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Thread: First one on IWL? Finally here! Damasko DK101 incoming! First impressions!

  1. #1

    First one on IWL? Finally here! Damasko DK101 incoming! First impressions!

    After nearly a month, finally here! DK101 which is what its currently referred to. I will call mine the DK13 as this is what it says on the caseback so I may of gotten one of the older models before they transcended into the ref DK101. Which I'm fine with since I was calling it the DK13 for some time and am use to this name. So I will break down my unboxing and first impressions.


    Dan from Timeless is great to deal with and I plan to buy again from him very soon. Everything was very secure with plenty of cushioning for the long trip to reach my home.
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    The inner box is a very nice lacquer finish. Something very nice for a small brand to offer.
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    I like the rear hinges on the back to.
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    ...and the moment I been waiting for

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    First impressions:
    First thing I notice is the dial. Its incredible and a chameleon. In the few moments I been wearing it going from various rooms and lighting inside my home and outside by my driveway it changed so quickly. Sort of going with the "mood" of wherever I was going. Although super shiny and glossy, the baton style watch hands are very bold and have no problem with legibility in the slightest.

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    I know many like borders on the date window and I'm one of them but I have to say in person, no just makes sense and I would not want them on this watch. Gives it more of a clean tool like look.

    The date wheel also seems to match the color of the dial especially in a darker setting. The only reason it seems off is because the dial is a glossy sunburst effect while the date wheel being the same color is matt finish. The date numerals are nicely printed and bold. I have a huge peeve with date window numerals that look like they were printed out of a generic printer and slapped on the dial. The numbers look unique to the brand and watch model.

    Size and wearability:

    I knew going into owning this watch, without trying it on I would be pushing the limits with my wrist with the long lugs This is the style and I accept it. You have to have flat wrist to pull it off sort of the same way you need flat wrists for pull off a JLC Grand Reverso. IMO you can sit a glass of wine on my wrist they are so flat. I'm comfortable with the lugs as this is what I was expecting it to be although another mm or so I would not have been comfortable wearing it.

    I know Damasko is referring this as their dress watch, sorry to say I do not consider it a dress watch at all. I put it as a casual piece that can be dressed up but not a real dress watch. I put it somewhere between my GS SBHG001 and my Explorer 2. Dressy but sporty like the GS but certainly toolish and big like the Ex2. Comparing it to my Explorer 2 which is my largest watch at the moment I was surprised how large the DK was side by side. No bezel the dial dominates its presence. Good things its a nice dial to look at or else that would be a problem.

    Similar in thickness as well. I have to say the finish is excellent. In all honesty it is a step down from my Rolex or GS but this watch is thousands less and is still stunning. I surely put it higher then my Maurice Lacroix and at least on par with my Omega SMPc and probably higher then any other watches I handled under the 4K range. The case sides feel like silk running your thumb along the sides. The scratch resistance with the silk smoothness is amazing to me.

    Many times on forums close up pictures make watches look much bigger then they are. From a distance it does not look oversized to my personal comfort level but I would not want to go any bigger.


    The strap is thick, heavy and high quality. Needs some serious breaking in and when it does I think its going to be that much nicer.

    Satisfied with the lume. Just walking in from a cloudy day into my hallway and it lights up.

    Case & Crown:

    This is top notch. The case is rock solid and the ice hardened steel really interested me. As I hate putting scratches in my watches I'm really excited that I have a watch that is highly scratch resistant Then there is the crown. I mean, I never handled a watch with a better crown and stem system. This is above my Rolex or Grand Seiko. This is one feature I am blown away by. The solid clicking, the grip and there is absolutely...and I mean absolutely no stem play when the crown is pushed out completely which I something I never seen on any watch at any price range.

    The non screw down fact does not bother me at all as this crown feels indestructible and secure. I can see why there is no problem getting 100m WR out of this amazingly engineered crown. Also, not too big and not too small, perfectly sized for the style and size of watch.

