Walter Shillington is an avid collector of mechanical watches. His reviews focus on inexpensive but often intriguing Chinese timepieces.
My Search for the Perfect Watch
This watch is available new on both eBay and Amazon. eBay also carries a lightly used version. I believe most of these lightly used watches are actually new watches that have been stored too long in a warehouse. On this particular timepiece, however, I could detect a faint scratch along the edge of the watchband. A link had been removed and later replaced.
Both the G-JzakkoSSBD and the G-JaakkoSSBD model appear to be identical. A used watch is priced at $24.95. If you would prefer a brand new model with a full warranty, the purchase price rises to $66.00. For those unfortunate folks—and that includes me—who live outside of Europe, a nineteen-dollar shipping fee applies.
The Aatos arrived on schedule. It came well packed with a box and a card certifying that the diamonds decorating the face were genuine.
At 174 grams (6.15 ounces), this automatic is not lightweight. It measures 45.5 mm across and is 16.5 mm thick. The strap measures 22 mm in width.
The case is composed of glossy stainless steel. Two knurled pushbuttons, separated by the crown, protrude from the right edge. Another pushbutton and identically designed knob project from the left.
The dial is black. Silver-colored roman numerals denote the nine, twelve, and three o’clock positions. Eight tiny diamonds are placed strategically around the dial. The hands, which are coated with effective luminous paint, are easily detected against the black backdrop.
Two windows at the top allow a view of the day of the month. A pair of subdials indicate the day of the week and month. These can be adjusted by their associated pushbuttons.
The numbers thirteen through twenty-four are printed along the outer rim of the dial, allowing the user to convert from twelve to twenty-four-hour time.
This rim is actually a component of what we professional watch reviewers refer to as a rotating whimsical ring. The knob located on the upper-left edge of the timepiece is used to revolve this ring in either direction. This ingenious feature clearly demonstrates Aatos’s compassion for the compulsive knob twisters and button-pushers among us.
This automatic features a cut-out at the bottom of the dial through which the rapidly oscillating timing wheel can be viewed. The rear of the moment is visible via a transparent window set into the case back. The rotor is nicely etched and branded Aatos.
The strap is heavy-duty and composed of stainless steel links, accounting for a great deal of the timepiece’s overall weight. I’ve found it to be the most comfortable watchband in my collection.
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Aatos is what is commonly known as a mushroom brand. Aatos, M Johansson and Eppman are all trademarks owned by a marketing company, which, unfortunately, I have been unable to identify.
German-based vendors distribute the watches via eBay and Amazon. I suspect these vendors, AJ Watches Germany and Watch Store Germany, are owned by the same marketing company. This business is likely based in either Germany or China. Possibly these watches have been designed in Germany, but they are manufactured in China.
Condition: New with warranty or used
Part/Model number: G-JzakkoSSBD and G-JaakkoSSBD
Model year: 2010 to present
Place of origin: Sold from Germany. Manufactured in China
Movement: Automatic marked Aatos
Style: Casual luxury
Features: Open heart design. Rotatable ring
Functions: Calendar and twenty-four-hour time
Band material: Stainless steel
Dial color: Black
Dial window material type: Hardened mineral glass
Case material: Stainless steel
Case diameter: 45.5 including crown
Case thickness: 16.5
Weight: 174 grams (6.15 ounces)
Water resistance: 5 ATM
Despite the military-like knurled pushbuttons and rapidly whirling timing wheel, this watch presents an overall impression of elegance. The tiny diamonds and well-designed subdials show well against the black backdrop of the dial.
Both the case and watchband are composed of shiny stainless steel, and I admire the interlocked brick design of the strap.
I tested this watch for seven days. During this period, the day of month indicator and both subdials worked correctly.
The Aatos automatic lost an average of five seconds per day, which is considered excellent for a timepiece in this price range. Many far more expensive watches do not meet this standard.
Another watch I have tested, the Aatos G-ThosBrBrBr, is equipped with the same movement. It runs 7.14 seconds fast per day. While my sample size is ludicrously small, it does suggest proper measures of quality control were utilized during the assembly of these movements.
The crown snaps in and out nicely, and while adjusting the hands, I did not detect sloppiness in its operation. The knob used to rotate the dial’s outer rings works well. All three pushbuttons perform satisfactorily.
The water resistance is listed at ATM 5; however, the vendor notes this result was obtained in a laboratory and states that watches rated less than ATM 10 should not be used in water. Consider this timepiece splash resistant only.
The overall appearance of this Aatos automatic suggests above-average robustness. The strap will outlast the watch.
Automatic watches require cleaning and lubrication every three to five years. If left neglected, the timepiece will gradually become less accurate and eventually fail. Despite its low purchase price, this watch’s remarkable accuracy may entice me to have the servicing performed. If left untouched, I expect my Aatos automatic to perform well for a period of three to five years.
If you dislike heavy watches, you should avoid this timepiece. In every other respect, the Aatos G-JzakkoSSBD ranks at or near the top of my collection. It is elegant, shiny, comfortable, and incredibly accurate. This timepiece is highly recommended.
In an effort to find a lucrative niche, manufacturers will offer a variety of what would kindly be described as unconventional features. A friend once purchased a watch from Radio Shack that included remote control. We walked into a big box store and, until the staff wised up and turned them off, spent an enjoyable afternoon switching channels and adjusting the volume of the bank of televisions lining an entire wall.
The following poll lists a number of bizarre features than have been incorporated into watches. Please select the one most likely to encourage you to make a purchase.