Review of Sector 950 Automatic Chronograph

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Model # 950/2623997045
 
Brand/Model:  Sector 950 Automatic Chronograph
Movement:  Swiss automatic
Material:  titanium case and bracelet
Complications:  date display, chronograph timing in one-second increments up to 12 hours
Price:  MSRP:  $995 USD (1999 price)


Plenty of photos follow the review.  Click on the pictures to enlarge.

 
This review is a bit different because the watch being reviewed is no longer available from the manufacturer, but several examples of this watch have shown up recently on the Internet in NOS (new old stock) condition, so if you look hard enough, you may be able to find one.  I’ve always respected Sector as a watch company, as I think they make some very nice pieces.  Their model lines seem to divide into two price points, lower-end quartz models and more expensive quartz and automatic pieces.  I’ve owned a number of Sectors from both price classes over the years and have always found them to be good quality watches with unique designs.
 
This Sector 950 automatic chronograph dates from the late 90s (about 1999 as far as I can tell).  Being only 40mm in diameter makes it seem somewhat small in comparison to the multitude of 42mm+ watches on the market today, but it’s refreshing to wear a smaller watch for a change, especially one that is a full function chronograph.
 
The 950 starts with a satin finish titanium (Ti) case in the familiar grey color that titanium is most often associated with.  The case measures 40mm without the crown or pushers; 44.5mm with the crown.  The crown screws down and seems somewhat fragile when unscrewed, it kind of reminds me of a wobbly Vostok crown, but so far no problems have been encountered with it.  The pushers look like they should screw down, with faux screwdowns ringed in red, but they don’t.
 
The caseback is satin finished titanium and screws down, and is emblazoned with the Sector ‘No Limits’ logo.  Lug width is 20mm and thickness is 15.5mm, which is to be expected due to the Valjoux 7750 movement.
 
The Sector 950 is factory rated at 300 meters of water resistance.  Since the pushers don’t screw down, I would have my doubts as to this rating, but let’s take them at their word.
 
The dial on the 950 is compact and a bit busy, but it works.  The dial is a great shade of metallic grey, which is one reason I wanted this watch.  I love grey dials.  Luminous arabics surround the dial, with satin silver hands featuring inset lume.  Lume quality, especially for an NOS watch, is very good. 
The quickset date window is located at the three position and has a black on white date wheel.  The window has a printed silver frame which helps make it easier to read the date.  There’s also a chapter ring with minute marks in red that you can barely see on the outer edge of the dial.
 
The subdial at the nine position is the watch seconds hand, the subdial at the six is the chronograph hour totalizer (12 hour) and the subdial at 12 is the chrono’s minute totalizer (30 minute).  Each hand on the subdials is tipped in red for easier reading.  The chrono seconds hand is nice and big and has a long and large luminous tip.  It’s one of the largest 7750 seconds hands I’ve seen and it makes it easier to read the seconds while the chrono is in use.
 
There’s a bit too much lettering (small lettering at that) that partially encircles the subdials at 12 and six.  Do we really have to be told that the 950 sports a sapphire crystal?  Apparently, this was a big deal in 1999.  The Sector name is located at the three position, along with a polished silver Sector logo.
 
The crystal is flat and is of course, sapphire, as stated on the dial.  A 60-click unidirectional bezel with red and black markings and a lume pip at 12 complete the dial’s presentation.  The bezel has knurled sections which look pretty cool and do help in rotating the bezel.  The bezel rotates easily and doesn’t have any noticeable backlash.
 
As previously stated, the 950 runs with a Valjoux 7750 automatic chronograph movement.  The movement hacks and manually winds and for a watch that has never been serviced and is over 12 years old, it has tested well on the bench.  It runs about -12/24 hours and has a fine 46.5 hour power reserve.  It’s a bit hard to wind the watch because the crown is rather small, but the movement winds fine and the chrono functions all start, stop and reset crisply.  You really can’t go wrong with a 7750-based watch.
 
The bracelet on the 950 is fairly chunky for its diminutive 40mm case size.  Satin finish solid titanium links with knurled center links match the knurling on the bezel.  End links are solid.  The clasp is double locking and signed, with the foldover safety clasp being polished and displaying the Sector logo.  The deployant is machined and is stainless steel, not Ti like the rest of the watch.  Why this was done, I have no idea.  As is, the watch is light on the wrist.  
 
There’s also a stamped Ti diver extension and four microadjustment holes on the clasp.  The bracelet measures 19.5mm at the lugs and tapers to 18mm at the clasp.  Adjustment is via standard split pins.
 
The Sector 950 represents the kind of watch that Sector was making in the late 90s and one that still works today as a functional, good looking piece crafted in titanium.  This watch is worth seeking out as a NOS find.
 
Pros:  lightweight titanium construction, solid 7750 automatic chronograph movement, more traditional 40mm case size, nice large chrono seconds hand
 
Cons:  crown seems fragile, small crown makes winding difficult, case rather thick compared to other dimensions
 
Verdict:  the Sector 950, while a watch from another time (and century!), still works in today’s smartphone world.  Worth seeking out if you enjoy the NOS watch hunt.

 
Thanks for reading and enjoy the pictures.
 
Excelsior!
 
-Marc


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