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  • Writer's picturePhilip Dashiell

TACS aVL ii Review

Updated: Feb 18, 2020

As watch collectors, the more knowledge gained, ultimately leads to the exposure to different brands, outside of our usual scope. Along with that, is the desire to acquire timepieces that are unique, pieces that will set our collections apart from anyone and everyone else.

Enter the T.A.C.S., Automatic, Vintage Lens II timepiece. T.A.C.S. is an acronym for Taste, Attractive, Creative, Sense, and is what the brand embodies. I was fortunate to acquire the T.A.C.S. timepiece by pure luck and chance, winning one of the door prize giveaways at the recent District Time watch expo, an event which focused primarily on the promotion of Micro Brand watch companies and various distributors that promote the smaller brands and start-ups. Caught-up initially by the excitement of winning the timepiece, the full gravity and understanding of what I won didn't register until I finally got the watch home, and was able to truly delve into every aspect of the timepiece.

Any watch collector will tell you, that while the timepiece is the true centerpiece, packaging means a lot. How a watch is packaged and presented, can speak volumes, and essentially can serve as a preview as to the type of attention to detail one can expect to find in the timepiece itself. The T.A.C.S. packaging at first glance appears to be a simple wooden box, but upon closer inspection, the packaging reveals information such as the acronym for T.A.C.S. (on the silver placard), the design philosophy of the brand, "Unique Is Simple", "It Is Lifestyle", and the technical specifications of the timepiece. T.A.C.S. incorporates elements found in everyday life, during entertaining, casual, and recreational activities, as the main impetus to influence design.

Sliding-back the top box lid, reveals a nicely secured timepiece. A foam rubber sheath, almost functions as a gasket cover, to protect the top of the timepiece which is seated firmly on a rigid foam pillow. Next to the timepiece, in it's own dedicated slot, is the warranty card, utilizing nifty barcode technology to retrieve the timepiece info.

Another excellent design concept with this T.A.C.S., Automatic, Vintage Lens II, is the leather lens cap cover. This cover protects the enter watch bezel and dial, and further embraces the theme of this timepiece; the dial and bezel of this timepiece are modeled after a vintage camera; an early example of the type of attention to detail, seen throughout this timepiece. The lens cap has a loop / button snap enclosure, ensuring that the bezel and dial of this timepiece will remain well protected, when not in use.

Removing the lens cap reveals the uniqueness of this timepiece, and how closely the design of the bezel and dial replicates the lens of a vintage camera, thus the name of this timepiece. The symbol which usually denotes the diameter on the camera lens, proceeds, in this case, 47mm on the bezel, which is the case diameter of the Vintage Lens II. The stamping of "21 Jewels" and "Automatic Movement" on the bezel, are placed to mimic the focal length, and maximum aperture notations on a vintage camera lens. The inside chapter ring, clearly visible under the anti-reflective Sapphire crystal, of is designed to replicate the focusing ring or aperture ring on a camera. Note that while the bezel on this timepiece does rotate bi-directional, it is only designed to mimic the feel of focusing a vintage camera, but does not have an actual functional use. With a case size of 47mm, the Vintage Lens II offers plenty of wrist presence, however, the short lugs give this timepiece excellent balance on the wrist.

The Vintage Lens II is an automatic timepiece, and the design team at T.A.C.S. decided to showcase the Miyota 82S0 movement, by leaving a bit of an open-heart at the dial's center, and providing an exhibition caseback to view the inner-workings of the automatic mechanical watch movement in full glory.

With a case height of 16mm, the Vintage Lens II does have a higher profile than most timepieces, but this is a necessary evil, as it helps lend to the design aesthetics of this timepiece, and sell the vintage camera motif, which are critical to it's design concept. And given that this watch utilizes a very high-quality Horween Leather strap, providing plenty of thickness and padding, the Vintage Lens II is supremely comfortable on the wrist; the fixed metal keeper displaying the lug width measurements.

The T.A.C.S., Automatic, Vintage Lens II is a perfect representation of the brand's philosophy. They have managed to take an everyday item, a camera, and incorporated that item into a unique design concept for a timepiece. You will be hard pressed to find anything close to this timepiece in your current collection, or the collections of any watch fan you know. The T.A.C.S., Automatic, Vintage Lens II, is a true stand-out, looks great at any angle, encompasses amazing attention to detail, and will most certainly photo-bomb your current collection, in a good way. For more information on this timepiece, please visit


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