BY DHANANJAY PATHAK
I like it when a brand gives its unique spin to the concept of timekeeping. And I like it even more if it manages to do so without making a hole in the pocket. Zinvo is one such brand that has managed to pique my interest with their latest, affordably priced, turbine inspired offering, the Blade Panda.
As I just mentioned above, the Blade Panda is heavily influenced by jet turbine engines, and a passing glance at its face is all it takes to acknowledge the same. And while the watch does look cool, what makes it special is that the folks at Zinvo have even made it work functionally like its inspiration. To achieve this the dial has been divided into two layers. Sitting at the bottom is a white base with centrally mounted hour and minute hands, a circular date window at 3, and a knurled pattern on the outer periphery. Placed on top of the base is a black titanium unit that not only mimics a turbine fan but also happens to work like one as it is a running second indicator that Zinvo calls the 1-second turbine. All you need to set it in action is wind the movement, and there it goes, spinning over the dial like a turbine fan. And while the concept of the watch is quite adventurous, it manages to remain surprisingly legible, thanks to the hollow circular hour markings on the outer periphery and the well-proportioned hands. Furthermore, the tip of the hands as well as the brands logo has been painted blue to add a dash of color to the dial.
The case on the Zinvo Blade Panda is made of stainless steel and has been DLC coated to evoke a black and white panda theme. It measures a relatively large 44mm in diameter to offer some wrist presence, however, the dramatically downward angled lugs should make it sit comfortably on a wide variety of wrists. The case is water-resistant to only 50 meters, which implies that you are better off staying away from the pool.
Beating inside the Zinvo Blade Panda is the workhorse Japanese automatic movement NH35A. It operates at a low frequency of 3Hz and offers an autonomy of around 41 hours. The movement can be viewed through the exhibition case back and, while it is quite industrial to look at, for the most part, Zinvo has decorated the rotor with a turbine fan motif.
The Zinvo Blade Panda comes attached to a white rubber strap and retails for USD 289. However, the watch can currently be purchased from Zinvo’s website at a promotional price of USD 202.