don't buy a St. Moritz made-in-Canada watch

published : 2011.06.12

This is my former watch. It's a "Momentum" by St. Moritz.

dead St. Moritz Momentum timepiece
St. Moritz Momentum timepiece

the story

In 2005 I was looking for a watch after going without one for about six months. I thought that because I lived in a major industrial nation, I'd buy local. The only "made in Canada" timepieces I could find at the time were from St. Moritz. I was pleased to find an affordable model I liked in the Momentum. It was a $200 casual titanium design with a simple bezel and a numbered dial. With a quartz movement it had a low profile that would fit under my sleeve. As it was a set-and-forget quartz, I was expecting years of service as a daily wearer.

Buying a fashion brand watch was a deviation from the inexpensive quality watches I'd had from brands like Lorus, and would turn out to be a mistake. Whereas before I'd relied on years of service with machine-made pieces from distant Asian automated factories, this "made in Canada" fashion piece would be a dud. (I'll have a bit more to say about the "made in Canada" later.)

The problems began when I bought the watch with the nice-looking stitched leather strap rather than the bracelet option. During that first summer, that leather simply fell apart. I'd worn watches with leather straps for years and had never seen anything like it. Disappointed, I bought a second one from St. Moritz -- an expensive and slow process given that I was by then living in Tokyo. That second band also rotted away in the course of a year. My inquiries with the company went nowhere: they simply didn't respond. Instead of learning my lesson, I then ordered the metal bracelet from St. Moritz. While the more expensive bracelet finally managed to last two whole years, this longevity was more than the watch itself had in it.

Because during the hot Tokyo summer of 2010 the watch suddenly fogged up. I don't know if it was moisture or mold, and I didn't care -- it was supposed to be a water-resistant watch.

In November of that year I had a opportunity to take the thing into the Mountain Equipment Co-op in Toronto, to which I'd returned. Walking up to the sales counter I noted that they were still displaying the latest model of this same watch. I told the fellow, "Hi, I bought one of these watches."

"That's too bad," he said.

In the ensuing conversation, it turned out that everybody's leather straps had disintegrated, and that St. Moritz no longer sold that type of strap. Instead, they were selling a faux-leather that's suppose to last longer. He held one up for me and instructed me to smell it. Chocolate?! Yes, they'd impregnated the fake leather with the smell of chocolate. I declined. The fellow at the watch counter told me to take the watch to the service counter for a trip back to the "manufacturer" (read "assembler").

At the service counter, I was told that many of the watches were turning up fogged. When I asked, "What about the dive rating," she said that she'd heard from the manufacturer that prolonged exposure to humidity was actually worse than outright immersion in water. Sounds nutty to me, but then not as nutty as chocolate-flavored watch straps. Some fogging is to be expected in a watch under certain circumstances -- it goes away again as the moisture reverts to vapor. But this was persistent and clearly indicated a problem.

a bad end

By January, I got the watch back. The fogging was gone. But now the watch was moving slowly. "Needs a new battery," I told myself, and took it to a shop in the neighborhood. A couple of days after the battery switch, the thing once again started getting progressively slow. I'd been warned that this might happen by the jeweler who sold me the battery. Whatever he'd seen had troubled him, but he'd warned that that would mean the thing needed to be disassembled and properly repaired.

In only five years I watched it become useless despite no strenuous use. I never once immersed it in water. Now thrice-bitten, I was leery to spend more on a repair that could be required again in only a few years. I'm amazed that they didn't replace the inexpensive quartz movement before sending it back to me despite everything I'd spent on the watch.


There are several brands that offer much greater reliability. Fashion brands may dabble in rugged designs as this Momentum was meant to be, but the real thing lies elsewhere. In my experience the Japanese manufacturers are the reverse of brands like Guess and St Moritz and other short-lived watches I've had: they make no loud claims but instead deliver real reliability.

As evidence, I'll start with the Lorus quartz "date-just" homage that was a gift to me from my parents in 1989. It lasted fifteen years and cost $85.

I'll then move on to my Casio Duro, which lasted eight years and at $50 it cost a quarter of what the St Moritz did before my various replacements.

I've now had an Alba solar watch, which like the Lorus is made by Seiko. It's been two years and the only issue I've had is that the cheaply-applied paint on the bezel has chipped off. This watch cost the equivalent of $90.

