I heart minimalist watches. I’m a patriot. The Waldan Watch Heritage Professional is a three-handed watch made in America, powered by an American-made quartz movement. Yours for three hundred bucks. What’s not to love? Well, there is something. A few things actually . . .
When considering a watch where less is more, it’s important to remember that every single element is mission critical, both on its own and in relation to all the other aspects. There is no room for error. The Heritage Pro certainly starts off on the right foot: it’s the right size.
As everyone knows, 39mm is the Goldilocks dimension for any watch. The Waldan Watch Heritage Professional is 40mm. The timepiece gets a pass because a) foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds and b) the polished stepped stainless steel bezel and restrained rehaut account for the “extra” 1mm – leaving a mostly legible dial.
You gotta give Waldan credit for going all Timex Easy Reader on the indices. Better yet, the perfectly sized plain Jane Arabic numerals are applied (rather than printed) – a touch of luxury that only reveals itself when viewing the Heritage Pro’s dial from an oblique angle. The indices’ admirable austerity is a captivating counterpoint to the cursive “Walden” brand text sheltering under the 12.
The stepped case serves the same purpose. Combined with four indented, curvaceous lugs, the 316L steel case has a distinctly Art Deco feel. The watch’s shirt-cuff compatible 8.6mm thickness adds to the effect.
Taken as a whole, the Heritage Pro is streamlined and elegant, wandering on the border between vintage dressy and fresh n’ funky.
Unless the dial catches the light at the “wrong” angle, when its custom-molded “leaf” hour and minute hands absorb light like MMA fighter Donald Cerrone absorbs body blows. The hands literally disappear against the black background. Look ma, no hands!
At the same time, the small gold bezel surrounding the tiny small seconds sub-dial – with its diminutive red hand, virtually unreadable white numbers and infinitesimal indices – glints. For no appreciable reason, save unnecessary distraction.
The sub-dial is Waldan’s attempt to evoke the ghost of wristwatches and pocket watches past, when the layout of mechanical movements dictated the bottom of the dial as the second hands’ optimal position.
Re: the sub-dial’s Ferrari red second hand: a non-red/green color blind colleague assured me “I can see it fine . . . I just can’t read it.” In other words, it’s a needless affectation. Form over function.
In terms of actual function, the Waldan Watch Heritage Professional runs off an American made AMERIQUARTZ caliber 70200 quartz movement. It’s developed and produced by Arizona-based Fine Timepiece Solutions, makers of “the first industrial watch movement supplier based in the USA in over 50 years.”
I can’t find any data on the movement’s accuracy. (Neither AMERIQUARTZ nor Waldan have responded to our enquiry.) The watchmaker’s website assures potential buyers that the engine’s fully serviceable; warrantied for five years. So there is that.
The Heritage Pro is attached via a stitched black “handmade in Italy” genuine leather strap and an unbranded steel buckle.
As you’d expect for the second lowest grade of leather, the strap’s a bit creaky at first. It breaks in quickly. Too quickly? After a couple of days the holes look more than a bit manky. If you buy this watch, I reckon a replacement strap is inevitable.
Low and no-light reading is impossible. The Waldan Watch Heritage Professional has luminescent dots circumnavigating the rehaut. The website claims the hour and minute hands are tipped with Super-LumiNova. They’re not. Talk about teasing a lumatic. Meanwhile, the Heritage Pro’s 50m water resistance caters to COVID-19-inspired obsessive hand washers and swimmers who resist the urge to dive.
The Waldan Watch Heritage Professional is a handsome beast let down by its now-you-see-them, now-you-don’t hands, ill-advised and ill-conceived small seconds subdial and a startling lack of luminosity. That said, it’s got an American heart, both in terms of its Silver State movement and its genesis. At $300, the Heritage Pro is priced to go. With a bit more design evolution, it would be irresistible.
MODEL: Waldan Heritage Professional (black dial)
Case Width: 40mm
Case Height: 8.6mm
Strap and Lug Width: 20mm
Case and Bezel Material: 316L Stainless Steel
Case Finish: Brushed/Polished
Dial Color: Black
Band: Black genuine leather with
Buckle/Clasp: Unbranded stainless steel buckle
Crystal: Sapphire AR coated
Water Resistance: 50m
Weight: 1.8 ounces
RATINGS (out of five stars):
Design * * * *
Wonderfully retro minimalist timepiece with an Art Deco vibe.
Legibility * *
Perfect in perfect light, otherwise invisible. Lume dots with no lume on hands.
Comfort * * * * *
Light ‘n slim
Overall * * *
A handsome American-made beast let down by its now-you-see-them, now-you-don’t hands, ill-advised and ill-conceived small seconds subdial and a startling lack of luminosity.
The Truth About Watches is a fully independent website No commercial consideration provided by the manufacturer. No payment for links.