    Crown fully extended is just amazing their system they developed to have it no wiggle or budge in the slightest, again never seen better!


    I was so intrigued by the H35 fully in house manual wind. Between the dial and the movement really is what pushed me over the edge. When looking at it, its not the most beautiful movement out there but it is certainly nice to look at. Its something new and different to look at. It has a certain prettiness about it but when looking at it you can tell it comes from a tool watch company. The winding is solid and it does not take much to wind this watch which has a good power reserve of 52 hours. My Maurice Lacroix Retrograde takes many more turns of the crown to get it wound. Its very enjoyable to wind I must say. Its a loud movement. In a quiet setting I can easily hear it ticking away almost one foot away, which I really like!

    3 gears for their winding system gives it a unique look that you can tell this is something special

    I cannot think of anything nicer thats totally in house for the price. Not only the fact that its in house but so many high tech features in this movement make it a rare bargain in this day and age of watches.

    For those you want to know more technical features about Damasko, their cases and movements here is an excellent interview with Christoph Damasko. Really will give you a full appreciation into what goes into their watches and what feels like a bargain to me.

    A few final thoughts:
    I said it before and I'll say it again. I'm a sucker for brands with history. Seiko, JLC and Rolex probably being my top three favorite brands but I cannot overlook a fantastic new company that seems to be creating their own history. Creating movements and doing so many things in house Damasko just feels very special. I'm happy to support a small, independent family owned brand that is bold enough to do their own thing and take something traditional but making high tech materials and parts.

    Thanks for looking! Looking forward to see how I feel about this watch's time keeping performance over the next few days. I'll keep you posted!

  2. #2
    That is a truly beautiful watch, JP. It looks great on your wrist. Thank you for the nice review. Wear it in good health!


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  4. #3
    Member wschofield3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Boston, MA
    I've commented dozens of times about how beautiful a watch is here and at the old place, but this one is especially drop dead beautiful! There is no question in my mind that we have similar taste as I love every one of your current watches....and the Sinn 356 copper dial you had for a spell too.

    The dial blows me away, and the finishing looks excellent. Dang you JP.... another one that you turned me on to that I love! Congratulations, this looks like a complete keeper!

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  6. #4
    It looks fantastic. And I think these are the first "real world" photos of this watch I've seen. The Ice-hardened steel is the big winner for me, nothing makes a mark on it. I've got a Damasko Ice-hardened Key ring and theres not a single mark on it, even after a year of it being battered about.

    They really are long straight lugs, so i'm ruled out as a future owner, damn !!.

    The movement looks great and i've heard many great things around Damasko's proprietary crown, gasket and lubrication system - a real winner.

    (Just remember though - your SBGH001 comes first!!)

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  8. #5
    Grr! Argh! meijlinder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    Beautiful watch and really great write-up. Thanks for the review

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  10. #6
    Big Member Chase's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Love it. Especially appreciate the comparison shots to the Expo II. I would gladly wear this watch, though a slightly shorter lug to lug would be appreciated. Fantastic pick up!

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  12. #7
    I hadn't seen that model before but it's fantastic. A tool watch vibe meshed perfectly with a beautiful refinement.

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  14. #8
    Really, really nice. I love my Damasko (which is one of the humble ETA versions), they have a similar bang for the buck as Nomos. The in house ones just take it up another notch. Congrats!

    P.S. Dan is excellent, I bought both my Damasko and my Snowflake from him.

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  16. #9
    Yes Steppy. I been very spoiled by the GS. Sadly it really raises the bar in expectations and one of the reasons I put it a step below the GS and Rolex in finishing is that it simply will not survive loupe or micro lens scrutiny the way they would. Case comes close though. Hands and indices not so much. Thats in no way saying that its bad though, as you can see from the pics.

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  18. #10
    Moderator gnuyork's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Marietta, GA
    Holy cow, that is super nice. I love the idea of the manual winding, too!

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