Dissing watches – A mainstream brand or more?

By Frederik Drost
Dissing watches – A mainstream brand or more?


Dissing watches is a brand started by the danish watch shop ditur.dk, a hugely popular shop in Denmark. They sell many brands, including some microbrands, but their own brand Dissing is going to be the main topic of this review.

To be honest, i have had many prejudices regarding Dissing and they also receive a lot of hate from watch enthusiasts (or watch snobs). I was not a fan until I decide to visit their physical shop in my local city of Aarhus, where I had a great experience. 

The hate comes from the fact that many of the Dissing watches are highly inspired by Rolex designs, but with a cheaper price point for a more mainstream audience (and an unnoticed willingness to differ from the source material). But after talking to their purchasing manager, I realized they are trying to get away from this stereotype with new original collections.

So in this review, I will take a look at 2 of their watches, one older model with Rolex cues all over it, and one from their new collection which impressed me a lot.

I present to you, Dissing watches.

Pioneer Hybrid

A worthy sequel collection to their old models. They have upgraded the quality and movement and gone for a bit more original design, blending modern sizes and vintage flair.

First thoughts

dissing watch pioneer

I wasn’t sold on their diver collection, but the Pioneer line really impressed me and had me wanting one. The fact that they are coming out with a bit more unique designs, better overall finishing, a mecaquartz movement, and a vintage feel in modern size, is promising.

Design

dissing watch pioneer

The mix of dark blue and light gold on the dial complements the golden case quite well, and the overall watch feels looks great! 

There is a perfect symmetry across the dial thanks to the 2 sub-dials and the 6 o’clock date, only relieved by the tachymeter scale on the chapter ring. 

The sharp golden sword hands look stunning and make the time easy to read, especially since the sub-dials are dark blue. There are also small lume dots that further enhances the vintage feel while making the watch readable in low light.

dissing watch pioneer

The middle of the dial is quite diverse as well, with a mix of sunburst effect and grainy texture, that compliments the grainy chapter ring and the snailed sub-dials. This gives you a lot more to look at and the light a lot more surfaces to play with.

The case is curved and erotic, with few sharp angles and those classic square vintage chrono-pushers. 

A harsh suede strap that matches the dark blue on the dial is the icing on the cake, giving this watch a consistent design and a satisfying overall look.

The Pioneer collection has finer details and an original and better thought out design, without being crazy unique. This collection definitely shows that Dissing is willing to be original and distance itself from social media trends that are dictating what watch designs are “in”.

The only thing that I find weird is the printed “Chrono Times” on the dial, which doesn’t mean anything to me.

Quality

dissing watch pioneer

With the Pioneer collection, the quality feels much more on par with the price range. Everything is well aligned and symmetric, which is not always the case with watches in this price range.

The case finishing is better, with sharper lines between finishes, but with some traces of machining on the flank (uneven curve).

dissing watch pioneer
dissing watch pioneer

The finishing of the dial is quite good, with the exception of the snailing of the sub-dials, which could be better: The amount of different textures and finishes makes this dial harder to make, but worth it since it gives it much more personality. 

The hour and minute hands are super sharp and well polished, to a surprising level. The hour indices are also pretty well executed for the price. The sub-dial hands lack a bit of attention, but nothing that doesn’t justify the price.

dissing watch pioneer

The harsh blue suede strap is what you would expect for this price, and the buckle has gotten an upgrade from their previous models, with a better finish and machining.

The lume is quite ok as well for the price, with well-applied lume dots (which are hard to make) around the dial, and lume on the hands.

Even the movement I can condone! The VK64 Mecaquartz movement is a lovely middle-ground between the low-priced reliable quartz movement and a mechanical chronograph. The pushers feel great to use, with a mechanical and snappy click.

All of this with a water resistance of 150 meters makes this a pretty good watch for the money.

GMT Diver

You can find better quality for this money, even though the prices are low. But it is far from a fashion brand watch with very cheap watches that sells thanks to marketing.

First thoughts

The popularity of their diver models is likely due to the fact that Rolex and generally high-end watches are more popular than ever, thanks to social media and mainstream culture. 

This is why many watch enthusiasts might dismiss them, but the mainstream buyer will love these. I find this to some degree unfair since many other microbrands (Eg: Ocean X) do the same but with mechanical movement and better overall quality.

Design

If you are just a bit involved in the world of watches, you will know that this watch is highly inspired by the famous Rolex GMT Jubilee bracelet. It does have several details that are unique, which I will try to outline here (i choose this model because it is furthest from the Rolex GMT ).

The first thing that stands out is the carbon pattern dial, which gives this watch an even sportier look than the other sunburst dials on the collection. 

The hour hand’s arrow tip also stands out and I am thankful that they didn’t just copy the Rolex mercedes hand.

dissing watch gmt

The 12 o’clock marker is shaped like an hourglass, which I have never seen before on a watch, but fits surprisingly well. 

The bezel has the same classic Rolex GMT font and look, but the all-blue color is not something I think Rolex has ever done.

Everything else except the crown is quite similar to the Rolex GMT that it draws inspiration from.

Overall, not close enough to be an hommage watch, but still riding the trend wave of the Rolex designs, with unique details showing a willingness to not blatantly copy them.

Quality

To set the stage for the quality of this watch, it is important to understand the price of this watch, which is 2000 Dkk (268 EUR or 317 USD).

The good

dissing watch gmt

The indices, bezel, date, and end links are all nicely aligned. The finishing of the bracelet, indices, and case is on par with the price point. 

The bracelet is comfortable and fluid, with some play though, which is understandable for this price range.

dissing watch gmt

The bezel insert looks superb, with super crisp “printing” and a nice shine and color. 

Because of the quartz movement, the watch is rather slim and sits nicely on my 17cm wrist. It is a big top-heavy, but nothing crazy.

The clasp is basic and at the same level as most Seiko clasps, so nothing great but far from bad.

dissing watch gmt

The movement allows you to set the GMT hand individually, with a quick set date can be hacked.

All of this comes with 100m water resistance, without a screw-down crown.

The bad

The second’s hand is not aligned with the printed second’s markers, which is common for cheaper watches, and something more expensive watches will guarantee. 

The dissing print is polished metallic and a bit hard to read, so unnecessary in my opinion. White printing would have been fine.

The end links finish is not as crisp as the bracelet, but I have seen this on Marc and Sons watches worth double the price of this watch.

dissing watch gmt

The bezel is a bit hard to grip and turn, even though the grip is sharp (almost too sharp), but turning it underwater help release it a bit though. 

The lume could be better and i would suggest they start using BGW9. In the dark, the application looks too grainy, even though it looks consistent at a normal range in the light.

dissing watch lume

The sides of the bracelet are a bit too sharp, which could affect how comfortable the watch is when wearing it for a long time and while sweating.

I do feel like they should stick to matt or sunburst dials because the carbon fiber dial is making this specific model’s dial too busy.

Conclusion

dissing watch pioneer

The Pioneer collection from Dissing watches is proof that they are trying to come out with more original watches that don’t rely on their resemblance to Rolex to succeed. These watches are not designed to appeal to watch fanatics, but for the mass consumer, this is a much better watch than a Daniel Wellington or another fashion brand. They rely more on quality and design than marketing.

As for my fellow watch fanatics, i would probably not recommend their GMT collection, but i have grown to love the modern vintage vibe of their Pioneer collection.

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