Review: Yazole 271

Yazole is a “brand” that you’ll see on many watches in the cheap Chinese watch universe. I have found their designs to be a mixed bag of like ’em / don’t like ’em. The Yazole 271 falls into the “like ’em” category for me. While the white face and brown leather band fit in well in a casual business environment, the black dial and leather band can successfully accessorize a day at the track. And I got one of each.

Yazole271_Review_Case_01_Banner_web

My Yazole 271’s in glorious white and black. So cheap, so beautiful I had to get both!

Conclusion & Rating

BGG_StarRatings_3_Stars

Cons

I dinged the Yazole 271  a couple of stars because while it was understood that the sub-dials would not function, they could have looked a little less pasted on. They aren’t horrible, but it doesn’t take a particularly thorough inspection to see how obviously “faux” they are. That combined with the overall quality which is a bit “chintzy”. As noted in my review of the Valia 8601-1 the metal used in the manufacture of the case of the Yazole 271 is rather lightweight and the whole watch lacks “heft”. That lack of substance is also reflected in the straps. They start out stiff and … not uncomfortable … but not comfortable either. It’s not that they make the watch a chore to wear, but they are relatively thin and feel cheap. Perhaps they will wear in over time. I had considered new bands for the pair of watches I purchased, but I am not sure that I can justify a $15 leather band on a $3 watch. Not yet anyway.

Pros

That being said, it measures up quite well to my two most important criteria …

  • Keep accurate time – The Yazole 271 keeps time as well as you would expect.I don’t check back to an atomic clock every hour or anything but after a couple of weeks I have not had to reset the time on either watch. So that’s accurate enough.
  • Look and Feel Great – While the sub-dials won’t fool anyone who stops for a close look, how often does that happen? I have worn it to work several times [Watch of the Day – 06/01/2016] and while I was not actually stopped in the hallway by anyone to admire my timepiece, I would have been happy to show it to anyone if they had. It’s a very attractive watch and while I would not recommend paying more than $5 for one, you don’t have to, as it’s easily attained for $2 – $3.

Recommendation

In my opinion, this is an attractive watch and it is VERY budget friendly. At $3 you get far more than you pay for. I can comfortably recommend it with a couple of caveats …

  • Price under $5. Don’t pay more than $5 . There are better made watches in the $5 – $10 price range. Even a few under $5.
  • You are willing to maintain it or accept the fact that it will not likely survive much punishment.

Interested in further “deets”? Feel free to continue reading to get additional thoughts and feedback of my experience with the Yazole 271.

Details

Brand: Yazole
Style: Business Casual
Movement Type:  Quartz
Case Shape:  Round
Case Material Stainless Steel
Functions: Decorative Sub Dials
Display Type: Analog
Clasp Type: Pin Buckle
Band Material: PU Leather

 Measurements

Measurement Mfg BG**
Case Diameter: 34 mm 41 mm
Case Thickness: 10 mm  8 mm
Lug2Lug:  45 mm
Band Width:  –  19 mm
Band Length*: 24 cm  24 cm

* Band length includes case and buckle
** Bourghetto Gentry Measurements

Transaction Details

Seller Name: Willtoo / AliExpress
Date Purchased:  May 16, 2016
Date Delivered:  May 27, 2016
Purchase Price:  $2.67 USD
Shipping Cost:  $.37 est.

Ordering & Delivery

Ordering was about as you would expect from any online seller. I found a pair of these watches, one white dial/brown strap and one black dial/black strap, on AliExpress, both from the same seller (Willtoo). I ordered the items … then the vigil began. Having heard a million horror stories about ordering anything from China I was nervous and admittedly cynical; expecting to not receive the order at all or receive it in pieces.

Telstar-Logistics-Creative-Commons-Flickr-China-Shipping-2[1]

It was fortunately not what I had imagined.  From order to front door this whole process took less than 2 weeks. Although it felt like a long time it’s actually a pretty impressive turn-around and I was ecstatic to receive the package. And it was a package. The watches were placed individually into plastic sleeves then strapped together with rubber bands. The banded pair was then wrapped together in bubble wrap then sent in a bubble wrap mailer, which is how I received it. Fortunately, they were intact with no damage.

