Momentum Pathfinder II - The "PATH" travel.

This is the Pathfinder II, an outdoor-focussed creation from Momentum watches of Vancouver BC. Aimed at the active outdoors life, it’s my favorite combination of titanium and sapphire. Let’s start with the specifications:

  • Titanium case, waterproof to 100m (330ft). Screwdown crown, non-screwdown alarm button at 2 o’clock.
  • Sapphire crystal (mineral version also available)
  • Quartz movement with date and analog-set alarm with snooze function.
  • 37.4mm by 10.2mm thick, 40.4 including the crown. 45g including strap. 20mm lugs.
  • Model number reviewed is 1M-SP54L12C; also comes in black-dial and women’s version in 28mm.
  • List price of $185 for mineral crystal, $225 for sapphire.
I thought I’d start with the lume picture. In person it’s spectacular, almost painfully bright at glowing at the least hint of illumination. Black on green takes some getting used to, but its crazy bright and easy to read all night long. Easy to discern time from the alarm hand, too.

The Pathfinder II is an interesting set of design decisions. At 37mm it’s mid-sized for a 2012 mens watch, and at a featherweight 45g you’ll often forget you have it on. The leather strap is backed with a textured rubber that keeps it from slipping around; even while playing outdoor volleyball it stays in place. One of the few watches light enough for that sport. The buckle is actually stainless steel, finished to match the case.

On the wrist, mine is the average 7.25″. Quite understated and thin enough to slide under snug cuffs easily. The bead-blasted titanium is non reflective and a lovely, even grey color that I quite like. Stronger and lighter than steel, titanium is easier to scratch and will thus quickly acquire wear. It also feels ‘warmer’ than steel due to its lesser heat capacity. I would recommend spending the extra for the sapphire crystal, as they are much harder to scratch and will keep the watch looking flawless for years.

Leather bands wear out, of course, I usually get around a year on mine but since the lugs are standard replacements are inexpensive and easy to find. There’s a titanium bracelet available from Momentum too if you’d prefer that.

As you can see here, the fixed bezel is bevelled; very shirt friendly. The black dial version is probably a bit more versatile in terms of dressing up, but this version is good to go up to business dress in my opinion.

The alarm is a great feature to have on a watch, a simple once-every-12-hours analog set, as simple as can be. The beep will wake most sleepers, more so if you take the watch off your wrist which lets sound emerge from the back. Pull the alarm button at 2 o’clock out to enable it, push in to disable. If you don’t turn in off when it sounds, it’ll keep sounding at 3 minute intervals. Like the rest of the watch, a useful feature simply implemented.

This Pathfinder is kind of the opposite approach to outdoor watches from Casio’s Pathfinder series. Those exemplify adding everything into a watch; maximum features and size. The Momentum is simple, with clean lines and minimal stuff. No manual reading needed. Which you choose depends strongly on your own preferences.

The case back is also very straightforward. I like that it’s rated to 100m, and would recommend you get a different strap if you’ll be using immersed. Leather, however well sealed, does not like being soaked too often. Also note that the depth rating depends on the alarm being off (button not extended), so check before going over that waterfall in your kayak!

Momentum includes a 2 year warranty, with extensions to four and six years available with full service. If you’re consider this versus, say, a Timex Expedition, I would say that the Momentum should last you a lot longer and wear much better.

I like this one. Easy to read, durable, super light, a good watch for those folks who want something good to wear everywhere.

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