When it comes to ruggedness, I doubt that anything can beat Casio. At $100, my son's Casio DW-6900B "Fox fire" has now run for three years and shows no sign of slowing down. It's a digital watch with an animated complication but hasn't even required a battery change. As far as durability, it's rated at 20 Bar water resistance and it's so far survived two bicycle spills and who knows what other forms of mistreatment.

My final comparison is with a $22 Casio W-218H, another digital model that I wear for abusive activities like fishing and hiking that could destroy a more expensive watch. I've had it for nearly two years and its cheap plastic band has outlasted two leather bands from St. Moritz.

More recently, I've become interested in some Chinese brands. I have one watch that costs about $15 and according to one Youtube review I've seen I can expect it to last a decade. I also have an automatic (mechanical) watch that's over two years old and comes with a sapphire crystal despite costing only about $80: again, sapphire crystal and automatic movement! I've had no sign of fogging despite having replaced the hands on the watch.

Update, 2019: I now wear a Seiko day to day and have had no problems with it for five years and see no sign that it won't last for many years to come. It's the automatic SARB033 I mention in the link below, and it cost less all in than my ill-fated St. Moritz.

Several readers over the years have countered my story with better news of their own. I'm glad to hear it, as I still want to "buy local" when I can. But I eventually learned that this company doesn't really make the watches in Canada. They're only assembled in the country -- which for all I know just means adding the chocolate-flavored straps. With inexpensive quality alternatives out there, I don't believe it makes sense to buy "fashion brands" that won't support their product.

related reviews

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my fishing watch – the Casio MDV-106


I bought a beater Casio that turned out to be a fine watch – with a few warts.

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I was shocked to receive this fine watch from Casio's "metal twisted G-shock" line as a 50th birthday present.

review - Alba solar watch


Can a beater both be perfect and a disaster at once? Alba argues yes.

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That sucks.

I, too, like the idea of things 'Made in Canada' and by that wish, too, it included manufacturing (as opposed to only assembling).

As for St. Moritz, though, I have to say I am quite pleased with the model I purchased of theirs (via MEC) some years ago now. It's worth adding I have a rubber banded model.

I do have one small complaint, though it's not much of an issue really: the bright orange of the second hand faded. I brought it to their locating in Vancouver where they re-painted it or replaced it for free but it too eventually faded.

Overall I am very happy with my watch and happened across this as I was planning to look at other St. Morritz models (I'l like a watch with an alarm). I am curious what direct contact you have had with them and specifically what their response was.

If those Tense Wood watches are Canadian made why are they importing exotic woods? I can only assume our are not suitable, however, do foreign woods not put into question their genesis to some degree?

Aside from that I don't think I'd be at all comfortable with a wooden watch.


Yuri Doric
2012.07.09 00:00:00

I'm glad that your experience with the St. Moritz was a happy one.

My contact with St. Moritz came to twice replacing the leather strap and once sending the watch back for repair. The replacement leather strap they sent met the same fate as the first one - it disintegrated. And the "repair" didn't seem to have worked out.

I think these are cheaply constructed timepieces. Looks like it's true what they say, you get what you pay for. Happily, no one really needs a wristwatch in the era of the mobile phone.

And no, I never bought one of the wooden timepieces.


Too bad you've had such a bad experience. I have had the same St Moritz professioal dive watch for 15 years, as had my wife. I have had this thing ripped off my wrist twice in huge bike crashes, its been pummelled in surf and abused in snow and it is still perfect except for some well earned scratches on the rotating bezel (which still functions perfectly) Whenever I need service, I drop by St Moritz and they service pretty much for free with a smile. I would buy another St Moritz watch in a heartbeat, especially the professional dive watches. Perhaps the lighter models are not meant for abuse but I can recommend the dive professional. Good luck.

John C
2012.12.14 00:00:00

That's great to hear. Mine wasn't up to the challenge of being worn to work on a regular basis; maybe it's just that the more recent ones are the problem? But I know I'm not alone, when I brought it to the MEC to see about a repair, the fellow behind the counter looked at it, shook his head, and said, "Yeah, I bought one too..."

Only watch I've ever thrown in the garbage in my entire life.

Thanks for writing, I've posted your comment to the site.


I am an airline pilot and a timepiece is very important in my life. I have several watches of varying quality such as Cardinal, Citizen, Breitling (Aerospace), St Moritz. By far the worse watch is the St Moritz. Although very attractive in the showcase it is not made for endurance. Cheap leather strap, unreliable seconds movement. Too bad, love to buy Canada made. Over priced watch which I do not recommend for anyone on the go. Should stay in the store window where it belongs. Better off buying a cheapo at at Walmart than a St Moritz.

