Review: Tsovet SVT-FW44

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I have been wearing the Tsovet SVT-FW44 for about three months, and there’s a lot I like about this watch.  Its simple, clean design, bright blue hands, and distinct case help it stand out while maintaining classic styling.  Lets first dig into the features of the watch and a bit about the company that makes it.

Case: 316l Matte Stainless Steel
Movement: Ronda 513 Swiss Quartz Movement
Sub/Dial/S: Silver Bdl/W Black Markers
Lens: Hardened Mineral Crystal
Case Back: 316l Matte Stainless Steel
Strap: Italian Calf Leather
Buckle: 316l Matte Stainless Steel
Water Res. : 10atm (100m/300f)
Dimensions: 44mm x 12.65mm
Warranty: 2 Years

The SVT-FW44’s design is inspired by the WW1 infantryman’s field watch.  It features a simple face, with no hour markers, but instead displays minute markers where the hour markers typically appear.  The hands are a metallic royal blue with luminescent filling, and are offset against the clean white of the face.   The matte aerospace-grade 316L stainless steel case measures 44mm in diameter and 12.65mm high, and houses a Ronda 513 swiss quartz movement.  The watch also comes with a caramel brown Italian calf-leather strap that is noticeably thick and features white accent stitching and a large branded buckle.

According to their site, Tsovet offers “a distinctly different range of analog time instruments, integrating the styling of engineered industrial tools, motor gauges and avionics instruments, with exaggerated components to achieve unique but functional styling.”  I certainly agree with this description in the case of the SVT-FW44.  The pronounced, geometric lugs and oversized crown are both industrial and elegant.  Going a step further, I would say that a classic simplicity is present throughout the design of the watch.

My experience with this watch has be great thus far.  Its large face and clean design make it easy to read and give it a distinguished look.  Standing nearly a half inch off of my wrist however, I’m definitely aware that I’m wearing it throughout the day, which can be both a good and bad thing.  The strap has a bold appearance (by my measurement, it’s 4mm thick).  Again, this offers a great look, but the rigidity of such a thick leather has been noticeable.  Especially durring the first few weeks of wearing the watch, the strap creaked as I flexed my wrist, and when my hand came within a foot of my nose I could smell the leather like a new pair of 1000 mile Wolverine boots.  Ultimately, the size, heft and build quality of the SVT-FW44 are  what make it such an incredible watch.  When you first pick it up it feels heavy and solid – like it is built to last.  The screw down crown feels more like a bolt, and the lugs have a sharp, machine cut finish.  Tsovet is definitely living up their industrial aspirations.

One of my favorite features of the SVT-FW44 is its versatility in styling.  It has quickly become the watch I most frequently wear, regardless of the setting.  Its design lends itself to be worn with a suit or casual work attire.  The SVT-FW44 actually comes in a number of color combinations, including a no longer available all black with blue hands combination, which for a while I was trying to hunt down.  I ultimately purchased this version of the watch for its classic styling and versatility.

In summary, I really have mostly positive things to say about the Tsovet SVT-FW44.  The design and build quality were exactly what I was looking for in a daily use watch, and the price of $350 for something of such high standard is great.  Its large size and pronounced crown don’t quite “get in the way”, but they certainly remind you that you’re wearing a watch throughout the day.  Over all though, I have to say that I am very, very happy with the purchase.

For more info on the SVT-FW44 and Tsovet’s other watched, head over to tsovet.com.

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  • Robin

    Love this review! The photos you incorporate into each review are really helpful in understanding the entire piece, particularly the hand-in-pocket because it’s such a natural position that it gives a good perspective as to how the watch will really look.

    I’m partial to the black face SVT-FW44.

  • Mike

    Anyone know the lug width on this guy?

    • Blake

      Hey Mike. The lug width is 22mm.

  • Joe

    Hi Blake,

    Have you had any issues with the crystal scratching?

