The last time I reviewed a ZIIIRO watch, I absolutely fell in love with it. To be honest, I nearly didn’t want to part with it. Now, the designer watch company has just released a brand new model called the ZIIIRO Saturn. Will it fill the void in me left by the ZIIIRO Celeste?
How will the ZIIIRO Saturn, a somewhat digitised version of the ZIIIRO Celeste, hold up against my expectations? Will I like this €179 watch as much, and be willing to recommend it as highly as I did its predecessor? We’ll just have to find out. We’re also giving this designer watch away, so read the review for more details on how you can be the one who wins it!
ZIIIRO takes the mundane act of time-telling onto a whole new level of excitement. And as you may have read in my review of the Celeste watch, its unique clock face design is not just pretty to look at, it’s also entertaining. It attracts quite a bit of attention from friends and random strangers. Even though the ZIIIRO Saturn is €30 dearer than the Celeste, it is slightly more subtle — which may or may not be a good thing, depending on your needs and preference.
The Saturn is available from ZIIIRO’s online shop and it comes in three colours. At the time of writing, the black model is unavailable but luckily for you, this is the one we’re reviewing.
The reason for purchasing a geeky designer watch such as this is to enjoy its quirkiness. There’s no point in buying this watch only to be frustrated from deciphering it. Absolutely none — you’d be better off with a regular watch. Luckily though, the Saturn is quite accommodating in the sense that it is rather similar to any analogue watch in the way it tells time. The Saturn features an always-on monotone LCD which displays time in the form of propelling rings, without any other visible markings. The longer, outer rings indicate the hour, while each individual inner segment represents a minute. Interpreting the time needs a bit of practice, but it’s surprisingly easy to get used to. After wearing it for a day, it becomes rather natural. Unlike the Kisai Online LCD watch which I reviewed earlier, the Saturn’s LCD has awesome contrast, which makes it easy to read even under strong, direct sunlight. It also sports a handy electroluminescence backlight for night viewing — and I must add that the glow of the EL light is bright enough to be seen even during daytime.
Like the Celeste, the ZIIIRO Saturn is very well constructed. Its 45mm case and strap are both made from stainless steel and feels very solid. Although the watch is supposedly unisex, it may not be suited for ladies simply because of how large the case is. The weight is distributed fairly evenly across the entire ensemble, assisted by the fact that the case is only 10.5mm thick, which is roughly the same thickness as your average luxury watch.
The strap is identical to the one fitted on the Celeste — a stainless steel mesh design with an adjustable buckle and a hook-on clasp. Being adjustable, you’ll find it amazingly easy to reposition the buckle to fit your wrist without a visit to the watch shop, saving you both precious time and money. I haven’t had any issues with the mesh strap catching the fine hairs on my wrist. However, the mesh design has a tendency to trap water droplets, and therefore, takes a long time to dry after washing my hands. The watch is also waterproof up to 3 ATM, and is able to withstand perspiration, rain and washing but should not be worn while swimming.
As you may have noticed, this is a digital watch; and as such, doesn’t feature a crown. Instead, the time is adjusted by pressing on two buttons on the back of the case. This is fine if you only need to set the time once, but for me, I travel quite a bit. It can get rather tedious having to search for something pointy to set the time with. In those cases, I’d much rather wear an analogue watch — digital isn’t always better.
Living with the ZIIIRO Saturn watch
Overall impressions? I’m happy with the watch. I love the way it looks and feels on my wrist. I enjoy the fact that it’s something different, and catches the attention of the people around me. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for ZIIIRO’s customer support. You see, this particular watch has a minor flaw — it has a pretty large speck of dust in the case, just under the glass. It may not be visible in these photos, but trust me, it’s there. According to ZIIIRO’s Returns & Exchanges Policy, I’m entitled to an exchange if I’m unhappy with the purchase (which is the case) within 14 days of receiving the watch. The first part of the procedure is to obtain a Returns Number by contacting ZIIIRO’s customer support. I sent an email on 2 January 2013 but to my disappointment, I have yet to receive a response. The company’s live chat support is never attended to, regardless of the time of day. And there’s no other way of contacting them other than email or the contact form — the company doesn’t publish a physical address or telephone number, which I find to be really dodgy.
So while the quality of the watch is great, their customer support is dismal. After paying €179 for a watch, I expected a whole lot more. Come on, ZIIIRO. Buck up!
Should you buy the ZIIIRO Saturn watch?
Despite their nightmarish customer support, the watch itself is great (if there isn’t any dust in it). It’s well built. It’s beautiful, elegant and geeky at the same time. So I find no reason not to recommend it.
MakeUseOf recommends: Buy it!
How do I win the ZIIIRO Saturn watch?
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