Tockr Air Defender Panda Dial Chronograph [Review]
A bold Swiss 7750 powered microbrand chrono
The Tockr Air Defender is a big cushion-case chronograph by a small Texan microbrand watch company. Tockr specializes in aviation inspired watches that are Born in Austin and Made in Switzerland. They have a few models in their command, but the Air Defender line is the top gun in the squad.
The brand took off like a bat out of hell in late 2017. A lot of newer brands play it safe and release one or two models in one or two colorways, but not Tockr. It may be a micro brand, but there is nothing micro about the configuration options available for their watches. The standard issue Air Defender is available in two different finishes (steel or black PVD), five dial colors (see below), and four strap choices. Then there’s the new Hydro Dipped collection which is endless.
This review takes an in-depth look at the ultra clean stainless steel/panda dial/calfskin configuration (ref: 4447). It is a limited edition with only 500 made.
The Air Defender Chronograph is stretches 45mm in diameter, not including the two crowns. The cushion case and internal bezel reinforce the feeling of it being a large watch. Adding the crowns makes for a total wing span of about 52mm. So, if you like big watches, then you are going to be in your comfort zone with the ADC.
Comment below: Do you consider crowns when thinking about diameter?
Both crown are screw-down style, helping with the 100m water resistance rating. The crown at 10:00 controls the internal rotating bezel with a 60 minute scale displaying markers in five minute increments. This can be useful for extra timing or even tracking a second time zone.
The chrono pushers are not screw-down, but it’s nice that they do not extend beyond the crown, even when it is screwed down. For a large chronograph, low profile pushers are one less thing to worry about getting caught on something.
The movement itself is almost 8mm tall, so you know you can expect the cushion case to stand tall on your wrist. With a height of 15mm, there is a nice balance to the diameter mentioned above.
Speaking of the movement, the Air Defender is a Swiss chronograph, so you can place your bets on which caliber they went with. That’s right, it’s an ETA/Valjoux 7750. If you’ve ever had a watch with this movement, you know that it’s fitting for an aviation inspired timepiece – the flick of the wrist feels like a propeller fired up. It is oddly satisfying for many watch geeks.
Even more satisfying is that Tockr customized the rotor on the Air Defender rather than using the off the shelf oscillating weight that comes on a stock 7750. The black and steel design matches perfectly with the panda dial on steel configuration.
Caseback Text: Reference 4447; XXX/500; 10 ATM Waterproof; Automatic Chronograph; Born in Austin TX, Made in Switzerland; 316L Stainless Steel
While the watch is flipped over, you can also see the quick release springbars that Tockr includes with their straps. Keep in mind that the bracelet model does not have the same quick release feature, so if you get one on steel and want to swap, you’re going to need a proper tool.
In case you want to add your own strap (which you know you will), then look for something that fits a 22mm lug-width, but not a strap that is too rigid.
The reason for this is that the lug hole sits about 4-5mm from the bottom of the exhibition caseback, and a rigid strap can cause gaps between the top sides of your wrist and the strap. The supple leather strap on this piece reduces the gap.
It is a large watch on the wrist, and not meant to be tucked away under your cuff. You will know it’s there, and so will everyone else, but not in a bad way. The Air Defender has a presence about it that isn’t overbearing. It is not only manageable, but also fun to wear. Especially the panda dial version. Just be extra careful of doorjambs.
The Air Defender is available in five different dials: Black, blue, gradient green to black (Hulk), silver sunburst with green accents (Silverado), and of course the panda style. If you’re on the fence about which go for, you cannot go wrong with the panda dial. The panda gives you legibility and style, while asserting “chronograph” loud and clear.
The Air Defender’s “box and papers” consists of a small leather storage case for travel and a USB warranty card. This is a lot better than an oversized cardboard box that is going to get dusty in your closet and fall apart when the glue dries up. Well done, Tockr!
The retail price as shown is $1,600 USD. The price goes up to $1,900 when selecting the black PVD on a stainless steel bracelet (and upto $3,250 for Hyro Dipped models). Let us know what you think about the Tockr Air Defender in the comments below.
This Tockr was sold in our watch store here. Browse more watches below…