If you’ve ever read magazines like Watch Times, Watch Journal, and The Robb Report, you’ve probably run across advertisements for stunning European watches with fascinating mechanical complications that include a subdial which shows the sun during the day and the moon at night. Such moon phase watches come from vaunted watch makers like Patek Philippe, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Roger Dubois, De Bethune, and Blancpain. However, you don’t have to pay thousands or tens of thousands of dollars to see the sun and moon on your watch dial. Fossil’s Relic brand offers a calendar watch with a quartz movement that looks like million bucks for a whole lot less. The watch is Model ZR15557. The Relic website calls it the Men’s Relic Silver Stainless Steel Multifunction Watch and the Kohl’s website calls it the Relic Stainless Steel Moon Phase Watch.
Regardless of whether you like the Moon Phase or Multifunction label, Relic Model ZR15557 is a beautiful timepiece with perfect proportions for business and formal occasions. It fits under a shirt sleeve easily. The stainless steel case is a slim 9 millimeters thick and a respectable 41 millimeters in diameter. The watch is water resistant to 100 feet. This Relic features three subdials to indicate the day of the week, date, and whether it’s day or night. In the daytime, a round orange sun rises in a subdial located at 6 o’clock and in the night a crescent moon rises. A subdial at 3 o’clock indicates the date and a subdial at 9 o’clock indicates the day of the week. These features are very cool for a watch that costs between $50 and $70.
Of course, Relic craftsmanship doesn’t quite reach the lofty heights of the world’s elite watchmakers. There are a few minor drawbacks to this watch. First, I found that the Relic Silver Stainless Steel fit my wrist perfectly. Otherwise, I would have had to have links removed by a jeweler. The clasp is not adjustable. Second, the font used for the subdial markings is small and can be difficult to read. Third, the moon and sun could be a little larger and brighter. Finally, this is also a dress watch so it does not have illumination or backlighting. The drawbacks of this watch pale in comparison to the value it delivers. While I’d much rather have an American-made Towson Gold Moon Phase Chronograph “Masterpiece”, the Men’s Relic Silver Stainless Steel Multifunction Watch will do in the long, long, interim. Overall, I would recommend this Moon Phase watch as an interesting and appropriate addition to any watch collection. It’s a great looking watch.
The watch face is simple. It is an almost white silver color with a shiny hashmark for each hour. Very small black numerals 1 through 12 divided by black minute hashmarks indicate the hour in the incline between the watch face and the watch crystal. The hour and minute hands are shiny metal and the thin second hand is a contrasting black. Inboard of the hour hashmarks, the dial is very subtly stippled to achieve a very high end look. The stippled surface reminds me of something you’d see on the Towson Benzinger Classic.