We had an email in yesterday alerting the Northern Watch Co magazine to Octon watches in Sweden.
So glad they did. Amazing value watches, many are auto models, with the trusty Sellita SW200 or Seiko NH35 movement inside, sapphire crystal and a 300m rating. Prices start at just £181 – yep under £200.
That really compares well with Indie brands who are charging nearly £700 for the same spec dive watches. Let’s not get started on Swiss brands at £1400 and above, which you could argue are more about the perceived value of the brand name than the actual dive spec of the watch.
OK, let’s be honest, you won’t get many people wanting to bid on your Octon watch if you decide to sell it on eBay to fund another purchase two years down the line. But if you just love watches that have reliable features and a range of bright dial options for swimming n diving, then Octon delivers.
Better yet, you can build you own watch, choosing dial, bracelet, strap, movement and bezel. Here is one we did earlier;
We love that Build-A-Bear online shop feature – it’s just like Bamford London but without the premium price tag.
The Ball Engineer Master II has a clean simplicity about it that we love at NWC mag.
In blue or black dial options, it looks like a perfect tool watch. Kinda understated yes, but still ticking all the right boxes. It’s on pre-order right now, with an October delivery date. Pre-order price is £1950.
Here’s some info from Ball Watches;
Designed for the ultimate feeling of freedom that comes with exploring Earth’s last frontier, we introduce the Engineer Master II Diver Chronometer.
The remarkable internal diving bezel can easily be manipulated under water when timing the safety stop. In darkness, it shines with micro gas tubes and ensures elapsed time is always visible. The automatic chronometer delivers outstanding precision as deep as 300 meters – packed inside a 42mm case that is just 13.5mm thick.
And no matter the terrain, explore with 1,000 Gauss (80,000 A/m) anti-magnetic protection and patented shock resistance.
Limited to 1,000 pieces each, pre-order yours today for a selection of limited edition number and complimentary engraving.
DIVE WATCH BUT NOT TOO CHUNKY
As a watch’s underwater performance is defined by its material and construction, the new Diver Chronometer features a robust stainless steel build. Its engineering allows you to operate the internal diving bezel while completely submerged under water to time the safety stop.
Simply use the crown at 2 o’clock to set the bezel at any time. Its 42mm case diameter measures only 13.5mm thick, offering stunning diving capabilities and everyday wearability.
Milus are inviting their customers to help preserve ocean coral by buying one of their limited edition Orange Coral models. Here’s the word;
The striking Orange Coral dial attracts attention thanks to its retro 70s style but remains above all a reliable automatic diver watch, equipped with a discreet helium valve and a bi-directional inner diver bezel.
The three hour digits at the cardinal points, 3 o’clock date window, and famous “Broad Arrow” hands coated in SuperLuminova combine seamlessly to bolster readability.
Its ETA 2892 movement is protected in a 41mm steel case, resistant up to 30 ATM or 300 meters.
The Milus Archimèdes Orange Coral is offered with two easily interchangeable strap options, a smooth 316L brushed stainless steel mesh bracelet and a genuine black Tropic diver rubber strap.
A CORAL IN YOUR NAME
In line with our beliefs in environmental protection, Milus is partnering with the French NGO Coral Guardian. For every Archimèdes Orange Coral bought, Milus will adopt a coral in your own name.
The Coral Guardian team will transplant your coral onto a solid structure in an area where reefs were damaged. This action contributes to the coral reefs restoration. You will receive a personalized adoption certificate with a symbolic photograph, the name of your coral, and its GPS location.
NWC mag has to admit, this is much more personal than many climate change marketing ploys tried by Swiss brands. Ambassadors who take nice photos or gather scientific data are wonderful n everything, but this makes you feel like you are putting something back in the ocean that is vanishing. Real action, not just greenwashing words.
Price is £1660, which is pricey for an ETA powered auto, but you get 300m dive ability, with helium valve. It’s a left field choice, but it’s a good choice for anyone who cares about the beauty of coral beneath the waves.
Yema has launched a Superman Skin Diver, capturing the 60s scuba spirit with this well equipped dive watch. It has a Sellita SW200 movement, sapphire crystal, plus unidirectional click-stop bezel. The depth rating is 300m and it features a crown lock at the 3pm position.
This really looks business-like, a tool watch to withstand soem serious diving.
The crystal is 2.6mm thick – bit more resistant to scratches and water than usual. We loves the fish scales bracelet link design.
The edition is 1000 pieces, each numbered, and Price is just under $1250. More here.
LIV watches are big, bold and colourful – also pretty great value when you weigh up the spec. The GX dive model offers a chunky 44mm case diameter, Swiss movement, 300m depth rating and a ceramic bezel.
The latest Gen 2 model is on Kick right now, with prioces starting at $690 – though you need to add on VAT and UK import tax of course.
We reckon the Gamma Green and Cobalt Blue models will sell out fast, not so sure on the grey models. More details here at the LIV Kick page.
Raven watches has a new bronze case model on their website right now, which has an impressive spec; ETA 2824 movement, sapphire crystal and 300m of water resistance. It’s a great looker with the green dial option and sdistressed leather strap too – just saying.
At $1100 it isn’t cheap and it has to be said there are similar 300m spec bronze case watches for a little bit less on the Indie market. But this is a classic timepiece, which will definitely age well. Is that dial green remarkably similar to Bentley racing car green? Could well be and there is nothing wrong with that.
