This Devon Tread 1 was reviewed against 10 different criteria. Reviews are for this specific watch, other models may perform differently. Evaluation is based on my wrist size, personal opinion, experience and preferences.
13 of the Holy Guacamole! This is a huge, crazy-looking, but awesome watch. Obviously this watch is not for everyone… Purists, conservatives and traditionalists may hate this watch. But for those watch lovers looking for something completely different and original, the Devon Tread 1 offers a great advantage! What about the cherries on top? This watch is entirely designed and manufactured in California, USA. How cool is it now? Not the BS that we often see “designed” in California and made in China, but actually made in California. Now that’s definitely something to be proud of.
The huge case is made of 316L stainless steel and polycarbonate glass. The polycarbonate glass actually makes up nearly half of the case, allowing for an unobstructed view of the internal mechanism. The case consists of five pieces with various finishes. On the C version, the case is mostly satin-finished and some surfaces are polished. Some parts are DLC-coated in titanium color. The most disappointing part of this watch is the polycarbonate glass. Although it has a scratch-resistant coating on it, this polycarbonate glass can and may scratch over time. In this price range, I’m certainly expecting a sapphire crystal. The good news is that Devon is said to be releasing a sapphire crystal for the Tread 1 this year…no word on pricing yet, but given the size and shape, it could be quite a bargain. The company name and watch model number are engraved on the back. The plate also says “Made in California, USA”.
The dial is definitely the best part of this watch… the overall industrial, robotic and futuristic look combined with the moving strap is just so cool. Literally, it’s like there’s nothing else out there. There are four tiny stepper motors that move the time zone with surgical precision. Blink and you’ll miss it, that’s how fast these belts move! The timing belt is made of glass fiber reinforced nylon and is only 0.05 mm (2/1000 inch) thick. This particular model has a dust particle in the middle of the dial, and the seconds band indicator on the right is slightly higher than the indicator on the left. Small things, but I like to reveal all the good and the bad in my comments. Therefore, points are deducted for these quality issues.
Version C features a soft black rubber strap with a brushed titanium DLC-coated clasp. The texture and appearance of the strap could be improved, it lacks a bit of refinement. In order to be proportional to the case, the strap is also very heavy. The strap is 39mm at its widest point (near the lugs) and tapers to 30mm at the buckle. The cleverly designed clasp looks great and complements the watch’s modern look. Because of the unique strap design, aftermarket straps won’t work on this watch unless you get a highly customized strap from a talented strap maker.
Although there is no Swiss mechanical movement inside, this replica Devon is still a mechanical marvel in its own right. The Tread 1 is powered by a lithium-polymer rechargeable battery that provides a two-week power reserve in silent mode. Charging is easy…just put the watch back in the original box (which also serves as a charging stand) and the inductively coupled wireless charging system will get you in just a few hours (8 times when the battery is completely drained). The Tread 1 is equipped with a microprocessor that controls all the functions of the watch and ensures that the timing belt is in the correct position. Devon claims Tread 1 is accurate to within half a second per day. While I do like seeing the time slot move quickly, the sound from the microstepping motor can be very loud and distracting at times. Even in silent mode (more on this in the operations section below), the watch is still very loud when the time belt is moving. I wonder if the loud sound can be eliminated by moving the belt at a slower speed…I think it’s a reasonable compromise. Another question? The durability of these microstepping motors.
4/4 day, Tread 1 is very easy to read. In fact, it’s so easy that even my two-year-old daughter can read the time thanks to the large numbers on the time belt. But since it has no lumens or light source, judging the time in the dark is challenging. Manually activated LED lights on the watch or lumens on the numbers will make this watch cooler and more legible at night.
All the functions of the watch are controlled by the oversized crown. After reading the instructions in the manual, I was impressed with how easy it was to actually operate this watch. The watch can operate in two modes: silent mode and normal mode. To switch to silent mode, turn the crown counterclockwise and hold until the stopwatch band starts to move (same process for switching back to normal mode). In silent mode, the band is disabled and fixed at “00” when running seconds. This means that every second of “clicks” is now eliminated, hence the name Silent Mode. But beyond that, putting the Discount watch in silent mode will extend your power reserve. Unfortunately, even in silent mode, the watch still makes a loud beep per minute (when the time belt moves). Therefore, if you are in a situation where you need to eliminate this sound, you must “turn off” Tread 1. To “turn off” the watch, you simply press the crown once (same process for switching back to “on”). This will move the hour time band to “12”, the minute time band to “00” and the seconds time band will now show the remaining battery charge. To adjust the time, turn the crown clockwise and hold until the stopwatch band starts to move. Then, if you turn the crown clockwise again, the minute band will move in one-minute increments. If you hold the crown, the minute time zone will move faster to the minute you want. To adjust the hours, follow the exact same procedure as the minutes, but turn the crown counterclockwise. To exit time adjustment mode, press the crown once and it will switch back to normal mode. I still can’t believe how easy this watch is to operate…absolutely brilliant design. During my use of the watch, all functions worked well and the time was accurate.
The unique and dizzying design on the Devon Tread 1 is also accompanied by a host of features: a fiberglass-reinforced nylon strap, a microprocessor that controls all functions from the crown, four microstepping motors for rapid movement Time zone, but to be precise, large polycarbonate glass for a clear view of the movement, wireless charging, two-week power reserve, etc… My two biggest issues are the lack of sapphire crystal and the low water resistance (no actual depth rating). Devon recommends removing your watch before showering or swimming.
Surprisingly, this beast of a perfect watch is very comfortable on my 6.5-inch wrist. The curved lugs, soft rubber strap, multiple holes on the strap and tang buckle all contribute to overall comfort. The Tread 1 is one of the most comfortable (and largest) watches I’ve ever worn.