2012.12.16 00:00:00

Well put, LT.


I purchased a Momentum M1 St Moritz watch from the store Watch IT and am having exactly the same fogging up issues. 1st time it happened I took it back to the Vancouver location (pain in the rear to get to) and paid $30-$40 to get it fixed. They put it through some tests which I think works out how the moisture got in there but of course it's the customer that did something wrong. That being said it wasn't a massive fee for the repair and I think they actually put a new faceplate in. The watch was mailed back to me and the fogging was gone. Only 3 weeks later the fogging is back and there is not a chance that the time adjustment dial had been opened. As far as we were concerned this thing was sealed and considering the water resistance depth is 200M it's not doing a very good job 'above' sea level. It wasn't even worn in the shower. Not sure what to do really other than just give St Moritz watches a miss in the future as it's just an inconvenience. I'm 45 years of age, have owned many watches and even the cheap ones have never steamed up. I too purchased the watch because it was a local company but whats the point. St. Moritz in Vancouver, Canada, you get a big thumbs down from me.

Andrew G
2012.12.28 13:11:04

> I too purchased the watch because it was a local company but whats the point.

Exactly. Adding injury to insult, isn't it - I'd love to know if there's anyone actually making watches in Canada.


I am a watch collector and own about 20 watches some Rolex some Breitling and Tags most Swiss but a few From Japan . Saying all that the St Moritz line is about at the same level as most Japanese watches. In fact most of their watches are Japanese movements with some Swiss movements. I believe they are a good over all watch if you stay with a dive style watch with a rubber or metal bands you can buy more then one at those prices without the need to lock up your watches in a bank volt like with the high end Swiss watches, always remember you get what you pay for to so don't compare a 10,000 Breitling to any 300$ watch made any where.

2013.01.03 17:59:58

You make some good points, thanks for writing. Thanks in particular for the comparison with Japanese watches, I was considering buying a replacement while in Japan for the near year.

I really don't know anything about $10,000 watches but I do expect that even a relatively inexpensive watch would last longer than three years. I was willing to invest in repair and did so (in addition to replacing two leather straps in as many years), but neither the manufacturer nor a watch repair shop in my area could resolve the issues. I posted the article on my website as a simple warning that the watches aren't worth what St. Moritz is charging.


I bought a Pathfinder men's watch some 10 years ago and returned it because it fogged up. I bought a Titan II about 8 years ago and I love it. I did need to have it serviced when the alarm (on/off) button came out but the service was quick and inexpensive. I certainly would recommend the Titan II because it is very light (titanium body) has an analog alarm and a stop watch. Two years ago I discovered a Speidel watch band made of some kind of rubber with a quick on/off clasp. It is fantastic and sells for $6.99 at Kmart.

2013.02.12 19:15:21

I'm glad the second watch worked out for you. Thanks for leaving your note.


I have a St Moritz Pathfinder, and it has easily outlasted the last two Seiko watches I owned. It is now over 5 years old, and I have never had a fogging problem, despite wearing it snorkelling, kayaking and swimming regularly. I have had it serviced twice at St Moritz, plus I have replaced the band twice (they do wear out). In my experience, Customer Service at St Moritz is brilliant. No problems with accuracy, either and for a sub $200 watch, I am generally pretty impressed, with absolutely no basis to complain. I would certainly replace it with another St Moritz product, when that becomes necessary.

Don Radford
2013.03.14 20:06:49

Glad to hear it, Don. You were luckier than I!


I've used my St. Moritz Momentum daily since 2006. I've only had to replace the battery. It's the best bang for the buck in terms of dive watches. It's been through a lot as my primary watch. Diving, cycling, running, being knocked around, and not a scratch on the face. It keeps the time perfectly. I have the black rubber band... I'd really question why anyone would want to have a leather band on a dive watch anyway. My only complaint is the band, over time (7 years) the band has stretched a little bit, leaving it a little loose on my wrist. But in my opinion the band is not the watch, and bands should be replaced periodically.

2013.04.03 04:51:10

Allan, it sounds like you have a good watch. I bought mine prior to yours, I don't know what went wrong, perhaps I just got a lemon. But it wasn't even up to daily urban wear.

Thanks for leaving your comment.


