After doing some digging for cheap automatic watches to review, I came across an IWC inspired watch by a Chinese brand, Winner (also sometimes listed as Fanmis, online).
It was literally the cheapest automatic I could find on the internet.
My expectations were low, very low.
The discovery that it wasn’t just a complete piece of junk honestly shocked me.
I wrote a full in-depth review about that one also. You can find it here.
Right after purchasing is when I came across this watch, the Winner Green Dial Submariner Hulk homage.
It’s not quite as cheap as the Pilot style watch, but still, such an affordable mechanical watch that it heavily sparked my interest, and didn’t break the bank… So I figured, eh, why the heck not?
Two days later with Prime shipping and there it was, at my doorstep.
Just like the pilot watch, the unboxing experience was exactly the same and as equally unexciting.
It came in a very plain cardboard box with absolutely no relevant information about the watch or branding.
Of course, this is the first cost-cutting measure, to spare every penny they possibly can and keep the cost low for this watch, and frankly, I’m not mad at it.
I’d rather them skimp out on the packaging if it means lower prices on the watch.
I filmed an unboxing and initial Impressions video so you can see my reaction in real time. Check it out below.
First Impressions & Green Sunburst Dial
the second I pulled the watch out of the cheap plastic wrapping, I was immediately greeted by the shimmer of a very dynamic and surprisingly beautiful sunburst green dial.
There were a variety of different color options to choose from with this Submariner hulk homage.
Green definitely isn’t my usual color of choice when it comes to watches so I figured I’d give it a shot in this 20-something dollar watch.
If I ended up hating it, at least it didn’t break the bank.
But I didn’t hate it.
Quality aside, the look of the dial was something that I was definitely not expecting for them to get right.
Actually, it’s the last thing I was expecting them to get right.
When you order something online, especially when it’s a mechanical watch as cheap as this, it always feels like rolling the dice for what you’re actually going to receive, and if the watch will actually look like the pictures.
The watch definitely doesn’t look like it cost as little as it did, but there are few key giveaways that this isn’t exactly a well crafted mechanical timepiece, either.
Craftsmanship and QC Issues
Upon first glance. the watch was pretty fascinating.
But when I went to take a closer look, there were a couple of major flaws that stuck out to me and demonstrated itself as the cheap watch that it is.
The first key notable issue is the dive bezel.
It has a slightly darker green hue than the lime green Sunburst dial, more of a money green, like the bezel of the Rolex Kermit.
It’s aesthetically appealing and looks great, but the problem is in its build quality.
It’s definitely not as functional as it is pretty.
The bezel action is about average. Not great, but not terrible, either. It has a bit of a tinny feel and sound, but it rotates smoothly without much effort.
However, it has a ton of back play and you can move the supposedly unidirectional bezel back upward of 4 seconds! This shows an obvious lack of attention to detail.
The bezel is also loose on the top right side. It feels wobbly and unsecured, almost like it’s about to pop right off of the watch.
I wonder if this issue is contributing to the large amounts of back play in the bezel.
I’m not sure if all of these watches are like this, or I just got a defective model.
Either way, Small issues like this are really what you’re taking the gamble on when you decide to buy such an affordable Chinese-made watch.
A second, and much harder to overlook the issue, in my opinion, is a little chip on the painted embassy at the 6:00 position. It’s not very noticeable unless you inspect the watch up close and I definitely don’t expect anybody to pick up on it while on your wrist, but just knowing it’s there definitely bugs me, and had I paid more for this watch, I’d likely have opted for an exchange.
Bracelet – Exactly What You’d Expect
The other thing that really demonstrates this as a ‘cheap’ watch is the terribly made and terribly finished included ‘stainless steel’ bracelet.
Frankly, I’m not even sure if it is stainless steel.
First of all, it has brushed links on the center, and polished links on the side. This is the opposite of how Rolex tends to finish their models.
I’m not sure if this was an intentional design queue to try and set this watch apart or just an oversight on Winner’s end.
Regardless, it’s not executed very well at all.
It looks cheap and feels cheap. Very cheap.
Not to mention when holding the watch in my hand, the bracelet felt so flimsy I literally felt like I could pull it apart and break it, with just the tips of my fingers.
A stainless steel bracelet is meant to be durable and you definitely don’t get the sense of durability with this bracelet on the watch. I’d be nervous to even wear it on this bracelet, fearing it might actually break while wearing it, and that the watch could fall off my wrist at any given moment.
My Strap Swap Choices
The good news, however, is that once you swap the bracelet out, the watch becomes a lot more wearable.
I opted to throw it on a BluShark AlphaPremiere all black NATO (any black nato will do) and I think it looks amazing.
Not only does the black NATO tone down the intense vibrant colors of the watch, but it also adds a touch of luxury because the blue shark NATO has kind of shiny and luxurious feeling.
It also makes it a lot more comfortable to wear, and after swapping out the metal bracelet, It actually makes me feel like I’m wearing a half-decent watch.
Squale 50 Atmos Vibes
It kind of reminds me of a baby version of the Squale 50 atmos, with its bright and vibrant diver color options, now that I’ve swapped the strap out.
