How Bad Can It Be? Micromania--Irreantum Magellan

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How Bad Can It Be? Micromania--Irreantum Magellan

Postby conjurer » June 6th 2013, 11:42am

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Zounds! What would Dirk Pitt Do?


In this hobby of ours, so many things seem to impress us that make non-WIS's eyes glaze over and look for the nearest window to dive out of rather than continue to listen to our watch talk. One of those that I always found remarkably tiresome was the tenuous connection that some brands/models have with fictional characters. James Bond had his Rolex Sub, Dr. Maturin had his Breguet minute repeater, and Dirk Pitt has his Doxa. Whoa! Dirk Pitt? Bond was cool, Maturin superbly drawn, but Dirk Pitt, the fictional secret agent guy penned by Clive Cussler, was a two-dimensional cross between Jacques Cousteau and Pee Wee Herman. Cussler's absurd, appallingly written, sophomoric underwater tales bored me to tears when I was in high school--the fact that anybody wastes their time reading them today drives me to despair, even more so than Dan Brown's popularity--and Dan Brown's pretty fucking awful.

Anyway, now that I've got that off my chest, let's take a look at a Microbrand that pays homage to Doxa--if such a thing is even possible--the Irreantum Magellan:

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This watch was loaned to me by a Noted Collector for this humble series; I thought it would be fun to compare it to the Doxa Sub 1000t that I used to own, and see how it fared.

The Magellan is bigger, to start with; it measures 45mm across, and 50mm with the 4 o'clock crown included. Top to bottom it's 47mm, and sits 13.7mm tall on the wrist. It wears very similar to a Seiko Sumo, for those familiar with that watch. The Doxa 1000t was more classically sized at a bit over 41mm on the case, although it wore smaller, like a 40mm.

The next thing different is the bezel, which has only a divers scale, as opposed to the Doxa, which had their patented decompression table along with the timing scale. The bezel on the Magellan turns nicely, 120 clicks, and doesn't bind. I recall my Doxa having a stiffer bezel that didn't turn as easily. The Magellan's bezel has a little backplay on it, but it hits the hour markers precisely.

The dial on the Magellan has nothing on it but the indices and the maker's name:

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It's also got great lume:

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Which easily passed the quick-glance-in-a-dark-car test, although the hour makers faded a bit too quickly. It was still very legible in just about all lighting conditions.

Conspicuously absent is the "SWISS MADE" designation that was carried by the Doxa--although there has been some heated discussion of that which I won't get into here--and I assume the Magellan was made in China or Hong Kong. The rest of the case is nicely machined and finished, including the caseback and the crown:

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The crown is big and easy to turn and seats down with five or six twists--however, the threads seemed a little gritty and the spring inside the crown tube seemed pretty tight, making the action on the crown seem a little cheap--this is exactly as I recall the 1000t being, too, so Irreantum got that part right. The case is stainless steel and rated to 500 meters WR, so it's half the water resistance of the Doxa, if that matters to you. The crystal is sapphire, just like the Doxa's.

One iconic bit about Doxa is the beads-of-rice bracelet, which at one time, perhaps back when Clive Cussler got his, it actually was a BoR, but now it's just a single piece, machined to look the part. This is exactly how Irreantum made their bracelet, too:

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The Magellan's bracelet is 22mm, 2mm bigger than the Doxa, and, like the Doxa, there's no taper at the clasp--a drawback to me, as I like a bracelet to taper a bit at the bottom of my wrist. The clasp on the Magellan, however, blows away the Doxa, which was a cheap fold-over divers clasp, while the Magellan's:

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Is a nicely machined triplock style--a little big for me, as it was clunky on the bottom of my wrist--but quite well done.

On the wrist the Magellan sits well:

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And, like I said, wears very much like a Sumo, apart from the chunkier bracelet. I've found that I really am not comfortable with a watch above 45mm on my 6.75 inch wrist, and the Magellan is about as big as I can get without feeling and looking like a doofus.

Inside the Magellan is an ETA 2824, which is--perhaps not so surprisingly--the same movement as used in the Doxa 1000t (although Doxa claimed to have modified it with a special shock absorbing escapement.) Interestingly, the Magellan was far more accurate than the Doxa--I was getting about +1-2 seconds a day, which was better than the Doxa, which was around +9-10 seconds a day.

Now, the big question--is the Irreantum Magellan a better watch than the Doxa? Does it at least hold its own? I'd say that it at least hold's its own, especially since the Magellan's retail price is $545 (direct from their website) vs. Doxa, which is currently selling the 1200t (the 1000t now discontinued) for the jaw-dropping price of $1890.

If you want a watch that looks like Doxa, keeps better time than Doxa, and costs a third of the price, consider the Magellan. This is a Microbrand that's come up with a winner.
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Micromania--Irreantum!

Postby BigCheez » June 6th 2013, 11:47am

What watch did Dirk Diggler wear?
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Micromania--Irreantum!