    • Blake

      Hey Joe, thanks for reading. No, I’ve had no problems with the crystal at all. It still looks great. I did however have a problem with the movement, or the mechanics of the hands (not sure which it was). The second hand was getting stuck, and thus the time was not accurate. I sent the watch back to Tsovet, and they fixed the problem and returned the watch within about a month. To be perfectly honest, the customer experience throughout the repair was not the best. I think a month turnaround on a quartz watch repair is a bit long (though I am no expert) and I did not receive very timely updates without requesting them from a customer service rep. The most important thing is that my watch was returned fixed, and I am but one person with a so-so experience. Nevertheless, its something to consider if you’re looking to make a purchase.

  • Joe

    Hi Blake,

    I got the all black model in the mail today. You were right when you wrote it has a large and pronounced crown. I am not used to wearing a watch of this size. I purchased this watch to replace my all black swiss army chrono, which was much flatter. I have a smaller wrist, and although I like the styling on the watch, it seems really big. I wonder if this is something I will get used to? I purchased it new for $288 shipped, but I am confused on whether to keep it or not.

    • Blake

      Hey Joe. You’re really the only person who can answer that question. That said, $288, while a great deal for the Tsovet, isn’t a small amount of money. So, if you’re not completely happy with the watch, I would consider the return. I think its important to find the right watch for you, and if there seems to be something off, size or otherwise, it makes sense to look for something else. Let me know how it turns out. Thanks.

      • Joe

        Blake,

        Thank you for the replies,the wonderful reviews, and website. I appreciate the detailed photos and writing. In this age of online shopping, reviews help tremendously. Keep up the great work! After wearing the Tsovet for a couple days I am really starting to like the size and feel. Now my other watches seem too small! ha ha ha. I will continue to follow your work and might start collecting watches.

        • Louie

          would you mind sharing where you got the watch for such a great price? i was doing some research on this watch which brought me to this site. which was dangerous cause I have now come across other watched reviewed here that I “need” now. not going to go well with the wife

  • Hi Blake,

    I got this model about a week ago. i’m having the movement problem as well. and when it stops ticking, i have to open the screw down crown, adjust the time, in order to get the watch working again.

    Tried to contact tsovet twice but haven’t got any respond so far. Do you think it’s worth the risk to take the watch to a local watch repair shop?

    Thanks!

  • I have had the PVD model with beige lume since november (small seconds @ 6).

    The crystal is easily scratched (have 7 on mine, although most don’t notice them– yet it’s I who looks at the face several times daily). But it’s also easily replaced for $75 directly from Tsovet. I have inquired about replacing it with a sapphire crystal from customer service and three independent crystal replacement service centers, but all respond the same: standard replacement sapphires max out at 35mm, thus the FW44 is too big for standard sapphire replacement crystals.

    I was then quoted $900 from a fourth center for a custom sapphire… Considering a could buy two high quality divers with domed sapphires larger than the Tsovet in that price range, that’s a pass.

    And with regards to movement problems: I experienced the same symptoms as Edwin and others… but it’s due to the lousy batteries supplied with the Tsovet’s (movement started, stuttered, stopped, restarted, stopped, adjusted time, and movement started only to stop once more and so on), so I had my battery replaced for $8 at the local jeweller, and all is well again.

  • Hi,

    Does this watch come with additional straps?

    • w&w

      No, just one strap.

  • TSOVET looks nice but it’s a pity all models I saw hadmisaligned seconds hands… I think the designs are rather fashionable though!

  • edesign

    Still waiting for a refund on returned watches – beware Tsovet’s customer support; unreliable information and low response-rate.

    I ordered four Tsovet watch models online from Tsovet.com so my boyfriend could choose one, then sent remaining three back. It has been over a month since Tsovet received the three models I sent back along with all the appropriate paperwork and RA# and they still have not given me credit for them.

    Their website promises a refund within 5-10 business days as well as returning an email response within 1 business day, and both are untrue. Try calling and 99% chance you will get an answering machine.

    Boyfriend thrilled with watch, but really disappointed in service. Totally not worth the stress.

  • Furi Maki

    I was sold by their story so I decided to try Tsovet out with a SVT-FW44 purchased Feb 2014. 2x returned for slow clock issues (still unresolved.) Tsovet is good people with bad product. Will not buy Tsovet again.