Swarovski Curio Pocket Binocular
The marvel of the new 7x21 Swarovski Curio
Birders know, you never know when you're going need your binoculars. Anywhere you go, at any time, an exciting bird may appear.
With pocket binoculars, they can always be with you.
The new 7x21 Swarovski Curo fills the need spectacularly. You will not find a more pocketable or brighter pocket binocular at any price. The optics are free from chromatic aberration, and the resolution is superb.
Why a 7x21?
Most pocket binoculars are 8- or 10-power. But when it came to the Curio, Swarovski chose to make a 7x21. Why?
For one thing, the lower the power, the wider the field of view. The Curio gives you 405 feet field of view at 1000 yards, better than any other pocket binocular. You're much more likely to spot the bird. And the wide field of view increases the immersive experience.
Also, the 21mm objective reduces the size and weight. Combined with a 7-power magnification, the Curio is just as bright as the larger pockets. Yet it's one of the smallest pocket binoculars.
The Curio is so tiny that it seems to disappear in the hand. Good at concerts, plays, and other public events where you might want to see closer without drawing attention to yourself.
It folds up into a satisfyingly compact, rectangular shape. Nothing juts out that might interfere with a quick draw from a pocket. We suspect it will fit into the smallest shirt pocket.
A pocket binocular has a unique feature. Say you're sitting outside with your 7-year-old granddaughter, and a chickadee comes to the feeder. You'd like for her to see it up close too. A full-sized binocular won't work for a child, because the two barrels can't come close enough together for her eyes.
But with the Curio, no problem. The two hinges let the barrels fold in close enough together. That moment of sharing a good look at a chickadee might start a lifelong interest in watching birds. A lifetime gift from one generation to another.
The way it feels
The Curio's skin has a texture we find pleasant to the touch. The focus knob is smooth and neat. The hinges are engineered so that the folding parts come together with the mathematical precision so characteristic of Swarovski optics.
The user's guide that comes with the Curio recommends always keeping it in its case. We laughed out loud when we read that, because we virtually never carry our binoculars in a case. We want them ready at the instant. But if you do keep your binocular in its case, you could hardly do better than the Curio's. It's neatly constructed, soft but protective. The front closes with a magnetic latch that you'll never fumble. It's nice, if you like cases.
The diopter adjustment
The diopter adjust mechanism, a knurled knob that allows you to adjust the binocular for a difference between your two eyes, is at the other end of the bridge from the focus knob.
The center point on the knurled knob is indicated by a slightly wider distance between two textured lines. You line up your chosen diopter adjustment to the white dot on the binocular body.
It could be hard to see that center point in dim light or if you were in a hurry. The one improvement we could recommend to Swarovski would be to mark that invisible rectangle centered on the knurled knob, so you could easily see if your diopter adjustment has come off its setting.
With our own Curios, we're going to mark our diopter setting on the knurled knob with a small dot of fingernail polish. This is, however, no big deal, as a person normally needs to set the diopter adjustment only once. As long as you're not sharing with someone who needs a different setting, requiring you to reset your diopter often, it would be a total non-issue.
The Curio comes in two color choices: orange or anthracite black.
It is available in only the one size, 7x21. (For slightly larger 8- or 10-power pocket binoculars, see the Swarovski CL Pocket binoculars).
This is a small detail, but we appreciate the little rainguard that comes with this smallest of pocket binoculars. It attaches to the neck strap and won't get lost, but it flips off instantly when you want to use the binocular.
|Objective lenses diameter||21mm|
|Field of view||405 feet at 1000 yards|
|Minimum focus distance||8.2 feet|