If I had bought this watch in almost any other color, I’d also suggest trying it on a leather strap to dress it up a bit, but the lime green dial is way too bright and playful to wear it on anything less than on a super casual strap, in super casual dress situations, in my opinion.
I tried throwing it on a plain black rubber strap as well, but find it didn’t look as good as the NATO, in my opinion.
Dimensions, Comfort and Wearability
The dimensions of the Fanmis Submariner Hulk are as follows:
- Diameter: 40mm
- Lug to lug: 44mm
- Lug width: 20mm
- Thickness: 13mm
The watch being clearly inspired by a classic Rolex Submariner design means that it has very wearable dimensions for a variety of wrist types.
In my opinion, it looks great on my 7-inch wrists and wears just about the same as my Steinhart Ocean 39.
It has a surprisingly hefty feel, and I don’t mean that in a bad way, but it feels like a substantial watch.
Taking it off the bracelet made a world of difference since it was so junky and lightweight that it added no additional heft to the watch and didn’t at all make it feel like a quality piece.
Movement & Accuracy
The movement, likely an unbranded cheap Chinese automatic movement, is surprisingly decent for its price.
While it appears to look similar to that of the Fanmis Pilot watch upon my inspection, it has a much better power reserve and the automatic rotor seems to be much more functional.
It’s probably the same exact movement inside both watches, but a lack of quality control means you never really know if you’re going to get one that performs as well as the others. It’s always a bit of a toss-up with watches this cheap.
The watch also has hand-winding, or the ability to manually power the watch by winding the crown.
This is surprising as this is a feature you don’t even see in some $2-300 automatic watches, let alone ones this cheap.
Mine isn’t the most accurate, losing about 12s/day, but whatever, it’s not like I plan on wearing this as an everyday watch anyway.
I’ll likely pick it up once in a while whenever I want a pop of the brilliant green and then sit it in my watch box for another month or so until I get the urge again.
It also has a date wheel, with an extremely useless cyclops that does absolutely nothing for the magnification. Why include it at all? No clue. I’m going to try to remove it myself at a later date.
All it takes is some heat from a lighter and it should release the glue holding it in place and pop right off, at least in theory, but with watches this cheap, you never know what kind of construction surprises you may find along the way.
It’s possible the entire watch might melt, or burst into flames! (Just kidding, mostly…)
Anyway, the date has quickset.
Thank goodness, because this watch has a terrible actuation of the crown, meaning you have to turn the crown so much just to set the time. Changing the date without a quickset feature on this watch would be an absolute nightmare. I’d probably skip it altogether.
The Cheapest Rolex Hulk Homage
This watch is undoubtedly a cheap homage to the Rolex Submariner Hulk. While not a direct imitation, it’s clearly heavily influenced by many of the design queues. So, what’s the difference?
Well, aside from the fact that we’re comparing a watch that costs dozens of dollars to one that costs thousands, the green hue on both the dial and bezel insert are very different.
The Winner Submariner has more of a dark lime green hue on the dial and a slightly darker money green on the bezel. The actual Rolex Hulk has… Well, you guessed it, more of a ‘Hulk’ color, nicknamed after the Marvel green angry giant.
The Winner Submariner has a smaller case, thinner lugs and dimensions are more reminiscent of vintage submariner models, not the new, bulkier, heftier case seen on the modern iterations of the Rolex Submariner Hulk.
It shouldn’t be any surprise to anybody when I say the actual Rolex Hulk is miles better in terms of quality, durability, craftsmanship (quality of brushed and polished finish), movement, water resistance and… Literally any other aspect you could think of.
If that was a shocker to you, please take another look at the price tags of the two watches, and maybe go see a doctor (sorry, that was rude).
Just like the Fanmis Pilot, this watch’s online listing says it has 30m water resistance.
This means it’s capable of withstanding light splashes from rain, washing hands, etc.
I’d usually not take that risk with a watch this cheap, but also… It’s a watch this cheap.
Meaning I almost wouldn’t care if it did happen to get destroyed in the rain, because it’s definitely not a watch worth stressing over and babying if it were to rain, or get wet in any way.
This super cheap homage of the Rolex Submariner Hulk definitely isn’t going to fool anybody, even yourself, into thinking you’ve got on a luxury watch on your wrist and definitely not a Rolex, for that matter.
The quality control issues like the loose bezel and poorly painted hour markers might be a minor nuisance to some and a huge distraction for others.
This watch might be a fun option to add a pop of color to your collection that you wouldn’t typically experiment with.
I had never thought I’d enjoy a green watch this playful, but wearing this for a few days has me considering adding an actually solid green dial watch to my collection (I’m looking at you, Seiko Alpinist).
All that said, with the variety of colors and the fact that it’s an automatic watch with hand winding, keeps decent time and can be delivered at your doorstep within just a few days of ordering it with Amazon Prime, it’s kinda hard to argue with, for the price.
Have any questions about these green dial Winner Submariner watches? Leave it in the comments below (I reply to EVERY comment)!
Last update on 2021-09-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API