Milus Snow Star: Better than an Oyster Date?

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jason_recliner
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Milus Snow Star: Better than an Oyster Date?

Post by jason_recliner » August 3rd 2021, 5:51am

Note: I had hoped to take some photographs of this watch. Unfortunately, however, my hand is in a cast and will be for some time to come. This review is therefore text only; there are plenty of good quality photographs of the snow star here:
https://www.ablogtowatch.com/milus-snow ... ial-watch/
https://www.fratellowatches.com/milus-s ... tch/#gref

Introduction
Here's the TLDR: it's close, and several of the categories are subjective, so depending on your personal preferences you may disagree with this review. The Milus is superior to the Rolex in most objective aspects, however, and the subjective aspects are more to my liking. In my opinion, therefore, the Snow Star is better than the Oyster Date. Read on if you want to know how I came to this unlikely conclusion.

The Brands
One of the watches being compared is a Rolex and for some that will be enough. Milus is a tiny company in comparison. It is owned and managed by the Tissot family now. I'm not a fan of massive corporations and prefer to give my money to an independent family-owned business. The Tissots have a long history in the watchmaking business.
Having a crown as a logo strikes me as the height of pretension. The Milus robot-alien-pumpkin-TV logo looks pretty cool to me.
SS: 1
OD: 0

Cases
Both watches feature cases constructed from 904 L stainless steel. Looking at the contours, details, and polish, it looks as though both use similar manufacturing methods. The Snow Star is water resistant to 100 meters, I think the oyster date might be 200 meters. While 200 meters may seem superior on paper, it seems to have compromised aspects of the case unnecessarily; the case height and the crown. The Snow Star is a wonderful 9.45 mm, noticeably slimmer than the rather chunky oyster case. The Snow Star has also achieved a perfectly adequate level of water resistance without requiring a screw down crown. This makes setting the time and winding the watch simpler and easier, and also eliminates any risk of crossed crown tube threads.

Both casebacks are fairly similar, being solid. The Milus features some engraved text, summarising some of the technical specifications of the watch, as well as a logo. It looks to be individually numbered, with the number also engraved. Finally the Milus has notches such that it can be opened with a regular caseback tool; definitely an advantage when it's time for a service. Unless you are particularly enamored by the plain oyster caseback the Milus caseback looks more interesting and is more practical. Although I enjoy a display caseback, that possibly would compromise the very thin case and as a result I think Milus made the right decision going with a solid caseback.
SS: 2
OD: 0

Dial and handset
Both watches feature beautiful, quite different dials and handsets. The biggest difference functionally, is that the oyster features lume on the hands and indices, whereas the Snow Star has no lume whatsoever. In terms of quality Rolex uses gold for the indices and the logo, which is a very classy and luxurious touch. I feel the Snow Star would benefit significantly from an applied metal logo even though the printing is of quite a high standard. I rarely use my watches in darkness, and I liked the idea of a watch with no elements that may degrade or weather overtime e.g. loom, so the absence of lume is advantageous to me, personally. I imagine many will disagree. I love the multifaceted Snow Star indices which are so sharp and reflective they appear they may have been individually machined.

Modern Rolex handsets are very high quality but I just don't really like the style. The dauphine hands of the Snow Star are sometimes described as classic, however, I find they lack a bit of personality, not an accusation that could be made of the Rolex. The Milus hands are beautifully made, however, being laser cut and rhodium plated.
This one is close; I'm giving it to Rolex primarily due to the use of gold for the indices and the applied gold logo.
SS: 2
OD: 1

Crystal
The Snow Star crystal is superior to the Oyster Date, being domed and featuring an anti-reflective coating. The Oyster crystal looks a bit cheap in comparison.
SS: 3
OD:1

Movement
Both watches contain very good mass-produced automatic movements inside. The Snow Star has a top grade 2892, the Rolex has whatever Rolex uses. The Rolex movement is technically superior, featuring anti magnetic components and a longer power reserve. Unfortunately they are difficult to get parts for and the parts are expensive. I'm a fan of the 2892, having found it is accurate enough, smooth to wind, thin, pretty enough when decorated with blue screws and perlage, and any half decent watchmaker can repair it. The red printed date wheel is a stylish touch, complementing the red text on the dial. I don't spend much time around strong magnets and I don't have any trouble keeping a watch wound, so I'd rather have the 2892 inside. But the Oyster has a better movement
SS: 3
OD: 2

Strap/Bracelet
The Snow Star is not available with a bracelet. If you must have a bracelet this isn't the watch for you. I love the look with the strap and cannot imagine it looking better with any bracelet. Rolex bracelets are bland, staid, and dated. Not a good look and they really let an otherwise nice watch down. Yes, you can fit any number of straps, but it's not a watch designed from the outset to go with them. The fabric Milus strap, leather lined for comfort and a higher quality feel, has been designed to compliment the very handsome watch head; the beautifully machined 904L buckle is choice. Easy win to the Snow Star in my opinion, but it doesn't make sense to compare a strap with a bracelet and some people love bracelets. I'm going to call this one a draw.
SS: 4
OD: 3

Conclusion
4 vs 3 is a close run thing and depending on your priorities maybe you would prefer the Rolex. But by most objective objective measures the Snow Star is superior. I would probably weight the watch head rating higher as I feel this most contributes to the feel of a watch, and the Milus is just so much sleeker and more comfortable than the slightly clunky Oyster case. The Snow Star is a fucking nice watch; I’ve had a lot of watches over the years but none have surprised me like this one.
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Re: Milus Snow Star: Better than an Oyster Date?

Post by TemerityB » August 3rd 2021, 7:26pm

Finally, someone is writing about Milus. Been on my radar for a long time, but had a heck of a time getting info. This stuff is great!

And Milus is the real deal. Once again, a lack of "brand recognition" affords canny watch buyers legit bargains. Good. Cripes, even TV Antenna Adams thinks they're ginchy.
The Best Invicta Ever is: The ones you used to own. - Boscoe
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