magic in basic dungeons and dragons
published : 2014.12.02
One of the many "bugs" in the original game of Dungeons and Dragons was the magic system. Frankly it was stilted at best and crippling at worst. Here are some of my beefs:
One: magical brain-wipe. Many authors on the 'net have pointed this out, but it's always bothered me that wizards lose all of their spell-casting ability due to spells burning out from their brain upon casting. It's always felt like it was tacked on to the rules simply to limit the power of the wizard. This brain wiping doesn't happen with the saint or druid characters, whose spells are derived from a god or from nature. Is it really worth being a wizard when you can't really do anything but cast spells, and yet you have to learn your trade from scratch every night? Wouldn't this simply drive the wizard mad?
Two: too few spells per day. A starting wizard can cast one spell. After this he needs to rest for eight hours, then start studying again. This leads to what's known as the "fifteen minute work-day" because the wizard effectively becomes a torch-bearer or unarmed lookout after he's cast his one spell. Playing a wizard this way is BORING.
Three: too many spells per day. A 20th level wizard or witch can cast some forty-four spells in a day. This would require eleven hours of study every day. Taking away eight hours a day for sleep and eleven for studying, and presumably eating once in a while, this leaves about four hours to cast all 44 spells. Or about ten spells an hour. Never mind that many of the spells take quite a long time to cast. Also, this level of spell-casting would cause total burn-out. Imagine casting spells with the power of wishes with Gatling-gun rapidity. You'd fry your mind.
Four: spell progression. A starting wizard can only cast the smallest of spells. While this is understandable, what exactly is the mechanism that limits a fifth level caster to a single third-level spell, while a seventh-level character can not only cast two third-level spells a day and a fourth-level spell? Are we once again placing artificial limits on the class just to keep them in check?
Five: spells always work. No other character class has the ability to always succeed when using their primary skill. Clerics - who lug around armor and swing weapons in addition to using divine magic - stand a great chance of being ineffectual in their combat. As do fighters, and they can't use any magic. Thieves have non-combat skills such as lock-picking, and these have great failure rates. What makes the wizard's spells always work? Is it the game rule that otherwise straight-jackets the character in compensation? Is this game about "balance" or fantasy?
My solution: I get that magic should be hard, but I think it also be useful. I want a system of magic use that lets a wizard do something with his unique skills for a full day, not just "the fifteen minute work day". I want the wizard's abilities to scale with experience, but not to be straight-jacketed by artificial limitations on spell level availability at lower level. In short, I want to start again. Here's the sample from my rule book.
Please note that some of the text below comes either from the RPGs "Labyrinth Lord" and "Dungeon World". Also, I drew on various discussions online such as this one at KORPG.com
Spells come in three forms.
The Force: Zealots do not derive their spells through experimentation and research, but instead receive knowledge and power through the force that flows from grace of The Goddess. It is only available to those who are born sensitive to the force. Divine magic is, like the Goddess herself, infallible.
Druidic: The erdei uncover and utilize magic emanating from the power of the natural order. While natural magic does not fail, it is not available to civilized races; only the wild, fey things may use it. Steel is an impediment to this type of magic.
Arcane: the arcane magic thought to have come to Sppang with the elves come from secretive research into the nature of reality. Arcane spells draw upon mystical and unstable energies. The instability and unknowable nature of the power source leads to occasional spell failure.
Memorized hand gestures combined with arcane spoken words bring about magical effects through spells. A caster of arcane magic may cast a total number of spell-levels equal to his WIL per day. For instance, a witch with a WIL of 14 may cast for instance two fifth-level spells, a third-level spell, and one first. This reflects the draining aspect of spell-casting. All spell casters need 8 hours of rest to restore spell ability. They don't forget their spells and need to relearn them every night, but they do need their spell-books - for trading spells.
Arcane spell failure
While spells cast from a scroll do not fail, all other arcane and druidic spells have a chance of failing. To successfully cast a spell, the caster must roll 1d6 and 1d4 and subtract the latter from the former - the result must be equal to or greater than the spell’s level.
"To hit" with magic
A small number of spells may be cast as an offense. I have removed saving throws against magic from the game (e.g. why does casting "Light" in the eyes of an enemy to temporarily blind him allow a save, while casting "Magic missile" to attempt to kill not?). So I've added a "to hit" with magic. It works just like spell failure, above.
Adjustments: The use of a magic wand reduces the chance of failure, adding +1 to the roll.
Arcane magic spells cast from a scroll do not fail.
Magicians may use any armor but note that restrictive or iron/steel-based armor raises the chance of spell failure as follows.
Results of spell failure
The DM should choose what happens in case of spell failure. For instance, a failed Fireball might immolate the spell-caster’s clothes and possessions, or summon a fire salamander. A failed Wizard lock spell might permanently and irrevocably lock the target, or smash it. Whatever happens, it should fit the circumstances and the story that is unfolding.
Clerics and druids have access to all spells. Wizards and elves begin play with four spells – the player may choose two first level spells and one second level spell, but any other spells can only be added to a spell book through game play.
Wizards and elves gain additional spells by finding them in spell books or scrolls to copy to their spell book, or by conducting original research. Spells may not be purchased.
Whether conducting original research or rebuilding a lost spell book, a wizard or elf can build a spell book one spell at a time, at a cost of 1 week of game time and 1,000 gp for each spell level. For instance, if two first level spells and one 2nd level spell are researched, it will take 4 weeks and 4,000 gp. This activity requires complete concentration, and a character doing this work may not engage in any other activity for the duration.
Final word: I've obliterated all spells above level five, an alternative suggested in the Labyrinth Lord rule book. I allow NPC's (such as a lych) to use them, but not characters.
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.
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.
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.
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-$40 to get it fixed. They put it through some tests which I think works out how the moisture got in there but of course it's the customer that did something wrong.
That being said it wasn't a massive fee for the repair and I think they actually put a new faceplate in. The watch was mailed back to me and the fogging was gone. Only 3 weeks later the fogging is back and there is not a chance that the time adjustment dial had been opened. As far as we were concerned this thing was sealed and considering the water resistance depth is 200M it's not doing a very good job 'above' sea level. It wasn't even worn in the shower.
Not sure what to do really other than just give St Moritz watches a miss in the future as it's just an inconvenience. I'm 45 years of age, have owned many watches and even the cheap ones have never steamed up. I too purchased the watch because it was a local company but whats the point.
St. Moritz in Vancouver, Canada, you get a big thumbs down from me.
I am a watch collector and own about 20 watches some Rolex some Breitling and Tags most Swiss but a few From Japan . Saying all that the St Moritz line is about at the same level as most Japanese watches. In fact most of their watches are Japanese movements with some Swiss movements. I believe they are a good over all watch if you stay with a dive style watch with a rubber or metal bands you can buy more then one at those prices without the need to lock up your watches in a bank volt like with the high end Swiss watches, always remember you get what you pay for to so don't compare a 10,000 Breitling to any 300$ watch made any where.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I bought a Momentum watch with rubber watchband at REI and swim with it, run with it also. No problems. Keeps uncannily accurate time.
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.
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.
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?
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.
I Got a st moritz professional 200 m ( dive watch)
i have change the battery...still not working
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....
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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?
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.
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.
I benefited from the site In evaluating Momentum watches
thanks a lot..
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.
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?
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.
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:
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
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!
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.
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
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!)
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.
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.
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