Postby Horse Feathers » June 6th 2013, 11:50am

Nice review as always Conj, seem as though I'll have to keep an eye out for a used one

You mention the bracelet doesn't taper but it is just 22mm.

This photo of the clasp side on your wrist makes it look gigantic

Is it just the angle ?

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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Micromania--Irreantum!

Postby conjurer » June 6th 2013, 11:54am

Horse Feathers wrote:Nice review as always Conj, seem as though I'll have to keep an eye out for a used one

You mention the bracelet doesn't taper but it is just 22mm.

This photo of the clasp side on your wrist makes it look gigantic

Is it just the angle ?

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The clasp itself is 24mm wide, HF. I sometimes wish everything close to my wrist looked gigantic.
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Micromania--Irreantum!

Postby ocean » June 6th 2013, 12:03pm

Good review conjurer. Anything looks huge on a 5 1/2 inch wrist. It looks good on an 8 inch wrist. Do agree if it tapered down to 18 or 19mm it would be much better.
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Micromania--Irreantum!

Postby conjurer » June 6th 2013, 12:07pm

ocean wrote:Good review conjurer. Anything looks huge on a 5 1/2 inch wrist. It looks good on an 8 inch wrist. Do agree if it tapered down to 18 or 19mm it would be much better.


Thanks, ocean! If this watch were sized about 42-43mm, I'd buy one right now. Comparing it to, say, a Seiko Sumo, the Sumo is a better, nicer watch--but not by much.
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Micromania--Irreantum!

Postby koimaster » June 6th 2013, 12:21pm

Thanks John. A well written review as always, . I wonder if the haters will now come into the forum to decry your review. Image
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Micromania--Irreantum!

Postby jason_recliner » June 6th 2013, 12:56pm

BigCheez wrote:What watch did Dirk Diggler wear?


Wasn't he on a ball's deep quest?
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Micromania--Irreantum!

Postby Tzimisces » June 6th 2013, 1:07pm

Nice review. I'm really enjoying the series.

As for Cussler vs Brown, Dan Brown is in a league of his own when it comes to shitty writing. Cussler is more like a Franklin W. Dixon while Brown must have sold his soul for success.
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Micromania--Irreantum!

Postby Watch Noob » June 6th 2013, 1:11pm

Nice review John, thanks for your thoughts. I've admired this watch since I first saw it here on the forum. Your final thoughts are exactly what I would agree with. I believe Eddie and Alain both own this model?
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Micromania--Irreantum!

Postby JAS1125 » June 6th 2013, 2:36pm

One of your best reviews John, and that's saying something. It hit all the right points.

Equal movement, no questionable sourcing, and much less expensive. I prefer a non-tapering bracelet myself, so that's another one in the plus column.

The 45mm size still makes this a bit iffy for me, but if I see a decent used one, I think I'll try one. I've always liked the Doxa styling but not the price
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Micromania--Irreantum!

Postby codguy » June 6th 2013, 6:06pm

Good review as usual John .

That said, I would never own a watch that has links that appears to be made up of many pieces but in reality is just a cheesy single block of machined metal.
Period -----> .

Don't give a fuck who produced it.





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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Micromania--Irreantum!

Postby 3Flushes » June 6th 2013, 7:03pm

Entertaining and scrupulous review conj; best of the bunch so far.

This looks like a solid watch in a broad field of solid divers in it's price range. Personally, I don't see anything special that would pop it to the front of the line, and the dial and bracelet are strikes for me. (The name kind of sounds like a stomach bug, but would not be a deal killer).
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Micromania--Irreantum!

Postby conjurer » June 6th 2013, 8:01pm

koimaster wrote:Thanks John. A well written review as always, . I wonder if the haters will now come into the forum to decry your review. Image


Thanks, Alain! BTW, it was Alain who loaned me the watch for review, and I am indebted to him for this.

I've decided to not post this review at WUS, since there is a Doxa subforum there, and the admins tend to ban people who speak badly of Doxa. And WUS is where I sell three-quarters of my shit already. Goddamn it.
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Micromania--Irreantum!

Postby conjurer » June 6th 2013, 8:05pm

Tzimisces wrote:Nice review. I'm really enjoying the series.

As for Cussler vs Brown, Dan Brown is in a league of his own when it comes to shitty writing. Cussler is more like a Franklin W. Dixon while Brown must have sold his soul for success.


Thanks for the kind words, Tz!

Admittedly, Cussler isn't the worst writer out there--Dan Brown is, by far, shittier. As I grow closer to, as Frank Sinatra calls them, the Autumn of My Years, I find myself less and less able to read substandard, really shitty fiction. I am almost finished with the new John le Carre novel, A Delicate Truth, which is very fine indeed. Even though le Carre is a Commie pinko swine, his writing is still among the best out there.
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Micromania--Irreantum!

Postby conjurer » June 6th 2013, 8:09pm

Watch Noob wrote:Nice review John, thanks for your thoughts. I've admired this watch since I first saw it here on the forum. Your final thoughts are exactly what I would agree with. I believe Eddie and Alain both own this model?


