Starking AM0184 Watch – A Lot of Watch for the Money.

Image od Starking AM0184 Bracelet

The Starking AM0184 – What’s The Catch?

image of Sarking AM0184
Starking AM0184 – High Spec but Low Price

They say if it looks too good to be true then is most probably is too good to be true. So, when the specification of the Starking AM0184 is seen in the light cast by its incredibly low price I am already looking for the downside that explains everything. For this watch has, on paper at least a very impressive specification and yet the leather strapped version may be purchased online for an amazing $51, that’s less then £50. The version reviewed here with the black dial and stainless steel bracelet comes in a little more at £???. But these are low prices for a what that boasts.

• Automatic, ‘Lots of Jewels’, Hi-Beat, Hacking, movement (28,800 bph)
• Highly polished Stainless Steel Case
• Exhibition Caseback
• Date Function
• Quality Stainless Steel Bracelet with solid links and machined (and polished) Deployment clasp
• Sapphire Crystal

All of the above you will routinely find in a new Rolex or Omega but ‘affordable’ brands rarely have all if these high quality components. Some have one or two … but never all of them. Not so the Starking AM0184.

So in this review I am going to discover if there is a catch, I am going to do a thorough watchmaker’s inspection of the piece and give my verdict on whether or not there is a catch. In doing this I will test the watch on the timegrapher and partly dismantle the movement to check on the quality therein.

Starking AM0184 – Watchmaker Review – The video

I recorded the whole process of this review for my YouTube channel which so you can also actually watch me conduct the analysis.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd6VM48jA44

Review Method

Having given the watch a thorough examination I will score it under the following categories …

• Engineering Build Quality
• Looks
• Value for Money

… and I will start with Looks

Looks

Aside from a small niggle I have about the small size of the date window in comparison with the dial size this watch looks great. In profile from the side view the case is scoped upwards towards the bezel housing the sapphire crystal. It looks like a very shiny retro lunar landing module. And the polishing is really very, very good. So good is it that whilst filming for the video all I could see when shooting the side of the watch was my own reflection. The dial design is ‘classic cocktail’ watch, reminiscent of the Tissot Visodate and some of the more plain Grand Seiko models. It is, apart from that date window, very elegant. The sapphire crystal, the applied indicies completed with applied Arabic numerals at the 12 and 6 o’clock position all make for a very pleasing effect. The printing of the dial is also bright and sharp even at high magnification.

Even the bracelet looks great. The fit at the lugs is spot on and the contrast between lightly brushed outer links and highly polished inner links is really very impressive as is the machined and highly polished deployment clasp.

So, this watch looks great and I score it 9 out of 10 for looks.

Score for Looks:  9 out of 10

Engineering Build Quality

So, we already know that at $51 dollars unless there is a disaster with the engineering build quality this watch is going to score highly in Value for Money. We also know that the watch looks good so everything now hangs on the quality. If on inspection the watch looks as if it going to fall apart or stop working at any moment then the low price would start to make sense, if not we must deduce that we have a real bargain here. It is tin this part of the analysis that I need to do my job well and this is where being a full time watchmaker really comes in useful.

Let’s start with the movement ….

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G-Shock Carbon Core Guard by Casio – Watchmaker Review

Bumping Into The G-Shock Carbon Core Guard

Like a lot of good things in life this review of a Casio G-Shock Carbon Core Guard Watch was the result of an opportunity seized rather than outcome of any careful planning.  It all started on a recent trip to London during which my daughter announced an urgent need for Puma training shoes which could apparently be best procured from the Puma store on Carnaby Street.  When we arrived there I was delighted to see that right next door was a bright little shop which, as made clear to all the world from the sign above its very clean window, was dedicated to the sale of Casio G-Shock watches.  My daughter and her mum when off to peruse the offerings by Puma and I scuttled into the Casio G-Shock shop like a kid into a sweet shop.

Now quartz watches are not normally my thing and the watches that were lit up around the store were all pretty funky quartz watches and thus quite different to my area of specialization which is mechanical watches (particularly automatic wristwatches and vintage pocket watches).

Casio G-Shock Carbon Core Guard – Watchmaker Review : The Video

I decided, for the record (and for my YouTube channel), to make a video of this work and much of what is contained within this article you can also see in detail by watching this.

Reference of Watch under Test

The exact model of the watch tested in this review was …

CASIO G-SHOCK CARBON CORE GUARD – GA 2000 1A9ER

Check Latest Price

You can checkout the latest price of this watch at both my UK Amazon Store and my US Amazon Store 

The Review Method

As always for this to be a genuinely helpful review I was determined that it should be as scientific and dispassionate as possible.  The plan I came up with was a simple one.  Firstly, as soon as I took it out of the box, I would test the watch’s waterproofing to 50 meters in the pressure testing tank.  After that I would do a detailed inspection of the watch. Finally using the information gathered and in knowledge of the attractive price tag I would judge its value  for money.

I used my normal scoring system with the following criteria which were to be scored as follows.

Scoring system

The watch would judged in three main categories, both scored from 0 to 10

  • Build Quality (Engineering Standard – Reasonably Objective)
  • Looks (Aesthetics – Not quite so Objective!)
  • Value for Money – (dependent completely on the findings of the first two categories)

Strengths and Weaknesses

I also do a quick run through what I see as the strengths and weaknesses of the watch

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