Sir, I don't know what you're fussing about in your article. A leather strap, if you wear your watch regularly, do wear out after a year or so and would need replacing. And why are you going back to St. Moritz to get another strap when you can order straps on the internet in any size, material, and style for as little as $10.00 or less? What kind of special support are you expecting from that company for something as trivial as a watch strap? It's not like you bought a PP, VC, AP, ALS, JLC, Breguet, or other high end luxury watches, and an original strap would enhance the ownership experience. Your St. Moritz is made up of parts from mixed origins of dubious quality. They could be made in Japan, SE Asia, China, even India and Vietnam; I certainly would not trust what the company claims regarding the water resistance rating of its watches without some proven track record. Don't even bother to spend any money on repairing your screwed up watch, the cost of the repair is more than what you paid for the purchase of it. I use to wear a Swatch Irony a few years ago. When I took it to my watchmaker to change the battery, I asked him if I need to have my Swatch serviced periodically like a mechanical watch, to which he replied not to bother because the cost of the service or repair would be more than what I paid for the watch originally. Therefore, I might as well throw it away and buy another one if servicing is ever needed. That's what you should do with your St. Moritz; it's junk, throw it out. Did you say you spent $300 on your watch? Instead of a St. Moritz, you could have bought a pretty decent model from the following list of manufactures: Seiko, Citizen, Casio, Swiss Army (or Swiss Military), Swatch, even Timex. Those contain Japanese/Swiss ETA/American made movements and parts which are most likely more reliable and better known than an obscure, mad cap brand like St. Moritz.

2013.06.25 04:04:06

What I'm fussing about is that I paid for a watch that I did not expect to be worthless in 2-3 years. As a Canadian, I tried buying a product "made" here. In sharing my story, I hope that others won't make the same decision for the same reason.

Between citing both Timex, a Swatch you had to throw away, and various expensive name brands, I'm not at all sure what you're advocating in your comment?


I bought a Momentum watch with rubber watchband at REI and swim with it, run with it also. No problems. Keeps uncannily accurate time.

2013.08.14 21:05:03

Glad to hear it David, I'm envious. Thanks for leaving a note.


I bought a Momentum M1 today. At $175 I consider it a really cheap dive watch. I have no real expectations except that it will get me through this weekend. Having said that, Momentum now insists that retailers recite a longish warranty and usage explanation to every purchaser of the watch: How to unscrew the crown, set the date and time, how to screw it back down correctly. The warranty does not cover water damage due to a loose crown. Don't ask me how they would know the difference between loose crown damage or a defective seal... maybe they have moisture indicators in the watch like MacBooks?... Anyways, apart from crown induced water damage, their warranty is two years. When two years is almost up, send the watch back to them. They'll replace the battery, and warranty the watch for another two years. Repeat over and over for the lifetime of the watch. I tend to abandon even expensive watches after two or three years, so how can I lose? If the watch comes back from a diving trip full of water, and they blame me for not screwing down the crown properly, I write a blog post about it and move on to another watch company... like you did.

2013.09.27 15:22:35

Good luck with your watch, it seems from the comments that the company is still producing some good watches. Your plan makes sense.

I was recently given a 55-year-old German-made watch from a defunct manufacturer that is still keeping great time. I need to wind it daily but it's a reminder that at one time buying a watch wasn't a complete crap-shoot for the budgets of everyday people.


I have a St.. Moritz Titan I (thats right, the first model). It has performed flawlessly for so many years I can't remember how old it is. My favorite watch bar none! Only problem I have had is the metal band is NLA and the titan II band doesn't fit (it is now NLA as well) but ther is a perfect titanium replacement band that shows up occasionly on Ebay and I bought one of those to replace my broken clasp. My son has a Titan II and he is equally happy. Too bad you have had a bad experience but in my world St. Moritz watches are a great value for the money.

2013.11.03 17:37:42

I do hear positive stories like yours. Just wish they'd get the quality control actually under control.


