Disclaimer: I borrowed this watch from a friend and collector (thanks Neil). Since this watch was worn/used, please make note that the experience might differ from that of a brand new watch. I was not externally incentivized in any way to create this review.
Halios is a name I’ve heard often since I got into micro-brand watches, but it’s also one of those brands that are difficult to keep tabs on, and also sell out incredibly quickly. Their website is a bit shabby, but they seem to be doing very well with whatever system they have going on. I’m very happy to be able to finally check one out, and I’d like to thank Neil for making this happen.
Today we’ll be looking at the Halios Fairwind, which I believe is inspired by diver style watches, with a rugged overall design. This watch retails for $775 on a metal bracelet, but I believe the metal bracelets will ship separately in January 2021.
Let’s check it out!
I measured the case to be 38.8mm in diameter, 47.8mm from lug-to-lug, 12.7mm in height and 10mm if you ignore the boxed sapphire crystal. The case is mostly brushed, with a few polished elements and accents.
Half of the mid-case extends into a pair of sharp and angular lugs, resulting in a very sleek and sharp appearance. There are sharp beveled edges that appear to be slightly more polished than the rest. Great attention to detail here. The lug width is 20mm.
There is a 60 click bi-directional bezel that is easy to grip and operate, has a sapphire insert with lumed elements, and has no back-play whatsoever. Great stuff here.
The bezel seats a double domed box sapphire crystal that adds about 2.7mm to the height of this watch, but is very carefully designed such that the distortion at the edges does not impact legibility. Again, good attention to the details and clearly a brand that probably goes through more than one design revision.
There is a signed 6.5mm screw-down crown that feels like a traditional flieger crown, which means it is easy to grip and operate. The crown tube extends out of the case, into which the crown is screwed, which probably required more work. The result is a subtle improvement in how the whole assembly feels.
Flipping it over, you have a simple solid case-back that screws down into the case. This watch is rated for up-to 200m of water resistance.
While I’m very impressed with the case design, quality and finishing, the dial doesn’t fall short by any means either. This is the slate gray variant, but I get a very subtle hint of green in there too.
There is a narrow outer minute track that is raised above the dial surface, and positioned perfectly such that the distortion from the sapphire crystal doesn’t affect legibility in any way.
You then have applied indices that are very generously filled with lume. The quality of finishing on these indices is really terrific, and beyond what you typically see in micro-brand watches under $1000. Really good stuff here, and I also love the designs of these indices.
The brand’s name and logo is printed under the 12 o’clock index, and the watch name above the 6 o’clock index. The quality of printing is excellent.
The hands are well proportioned, and combine brushed and polished surfaces. The finishing on the hands is good, and pretty much what you’d expect from an $800 watch. The minute hand extends all the way to the minute track, and the hour hand just about reaches the larger indices.
The seconds hand is entirely polished with a painted light green arrow head tip that is also filled with lume. The finishing on the seconds hand is a little less awesome than the rest of the dial, and has a corner that is missing a bit of paint. This isn’t visible to the naked eye, so not a deal breaker at this price.
Overall, I’m sold on the dial. I love the muted color, symmetric design, great finishing and impressive quality control.
All the dial elements apart from the outer minute track are generously lumed with C3 Super LumiNova.
The bezel is also lumed, and glows pretty bright, which isn’t always the case for lumed inserts.
The indices and hands are very generously filled with lume, glow bright and hold their charge well. No complaints with the lume whatsoever, and the lumed seconds hand tip is an added bonus.
This watch uses a Sellita SW200-1 movement without a date complication, so you don’t have to worry about a ghost date position. Its a good movement, and appropriate for an $800 watch.
I put this watch on my time-grapher and observed roughly 0 spd in the dial up position and -4 spd in the crown up position.
On The Wrist
This watch wears great on my 6.25″ wrist, and that’s primarily because of the 38.8mm diameter and 47.8mm lug-to-lug width.
On first glance, the case-back looks like it’s going to make for an unbalanced wrist experience, but the overall height is not too bad, coming in at around 12.7mm with the crystal and 10mm without. The case-back also looks this way because of how sleek the lugs are.
But it’s a comfortable watch on the wrist, without any rocking/wobbling. I suspect that the bracelet integrates better with the lugs than a strap, and will be even more comfortable.
I am very impressed with this watch. The build quality, finishing, specs and design are all a class apart from the typical $500 micro-brands I’m used to reviewing. The build quality is also significantly better than my Baltic Aquascaphe, which is about the same price as this watch. I’d say the quality is closest to the Christopher Ward Dartmouth that I recently reviewed, and that’s high praise because I loved that watch.
If you like the style of this watch, and you’re comfortable spending around $800 on a small micro-brand, this one won’t disappoint. This review has put Halios back on my radar and I’ll be keeping an eye on them in 2021.
Thanks for reading!