has half-links for an excellent, custom fit.
The dial face is a little 'busier' than its newer counterpart above, what with the continuation of the same 'checkerboard' texturing found on the bezel, but this is helped out by two of the three subdials having a smooth, sunray finish. However, the minute hand is skeletonized and can get 'lost' if you're in a hurry. Overall, it's not as cluttered as some of Renato's other dial layouts, but it still has some readability issues.
The Swiss ETA 252.272 quartz movement works well, though I have to admit that I don't 'get' the whole ETA quartz mystique, if it indeed even exists. To my way of thinking, quartz is pretty much quartz; the battery provides power, the quartz vibrates, and you get very accurate time. Ronda does it, and so does Miyota, as do several other Japanese and even - God help us - Chinese watch companies. As is the case with the Cougar, the screw-down crown and rectangular pushers work exceptionally well.
Although the Jakal is narrower than its newer counterpart above, it's still a big Renato and, as such, is not necessarily a good fit for a sizable percentage of the watch buying public. For me, it comes down to whether or not it's comfortable; if it isn't, it gets sold and/or traded away; if it is, then it's a keeper and the MM count doesn't matter. That latter is very much the case with this watch.
This is my second Renato Jakal, and my first bracelet version. The rubber strap model is obviously lighter and more comfortable, but that doesn't make the bracelet any less wearable. Both have different occasions for wear and, as such, are as different as just about any two other watches in my collection. Heck, I might even have room for a third one...that is, of course, if I don't go broke buying all these other Renatos in the time being...
...many thanks for looking, all.