UK Tacticel Pilotage Tide Watch Review
Produced by: Yachting
at: BellClocks.com (No longer
- Hand alignment: 8/10
- Bang for the buck:
7/10 (explained below)
The Tidemaster Tacticel is
a well known
timepiece in the UK, where the Tidemaster line (produced by Yachting
Instruments Limited) has been sold for over 30 years with a good deal
of success. Many strap selections are available, including velcro,
leather, or stainless bracelet. The Tacticel is available in white dial
The Tidemaster arrived in
it's black plastic
"egg" type box, complete with instructions. The instructions
were straightforward, and easy to read. We
setting the functions, including a second time zone, within about 5
minutes. The "egg" type box itself was disappointing, as we would
expect a bit more from a watch in this price range.
The Tacticel now
features a resin case,
and is no longer available in aluminum alloy as of 2004. If you're
thinking "cheap plastic" material - think again! The case was very
impressive. Like the entry level "Talisman" model, this case is tough,
and dense. Obviously, it's waterproof as well. The case
was also light in weight, which made it surprisingly comfortable to
wear. This is a big plus if you like a larger watch, but
don't care for the "bulky" feel. The tidal
bezel was well fit, and easy to read.
While we did not test the
depth" of 25 fathoms, the construction and case suggests it to be well
The case back is of
stainless, however, it was
not a polished stainless, to accomodate the double seal. The stainless
steel bracelet was of a lighter grade stainless than we would have
expected on a watch of this quality and price range - but was still
The watch face is a
busy, well organized
place. All functions are clearly labeled and easy to find. The
digital sub-display was also easy to read, and
the digital functions of the watch, such as stopwatch, 2nd
zone, etc. as well as the date display. Hand alignment was
satisfactory, with the second hand being slightly off.
One of our favorite
features on the
Tacticel, is it's "Indiglo" function for night use. Unlike
watches employing a "backlight" or LED, which leaves hard to
dark spots on the face - the Tacticel achieves lighting
by applying a small electrical charge to the face itself.
The result is an even, easy to read illumination -
the digital display. This feature is easily set to
mode, which activates the illumination for about 5
anytime a button is pressed. A great feature for it's intended
as a pilotage, watchstanding, or diving tool.
Timekeeping accuracy is the
test of a high quality timepiece -
Tacticel proved outstanding. While not COSC certified, the
Tacticel delivered on
it's claimed "chromometer" accuracy.
We tested the
Tacticel for 100 days
(12/8/03 - 3/17/04) against our standard - the Oregon
Scientific RM-103A (radio controlled clock syncronized with the NIST
atomic clock signal from WWVB @60Hz). In our test period, the Tacticel
lost only 12 seconds.
To put this in perspective, a
typical military specification for accuracy of a
chronometer is (+/-) 1 minute per year, or (+/-) 5 seconds per
month. Based on our test, the Tacticel exceeded this standard,
performing at (+/-) 43 seconds per year, or (+/-) 3.6 seconds per month.
the Tidemaster Tacticel high
marks. It's "user friendly" mix of classic analog styling,
function, and toughness, is well suited to a wide range of use
- from the bridge to the boardroom. We would however, like to
this model in all stainless.
explain our "bang for the buck" rating: While the price of
is currently inflated by about 35% due to the devaluation of the U. S.
Dollar against the British Pound - we still gave it high
because of it's uniqueness in the marketplace.