Smith & Bradley Wraith Review
Updated: Feb 18, 2020
As a collector, I'm always looking for ways to enhance my current collection. Sometimes that means snagging Vito Corleone-like deals and offers that I can't refuse. Other times, it means addition by subtraction, parting ways with timepieces that are rarely worn. About 8 months ago, in an effort to spice-up my collection, and out of sheer curiosity, I decided to check-out the Watch Gang Subscription service. After all, who would want to receive a new timepiece each month, that's worth 3 to 5 times what you paid for it, with the additional caveat, and chance of winning a Tag Heuer, Rolex, or Seiko timepiece each week; sounds like a win / win situation right?
Well, as we know, everything that glitters isn't gold, and if it sounds to good to be true, it usually is. Not to say that Watch Gang is horrible, but one of the biggest complaints among Watch Gang members, is that the Gang has resorted to incorporating monthly subscription timepieces, from pop-up, or mushroom brands, that Watch Gang may, or may not be affiliated with, in order to keep-up with the monthly subscription demand of it's members; the price-to-value ratio of the timepieces being received blindly each month, has declined in recent months because of this.
Enter Zewbox, a quarterly watch club that promises to bring added value and innovation to the current mystery, and subscription box format, by taking the mystery out of the subscription, revealing models and styles of timepieces that will be offered, before a campaign begins; giving the collector the added option of customizing their chosen timepiece, through an array of dial color, case finishes, and strap / bracelet options. I'll go more in-depth about the particulars of the ZewBox Watch Club in another article, but for now, let's take a look at my recent selection, the Smith & Bradley, Wraith Diver.
What's in a name? With the crowded sea of brands (pun intended) offering a myriad of dive watches, it seems as if every ocean and / or nautical themed name has been used. For Smith & Bradley to choose the name of Wraith, which means insubstantial or ghost-like, for this timepiece, seems a bit of an oddity, but at least it's original. For my Zewbox, Premier Club selection, I opted for the Orange dial, with stainless steel finish. Each Wraith timepiece shipped with both silicone and NATO straps, which are of very high quality. There was also the option of upgrading to a stainless steel bracelet. I didn't go with the bracelet upgrade, as I had already ordered a custom, Cal Ripken Jr., baseball glove leather strap, to play on my anticipated Orioles theme for this watch, given the Orange dial and silvertone / white dial accents.
The wave dial is what immediately drew me to this timepiece. Many different brands have offered wave-pattern dials, but the exaggerated wave crests really give the wave pattern on this timepiece an added prominence. The baton hour markers, further play on the nautical theme of this piece, with the polished accents offering a nice visual contrast. The brushed bezel on this timepiece, has more of a cog or gear look, but the design is effective, making manipulation of the 120-click bezel extremely easy and smooth. The lug ends are angled, giving this timepiece a very comfortable feel when on the wrist. And with a 42mm case diameter, this timepiece is a universally wearable size.
This Wraith diver is engineered with a water resistance rating of 300m, that surpasses the professional dive specifications of 200m, which gives a really good indication as to the engineering that went into this timepiece. And with 300 meters of water resistance, this timepiece is equipped with a screw-down crown. The case thickness on this Wraith comes in at 12mm, and is fairly reasonable, considering the enhanced water resistance. And at 12mm, this timepiece could still easily fit underneath a shirt cuff, if the situation warranted.
This timepiece sports an engraved caseback, with the Smith & Bradley logo prominently displayed, but not much of a design party going on in the rear. The caseback does provide all of the basic details on the timepiece regarding its specifications. One of the great selling points with the ZewBox Quarterly Watch Club, is that all of the timepieces they will offer through their partner brands, will be powered by either a Swiss Quartz or Swiss Automatic movement. The Wraith Diver is powered by a Ronda Swiss Quartz movement.
Overall, I am very impressed with my first Zewbox timepiece. The Smith & Bradley, Wraith Diver is a solid performer, with utilitarian, tool diver specs, wrapped in a presentation and package that looks phenomenal on the wrist. The only downside I can find, is that although this timepiece utilizes Super Luminova for the luminescent properties, the lume on this timepiece is probably average to below average at best, with very little staying power. The added fact that I could customize my ZewBox Club timepiece, selecting my choice of dial color, case finish, and strap choices, is definitely an added touch that I love, and definitely has me looking forward to the next ZewBox brand partner campaign. If you're a watch lover and collector, and love adding quality timepieces to your collection, ZewBox appears to be a nice alternative; offering transparency and less mystery to the watch club subscription format.
To find out more about the ZewBox, Quarterly Watch Club Experience, and take advantage of discounts off of their next brand campaign, click on any of the pictures featured within this article, to be taken to a direct link to the Zewbox website.