Examining the Watches

My favorite part of receiving watches, perhaps as much as actually wearing the watch, is opening the package and going though the “booty”. Really taking it all in; reveling in the pay-off to your patience. After unwrapping the watches I looked them over top to bottom, bow to stern, — fill in your own phrase here —

Crystal

The crystal of the Yazole 271 is much different than the Valia 8601-1 I reviewed earlier. It had a more dramatic dome and possessed a blue-ish coating on the crystal. To be clear, the dome on the crystal was not itself particularly dramatic, just more so than the Valia 8601-1. The glass gave off a high “tink” when tapped which gave it away as a glass crystal versus acrylic. It possesses a blue-ish tint I take to indicate that it is in fact a hardened glass or “mineral glass”. This is a good thing in that it should resist scratching and breaking … more so than the Valia anyway.

Yazole 271 Curved Crystal

The dome is apparent in the distortion when viewed from an extreme angle.

Straps and buckle

The straps were kind of what I expected. They are PU Alligator or crocodile leather. The black strap looks marginally better I think. This may be more a personal preference than an actual intellectual argument, although I feel like the segmentation of the “scales” on the brown band is deeper than that of the black, leaving me feeling that the band might rip along those seams. I don’t think that this is going to really happen but it seems like it could. I don’t have a lot of alligator so it may just be my ignorance on the topic.

I should probably add that the white stitching on the strap is a nice accent. I have another watch with black stitching on a black strap and it lacks some of the visual appeal that this strap has. The strap is relatively flat, unlike my Valia 3601-1 where the strap is kind of pillowy and is quite comfortable. And while I would not call this uncomfortable per se, it’s not as comfortable as I had hoped. As I alluded to in the conclusion at the beginning of the post, if the watch itself looks as though it might be around a while I might consider purchasing a new band for it.

The strap is held together pretty predictably with a pin buckle. It does feel a little chintzy and I take caution when tightening or loosening the strap so that I do not pop out a lug (happened on another watch)  or damage the buckle.

 Case

The seller states that the metal is stainless steel. I am unable to verify that the entire case is indeed stainless but am confident that the back probably is. As is the case with most of the cheap Chinese watches that I have seen so far, the case itself feels a little less than robust. it’s not going to collapse into a ball or anything, but I advise, as I do with all Chinese watches, care be taken to avoid any abuses.

If the case is plated or polished is hard for me to determine although I will assume that it is plated. If that is the case it seems to have been well done. Often plating appears as though it’s been painted on; not so with the Yazole 271. It looks well done. I’ve mentioned before, my concerns with plating are, in general, chipping over time, particularly when exposed to sweat. I will update these reviews over time to document the durability of the plating.

Functions

Water Resistant

Probably not. Nothing in the seller details nor inscribed anywhere on the watch does it indicate a water resistance rating of any kind. I am hopeful that it will survive the occasional rain drop as I run between buildings but otherwise it won’t be joining me in the pool, shower or bubble bath … what? Bubble bath? I don’t take bubble baths – cough cough

“Fauxnograph”

The watch is a faux “chronograph”, hence a “fauxnograph”. The illusion of chronograph functionality is supported by two non-functional “pushers” flanking the stem, above and below and three non-functioning sub-dials on the face of the watch. The pushers look fine and don’t give anything away themselves. The sub-dials, while not poorly done per se, I felt could have been done more convincingly. They are, upon closer inspection clearly applied to the surface and the symmetry of all the sub-dial hands, pointing in the same direction betrays the artificial nature of the feature. It is still very attractive, just not believable.

 

Conclusion

All-in-all a nice watch. For the price ($2 – $3), a very nice watch. In order to keep it operating for as long as possible, I wouldn’t expose it to anything risky if possible. Keep it dry and use caution when buckling and unbuckling the strap. If sweating, make sure to ventilate beneath the watch and give it a chance to breathe.

The irony of these cheap watches is that, if you hope to keep them operating they presumably require more protection than the ones you pay thousands of dollars for. A $5000 Rolex Submariner will survive a 1000 ft submersion … where the Yazole 271 won’t survive a a drop in the toilet.

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