So Dakota Watch Company is not the first company I think of when looking for outdoor-oriented timepieces. But Dakota definitely provides some utility products like clip watches that can hang on your pack within easy reach. Some have built-in flashlights and compasses. Others include clippers for trimming your fly line. Still others feature multiple clips for holding other items in place. A few steps above those at $195 MSRP is the Stainless Steel Chronograph. It arrived in small leather-like case that belied the heft of the product contained therein.
The Dakota Watch Company Stainless Steel Chronograph is big, bulky and quite heavy. It topped out at more than 220 grams, that’s nearly four times the weight of the Casio Edifice Black Label and Wenger GST (also reviewed as part of this project). That weight comes from the all stainless construction and the oyster-like case design.
The Stainless Steel Chronograph definitely has that Rolex-style diver look to it. The rotating bezel can be used to track elapsed time. On the watch face are three dials in addition to the traditional analog watch face. Working in a clockwise direction, the first of these dials tracks each hour over a 24 hour period. The second works as a second hand during normal operation (it has no additional function when operating as a stopwatch). And finally, there’s the stopwatch minute hand. There’s a date window as well.
On the case, you’ll find two buttons in addition to the standard crown. Again, in keeping with the Rolex-like approach, the Stainless Steel Chronograph has a screw-down crown. That’s probably a little overkill since the watch is not waterproof (only water resistant). Operating the crown is normal stuff. After unscrewing it, just pull out one stop to adjust date. Two stops for time adjustment.
The two buttons operate the stopwatch. Press the top button to start and end the stopwatch. Press the bottom button to operate the flyback to zero. Button press is a click at initial start and soft at stop. I found the detent to feel a little down-market, sort of a tin-like click vs. a solid clunk.
The chronograph itself can record up to 59 minutes 59.95 seconds. Button operation is a little difficult as they’re located fairly low on the case.
Construction: Stainless steel, scratch-resistant crystal, stainless steel band
Movement: Japanese quartz
Water resistance: 20BAR or 200M
The standard watch face hands and numerals are luminescent. So is the marker on the bezel to set elapsed time start/stop. All are easy to read after modest exposure to sunlight.
The Stainless Steel Chronograph is water resistant up to 20 BAR or 200 meters. But as you probably know, water resistance is not a substitute for water proofing. In other words, don’t go pressing those chronograph buttons when submerged.
Did I mention that the Stainless Steel Chronograph is heavy? At the risk of repeating myself, let me say that the watch weighs in at 223 grams. While that’s easy to get used to, many will find that off-putting. And although you can do this yourself, the watch’s stainless steel link band is best adjusted by a professional before wearing to get the fit just right.
If you’re looking for a hefty all-stainless chronograph, the Dakota Watch Company Stainless Steel Chronograph might just be the one for you. It’s big with a case measuring upwards of 47 millimeters, heavy at 223 grams and can be found online for as little as $99.