First Look at the Astor+Banks Sea Ranger 

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Astor+Banks is a brand based in Chicago that creates watches with a unique spin on the “military heritage” genre. Brand founder Andrew Perez is a veteran, and has designed Astor+Banks’s latest watch, the Sea Ranger, as the type of piece he wishes he had when he served in an infantry group. It’s not a recreation of a classic military watch, nor is it designed by committee to be a modern interpretation of a long lost idea of what a military watch should be. The Sea Ranger was developed by a real watch guy who also happens to have real lived experience in the military that informs his design choices, which gives it a certain level of authenticity that other watches simply can’t claim. It doesn’t hurt that the watch is also an attractive, all-purpose piece in a variety of color options. Let’s take a closer look (please note that the watches shown here are prototypes).


Astor+Banks Sea Ranger

Case Material: Stainless Steel
Dial: Multiple options
Dimensions: 40mm
Crystal: Sapphire
Water Resistance: 300 meters
Crown: Screw down
Movement: Sellita SW200 or ETA 2824
Strap/bracelet: Steel bracelet
Price: $575 (Early Bird via Kickstarter); $875 retail
Expected release: Kickstarter in June


The specs of the Sea Ranger are straightforward. It’s a 40mm all purpose dive watch (hence the “Sea” in its name) with 300m of water resistance and an ETA 2824-2 (or Sellita SW200)  movement with 38 hours of power reserve. It’s also a highly legible field style watch (this is where the “Ranger” comes in), with a 12 hour bezel with a sapphire insert, and an inner ring on the dial to denote military time. The watch is mounted on an attractive stainless steel bracelet with links designed to be smaller than average for comfort on the wrist. Drilled lug holes make it simple to change straps (this watch, with its variety of dial colors, is begging to be paired with any number of mil-straps), and multiple colors of lume used on the hour markers and hands should make the Sea Ranger easy to read in any condition.

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As a would-be military tool, the dial details are where Sea Ranger sets itself apart. If you’re wearing a watch in an infantry division, it goes without saying that it needs to be durable, and the Sea Ranger meets those qualifications easily, but what’s most important to actually use it is dial functionality.
I’m a big fan of 12-hour bezels, as it allows you to track a second time zone without the addition of a mechanical complication, so the Sea Ranger scores points here right away. The 24 hour ring in the innermost sector of the dial is another nice design touch, and I think I prefer this type of subtle implementation of military time over the more dramatic and often used printing of numerals around the outside of a dial. With an inner ring, the wearer can easily choose to ignore the additional display if they choose, and it still adds a bit of visual interest even if you don’t find it particularly functional.

The Sea Ranger uses a handset that is heavily lumed and appears white in daylight, allowing for great contrast on any of the available dial colors (on the white dial, the hand are outlined in black, which is a great look). There are lumed baton indices at each hour (and a double at 12:00), and you’ll notice that the minute and second hands extend just about all the way to the outer minutes track, making a precision reading of the time easier at a glance. The seconds hand itself is presented in a red (or orange, on the blue dial) and gives the watch a pleasing blast of color.

At launch, the Sea Ranger will be available in 4 different dial configurations. We have a white, black, and blue dial in the traditional stainless steel case, and a black on black version with a DLC coated case. Maybe it’s because summer is just around the corner, but I’m partial to white dialed sports watches these days, so the white variant with bright red seconds hand and black accents for contrast is speaking to me. Regardless of dial choice, the Sea Ranger represents an attractive value for anyone after a nicely detailed tool watch with a unique type of military heritage.

The Kickstarter for the Sea Ranger will launch in June with Early Bird pricing at $575. To get updates, sign up for Astor+Bank’s mailing list. Astor+Banks

Dig the new Astor+Banks Sea Ranger? Let us know in the comments below.

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.
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