You're welcome, Noob! I appreciate the kind words.
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Micromania--Irreantum!

Postby conjurer » June 6th 2013, 8:21pm

JAS1125 wrote:One of your best reviews John, and that's saying something. It hit all the right points.

Equal movement, no questionable sourcing, and much less expensive. I prefer a non-tapering bracelet myself, so that's another one in the plus column.

The 45mm size still makes this a bit iffy for me, but if I see a decent used one, I think I'll try one. I've always liked the Doxa styling but not the price


Thanks, John!

While the size is somewhat large (for normal people, at least) the Doxa-style case, with the relatively small crystal and dial, make the watch seem a bit smaller than it really is.

One thing I should have noted in the review is the differences in the bracelet construction--the Doxa uses screwed links, while the Magellan uses standard friction pins--so readers can take from that what they will. I myself prefer friction pins to screws, since screws can sometimes work their way out, causing the watch to fall from one's wrists.
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Micromania--Irreantum!

Postby Horse Feathers » June 6th 2013, 8:25pm

conjurer wrote:I've decided to not post this review at WUS, since there is a Doxa subforum there, and the admins tend to ban people who speak badly of Doxa.


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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Micromania--Irreantum!

Postby conjurer » June 6th 2013, 8:30pm

codguy wrote:Good review as usual John .

That said, I would never own a watch that has links that appears to be made up of many pieces but in reality is just a cheesy single block of machined metal.
Period -----> .

Don't give a fuck who produced it.


Thanks, cod!

Regarding the BoR bracelet, I tend to agree with you. However, I'd rather have a single link (like both the Magellan and Doxa have) that's well made to a second-rate BoR that's not well made. However, Yobokies managed to make a BoR that was good and relatively cheap, so it can be done on a budget.

By way of full disclosure, and to stick yet another thumb in Doxa's eye--an amusing anecdote at my own expense is this: I traded my old Doxa 1000t for a Stowa Seatime from a Well Regarded Member; unfortunately, I had a small wrist and he had a somewhat larger wrist, and inexplicably I had misplaced the extra links for the Doxa bracelet. In order to complete the deal, I order two extra links direct from Doxa, for which they charged me the highway-robbery-price of about $120, including shipping. If for none of their other rather questionable business practices, Doxa can suck my ropey boner.
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Micromania--Irreantum!

Postby conjurer » June 6th 2013, 8:38pm

3Flushes wrote:Entertaining and scrupulous review conj; best of the bunch so far.

This looks like a solid watch in a broad field of solid divers in it's price range. Personally, I don't see anything special that would pop it to the front of the line, and the dial and bracelet are strikes for me. (The name kind of sounds like a stomach bug, but would not be a deal killer).


Thanks, 3! I didn't really get into it in the review (which I should have) regarding the value of the Magellan. I've seen plenty of micros that use, say, the Miyota 9015, for more money than the Magellan, which uses the better 2824. Indeed, it's not surprising to find micros that sell their dive watches, with the 2824, for around $750 and up.

Now, at another forum where I posted this review, somebody suggested that it was perhaps a Chinese 2824, i.e. a clone. Not having cracked open the case, I can't really say for certain--but in terms of the smooth winding action and the very high accuracy, I'd be willing to give the Magellan the benefit of the doubt. Also, the ETA 2824 isn't exactly a rare movement--it's perhaps the most highly produced automatic movement in the history of watchmaking--and probably fairly readily available from brokers, if not from the hard-ons at ETA, goddamn their souls.
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Micromania--Irreantum!

Postby conjurer » June 6th 2013, 8:42pm

Horse Feathers wrote:
conjurer wrote:I've decided to not post this review at WUS, since there is a Doxa subforum there, and the admins tend to ban people who speak badly of Doxa.


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Yup.
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Micromania--Irreantum!

Postby AJC » June 7th 2013, 5:18am

conjurer wrote:Also, the ETA 2824 isn't exactly a rare movement--it's perhaps the most highly produced automatic movement in the history of watchmaking--and probably fairly readily available from brokers, if not from the hard-ons at ETA, goddamn their souls.


But I seens this man on the teevee who said that soon the Eta corpuration wont not be selling them anymores.
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Micromania--Irreantum!

Postby koimaster » June 7th 2013, 6:19am

John, if you would inform the person at the other forum that I have had the case opened by my watchmaker and it is indeed a real live Swiss ETA movement. I was curious also so that is why it was opened. Perhaps the yahoo at the other forum has his doxa showing?
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Micromania--Irreantum!

Postby mrneddles » June 7th 2013, 6:27am

Nice write-up as usual thanks. I have always been put out by that model's disproportionate hour markers and bezel.
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Micromania--Irreantum!

Postby conjurer » June 7th 2013, 6:38am

surferjohn wrote:Thanks for the review, very interesting. Its a gorgeous watch and a good deal for the money. There are other hot color dials available too.


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