Walter Shillington is an avid collector of mechanical watches. His reviews focus on inexpensive but often intriguing Chinese timepieces.
The Search for the Perfect Watch
As Christmas approached, I began my search for the perfect gift. One that my niece, who has finished school and is about to jump-start her career, would appreciate. She is young, trendy, and fashion-conscious. Since I am not, the selection of the proper gift was bound to be a harrowing experience.
In my search, I came across this offering from Aatos. She would like this timepiece, wouldn’t she? After all, it’s gold-plated. Every woman loves gold. I took a deep breath and clicked the order button.
The Aatos G-AdelaLGG is available on eBay and Amazon. It can be purchased new for $30, and lightly used units are available on eBay at half that price. Those unlucky enough to live outside of Europe are subject to a shipping fee of $19.
The new watch arrived one week after it was ordered. It came well packed, wrapped around a tiny black pillow, and secured inside a cardboard watch box.
This timepiece weighs in at 58 grams (2.04 ounces), and including the crown, measures 40.9 cm across. It is 13 cm thick. The leather band is quite thick and measures 20 cm across.
The metal case is gold-plated. This wristwatch features a yellow dial of the open heart design. A subdial to the left provides the time in a twenty-four-hour format. To its right, the sun and moon rise and set inside a rotating display. For those that would prefer a perkier design and a full calendar, check out my review of the Aatos G-DoliaLSPink.
Crammed between the whirling balance wheel and the post where the main hands are attached, a tiny subdial houses the second hand. All hands and pointers are colored gold.
The back case features a large window, through which the operation of the movement can be viewed. AATOS is engraved onto the surface of the rotor.
The mainspring of an automatic watch is wound by taking advantage of the wearer’s arm movements. This motion swings a weight—the technical term is rotor—back and forth. The rotor is firmly attached to a staff, which is connected to a ratcheted winding mechanism. The purpose of this mechanism is to tighten the mainspring. Most automatic watches can also be wound by turning the crown. This is a nice, if not completely necessary, feature that the Aatos G-AdelaLGG lacks.
The watchband is brown, complimenting the dial quite nicely. The back is branded AATOS and marked ECHT LEDER, which translates to real leather. I’ll accept this statement. Certainly, this strap is of much higher quality than the PU leather normally found on Chinese watchbands.
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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 are used to distribute their watches via eBay and Amazon. I suspect these vendors, AJ Watches Germany and Watch Store Germany, are owned by the same marketing company. This firm is likely based in either Germany or China. Possibly these watches have been designed in Germany, but they are manufactured in China.
Aatos achieved favorable notice, several years ago, when they marketed the Tiago, which proved to be the first tourbillon watch available for less than $1,000.
Condition: New with box. Slightly used available without warranty
Year of manufacture: 2010 to present
Place of origin: China; vendors are located in Germany
Features: Open heart design and transparent back case.
Functions: 24-hour display and rotating moon/sun
Band material: Leather
Band-width: 20 mm
Band color: Brown
Dial color: Pale yellow
Dial window material: Hardened, scratch-proof, mineral glass
Case material: Gold plated metal
Case diameter: 40.9 including crown
Case thickness: 13 mm
Weight: 58 grams (2.04 ounces)
Water resistance: 1 ATM. Splash-proof only. Not designed for use in water
The shiny gold case lends an air of sophistication to this timepiece. All subdials are well designed and the rapidly oscillating balance wheel catches the eye. I’m not so fond of the background color; a black or white dial would provide greater contrast against the gold hands. Pale yellow was chosen because it allows this watch to be matched with a greater variety of clothing.
Although the included leather watchband is very nice, some women might prefer a gold-plated, stainless-steel strap. The Aatos G-CeciliaGGG, a similarly priced watch, will more closely match their taste.
All secondary functions worked perfectly. I placed the Aatos timepiece into my Diplomat watch winder for a period of seven days. The watch gained an average of five seconds per day. For an automatic watch, this level of accuracy is considered outstanding.
Overall construction is solid. The hands turned smoothly when I adjusted the time by pulling and turning the crown. The strap appears to be composed of good quality leather and should wear well.
Automatic and mechanical watches require routine maintenance—cleaning and lubrication—every three to five years. Watches in this price range normally receive little maintenance, simply because it is cheaper to replace the timepiece.
In my judgment, this watch will run well for three to four years. Then, as dust accumulates and lubricating oils dry, accuracy will begin to suffer. Eventually, it will fail.
To ensure the lubricating oils do not thicken and interfere with the operation of the timepiece, it is advisable to wear the watch at least once every three months.
This gold-plated Aatos automatic is fitted with a couple of fun—if not particularly useful—secondary functions. It is well built, very accurate, and can be shipped to your door for less than $50. If you like the design, this watch is worthy of serious consideration.
Mostly, I write reviews of men’s watches. To assist with the selection of timepieces of interest to women for future articles, I ask that you fill in the survey below.