For those who have been keeping a close eye on MONOCHROME Watches, and Circula Watches in particular, it should come as no surprise that we like the strategy of employing the “power of the people”. And honestly, the resulting collections are often fine examples of well-built, honest watchmaking. When creating a new watch, Circula enlists the help of watch enthusiasts and collectors to determine the final design of new collections. A case in point is the all-new Circula ProTrail Automatic, the revived company’s first-ever field watch. Designed with input from the public, the new collection came to life through a multitude of options. Today we can show you one of the three models that will be available: the production-ready Circula ProTrail Automatic.
Back in February, we informed you that Circula was working on a new field watch to be added to the brand’s portfolio of tool watches. Through a dedicated co-creation page, you could vote for things like the name of the collection, but also the size and shape of the case, the design of the dial and hands, an array of different colour combinations and two types of logos. With just over 6,500 votes in total, this campaign should be regarded as a big success for such a small company. And the beauty of it all is that the ProTrail Automatic is now ready to go!
Circula has cut no corners when it comes to the new ProTrail Automatic. The angular shape of the case, machined in stainless steel, looks good and comes in at 40mm in diameter and 12mm in height (without the crystal). When we applied a set of digital callipers to the case, the height came in at 13.3mm, including the crystal. The lug-to-lug distance is very reasonable, too, at 46mm. Overall, the ProTrail has great dimensions and sits on the wrist very nicely. And just to provide some extra assurance to clients, the case has been hardened by a process called Kolsterizing®, where carbon is diffused into the metals by applying heat. It’s now hardened to 1,300 Vickers, which is comparable to the ceramic Rado uses (1,250 points on the Vickers scale) and quite a jump from non-hardened 316L stainless steel (152 points on the Vickers scale).
The construction of the case also includes a soft iron inner case, useful to combat magnetic fields and protect the mechanical movement inside. The soft iron inner case ensures an anti-magnetic resistance of up to 80,000A/m. Again, just to put things in perspective, this is roughly on par with 1,000 Gauss (sounds familiar, right?). The design of the case has been hand-sandblasted (with a polished bevel on the bezel) and features indentations on the case sides. The sturdy screw-down crown is set with a luminous Circula logo. A domed sapphire crystal protects the dial, whereas a solid caseback adorned with contour lines does the same for the movement. Circula also offers a Limited Edition of the ProTrail Automatic, with a black DLC-coated case and a slightly different dial design.
Speaking of the dial, this comes in two variations. The non-limited edition dial comes in black with orange accents and brushed hands or sandy beige with blue accents and heat-blued hands. Both have the same overall style with an outer ring carrying the hour indices and minute track and a slightly recessed inner section with a second 24-hour scale and a circular pattern decoration. The black ProTrail Automatic has luminous indices and hands that emit a blue and orange glow. The sand-coloured version changes things up a little and the broad hour ring is luminous instead of the digits. The Old Radium Limited Edition uses a mix of baton markers and hour digits and does without the secondary hour scale in the recessed centre. The hands and markers are finished in a vintage-looking beige that emits a green glow in the dark. As you’ll notice, there’s no date indication, as Circula opted not to have an additional hole in the soft-iron inner cage that would decrease magnetic resistance.
Just as in the AquaSport II and SuperSport models, the ProTrail relies on a Sellita movement. The automatic Sellita SW 200-1 is again the calibre of choice, which has proven to be a very reliable workhorse. Previously you could opt for an élaboré grade level of finishing for the SW 200-1, costing a small premium, but with the ProTrail, this has become standard. This movement uses 26 jewels and runs at a frequency of 28,800vph. It will offer a minimal 38 hours of power reserve, but Circula states it typically provides around 41 hours of running time. The accuracy is rated at -5 / +7 seconds per day. A good thing to note is the fact it has no “ghost” date-setting position for the crown.
The new Circula ProTrail Automatic comes on a very comfortable sailcloth strap in black or sandy beige, fitted to the wrist with a simple yet effective sandblasted stainless steel pin buckle. The ProTrail Automatic is available for pre-order now and the campaign runs until the end of September. During this campaign, the Circula ProTrail Automatic will retail for EUR 749, which will bump up to EUR 799 on the 1 of October. Deliveries are scheduled to commence in November of this year, so just in time for the holiday season!
And just as a bit of closure, to us, this Circular ProTrail Automatic is a perfect example of a value proposition. You get a very nicely designed watch, put together with input from the public, with very impressive specs. Given the fact it has a hardened steel case and a soft-iron inner case, it is a proper tool watch and one that can take a serious amount of abuse if needed. The finishing is good, the dial is very legible, it all feels very robust, and at this price, it’s pretty damn impressive! So once again, job well done, Circula!
For more information, please visit CirculaWatches.com