Here’s the tech spec;
39mm bronze case
300 meters WR
316L stainless case back
ETA 2824 decorated movement
Gloss deep green dial
Box sapphire crystal
Blue Superluminova (BGW9)
Swiss rubber strap choices
one year warranty
Limited to 30 watches Price: $1100
We love Kickstarter watches and this Monsieur Helm One dive model has got some cool features.
Let’s start with the lume which is kinda different in that it isn’t just applied to the hour markers and hands. The distinctive logo diver’s helmet pattern is also lit up at night. Looks great we think and made possible via a sandwich dial so the lume shines through the top plate y’see. Clever detail.
Inside the 41mm steel case there is a Seiko NH38 cal movement, which spells reliability. Sapphire crystal, 300m depth rating, see-thru caseback and signed crown add neat touches.
Also, the bracelet has a clever little ratchet lever, so you can adjust the foldover clasp without using a watchmaker’s pin pusher tool. Handy.
Price is £178 on the early bird deal, which is great value, even with 20% VAT and import duty on top.
Heimdallr isn’t a watch brand that’s been on our radar. But after a late night Google search for watches with the ETA 2824 Swiss movement, we found this dive model.
The spec is impressive for the price. Stainless steel case and bracelet (the cheaper option has a silicone strap), sapphire crystal with AR coating, superlume all over the indices and hands, screwdown crown, screw type caseback, date window and ceramic bezel.
It is nice that the dial has a shark logo rather than the brand name as well. So many China based watch brands have not very appealing names. We don’t blame them, all the good names are kinda snapped up already, but stuff like Cadisen, Benyar and more don’t add any value. In fact, you just end up explaining what the brand name means, so yeah, go with a shark logo.
Physically, this is a big watch at 44mm across and it’s 13mm high, so you need a big wrist to pull off the James Bond Thunderball look quite honestly.
OK, yes, it’s a Chinese brand and we know that puts a bit of doubt in people’s minds over the actual dive ability and manufacturing quality. There are import duties plus 20% VAT on top of the Sale price too.
But this spec for fashion quartz money? Hard to fault. The steel bracelet version costs around £250 by the way. Judge for yourself with a little visit to the Heimdallr site.
Jaeger le Coultre have updated their Polaris range with the Mariner Date & Memovox models, which retails for £9900 and £15,800 respectively in the UK.
There’s no shame in choosing the Date version of the Mariner at ten grand of course. It’s a class act, as you’d expect, with a 42mm steel case, housing the Cal 899 in-house movement. That in-house movement really is the USP with JLC, you are buying a watch that isn’t sharing its Valjoux 7750 or ETA 2824 engine with other watches – many of which may well be cheaper. Then there’s the beautiful dial, which is not just blue, but has a deep blue, sunray finish, lacquered dial, which looks stunning in the press photos. OK, it would look more stunning on my wrist, but I don’t have a spare 10K floating about right now.
Assuming you are flush, why should you buy this JLC rather than say a Rolex Sub? Good question. Firstly, because you want to be different from the crowd. Yes, the Rolex will probably make you money, and the JLC will not – pre-owned market demand is weak compared to Rolex Subs/GMTs. So it’s about the beauty of the piece, its luxury feel and the unmistakeable Swiss style. This is a very fine dress watch, with a classic two-crown case design, so you can use the top winder to set the dive time, assuming you wish to dive with the Polaris Mariner. Yes, it can dive to 300m and the markers and hands have super-lume for extra visibility – but is this a rival to a Blancpain 50 Fathoms? Nope, we don’t think so.
Why? Just look at it. It’s a sleek, polished and elegant evening out type of watch. The steel bracelet gives it that dress watch vibe, and it also lacks the big, two-colour bezel ring that many dive watches have. This looks like a watch you would wear with a designer label suit, rather that a wetsuit.
Need to upgrade? Then try the Polaris Mariner Memovox, which has the Cal 956 movement inside, 300m depth, plus the alarm function which means an extra crown on the case. It’s also extra cash at £15,800 and has 45 hours of reserve compared to 70 hours on the Mariner Date, 2-crown model.
If you love the style of the Polaris, and want to save money because you ARE on the GMT II waiting list, then the standard Automatic model has 100m depth rating, same blue dial, twin crown case design and its £7000, so a bit of a bragain by comparison. Just saying.
Magrette Watches down in NZ have got a new model on pre-order. Here’s the lowdown on the Moana Pacific Waterman, Bronze edition.
The Waterman name represents us as New Zealanders and our Māori and Pacific Island whānau, our shared love of the water. Two colourways are now available including the Waterman Bronze and the new Waterman Vintage. It’s $765 on the pre-order deal for the bronze case model, and $665 for the stainless steel case, which we think is a very fair price given the spec; Swiss movement, sapphire crystal, ceramic bezel, 500m dive rating and superlume in just the right places.
The Waterman Bronze case patina changes every day, like the ocean itself and the changing landscape of time. The symbolism of the blue dial represents New Zealand’s surrounding waters—the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean. The 42mm case is constructed from marine grade CuSn8 bronze; when the patina forms it is hard and forms a protective surface layer. It uniquely takes on the character of the owner and their environment.
The new Waterman Vintage is cased in brushed stainless steel and features a velvet black dial and black ceramic bezel paired with warm-toned Swiss Super-LumiNova®. Note: At the time of this launch only renderings available as included in the photo gallery.
Both watches feature the robust Swiss ETA 2824-2 automatic mechanical movement, paired with textured rubber (blue or black) and vintage minimal stitch leather straps.