Review: SOKI wrist watch – The Cheap Chinese Darch Competitor –
First off – I thoroughly enjoy the quality to price comparison when buying items sourced from aliexpress.com and from online overseas retailers. Remember nearly 90% of all domestic goods have a starting origin for manufacturing in China. Every now and again an individual can luck out finding a real deal. I personally like the hunt, finding the a deal and seeing if my cheap gamble paid off, to me it is half the fun 🙂
The SOKI watch was ordered off aliexpress.com and shipped to Kansas City for less than a kids happy meal, with a much better toy inside ($3.88 Shipped!). After 3 weeks of continuous use the watch is still going strong. I have to say that the price quality ratio is very good! I was shocked it has lasted this long having nearly every day use and zero functional issues. The watch is so light I slept with it on by accident. Surprisingly the bracelet is actually comfortable, and the color combo is a classy white on black. Large numerals is where the SOKI has a win, having an easy to read dial face.
I like not having to worry about the watch I’m wearing, being upset if it gets bumped. However, at the same time I like the soki enough that I try to not bang it up and limit the abuse. When its time to do yard work or shovel snow I don’t balk if it is on my wrist, this little beauty was less than an extra value meal. I simply turn it around and get to work.
Admiring the SOKI sitting on my wrist 🙂
The start of buying watches off aliexpress.com and other Chinese watches was due to several reviews on watchuseek.com. I was on the hunt for a cheap field wrist watch that I could muck around in. I knew I wanted something similar to what macgyver wore in the TV series. On that same note I wanted something different than a Timex and it had to be cheap. The brand that always came up for a cheap beater watch was Darch. People all over the web were raving about Darch brands quality for a cheap military field watch. However, I could not find a Darch or Daich online anywhere. I feel the Darch watch company and the manufacturer have nearly gone out of business. Being out of luck with finding a Darch, the hunt was on to find a new field watch that was on par with the legendary one.
The SOKI 001 was the best deal I could find that was similar holding true to my field watch ambitions. I had read up on the SOKI brand and felt confident they were not complete junk, having loads of Russian sites with good reviews on them. The sticker shock was the best part. Under 5$ bucks, “is this real”? The price point on the soki was so low I could easily test the waters without much loss. The time to arrive was the only factor.
Comparison – Soki vs Darch (Daich Watch)
They are pretty close in looks. The Chinese SOKI 001 is your basic military field watch with a date window. The big difference is that there is no week day label on watch face of the soki, lacking the labels for Sun.Mon.Tue.Wed..etc.
Brand: SOKI – ( Inexpensive Chinese watch brand ordered from aliexpress : Ebay also sells them for around 8$ )
Price: $3.88 (This included shipping to USA – purchase date Nov. 2015 )
Online Seller: Store No.1441116 – Great experience – The seller was fast and the watch was received way before some of my other ali orders made the same day.
Packaging: Brown bag, taped down with bubble wrap, plastic baggie covered the watch.
Quality: Very impressed – Perfect for a knock around watch that cost only $3.88
Ship time: 3 Weeks to USA (KC)
Quote: My father whom is a watch enthusiast like myself said, “How the heck can they make that so cheap, and ship it to the USA ? Are they really making any kind of profit?”
Wrist bracelet: Decent quality – vinyl synthetic / faux leather – comfortable zero issues
Back: Stainless Steel – The case has not made my wrist turn green, and no signs of rust or other issues
Weight: Very light on the wrist – hardly noticeable! I think the light weight factor is why the soki is getting a lot of wrist time
Time Keeping: Excellent ! Zero time keeping issues – set it and forget it
Calendar Date: Zero issues
Style / Looks: I think the watch looks semi expensive and people think the label at first glance is a Luminox 🙂 . To me this watch is the perfect utility beater and looks highly fashionable.
Readability: Very Good! The watch has vintage styled over-sized numerals (NICE!)
Night Reading: Its hard to tell the time when there is low light. If its pitch black it is nearly out of the question. The SOKI watch has a very faint layer luminous on the dial / hands. You can put a UV light from a florescent light to charge the lume. That being said its still hard to see the time if there is no ambient background light. When I saw the new Starwars movie I had to wait for a brighter sequence to see what time it was.
Outer Paint: The bezel paint is thin, and will scratch off. Bezel paint is not terrible, but thin. After helping my wife’s friend move her TV some of the paint had rubbed off resulting from a bump.
Crystal / Watch Face: The crystal on the watch scratches somewhat easy, nothing bad but it is not a casio G-Shock. (The hair line I gave it was from a concrete parking garage pillar)
Not Water Proof: Then again how often am I deep sea diving. ( It can take a few splashes, but don’t take it in the shower or tub.)
Would I buy it again: YES 100% – More colors on the way :). I purchased a few as back-ups just in case this one fails, but there is nothing leading me to think it will. You can’t be beat the price point. On the backups I ordered I will pull the crown /stem and keep them around for later use.Can’t beat the price of $3.88 and that included the shipping.
More updates to come: Added a calendar notification on my phone to post about the SOKI in 6 months and then again in 1 year. As of now the SOKI watch is my daily time piece.
Thoughts: I still want a Darch model watch just for the fact that they have a huge following of people online still raving about their cheap beater. Someone posted a pic of a $9 Darch that is sill running 2 years later without any issues.
For now my cheapo SOKI watch will have to do, and there is nothing at all wrong with that!
What was the watch styled after:
From looking at other name brand watches online the SOKI 001 watch seems to be styled after the Luminox Atacama field. The bracelet and SOKI logo are very similar.
My best guess = Luminox Atacama Field Day (Atacama is a desert in Chile) Luminox Atacama Field Day Date
Luminox Atacama –>
Series: 1925, 1927 & 1922 -Atacama 45 Mm Field Blackout a.1921
(Left — Middle – Luminox 1921 Black out — Far right Atacama 1925)
Luminox Atacama / Luminox Field
SPECS SOKI wrist watch:
- Case Material:
- Stainless Steel
- Dial Window Material Type:
- Dial Material Type:
- Stainless Steel
- Water Resistance Depth: 3atm ( BrillianlyEasy – Not waterproof)
- Dial Diameter:
- 4.5 cm
- Band Width:
- Dial Display:
- Band Length:
- 25 cm
- Case Thickness:
- Model Number:
- SOKI 001