What I am advocating in my previous comment is ..... chill, no need to hit the ceiling with your blood pressure over a heap of refuse like St. Moritz. You only spent ~$300; you get what you paid for. Sorry, I take that comment back. Whether you spent too much or too little depends on what you bought. Obviously you didn't spent your $300 wisely by buying a St. Moritz. I very much wanted to say I sympathize with you, but I don't really. I've mentioned this in my last comment, and I still feel the same way ----- For $300 you could have bought a really decent and reliable Japanese watch with a Japanese movement, or a Swiss watch with a Swiss movement, or an American watch with an American movement, etc. instead of a pile of junk from a little known and unproven brand like St. Moritz, which uses parts with dubious quality. Basing your purchase decision solely on "made in Canada" just doesn't seem right. However, it's your money, and you have the right to flush it down the toilet in any manner you prefer. If I were in your situation, I would not waste anymore time or money, or have any hope for St. Moritz. I would consider the money I already spent to be "tuition fee" for learning a valuable lesson ----- buy from reputable brands and manufacturers if you're spending more than $19.99. Also, as a general rule you get what you pay for, even though YOU did not. By the way, you seem to have misunderstood my last post. My 13 yr. old Swatch Irony is still running and keeping accurate time. It never needed any repair or special attention other than a new battery every 3 to 4 years. I received it as a gift (I doubt it cost more than $100), and it has a custom fitted factory bracelet that is still holding up well. I haven't wore it for 2 yrs. only because I became interested in wearing vintage watches. I also own a 22 yr. old Seiko complication watch that never needed anything other than a new battery every few years. That watch cost me barely $95. Now that's money well spent, don't you agree?

2014.01.25 04:30:48

My friend, if I could parse the meaning of this post, perhaps I could agree.


I'm glad I didn't see your forum before I bought my Pathfinder. It's been running flawlessly for 4 years here in the wet temperate rainforests of BC with no sign of fogging up, or anything other problem to speak of. It's mated to one of their Italian rubber bands and it's proving to be a durable combo. I had St. Moritz' service department in Vancouver change the battery once. If it's still in the original 2 year warranty period they pressure check it (to make sure it won't leak and fog up like yours) and then extend the warranty to 4 years for no extra charge. Then they'll even do the same thing again and extend the warranty to 6 years. To me this is an example of a company that stands behind its product. It's too bad you didn't take advantage of the extended warranty plan, but maybe you should just bite the bullet and see if they can still fix it. They used to somehow keep breathing life into my 20+ year old Sportiva until I decided to upgrade to this Pathfinder.

2014.08.07 21:50:04

I'm glad to hear that you had better luck than I did; as I explained, I sent it back to them and they looked at it without charging me, but it came to nothing. My guess is that QC might not be 100% or that the weeks of 40°C weather in Tokyo was just too much.


I Got a st moritz professional 200 m ( dive watch) not working i have change the battery...still not working any idea

2014.12.23 22:42:13

I'd decide a budget on having it repaired, and get an estimate. E.g. Bring it back to the shop and let them send it back to the manufacturer.

I did this with Mountain Equipment Co-op, and they did just that for me. (After warning me that they, too, thought the watches weren't terribly good.)

Good luck!


Hi Michael, Just came across this post and wanted to let you know that I had this watch for 10 years (2002-2012 RIP) with no problems other than fairly short battery life (~2-3 yrs avg). I too got mine with a leather strap such as yours and it didn't last very long. Replaced with a cheap Timex Expedition strap from Wallyworld several times. Canoeing, camping, swimming, snorkeling in Mexico - it took it all in stride and never missed a beat. The sapphire crystal on it never scratched (although the titanium case wasn't as lucky). Loved the low profile and light weight. I gifted my wife the same model a few years ago (was on clearance at MEC since the Pathfinder II was released). and she hasn't had any issues either. For the $160 spent, it was a great watch. Don't know where you can get one comparable (i.e. sapphire crystal, titanium case and an alarm) for close to that price. It's at the bottom of a flooded quarry now, having come off my wrist when the worn velcro Expedition strap came loose after I dove in. Maybe one day I'll bring down some dive gear and go looking for it :) Sorry you didn't have a good experience with this watch but I still miss mine.... -Stephen

2015.01.10 20:26:27

Thanks for commenting, Stephen. You're certainly not the only one to report a great run from the watch, I wish for the reasons you cite (low profile, good crystal, unobtrusive looks) that mine had fared as well. The luck of the draw it seems, and to my mind that's a problem with a watch. I've now got a Seiko SARB-033 - which in Japan was twice the price of the momentum - and despite its greater weight and higher profile I wouldn't trade. It keeps time with remarkable accuracy for a mechanical watch, is a bit more presentable in a business setting, and will last for decades. When doing anything that might scratch a watch, I wear a non-sapphire Casio that cost me less than $50 including shipping. It's now badly scratched indeed, and when I break it, I'll buy a cheap plastic digital.

