Hemel HFT20 Panda Date (VK64 Mechaquartz)
Why We Love This Watch
The Hemel HFT20 Panda Date is an extremely versatile tool watch that can fulfill many functions, from a chronograph, to a field watch, to a travel watch, and even a dive watch. With impressive looks and some vintage military aviator styling, this timepiece packs quite a punch with some great attention to detail. Those of us who love vintage pilot watches such as fliegers will appreciate the little touches in this modern counterpart, such as the onion crown, waffle pushers, and riveted thick leather straps.
Features such as 100 meters water resistance, the same as many dive watches, scratch resistant sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, strong Swiss Super-LumiNova lume (equivalent to a decent dive watch,) the convenient date window symmetrically balanced at 6 o'clock, the chronograph timing functions, plus a 12 hour 120 click unidirectional bezel, not to mention the Hemel HFT20 Panda Dates' good looks and vintage vibe too, all make this a popular and practical everyday wear.
The VK64 mecha-quartz movement brings the best of both mechanical and quartz movements together, with the greater accuracy and convenience of a quartz movement, and mechanical action on the chronograph pushers, for a crisp, tactile start and stop, and an instant spring loaded reset. The VK64 also features a "sweeping" second hand that mimics the action of a mechanical watch with five ticks per second rather than the tell-tale one tick per second normally associated with quartz watches. The careful selection of the VK64 movement is very evident here, combined with the aesthetics, sizing and heft of the Hemel HFT20's design, which gives the wearer a strong impression that they are wearing a purely mechanical timepiece.
Best of all, our choice of the 12 hour rotating "GMT" bezel we've made here allows the user to use it to extend the chronograph timing by 12 hours or more simply by setting the pip to the hour hand position. It can also easily be used as a second time zone, or of course as a traditional dive watch minute timer. Versatility indeed.
The following independent third-party Hemel HFT20 watch review is for a slightly different model that doesn't have the date window in the model we're offering here. The only other difference is ours has white sub-dials, but otherwise both watches are identical. We thought it worth sharing since we found the review to be very informative.
Tristan Veneto from The Urban Gentry has also reviewed the Hemel HFT20 series:
- Type: Microbrand watch.
- Reference: Hemel HFT20 Panda Date with GMT Bezel.*
Complications: Chronograph functions, 24 hour sub-dial, and date window.
- Color Scheme: Reverse panda black dial with white sub-dials. Steel bezel and case.
- Water Resistance: 10 ATM / 100 meters / 330 feet.
- Diameter: 42mm, excluding crown.
- Lug Width: 20mm.
- Lug to Lug Length: 49mm.
- Case: Marine grade 316L stainless steel with signed crown.
- Case Back: Screw-down solid 316L stainless steel case back.
- Dial Type: Matte black panda dial with white sub-dials. The left sub-dial displays the chronograph minutes, and the right sub-dial the current time in a 24 hour clock.
- Dial Glass: Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating.
- Bezel: 120 click unidirectional steel bezel with lumed pip. The pip can conveniently be set to the hour hand when using the chronograph to extend the chronograph timing function for 12 or more hours. The bezel can also be used for a second time zone, or for traditional dive watch timing by setting the pip to the minute hand.
- Lume: Swiss Super-Luminova C3 lume. This is the brightest lume color, which glows a strong green in the dark when charged.
- Straps Included: A pair of light tan brown 22mm genuine leather riveted straps with white stitching and signed steel buckle.
- Movement: Seiko VK64 mecha-quartz movement with an accuracy of +/- 20 seconds per month under normal temperature conditions.
- Tick Rate: 5 ticks per second on the central chronograph second hand.
Power Reserve: Up to 3 years battery life with normal operation.
- Manufacturer's Warranty: 2 years.
* Please note that Hemel list the bezel on this watch as a "GMT bezel", which is why we have to use the same reference. However, it is actually a 12 hour bezel rather than a 24 hour GMT bezel. We think this is actually a good thing since this allows the bezel to have a wider range of uses, as detailed above.
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