Hands on Review – TACS AVL2 (Automatic Vintage Lens 2) Watch

In this page I am sharing the highlights of ‘Hands on Review’ of the AVL2 watch model from Japanese watch brand TACS.

AVL2 stands for Automatic Vintage Lens 2. As the name suggests this automatic watch takes inspiration from the Vintage Camera Lens. Earlier TACS has introduced AVL1, the first edition of Automatic Vintage Lens watch series. The model being reviewed here is the second edition, which comes loaded with new innovations and ideas.

TACS creates timepieces inspired from the activities and objects that are part of our lifestyle and leisure activities. Presently they have three flagship lines: Tea Time, Hobby Time and Fun Time. These watches are available in either quartz or automatic versions. The brand has chosen the theme of camera lens to design the Lens series of watches under Hobby Time collection, a line that takes inspiration from popular hobbies.

Thanks to the latest technological advances in the industry, the analogue cameras became almost extinct and today in place of them we have more powerful and highly efficient digital cameras. Still, the Camera Lens is an integrated part in the world of photography. Without them, it is almost impossible to capture images without losing the perfection and natural beauty. The AVL series of watches pays tribute to the camera lenses.

Coming back to TACS AVL2, the watch received by us was beautifully packed in a small square shaped wooden box engraved with model specifications and logo. The box can be opened by a sliding window.

The watch found packed inside the box along with a protective pouch resembling the leather lens cap used with cameras. This pouch protects the watch crystals from scratches during storage.

Regarding the aesthetic part, the timepiece dutifully follows its design inspiration. The watch face resembles that of real camera lens mechanism. Its multi-layer front layout featuring large rotating bezel, inner rings and layers certify the watch as an authentic homage to vintage camera lens. The open-worked centre layer gives glimpses of movement indicating the presence of a mechanical heart beating inside the watch.

When you inspect an optical lens used in photography, you can find several markings on it such as brand details and specification of the particular lens. Inspired from this tradition, you can find such markings on the bezel and inner rings indicating the technical details of the watch.

For example the marking Ø47mm on the bezel indicates diameter of the watch. The bezel also carries the information regarding the type of movement. The raised round bezel protects the front glass and the diamond pattern on the surface of outer bezel ring ensures grip.

Inspired from the rotating bezel of cameras, the stainless steel watch bezel with aluminum ring can be rotated both clockwise and anticlockwise direction, but it does not offer any other functionality. Water resistance of the watch (10 ATM) is inscribed on the rounded square shaped inner layer of the dial.

Regarding the time display, three rectangular shaped hands look after Hours, Minutes and seconds. It is a little bit tricky to read the time from the dial due to the absence of hour markers like traditional watches.

On a white dial ring, you can find that 12, 15, 17, 19, 21, 24, 28 and 50 minute markers are specifically etched. These numbers in Arabic numerals pays tribute to some popular focal lengths used in photography for specifying different sensor sizes.

Made from stainless steel, the watch case measures 47mm diameter and has a thickness of 16mm. The middle case has tonneau shape inspired by the body of some vintage cameras. Brand name TACS is mentioned between the lugs of lower side. Front glass of the timepiece is made with sapphire crystal.

With the TACS logo on top and diamond cut pattern on the outer side, the crown positioned at 3ó clock reminds us the operating buttons of a vintage camera. The diamond cut pattern also ensures better grip for the crown. Measuring 8mm, this screwed down crown is protected with a crown guard that itself resembles like the strap mount eyelet of a camera.

The marking BPH 21600 on the case side indicates the movement frequency. On opposite side of the case there is a small metal plate where the customers have the option to engrave their name or a special message (maximum 10 characters) by paying an additional cost.

The design inspiration is also visible at the rear side of the AVL2 watch. The stainless steel case-back is fixed with four large screws. On the centre part of the case back, you can discover a slightly raised multi-layered circle with sapphire crystal grass surrounded by an outer metal ring inspired by the vintage camera lens design.

Through the sapphire crystal glass you can admire the self-winding movement. The outer circle of the glass has etchings such as ‘all stainless steel’, ‘Japan automatic movement’, ‘MADE IN JAPAN’, ‘DESIGN REGISTERED’ and ‘VINTAGE LENS’.

Regarding the movement, the AVL2 watch is powered with a Citizen Miyota 82SO automatic skeleton movement manufactured in Japan. Bearing 21 jewels and beating at 21,600 vph, this self-winding movement has a power reserve up to 42 hours. The movement measures 11 ½ lignes and 5.67 mm thickness. Accuracy of the movement is approximately -20 to +40 seconds a day.

The AVL2 watch is supplied with a vintage styled HORWEEN calf leather strap with stainless steel buckle. The model being reviewed features a 22mm wide brown colored strap with white stitching. The strap is secured to the watch using a spring loaded quick release bar.

The TACS AVL2 watch is both masculine and oversize, but not fancy, thanks to the careful integration of monochrome theme. 

The customers who appreciate the original and innovative designs in a watch will welcome the TACS AVL2 without any hesitation. Aesthetically, the watch sticks to its inspiration and features an original design based on vintage camera lens. As on date, you may not find such design from other brands.

In technical point of view also, the AVL2 watch can attract lots of followers, as it houses a self winding caliber manufactured by Citizen Miyota, the Japanese company renowned for high quality mechanical movements.

The AVL2 watch is now available for pre-order on TACS online store. The special pre-order price is USD $440 and this offer will end on 13 October 2018. Please visit the TACS online store for more details.

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