So it sounds like you really wear your watches - do you plan to buy another?


came across this thread while researching that watch. Momentums claim that the leather strap is finely stiched Italian is just ludicrous! What l see is a glued split hide, with four single stiches at each lug. The buckle area seems to have a two coil single stich on each side and one single stich hold the end of the strap together. This extremely poor design will deteriorate very quickly under normal everyday use. Moisture of any type will only excellerate strap failure.

2016.07.31 13:50:37

Thanks for the comment, Thomas. Would you recommend replacing the strap with something better (and hopefully commonly available)? Or is the watch still hit-and-miss as reader comments suggest?


I bought a St. Moritz Momentum Atlas 38 watch with "water resistant" leather strap. The strap failed in less than 3 months even though I only used the watch in the shower. I will replace the band with SLK rubber that they offer on their website, hope it lasts longer.

2016.08.02 20:58:32

Good luck, Sergey. Thomas, another commenter on the site you visited, says that the leather straps are particularly cheaply made. I hope the one you're buying is not one of the chocolate-scented ones from that manufacturer!


I see no point in buying a new watch, then immediately spend more money on a new leather band. If the Pathfinder lll came with a quality leather strap or nylon strap at a better price, l might bite. But l do know of three Steelix Nylon watches that have been badly abused and are still going strong. A couple of years ago, a young friend of ours and two of buddies all bought watches before going into basic training. The watches have all help up and the boys have nothing but praise for Momentum

2016.08.04 15:56:57

I'm very glad to hear that Momentum's doing something right. I'd like to see a Canadian watch company succeed. I would have given them feedback directly if they'd given me the time of day when I contacted them.


Even though Momentum is a Canadian owned company, there is nothing Canadian made about their products... except that is was designed in Canada. There are hundreds of companies out there that assemble their watches the same way. The parts, materials and labour are cheaply out sourced from China and elsewhere. If watches does has a Swiss or Japanese movement, there will be premium to be paid. Most likely the movement is made in Malaysia or China.

2016.08.04 16:17:05


Then there is the deception on what parts actually are in any watch. The Pathfinder says that it has "a new unique “Touch” alarm movement from ISA of Switzerland". One would assume by the wording used, that the movement was made in Switzerland right? And if that were the case, Momentum would write Swiss Movement on the dial face. In reality..... Momentum just says that the movement is from ISA of Switzerland, not made in Switzerland.

2016.08.04 16:17:31


It also sounds to me that their unique warranty and service plan is there for a reason! Why make consumer pay for an extended warranty plan every two years, just to have their battery changed? I am not sure how much they charge for this so called "service", but by the end of your six years, you will have spent enough money to buy a new watch. That $220 Pathfinder 3 watch that l like, is going to end up costing me $340 at the end of six years!

2016.08.04 00:00:00

It's interesting, to reconstruct a company's profile model through their behaviors. I imagine that that follow-on plan, and cost-cutting in things like the strap, makes the whole venture profitable.


Here's a new complaint. I bought a Moritz watch in Toronto some time back. As per the instructions I sent it back to the MFG every once in awhile for a cleaning and a battery replacement. The most current request for a new battery was "we are no longer servicing that model" I also have taken it to a jeweller or two, here in the states. No one seems to know how to open the case. Does anyone have any idea how to open the watch case?

2016.08.05 20:47:23

What? "No longer service that model"! Assuming you've paid for the warranty, I wonder what your state consumer protection laws would have to say about that. Because that wouldn't fly up here.

I don't know how you'd go about opening the case, maybe you could call Moritz and ask for some instructions and/or the equipment needed? Hopefully, someone else reading this will respond with a tip. I'll pass along anything that comes up.

Thanks for your comments,


I have only been buying St Moritz watches since 1990. Back then the watches had St Moritz stamped on the face. I own about 8 of their watches and have NEVER been disappointed. In my opinion, they make the best watches for the price. I can't afford nor do I want a luxury brand of watch and have only been purchasing St Moritz for the past 25 years. I will never buy another brand of watch.

2016.09.02 00:16:06

Good to hear that they're working well for you, Marnie!


I started collecting automatics over 15 years ago. About 10 years ago I came across St Moritz/Momentum (Quartz). I hate saying "great value for the money" because it makes them sound cheap. Let's just say I wear my Momentums (5) more than I wear my more expensive (Breitling, Doxa, Glashutte,etc.) watches. For the money you can't beat them. I change out most of my bands for high quality leather straps so I can't speak to the issue the original post had.

2016.12.02 22:23:18

Thanks for leaving your story, Bob. It seems that you bought yours around the same time I bought mine. Perhaps it's a matter of quality control: some people get keepers, others are throwing the watch in the garbage after two years.


