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Review of the William L. 1985 Chronograph

Walter Shillington is an avid collector of mechanical watches. His reviews focus on inexpensive but often intriguing Chinese timepieces.

William L. 1985 WLAC02NRCN

William L. 1985 WLAC02NRCN

William L. Watches

I’ve purchased several chronographs over the last few years. Not because they were particularly useful—how often do most people require a stopwatch? I bought them because they were trendy, attractive, and crammed with sexy subdials and pushbuttons. This lack of common sense has benefited companies such as Corgeut, William L. 1985, Guess, and Parnis.

Sadly, I have yet to curb this affliction.

Watch Description

My new watch arrived, enclosed within an attractive and sturdy traveling case.

The WLAC02NRCN is lightweight, weighing in at 53 grams (1.89 ounces). If the crown is included, its width is 43.5 millimeters. This watch is 13.5 millimeters thick.

Surprising for a timepiece that can be purchased for only $63.00, the William L.’s case is composed of 316L Stainless Steel.

Shiny Arabic numbers, representing the hours, are backdropped by a black dial. Two subdials are used to keep track of elapsed time, and both the minute and hour hands are coated with luminous paint.

William L. fitted a Hattori VD51 quartz movement into this timepiece.

This watch is equipped with a black, crocodile patterned leather strap with a silver buckle.

The WLAC02NRCN is rated 5ATM. It is suitable for light swimming.


Brand: William L. 1985


Condition: New

Place of Origin: Shenzhen, China

Gender: Male

Display: Analog

Movement: Hattori (Seiko) VD51 quartz

Style: Chronograph

Band material: Leather

Band color: Black

Bandwidth: 20 mm

Dial color: Black

Dial window material: Curved mineral glass with anti-reflective coating

Case material: 316L Stainless-steel

Case diameter: 43.5 millimeters (including crown)

Case thickness: 13.5 millimeters

Weight: 53 grams (1.89 ounces)

Water resistance: 5 ATM (Suitable for light swimming)

The Manufacturer

William L. 1985 is the brand name of G & L Watches and Accessories.

Guillaume Laidet launched his first Kickstarter campaign in 2016, eventually producing a line of vintage-inspired quartz watches. Later he returned to Kickstarter in a bid to finance several automatic timepieces.

G & L Watches is based in France. Their timepieces are designed in Paris and then manufactured in Shenzhen, China.

Visual Appeal

When it comes to styling, this timepiece covers all the bases. A brushed stainless-steel case is sandwiched between a shiny bezel and caseback. Bright silver numbers contrast well against the black-colored dial.

Two subdials display elapsed time. Although I prefer this system, those that are serious about their chronographs will favor using the traditional second hand as part of the stopwatch function.

A flat mineral glass crystal would be less susceptible to scratches, but I do enjoy the effect of light reflecting against this crystal’s curved surface.

The black, crocodile patterned strap goes well with the overall styling of this watch.

Is It Durable?

A Hattori VD51 quartz movement is protected by a 316L grade Stainless-steel case. This material is robust and highly resistant to corrosion.

The William L. 1985’s crystal is dome-shaped and composed of anti-reflective mineral glass. Mineral glass is very hard and pretty scratch resistant.

Seiko manufactured movements have earned a reputation for excellence. This watch’s crown and pushbuttons work correctly, and its hands adjust easily with minimal play. These are the hallmarks of a quality mechanism. According to my research, the VD51 supports a date mechanism. William L. 1984, probably to avoid a cluttered dial, failed to include this feature.

A quality leather band was supplied with this timepiece. I was surprised to find that it was equipped with release bars, enabling the strap to be quickly removed and replaced. Until recently, this system was only available on higher-priced watches.

This timepiece is rated 5 ATM. It can be worn during light swimming, although a watch with this rating is not considered suitable for snorkeling.

Overall Impression

This timepiece is one of my favorites. It works well, feels comfortable, and looks great on my wrist. I was especially impressed by the quality strap that came attached to this timepiece. If you are looking for a good chronograph and don’t want to spend a lot of money, this offering from William L. 1985 should be on your shortlist.

The manufacturer of this watch used a combination of features and quality materials, striving to increase its appeal. The poll below is intended to determine which enhancements are most desired by my readers.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Walter Shillington