Fiyta Spacemaster Automatic watch review

Published on 5 May 2021 at 18:47

I must start with the crucial remark. This is not a review of the original Fiyta spacemaster with hand winded movement which was developed for and used in a China space program, but this review focus on a comercial commemorative version of the stated watch. Since lately several comercial versions were issued, I need to be even more precise - review only toggles Shenzhou 10 commemorative watch.

What makes this commemorative watch different to original is not just movement (automatic vs. manual hand winding), but also the size. Original has impressive 54mm diameter, this one has 43,5mm. And that is not the end of the differences. Original watch has just AM/PM indicator, this one has also date complication. On a chronograph second dial this watch has a number 10 (as said commemorative watch to Shenzou 10 expedition) and chronograph minute counter has slicely different markings.

Ok. Let's start from the beginning now. Fiyta is a chinese watch company which bought Beijing company and is now beside Seagull tehnically the most advanced and "true" watch company in China. In China it is very popular, here in Europe it is known primarly by the spacemaster watches but lately other Fiyta models can be found as well.

Spacemaster is as far as I know beside Omega X-33 the only watch which was developed for usage in space programs and in fact used by astronauts in space.  

Chronograph minute counter has 45 min since most of the tasks in the space has to be done within 30 or 40 minutes. Chrono dial even does not have a minute scale but just 15, 30, 45 min, where there is a coloured 5 minutes marking before 30 and before 45 minute. This colour markings even have luminova. 

Specific is also bezel, which has 8 hours marking, last hour has 15 minutes scale. Reason for this lays in the fact that chinese spacesuits allowed up to max. 8 hours space walks.

Here I must worn you, that this bezel design is not used on all other commemorative watches. A lot of versions have standard tachographic scale but original spacemaster has the same as on Shenzhou 10 model.

To be quite honest, when buying this watch, I did not know that watch is dedicated to Shenzhou 10 flight I had no idea what number 10 on the second chronograph dial represent. But of course, it is quite obivious, why is this 10 there ...

Case is titanium, as said diameter is 43,5mm, thicknes is 15,5mm. (Short remark - again not all commemorative watches are titanium, most of them have stainless stell cases). I am impressed of the quality! Really well done in every detail. Steel bracelet, for which my first impression was that it is "chinesse", showed to be better that it looks. It is very easy to remove/add links, even though links feels and probably are hollow, watch with the bracelet fits very well on the wrist, and due to titanium case and hollow links watch feels light on the wrist.

Chronograph works perfect, pusher buttons have just the right hardness - not too light to push it accidently but on the other hand not too hard for normal operation. Edge of the pushers are covered with rubber which gives even better control. 

45 min chronograph counter together with the hour counter is unusual combination and strange to use. On the right picture for example chrono works one hour and 17 minutes (and not 1h 32 min as it seems from the first look).

So, hour counter should be read more as regulator watch with one hand, but if you need exact information, you need to use some mathematics. To be quite honest I don't understand why did they put this hour counter at all since watch was deliberitly made for a space program and this hour counter is not needed. All crucial things can be shown by using the bezel and a minute counter.

Unusual is crown. It is screwed in but it screwes in oposite direction than we are used to. So you unscrew crown by turning it up, and when you unscrew it you immediately start winding the watch.

Rotating the bezel iz a HARD job! It turns only left (anti-clockwise) and it is extremly stiff. So stiff that at the beginning I was sure it can not be turned at all and that it just serves as a decoration. I am not sure if astronauts in a spacesuits and gloves would be able to rotate it at all.

Dial and hands have a decent luminova, but nothing special. 

I have worn watch for 5 days in a row without taking the watch from the wrist. So all day and all night everyday and I must say I am impressed! +2 seconds after 5 days. Rotor which winds the movement is very quiet but I found one specific hand move which excelerates rotor and that starts rotating fast and noisy. Very nice sound which reminds me to a Perellet Turbine watch if you are familliar with it..

All in all I am very pleased with this watch, I will for sure put it into my rotation watch list. And it is a nice addition to my space watch collection. 

 

P.S.: Shorter version of this review was first published in "Portal Satova" watch forum on February 2018.


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