I benefited from the site In evaluating Momentum watches

thanks a lot..

Successful efforts

2016.12.06 00:00:00

Great! Did you buy one, in the end?


You are truly an idiot.

2017.01.20 11:40:18

Says the anonymous troll.


I bought an M1 many years ago after reading a review in some outdoor mag about its ruggedness as an ABC watch. I've used It in many outdoor sports including scuba, sailing, mountaineering, skiing.... it has been indestructible and reliable with only two battery and one strap (black rubber) change through the years. I have a variety of other watches from pedestrian to luxury and keep coming back to my old M1. It has been a great watch, not too big on my wrist and great value for me.

2017.01.23 12:17:28

That's great to hear, Steve. Wish I could say the same; mine couldn't handle the rigors of a Tokyo summer!


I own a Momentum M1 watch purchased in 2002. I purchased this watch because it was the only watch I could find which had a stainless steel case for less than $300. I paid about $180 for the watch when every other stainless steel watch was over $500. It has a Japanese movement as noted in the bottom of the watch face. I have been wearing it daily for the last 15 years, with the original band. I very rarely ever remove it, I swim, ski, shower with it all the time. the only thing I've ever done is to replace the battery about every two/three years. I have never even replaced the gasket and yet it continues to be waterproof. It's been the best watch I've ever owned, and I've owned plenty. For the price it can't be beat. I wonder if the quality of their watches has diminished over the years?

2017.04.13 14:14:17

It sure sounds that way, Sam! That said, I bought mine around 2004 so I wonder. Various commenters on my site have reported great luck, bad luck like mine, and scathing reviews of the materials/assembly/design. It's like there are different versions of these watches out there. Just my luck to get a lemon, but the irritating thing is that Momentum refuses to support their product.


I purchased a (St. Moritz) Momentum M50 Mark II about three months ago. My "go to" watch for work is a 1997 (yet still fantastic) Omega Seamaster 120. I also have an old Tag Heuer, and a Bulova Accutron. So why did I buy a St. Moritz? Well, I was looking for a military-style,quartz movement, diver's watch for under $300. There were plenty of safer choices, including Seiko and Citizen. But I came across Momentum watches and read positive reviews. I also liked the novelty of a Canadian watch...and the feature set (sapphire crystal; 500m WR) was a good value for a $250 watch. I must admit: I absolutely love the watch. Is it possible that St. Moritz has improved their quality control? Or perhaps the Momentum line is somewhat different? Maybe I lucked out but I adore my M50 Mark II.

Rick in Atlanta
2017.05.13 01:37:51

Good luck, Rick. A watch company that won't stand by its products is a gamble.


This is an interesting bit of information you should know about all watches unless the are hydro filled, in the right conditions all watches will fog up. here is a watch sell demonstrating this. Since you were in Japan the humidity must have changed as you were traveling so you have to be very careful when setting the date and time of watches as it may allow humid air to get into your watch. The link is to the video demonstration of fogging a brand new watch up. by Long Island watches on youtube:

2017.07.16 12:02:06


What I found sad was that the manufacturer didn't so much as look at it when MEC sent them the thing.

Thanks for the link. 8)


Hi Interesting reading everyone’s comments on the st Moritz watch. I bought two from eBay about 15 years ago because they were rated to a depth of 12000 metres, that’s right 12000 metres. This was made possible by the watches being filled with a silicon liquid thereby making them non compressible at great depths. Needless to say I never tested the manufactures claims, but the watches did work and kept good time for a few years. Fast forward to the present. I decided to get them working again, I couldn’t remove the quick release battery cover from one watch so I moved to the second one. Success, until I tried to extricate the battery from the watch. It seems to have got jammed in the holder in the watch. So there’s my story and BTW I can’t find that particular watch for sale

2018.01.24 22:12:45

Thanks for the story, Chris. I've never seen any watch that made that claim for water resistance, but it's good to hear that they served you well.


Sorry to hear of your bad experience. I have owned a Momentum dive watch for over 10 years, and have been exceptionally happy with it. It keeps incredibly accurate time, and, with the exception of battery changes - all done at the Service Centre in Vancouver - it has never failed, despite being subjected to challenging conditions sailing the BC coast. Mine came with a metal band, so I can't speak to the leather band issues, but I must agree with several other comments - for the money, it can't be beat!

2018.04.05 10:42:51

Glad to hear it, Art!


I bought my M1 4 years ago .black plastic strap and pale white face. I had a chance to buy same watch with the yeller face newat a Divers Direct for $85.00 but momma said does your watch work ,yep so she said no. now they dont make that watch. I love the thinness of the watch. it doesnt get caught reaching into machines I work on. Great watch.

ken wms
2018.04.30 19:56:30

Thanks for leaving your comment, Ken.


I bought a Momentum Atlas Special Edition 38mm less than two weeks ago. The watch is beautiful and keeps good time. I couldn’t be happier with this purchase except for the band. It is supposed to be an Italian leather strap but in reality it’s a piece of crab. That is fake leather and not Italian for sure. I agree with Michael 100% in that respect. I removed the band from the watch and threw it away and replaced it for a real leather one. I spoke with a customer service representative in the US and he promised to send me a black cordura strap in the next two or three days free of charge. I like my watch from Momentum but I have lost trust in them since they are falsely advertising their products. This is my last purchase with them

Carlos Coronado
2018.06.02 19:50:57

Yikes, that's crazy. When I went to the store to talk about watch the fellow told me they were currently offering a rubber band that smelled of chocolate. WTF?

Good luck with your watch, Carlos!


Hi, I have just googled 'replacement St Moritz leather strap' and found my way onto this site. I am currently wearing a St Moritz watch which I bought last June ('17) and exactly the same thing has happened! The 'leather' is crumbling away like it has leprosy!! Glad to see i'm not alone! (although the watch dial is still lovely looking and working well, well it's ticking and tells the time at least!)

2018.08.03 11:01:20

Haha, leprosy! Thanks for the laugh, Mart. Good luck with the watch.


I must admit that I have the exact same watch and it is not the best of what they have to offer.

The thing is that their M1 was my first Dive Watch and it has been working great for a lot of years now. Since buying the M1 I have collected over a dozen Momentum/St. Moritz watches and they have been great watches and superb value for the money. Just ordered another one yesterday actually.

I would not give up on these great watches because of one bad experience.

I am also happy to say that I have had little need of their Service Dept. but when I have contacted them they have been very helpful.

Nick Kapell
2018.11.20 00:00:00

Thanks for telling your story, Nick. I've moved on to the Japanese brands and haven't looked back, but it's good to hear that I likely just had a lemon.


I bought this watch ,a Pathfinder1, in 2007 for a trip to the Himalayas. It's been well used in a number of ways and has been deadly accurate to the present . The leather straps never lasted long until they gave me a better one, heavy enough for me to cut to length, leaving no loose end. This strap has lasted 5 years and seems indestructible. I've always taken or sent the watch back to Vancouver for regular battery changes and check-up. The Vancouver workshop staff always seem helpful ,friendly and often have a different selection, or samples ,of leather straps available. For some reason Momentum can no longer obtain spare parts for this Japanese movement.

2018.11.23 21:17:33

Thanks for your comment, Ajeet. Too bad about the parts, though you seem to be having an excellent run with your watch.

I find it astonishing how much they're charging for those watches these days!


Thanks for the review!

2019.01.25 17:38:05

Well, it wasn't much of a review. More a cautionary tale! 8^)


i just purchased a momentum piece called the "fieldwalker." black coated stainless, seiko nh35 automatic movement, sapphire crystal, screw down crown, and a rubber strap that smells like vanilla - they say it's to mask the funk of natural rubber. it was weird at first, now i don't even notice it, it may have mellowed out a bit over time. anyway, after doing some research, reading reviews, etc, i went into the vancouver store to take a look in real life and see how it felt. there was a demo piece on sale, a photography piece or something, it looked and felt great and the price was right, so i jumped on it. after wearing it home, and wearing it the following morning, i noticed that it stopped at some point that morning... well, at 9:20 and 20 seconds to be exact. i tried manually winding it up, flicking the rotor around to get it going, nothing. so i went back to the shop to have them take a look. i was expecting at least some paperwork, maybe a couple hour turnaround time, but nope, they inspected it right in front of me, couldn't figure what was going on with it, and zero questions asked, they replaced it on the spot. couldn't have asked for better service. my wife has also had a momentum atlas for 10 years, using it as a field watch working as an archaeologist, and has had zero issues with it. only anecdotal, i know, but so far dealing with them and their products has been smooth sailing. sorry you have had such issues, and thanks for your story. cheers from vancouver

2019.12.04 22:07:06

And thanks for yours, sir.


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