Correct “Chinese”: Agelocer Volcano 5002A2

Wrist Watch

In the middle of the last decade, the Chinese company Agelocer behaved like villains. Watchaholics from different countries caught the company in lies: “Swiss Made” on Chinese watches, a fictitious office address, fake photos of stores and a fictitious story.

However, then the company took the path of good. It has retained the “Swiss-sounding” legal entity Zeit Herz Ltd., the website indicates a Hong Kong address, and the history dates back to 2013. To develop the design, Agelocer assembled a team distributed around the world and collaborates with the Swiss studio BUG ME GmbH (worked with the Gucci Group and Zenith).

As a result, Agelocer watches received a number of European design awards in 2020-2022. In terms of production, the wording is careful: “the team controls the entire production process, from design to manual assembly and testing.” But watch lovers time after time find in Agelocer calibers from Hangzhou factory catalogs - which is not bad at all.

In other words, Agelocer is now a completely worthy original brand.

Volcano. Four ages of the volcano

The Volcano collection as a whole tells the story of the life of a volcano. The fiery clock is an eruption, gray-yellow is lightning in clouds of ash, blue is water in the relief of solidified lava, green is grass near the water.

Clock face. Fabulous!

The feature of the dial is skeletonization with smooth slots. They are bordered with an accent color—yellow here. The types of finishing alternate: “sun rays” from the center, a rough “asphalt” surface on the line from “5” to “11 o’clock”, rough instrumental satin finish on the subdial “at 8”. The lava solidified in a very diverse manner.

We advise you to read:  Thin and weightless: Rodania R 15010 review

All this beauty is covered with anti-reflective sapphire glass. There really are no glares, but the main threat to readability is not them.

Readability. "I won't play these puzzles"

Determining the time is actually not difficult. The hours are displayed in the subdial “at 8”, the hand is a tongue of fire. Seconds are on the wheel on the right. The minutes are indicated by a triple hand, and the minute scale occupies the dial sector from approximately “11” to “3 o’clock”. The long hand stretches to the marking from 00 to 20 minutes on the outer radius of the scale, the middle one - to 20-40 minutes on the middle, the short one - to 40-00 on the inner one. In the center of the dial there is a scale with precise graduations: steps of 1 minute instead of 5. Its marks are visible in the slot of each of the skeletonized hands.

It's difficult to determine the time quickly. The hour dial is small, and the indicator light is low-contrast. And the minutes are completely confusing. When the minute hand (any one) points to where the “11” mark is on a traditional watch, this is subconsciously perceived as “five minutes to go - I’ll have time to pour the tea and slowly walk to the meeting room.”

But in reality it means “it’s already 00 minutes, and the meeting is just starting.” The division near the crown means “20 minutes”, but is reflexively perceived as “15”. Plus, the eye often catches on the long arrow.

With colleagues to whom I showed the watch, the dialogue usually went like this: “Interesting. - Tell me, what time is it? “Oh, leave me alone with your puzzle.” And it's even more fun in the dark! There is Super-Luminova on the tips of the minute hand and hour light. But there is not enough of it, and the markings do not light up and are generally unusual. So without light, the time can only be roughly estimated.

We advise you to read:  FPJourne FFC - a new version of the watch with a mechanical hand

Frame. Layer cake and finishing contrasts

The octagonal body is original and does not seem stolen from Genta. It resembles a layer cake: longitudinal grooves divide the walls into “layers”, and at 9 o’clock they are woven into a pattern reminiscent of a logo. The bezel around the dial also pretends to be two-layered: the top expands from the glass to the body, ending at the end with a sharp step. The polished edge contrasts nicely with the matte case.

The back cover adds another layer, rising in steps above the back of the case. Moreover, the lid and body are matte, and the chamfer of the lid is polished.

The crown follows the shape of the case - a square with cut corners. It is interesting with a groove in the color of the dial, a two-level (layers again!) end and a mirrored logo on a matte background. Using such a square is unusual, but quite convenient.

Caliber. Hangzhou?

The automatic 4-Hz caliber A5505 has an 80-hour power reserve. Over the weekend, the watch really didn’t stop, and after a week and a half of wearing it in office mode, it showed a good average accuracy of -6 seconds/day (although with isochronism, everything is not so rosy).

It’s not clear to me personally what caliber it is. This particular Hangzhou model has not yet been identified, but statistics hint that this is most likely it. In any case, the mechanism looks very interesting. There is no perlage or Geneva stripes, but the noble dark gray DLC coating of the matte bridges and plates contrasts nicely with the silver wheelset. In the form of decoration - gold engravings, polished screws and chamfered bridges.

The balance is visible on both sides. They didn’t make a tasteless round hole in the dial for this purpose—it’s just that the elegant skeletonization allows you to admire its beating if you look a little closer.

Comfort. Exemplary fit pan

Square watches feel larger than round watches, especially the hefty Volcano (44,5 x 44,5 mm and 12 mm thick). Seeing them on me, my friend appreciated: “Nice, pan.”

We advise you to read:  Panda Dial Chronograph by Vacheron Constantin

At the same time, they fit perfectly even on a narrow wrist. The hand does not get tired, the watch does not press, does not spin around the wrist and does not hit the jambs. Although I wouldn’t risk wearing them under my shirt sleeve: it’s uncomfortable and looks weird. The soft polymer strap, 24 mm wide, with a quick-change system is very good: your hand does not sweat, and if necessary, you can easily replace it with your own. And the water resistance of 50 m is enough to not worry about hours when washing your hands.

Summary. I recommend!

On a five-point scale, I would rate the watch like this:

• Comfort: 5/5
• Readability: 2/5
• Design: 5/5

The only let down was readability - well, Volcano was made not for practicality, but for pleasure. And they made me very happy. The watch is beautiful, well made and comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Among the Chinese watches that I have seen, this is a new level. And I am ready to recommend them: not as the only watch, of course, but as the highlight of the set.

More AGELOCER watches: