Watch Review: Achtung Metal

2020 has definitely been a stressful, mess of a year. You turn on the TV and it’s nothing but depressing news. If you go anywhere, you are constantly reminded of the current state of life in 2020. If you are like me, you find yourself grasping onto those little things that bring even the most minuscule amount of happiness. That’s one of the reasons why Achtung watches bring a smile to my face. A company that releases small batches of unique watches that are designed to bring a smile to the wearer’s face. The kind of brand that makes the angry watch snob’s cringe, which is another reason why I enjoy reviewing the type of watches that I review. Reviewing watches is a fun release for me and is something that I do not construct in the confines of a stringent uptight format. I believe that Achtung uses the same carefree model when approaching their watches.

The Metal is one of the more recent releases in 2020 from Achtung. “Achtung [ahck-tohng] or [ahck-toong] is a Deutsche (German) word used to command attention, also implying “warning” or “alert”.” The Metal’s design is not a small by any means, it’s 53mm width is huge especially by today’s current trend of 40mm and under. Achtung watches are more of your Tokyo street style fashion and definitely not your stuffy-office type. When I first opened up the box for this watch, the initial thoughts were that it was like a G-Shock was on steroids which was cross bred with a 70’s super alloy mecha-robot. The case uses a mix of materials to make up the unique look of the Metal watch. A first for me on any watch, is the Metal’s fixed rubber bezel. A unique idea as you won’t have to worry about scratching this bezel. The rubber bezel acts like a shock absorber against those accidental “door knob hits” and other bumps that you come across during your watch wearing day.

The strap is attached to the case in a rather usual fashion. As you can see in the pictures the case was designed without lugs. It’s definitely a different approach on attaching a strap to a case but forget about any strap changes on this watch. You will be limited to the supplied silicon watch strap. Thankfully it is very comfortable and it is also color coordinated with the bezel. If you are interested in need of tracking time in multiple time zones then Achtung has got you covered. Located on the non crown side of the Metal’s case are two independently quartz controlled mini dials. A detail that I find uniquely cool but also quite useful. Being located in the US, I often find myself wondering what time it is in various countries that my friends and family are spread throughout the world. Instead of guessing, I just set each “sub dial” to the time zone that those I would be communicating with most that week. There are multiple scenarios when having close access to 3 different times can become quite handy. A unique but useful detail that I enjoyed playing around with. I was surprised how easy the tiny crowns were to use when setting the time on the “sub dials”.

As unique as the case is on the watch, it’s the dial that really pushes the unique. You definitely get a clear view of the dial through the large sapphire crystal. The dial is where my super alloy comment comes into play. The dial reminds me of the armor on those classic robots but the exposed gears remind me of the inner mechanics that are responsible for the movements of the mecha robot. I love the colors and the textures found throughout this dial. What I like about what Achtung did with this dial is the consistency throughout the chaos. There are large, very noticeable details on the dial such as the colored metal plates, some are plain and flat, while other have a bit more detail. Found on separate individual met plates is the type of movement, the water resistance, and the name of the brand. A very unique way to display this information upon the dial. Each metal plate is held securely in place by screws which doesn’t sound like anything out of the ordinary. The gear style border around the date window was a clever way to keep the consistency flowing. Often times a date window on a dial can disrupt the overall flow of a dial. There’s another detail I want to mention that Achtung has done to help that consistent flow continue throughout this dial. It’s quirky yet I find it quite charming. I appreciate that each screw is a different color but what I appreciate more in the commitment to detail is each screw has a different head. It’s an example of how a company put thorough thought into their design on their watch.

There is no denying that large 53mm watch is packed full of unique personality. It’s a limited edition watch that targets a limited demographic. Beneath the unique exterior of the Metal is the function of this watch. There wasn’t any sacrifices made in terms of function for the overall uniqueness of this watch. Winding this watch manually via the oversized crown is done with smoothness and with ease. Despite the busy and the textured dial, telling time on the Metal is done without obstruction. The large semi-skeletonized hands are easy to see for telling the time despite the lack of numerals on the dial. Even at 53mm, this watch is actually comfortable to wear. No lugs means less wrist overhang for those with smaller wrists. The silicon strap conforms to the wrist with it’s pliable soft nature. The Metal watch is priced at $664 USD. Only 28 were made of each color variation. It’s a fun and unique watch to wear while making a bold statement on the wrist. You can purchase the Metal via https://achtungtime.com/collections/all/products/achtung-metal-orange

Thank you so much for reading. Thank you Achtung.

Watch Review Aevum Advance

Aevum Advance Specs

  • Case– Ion plated for hardness and brushed stainless steel 42×48 mm with 22mm lugs
  • Dial– Clean no-date sandwich dial with lumed hour markers
  • Crown– Screw down double gasket with cam gear design
  • Movement – NH35 automatic with 40 hour power reserve
  • Case back– Exhibition style to view engraved rotor
  • Lume– Swiss Superluminova BGW9 (blue at night)
  • Crystal – Anti-reflection coated sapphire
  • Water Resistance– 20 ATM or 200 Meters
  • Strap– 22mm genuine leather strap handmade by us in-house

https://www.aevumtime.ca/home.html

“We are petrolheads. We design and build our watches with passion, including automotive aesthetics in a way that includes all types of enthusiasts.” That is definitely the feeling that you get when unboxing the Aevum Advance watch. It’s a watch that is for watch and car fans alike but it doesn’t give that over the top gimmicky feeling. I initially took notice of the Ion plated brushed finish on the stainless steel. The Ion plating adds hardness to the case as a extra form of protection against scratches from every day use. The Advance watch is a moderately sized 42×48 mm with 22mm lugs which you can see wears well on my 7 1/4” wrist. The Advance case has a distinctive Italian cushion style shape which in my experience not only wear comfortable but also have good wrist presence. This holds true with the Advance and with the curved lugs, the watch hugs the wrist well.

The Advance is fitted with an exhibition case back that allows you to take a peek into the “engine” of the watch. The “engine” inside this watch is the NH35 automatic that when it’s tank is full has a 40 hour power reserve. The movement under the hood looks like your standard NH35 movement but Aevum added a touch of detail by engraving the movement’s rotor with their signature logo. Aevum is a Canadian based company and they show their Canadian pride on the case back with the cool engraved maple leaf 🍁

If/when you find yourself needing/wanting to manually wind the Advance via the screw down crown there’s a few things worth noting here. The screw down crown is protected by a double gasket system that helps protect the Advance by ensuring a water tight seal.(200m) Though the crown isn’t oversized, the design allows the wearer to easily grip and operate when screwing/unscrewing/winding. If you are like me, a crown should have an engraved detail and Aevum didn’t leave this box unchecked. Not only did they laser engrave the crown to look like an adjustable camshaft gear but they also cut the crown grip into half moon flat top teeth to mimic the look of a belt drive cam gear. When a design can seamlessly combine both function and detail, the end result typically is a winner. This is exactly what Aevum has achieved with the design of the Advance’s crown.

Aevum is consistent with including those “petrolhead” details without crossing the gimmicky line and they continue this as you move from the case closer to the dial. The chapter ring on the Advance is marked by a series of numbers which Aevum cleverly designed it to include cam timing degrees and crank positions. If you are wondering what TDC and BDC represent, I will explain what those abbreviations stand for. TDC is the abbreviation for Top Dead Center and BDC located above the 6 O’clock position represents Bottom Dead Center. In between these abbreviations along the circumference of the chapter ring are marked with numerical degrees. For those non-petrolheads, TDC is the point when the piston of the number one cylinder in an engine is at its highest point, and on the compression stroke of the engine’s four-stroke cycle. Bottom dead center is the point at which the piston of an engine is nearest to the axis of the crankshaft. On a vertical engine, this is the lowest point that the piston reaches. When the piston reaches BDC, it starts to move upwards.

The dial can definitely be the making or breaking point for watch. We have all experienced this whether it’s hands that aren’t proportional to the dial or a date window that is oddly placed or hour markers that are not cohesive to the rest of the dial design. Sometimes even the smallest of poorly designed/thought out details can’t be overlooked. Fortunately for Aevum and the Advance watch, the dial was well thought out and executed without any of those “deal breakers”. The sandwich style dial is a great starting point for creating an appealing to the eye kind of dial. The bottom layer is the layer that fueled by Swiss Superluminova BGW9 which in daylight is ivory in color and at night glows a beautiful blue. No matter what lighting environment that you find yourself in.

The large numeral markers that are perfectly paired with the proportional hands make the dial a pleasing to the eye focal point whether if you are looking at the time or just admiring your wrist candy. The text on this dial is kept to a minimum with just the Aevum name, logo, model name and type of movement. The color combinations used on the Advance assist in the overall pleasing aesthetics on this dial (black, white and a touch of red).

I am not a petrolhead by any means. Most of the time I hate driving all together but that doesn’t affect my opinion of this driving themed watch. Like I mentioned before, the “Easter eggs” found throughout this watch are not done in a gimmicky fashion. They are done very subtly and they are done with beautiful execution. The Advance is a watch that anyone can wear and if you are a petrolhead then you will just appreciate those details a little bit more. The only detail suggestion that I have is that the second hand needs some sort of lume treatment like the hour and minute hands. The second hand is not major in terms of disappointment but something that can just make the dial that much better.

The Aevum Advance is a watch that is extremely comfortable to wear. For those size conscious people the 42×48 mm falls in between the “happy spot” 40mm to 44mm. The design of the case and dial are tastefully executed. I personally would like the case back more if it was an engraved solid case back. That’s just a personal preference of mine that doesn’t affect the function nor the overall aesthetics of this watch whatsoever. The Advance comes in at a very affordable $280 usd price tag which allows the buyer to get a lot of nice details at a great price. With Christmas fastly approaching this would be a fantastic gift for that car and watch lover.

Thank you for reading and thank you to Aevum for allowing me to review this watch.

A year with the SeL Omnidiver

What a year this has been, a phrase that every single one of us can relate to. Each month that passes by it seems harder to find something positive to hold onto. Even if it’s the smallest, seemingly insignificant thing, recognizing it as something positive does help from becoming completely overwhelmed. I have turned to hiking, exercising, cooking and watches to help keep my mind focused on something other than the depressing current events.

I have spent the past year with the SeL Omnidiver and I wanted to do a short update on how the watch is holding up. I also wanted to give my impressions of the watch after spending a substantial amount of time with it in every environment/situation of my daily life.

There was only one area that I needed to contact SeL about in terms of service. I noticed that one of the bracelet screws was loose. Occasionally I would half-ass tighten it because I always was in a situation where I didn’t have proper tools with me at the time I noticed it was loose. Unfortunately I did end up losing that screw because I didn’t properly tighten it nor did I put loctite on it. I contacted SeL about it and a couple days later the replacement screws arrived to me, with extras just in case. I replaced the screw and I haven’t had an issue since. The customer service experience was absolutely flawless. This was just an example when brand history, advertising budgets, gimmicks, smoke & mirrors are outdone by actual care for your customers. I had a similar experience with a “big name” of the watch industry and they wanted to charge me $100+ for a replacement screw and another $50+ for shipping.

The Omnidiver was my companion this summer when I went to the beach for some much needed time away from reality. As I expected it handled itself without fail. I put the crown seals to the test by going into the water with the crown unscrewed. SeL tests the water resistance of their watches with the crown in the open position so the wearer can have peace of mind in case of the accidental exposure to water with an open crown. I wasn’t shocked that my Omnidiver held up in the water given the extreme testing/R&D that SeL puts their watches through. Seeing what Andrew puts the watch through to reach that fail point gives me complete peace of mind because I know that my Omnidiver isn’t going to fail me during my “every day life tests”.

The grit, dirt, sand that built up on the bracelet was so easy to clean out and it never compromised the wearability of the Omnidiver. The only issue that I came across was when I took off the watch at the beach. An minuscule issue came into play when attempting to put the watch when some small pebbles prevented me from closing the wavelock clasp. The small pebbles and sand were no match for a quick bath in the water and just like that my clasp was closed tightly as it should be.

I am actually surprised how few scratches I have acquired on the case, bracelet and clasp. Scratches don’t bother me whatsoever as watches are made to be worn not to be babied. The clasp is especially shocking to me because I have worn watches for far less time, in less harsh environments and the bracelet clasp looks like it was put through the garbage disposal. I attribute the Omnidiver’s condition to SeL’s use of superior quality materials. (Ti-6AL-4V) “Titanium is not all the same. We use a domestic (US) produced lab certified alloy. The lab certification adds expense in itself BUT the requirement that the raw materials are certified before melting, along with the entire process to guarantee the alloy composition is very expensive. Buying uncertified material from overseas is a gamble. Sometimes it’s what it should be, sometimes not. The result is that our titanium is almost twice as expensive as non-certified alloy. We will not represent an alloy to our customer as Ti-6AL-4V unless we’re absolutely certain it actually is.”-Andrew McLean CEO SeL Instruments

Andrew, SEL’s CEO was on a mission to make a watch that wouldn’t fail even under the most harsh circumstances/conditions and I firmly believe that he succeeded. I said it before and now I am saying it with 100% confidence that the bracelet on the Omnidiver is the best in the business in terms of durability , quality and design. The case is of equal durability and I don’t think that there’s anything that my daily abuse could damage it. There is zero fear of door frames or door knobs when the watch is on my wrist. Let me elaborate a bit further on what I mean about zero fear. There has been situations with almost every watch that I have owned when I have either hit it against something with enough force to cause me to oh fuck immediately looking at my wrist to access the damage. The Omnidiver is the first watch that doesn’t cause me to immediately look at my wrist because I know that it’s pretty much bombproof so whatever shit I am going to put it through the watch is going to handle it.

The Omnidiver is one of the toughest watches I have experienced to date. During my time with the Omnidiver it gave me a greater appreciation for what this watch truly is and a greater appreciation for the amount of R&D that went into making the Omnidiver a reality. After a year of abuse, everything on this watch is functioning just as it did the first day I received it. The silicon nitride balls within the bezel has kept the rotation smooth and importantly without any of that annoying extra wiggle/play. I am also extremely pleased that the Omnidiver’s bezel has zero separation between the case/bezel, something not even the bezel on my Rolex DSSD or SD43 could accomplish over time of use.

After major daily use of the Omnidiver, there are some areas that can be improved upon which would make an already great watch even greater. Those areas are a small mix of my personal preferences and of areas that can improve function. One example of an area of improvement on function is the crown. The crown is well protected within the end link of the bracelet and case, but protection has disrupted ease of grip. If the crown was made larger with different machined edges then I believe this would solve that issue. What I think is damn near perfect on the Omnidiver is the case size, the bracelet, the bezel, the hands, the lume, and the crystal. The Omnidiver is my ideal tool/dive watch which has delivered what so many of the popular “big names” of the watch industry could not deliver. I am certainly not bashing those brands by any means but unfortunately those brands has shifted focus to fashion accessories/status symbols/ luxury item and have moved away from designing an actual tool.

With that being said, I will be sending in the Omnidiver for an update soon. It’s going in for a bit of a makeover to make it more to my personal preferences. That process will be well documented here and on my social media outlets. I am also looking forward to some snow and ice pictures/exposure. This winter is reportedly going to be colder and snowier than average according to the farmers almanac! 🤞🤞🤞

Thank you all for reading!

Bezel and bracelet operation after a year of use

Watch Review: Achtung Turbo3

Achtung [ahck-tohng] or [ahck-toong] is a Deutsche (German) word used to command attention, also implying “warning” or “alert”. Angular silhouettes on every Achtung timepiece. Love at first sight is certainly possible, and be game for a second look.

I have reviewed a few different models of Achtung watches and there is one consistent detail about all of them. They all share that “street style” culture/attitude and the Turbo3 is no exception to this detail. Achtung is not a company that takes themselves too seriously in that stuffy attitude kind of way. They make fun watches that are an extension of the wearers unique style and personality. Achtung watches are released in very small limited edition numbers and are marketed for those who like that “outside of the box” individualized style.

The dial of the Turbo3 definitely has that individualized style which I refer to as industrial street style. Staying true to their form Achtung has created something different while not losing their DNA. The metal detailing on the dial reminds me of when you see buildings where it looks like architectural magic. What I mean by “this is the building”, I mean it is the perfect merging of art and industry.

The Turbo3 is definitely not for the faint of wrist, it wears large and looks large. The case is made of 316L stainless steel case is 48mm in diameter (excluding crown), lugs size are 24mm and the thickness is 13mm. Now 48mm isn’t unwearable by any means, but some people are very scared to wear anything over 40mm. I understand finding the right watch that works best for the wearer but I also think that way too much emphasis is placed on the size of a watch.

The Turbo3 case is full of detail, both functional details and decorative details. I prefer the functional details over the decorative ones. The fixed bezel is “held” in place by faux screws. This “cheapens” the experience of the watch for me because the screws are fake, there only for aesthetics not for actual function. These same detail aesthetics are also found on the crown guards and on the faux drilled lugs. These are the areas where the Turbo3 loses points for me. The last place of point loss on the Turbo3 is the plastic movement holder. Overtime plastic loses density and gradually becomes brittle which is why I can’t stand seeing plastic used inside of a watch, especially so close to the moving parts of the automatic mechanical movement.

Thankfully the Turbo3 has plenty of functional details that outweigh any of the aesthetic details. The dial is equipped with a day/night indicator, a tachymeter, a small seconds indicator and a skeletonized minute & hour hand. This is Achtung’s 3 year anniversary so the dial features one numeral. The oversized 3 is the only numeral that is featured on this dial in terms of the 12 hour count. The Turbo3 is a auto themed piece as you probably guessed from the name and the tachymeter, but like I mentioned earlier I get that industrial feel from this piece. So I can say this, I can see the auto theme if I view this piece as a Mad Max post apocalyptic vehicles. Which isn’t a bad thing by any means. The new Tom Hardy version was bloody fantastic.

The Turbo3 is limited to just 28 pieces and that makes perfect sense to me because this is definitely a nitch watch. It’s certainly not designed for the mass market but for those who like that unique street style look. There’s a lot going on with this dial and it works well for this watch. Normally I don’t like an open heart on a dial but this detail definitely is consistent to the overall theme of this watch. The crown protection/locking mechanism is simple yet functional. To wind or to pull the crown into the open position the hinged clasp can be lifted easily out of the way as it’s held in place by a ball bearing. This little functional detail reminds me of a gas cap cover and the crown is the cap itself. When details are functional but also retain design aesthetics, this is when they work best. When the details are fake, they lose that magic for me.

The Turbo3 comes is at just under $600. What do you get for your $590? You get a unique, limited edition watch, a large 316L stainless steel case with 330ft WR, Miyota movement, and art style post apocalyptic design/Akira meets Mad Max. The smooth black case is finished with nice detail teamed with a matte black dial protected by a sapphire crystal. The dial is my favorite part of this watch. Chaotic beauty is what I refer to it as. It’s full of detail, depth and definitely has it’s own unique personality. If you are a fan of cars, post apocalyptic movies and unique designs, then this is a great option for you to consider.

Thank you all for reading and thank you to Achtung for allowing me to review this watch.

EVOX DV2 professional bronze diver

In the vast sea of watches, what is there possibly that a company can do in terms of design that will set it apart from all the others? Well for starters EVOX designed the bronze professional diver with a uniquely shaped case. Thankfully EVOX decided against going with the ever growing, yet extremely mundane sub mariner clone route. The case is large in terms of dimensions 47mm but the under mounted lugs allow the diver to wear on most wrist sizes without that cumbersome overhang. What is also nice for people that like to have their watch under the cuff of a long sleeved shirt is that the DV2 is only 10mm thick. You should be aware of the hefty weight of the DV2. Now it’s not so heavy that it is uncomfortable, but I want to disclose that it’s not titanium light.

In my opinion one of the most important features on a dive watch is the bezel. It’s a make or break the deal kind of feature. Too much play in the bezel is definitely a deal breaker for me. The bezel on the EVOX is middle of the road for me in terms of quality on a microbrand in this price point. It’s easy to grip and to operate, the ratcheting sound is what makes this middle of the road for me. It doesn’t have that solid sound that I prefer, this has the thin piece of metal sound to it. There isn’t much extra play with the EVOX bezel or does it wobble. Another must have that is essential on a dive watch bezel is the addition of some sort of a lume pip or triangle that can be seen in murky water and can be used to mark time with. The aluminum bezel insert on the DV2 is equipped with lume treated faux pearl pip that is within an elongated triangle. Sometimes a dive watch bezel is quite sterile/simple in design with only the triangle/pip, or they feature a scale or numerals. If properly designed, each style can really enhance the overall look of the watch while also retaining the important functionality detail. The DV2 bezel features incriminates of 5 numerals that coincide/line up with the painted markers on the dial.

I’m definitely particular about how a bezel should feel, sound and operate. This is exactly how I feel about the crown on a dive watch. A crown should be easy to grip, operate smoothly and shouldn’t make a sound……..except for the winding sound of the movement when using the crown to manually wind. I prefer oversized crowns on a dive watch because the conditions I use my dive watches in are usually wet, with gloves on and in colder temperatures. Obviously when a crown is oversized it creates more surface area for gripping a hold of in between the index finger and thumb. When the edges of the crown are shaped like a cog/gear (like the shape of the bezel) it catches into the fingers nicely for added ease of operation. The DV2 crown is tucked between two crown guards at the 9 o’clock position to the 11 o’clock position, the crown itself is aligned with the 10 o’clock position. The DV2 crown could have been designed larger in circumference but where it lacks in size, is redeemed by the intricate detail of the engraved EVOX soldier. A dive watch in my opinion should have a screw down crown. Yes I know that a crown can be water resistance without being designed as a screw down but I just appreciate the added protection that a screw down function provides.

It is safe to say how important that the bezel on a dive watch needs to be legible, but it’s even more important that the dial is legible. You want a watch dial to be easily read at the most quick of glances, no matter the angle or no matter what the lighting situation is. Most people don’t use their dive watch for the intended use of actually diving, but for those who actually do, legibility in water is very important. We do live in an age of technology where diving computers are more frequently used, their are some people, myself included that use watches for diving. Some use the watch in conjunction with the diving computer devices and others just use the watch itself. The DV2 is marketed by EVOX as a professional dive watch therefore I would expect it to have those important details that are a must on a professional dive watch. The large, printed lume coated markers are a good start to a legible dial. The addition of the large semi skeletonized hands certainly continues the “good start” of a legible dial. Poorly proportioned hands can be such a disappointing detail that can kill a watch even if all the other design details are on point. Luckily the DV2’s three hands are proportional to the size of the large matte black dial. The hour hand and the lollipop style second hand are both polished gold and have a generous amount of lume. As for the minute hand, it is painted matte orange but also is generously coated with lume. The text on the DV2 maintains a clean look with a 4 line white print. One of my personal favorite features on this dive watch is the sapphire domed crystal. A detail that definitely adds to the legibility of this dial. I would love to have domed sapphire crystals to be synonymous with dive watches just like screw down crowns should be. This is just my personal thoughts on functional details on a dive watch which improves upon the “toughness in the field”. “Toughness in the field” offers the wearer peace of mind that it’s not only going to hold up to what you dish out at it and the details that assist in legibility/function/etc…

I think the DV2 is a nice follow up to the DV1. I personally think there aren’t any deal breaking details on this watch. That being said there are definitely areas that could be improved upon. As I mentioned above about the crown size, the bezel and one unmentioned detail which is the large date window. Either completely eliminate the date window all together or tuck it away in between the 4 o’clock and 5 o’clock position, use a round window instead of a square shape and use a black date wheel with white numerals. Using these suggestions keeps a universal pleasing aesthetic that doesn’t disrupt or distract the eye. The $576 USD price could become more attractive if the movement was improved from the Automatic NH35 to an upgraded movement. If you are looking for your first bronze microbrand diver, this is definitely a good option. If you don’t like bronze, the DV1 is another good option for a solid, affordable dive watch. Best way to narrow down your choices is create a must have list starting with a must have detail(specs) list, followed by price point that you want to stay in, and finally get input from others who have had experience with the watch and or brand.

Thank you all for reading and thank you EVOX for allowing me to review this watch.

Home

Movement: Automatic NH35

Power ReserveUp to 40 hours

Water Resistant 30 ATM, 300 meters

Limited Edition 20 pieces

Sapphire Crystal

Case Bronze with Unidirectional Rotating Bezel

Dial Superluminova Index and Hands

Diameter 47mmCase

Thickness 10mm

Strap Leather Strap with Complimentary Rubber Strap

Watch Review: Andersmann 1000m Bronze Diver

Andersmann watches are definitely not a stranger to my blog . I have reviewed almost every model that CEO Raymond Chan has released. Each of those models contain well thought out functional details and each model was an example Raymond’s attention to strict quality control. My personal favorite was the 47mm giant, the Deep Ocean diver. When Raymond first shared the pictures of his upcoming 1000m bronze diver I was immediately attracted to it. I’m not going to lie, I was a bit disappointed when I heard that it was 44mm. I really thought that 47mm would do the bronze case more justice. As I spent more time with this watch though, I found myself appreciating the size of the case. There’s no denying the absolute comfort of this watch. The weight (155grams) and the height (16mm) of this watch are not an issue whatsoever. It will fit easily under the cuff of your dress shirt if you are a desk diver at the office.

The case is made from bronze alloy CuSn8, which blends copper and tin in their pure states. Both copper and tin are structurally strong and highly corrosion-resistant. “Bronze, historically associated with ships, diving equipment, and various nautical pursuits, has developed a growing fan base in the watch-collector community for its warm, gold-like tone and its tendency to develop a unique patina from exposure to air, humidity, heat and wear — rendering each watch individual to its owner and his or her experiences.” Like most Andersmann watches, the lugs are relatively straight with very minimal curvature. The lugs are drilled which is definitely a preference of mine because not only do screw bars provide more stability than spring bars, but they also cut down the risk of scratching the lugs during a strap change.

I was surprised by how quickly the natural patina started to appear on this watch. It enhanced the depth of the raised dive scale numerals on the unidirectional bezel actually making them more legible. Like it’s titanium big brother, the bronzo features knurled edge detail on both the bezel and on the screw down crown. The knurl detail is quite beautiful but more importantly the knurl detailing on the crown and bezel add ease of function. Both the bezel and the crown are easy to grip ahold of and operate. The bezel has a tight, precise ratcheting action that has none of that disappointing extra play or wobble. The crown doesn’t disappoint either with it’s easy to grip knurl edges, it’s smooth screwing action and it’s strong crown stem. I like that the crown is signed with Andersmann “A” logo that adds a level of cohesion with the dial.(more about that in a bit)

The two details that I could have down without on this watch are the exhibition case back and the engraved Andersmann on the flank side of the case. Raymond does add some of his own detailing to the ETA Automatic movement to give you something to look at. It’s just a personal preference of mine to have a solid case back that features a detailed engraving. Aesthetically speaking, the engraved Andersmann name of the case disrupts the flow of the case. As patina forms around the engraved letters, this will definitely help enhance the look. These two details are just me trying to make the watch more appealing to my personal taste. There are no details on this watch that disappoint me from a functionality standpoint.

The dial is definitely the show stealer on this watch though. The distressed detail is a prime example of Raymond’s attention to fine details. Each dial is individually scratched making each piece uniquely different. The dial and the scratches appear to magically change depending on the angle and on the lighting that it is viewed under. The large luminous coated hands and numerals allow for optimal reading of the time is all lighting situations. Whether you are driving through a tunnel on the highway or diving in the murky depths of your favorite diving spot, you will have no issues with quickly acclimating to the dial layout to read the time.

The semi-skeletonized hands are perfectly sized to the dial. It’s such a disappointment when a dial is fitted with inadequate sized hands. A detail that has been a deal breaker for me in the past. Each of the three bronze models featured it’s own uniquely colored second hand.(yellow, blue or white) The sandwich style dial gives a nice head nod to the Italian divers that made this detail ever so popular. Allowing you to truly admire the dial on this watch is a thanks in part to the double curved sapphire crystal. The top crystal is 4.4mm thick and is treated with anti-reflecting treatment. The case back sapphire crystal is 2.9mm and is tinted grey.

The bronzo comes on a super soft, comfortable FKM rubber strap (125/85) that features a bronze CuSn8 tongue buckle(engraved). Not only does the soft rubber conform to your wrist comfortably but it’s also extremely easy to keep clean. Working in healthcare nowadays having stuff that is easily cleaned is definitely appreciated. I wash this watch and strap in between seeing each of my patients. Right now personally I wouldn’t wear a leather strap to work because leather acts like a moisture sponge.

The Andersmann 1000m bronze diver is a well executed dive watch that is packed full of those Andersmann functional details that I have come to love and expect from Raymond. Some will complain about the $1800 price tag on this watch. Those who complain about the price will find it extremely difficult to find this type of quality/specs on anything under the 1k price point. There’s a watch for every person’s budget. Instead of complaining about the price of a watch, go and find a watch that works for your personal budget or save up for one.

The watch is definitely one to consider if you thought the Deep Ocean watch was awesome but the 47mm size turned you off. This watch is also a great option for those looking for a quality bronze diver. The watch is extremely accurate and that is thanks to the tried and abused workhorse ETA2892-A2. The watch comes in a nice secured pelican case that is as rugged as the watch inside. This review piece was worn to work, during multiple hiking and climbing trips and survived many trips to the sandy beach. It functioned flawlessly, kept it’s appearance and even developed some beautiful natural patina. I definitely recommend this watch to anyone looking to add a bronze diver to their collection.

Thank you for reading. Thank you Raymond for allowing me to review this watch.

For more information head to https://www.andersmann.com

Watch Review: Sel Omidiver Automatic

Company

SEL Instrument

https://selinstrument.com/purchase/

OmniDiver Automatic OMNI-A-001

Materials, Case, Bracelet & Clasp: Grade 5 Titanium (Ti-6AL-4V)

Materials, Hardware (Screws, etc): 316L Stainless Steel

Crystal, Front: Sapphire, shock isolated Crystal, Rear: Sapphire, rigid mount

Weight: Approximately 178g with braceletWater

Resistance: 4000m (reduced due to rear window)

Case: 46.5mm Diameter

Bezel: 48.5mm Diameter

Case Height: 16.5mm

Lug to Lug: 53.2mm

Bezel: Unidirectional, 120 positions

Clasp Adjustment (no tools): 4.5mm increments X6, 14mm dive extension x1.Lug Adapter for Straps: 22mm NATO/ZULU, or 25.5mm SēL FST Strap

Today I am excited to be reviewing the Automatic version of SEL instruments Omnidiver. Before I go any further I want to point out (besides the obvious difference being the movement itself), there are some differences between the quartz version and the auto version. The areas that they share identical details you will notice that I used the same paragraphs from my quartz review, not because of laziness but because both versions share some of the same over engineered details. Now that is out of the way, let’s begin exploring this watch.

About SEL

SēL Instrument is an R&D focused high-performance watch manufacturer located in Arizona, USA. Founded in 2013, our focus has been to challenge and deconstruct many traditional embodiment’s in watchmaking and re-engineer better solutions for rugged field instruments. In addition to our products, we have developed significant intellectual property with several patents pending and new research in areas including high-pressure sealing, thermal stability, and impact shock mitigation. We measure success not only by the quality of our products but also by the breadth of relationships we cultivate to support other watch manufacturers, defense contractors, and the end users of our products in the field.

The OmniDiver’s Kyropoulos sapphire is protected by a shock-isolating suspension mount. This assists with reducing the risk of fracturing the crystal which can occur from strong impacts. The crystal isn’t just protected from strong impacts but it’s unique mount also helps to protect it thermodynamically that can cause shrinking and expansion from changes in temperature. The crystal gives the perfect view to the busy but extremely functional dial. As one would expect from a military designed watch the dial includes 12 and 24 hour numerals. In my healthcare field of work I love the ease of having the military time included. If you have an eye for detail you will notice something on the automatic versions dial that isn’t on the quartz version. Take a closer look near the 3 o’clock position, notice anything? That small circular cut out gives a sneak peak at the jewel and shock absorber of the automatic movement that’s beating inside this Omnidiver. (Sellita premium SW-200-1 that has been adjusted to exceed COSC chronometer standards in 5 different positions.

The bezel on the OmniDiver is quite possibly the best functioning bezel I have experienced. It not only fits tight against the case itself but the operation is incredibly smooth. The smooth operation can be attributed to the silicon nitride balls that are ridiculously held to +/- .0001” gives the OmniDiver bezel the smoothest high precision fit possible on the casework. This bezel easily blows away anything I’ve experienced from other companies in this price range. Inside the bezel are large ratchet pistons allowing precise indexing in all of the bezel’s 120 positions without any counter-rotation whatsoever!

OmniDiver has special two-stage seals with separate low-pressure and high-pressure seals that react dynamically to hydrostatic pressure. SEL insured that the OmniDiver’s 6-piece titanium case to withstand 10,000psi. This helps reduce structural failures which could damage the seal integrity and adds to the overall water resistance of the OmniDiver which is 6000m by the way.

The OmniDiver features a screw down crown which is positioned at the 6 o’clock position nicely protected in between the lugs. Adding to the toughness of this watch, SēL crowns are pressure rated in the open position. Unlikely for most, but if you do forget to screw down the crown you are still completely safe if you go into the water.

“OmniDiver uses SēL MKI retention to integrate lug adapters and dual case lugs for bracelet or strap configurations secured with machine screws that are captive at both ends for increased strength. All that means to you is that you can change your mind easily, from bracelet to strap or back again, in about 30 seconds with a common hex wrench (included).”

What I really like about the bracelet on the OmniDiver is that the solid titanium links and cross bars are nicely spaced, allowing mud, sand, and dirt to slip right through. The automatic version has been in my possession since right before the Covid-19 pandemic hit here in the US. Working in healthcare has become quite stressful for me recently because of the increased physical and mental demand on me. The OmniDiver has been on my wrist every day at work. Keeping this watch clean as my hands is a lot easier with having it on this bracelet. I could not imagine having a leather strap on this watch right now which would act as a germ sponge.

“The SēL WavLock, machined from solid titanium, gives you 24mm incremental adjustment (4mm increments) and a 14mm auxiliary extension. That’s 38mm total adjustment. No tools required. Plus, when closed, the design puts all of the stress forces into the solid titanium bottom plate instead of the hinge and catch like a trifold does.”

As I mentioned in my review of the HAQ Omnidiver, the Tudor Pelagos is one of my favorite dive watches of all time. Something else that I have mentioned countless times is I am no fan of bracelets. The Pelagos definitely opened my eyes on bracelets and gave me respect for quality, well made ones. Before the OmniDiver came into my hands, the Pelagos bracelet was my personal favorite. The Pelagos bracelet is far superior than the overrated SD43’s oyster bracelet. The OmniDivers bracelet, especially the WavLock feature reminds me of the good craftsmanship from Tudor, but the difference is that the Omnidiver’s bracelet is on some serious steroids. There is a slight learning curve with operating the the clasp/micro adjustment but it’s a quick learning experience. It functions with fluidity and once it’s closed it’s solidly closed with confidence of staying in the closed position. The knurled edges allow for ease of sliding the adjustment over the WavLock teeth.

The science that SEL uses for the lume is a blend of europium, dysprosium doped grade-0 particles and UV transparent binders which makes for some of the “brightest and longest lasting strontium-aluminate illumination.” This lume lasts for hours, I am talking 18+ hours. My fun bouts with insomnia allows me to be awake at all crazy hours and whenever I was tossing and turning, there was the glowing lume of the OmniDiver keeping me company. The Omnidiver definitely has made me appreciate lume, not just any lume, but Omni-lume!

Enjoying some nature with the Omnidiver

The OmniDiver comes in an appropriate box. It’s crazy large, tough and just perfect for this watch and SEL’s mantra! The Pelican 1300 case holds the WavLock Bracelet, ZULU straps, lug adapters, and a tool kit. The Wiha tool kit allows you to easily size the bracelet and access lugs for easy strap/bracelet changes.

It is hard to pick my favorite part of this watch. Usually the dial or the case is a clear winner in the race to my favorite but the OMNIDIVER is a clear exception to that. The dial and case are both winners in my opinion. The first time I saw pictures of this watch it was the hands that were responsible for catching my attention first. In person the hands are just as, if not more impressive. The second hand has mass, balance, and inertia optimized which contributes to accuracy and longevity of the movement. All three hands are everything I want and need on a watch, appropriately sized to the circumference of the matte black dial. My ideal dial must he be extremely legible in both day/night for quick acquisition. The Omnidiver’s dial has a unique military design which is consistent with the overall design aesthetics of the watch itself. Everything on this watch has intentional design cohesion.

This watch is not easily lost on the wrist because of it’s shear size but extremely comfortable because the lightness of titanium, the short angled lugs and the crown location. It actually wears smaller than the dimensions imply. The bracelet also allows a precision fit around the wrist. That detail isn’t by chance either, Andrew meticulously machines each side piece the bracelet so that when the bracelet is assembled it forms a wrist conforming circle. I like the fact it doesn’t feel like a toy watch like a lot of titanium watches out there feel cheap/flimsy.

Andrew made this watch because he was tired of watches breaking on him. The final straw was when he was looking down at the floorboards when on an important mission, seeing a watch bouncing around at his feet. Thinking to himself, that looks like my watch down there, WTF that is my watch down there. That day he decided that it was time he took matters into his own hands and he decided to design a watch that could withstand the requirements of his military lifestyle. Fast forward a bit and Andrew was ejected from a vehicle, his body sliding and bouncing across the pavement. Any normal human being would have been self concerned with injuries but not this super human, bloody and all, Andrew was more excited that his OmniDiver withstood this accident without fail! At that moment he knew he had succeeded at his watch designing/manufacturing mission!

Everything on the OmniDiver has been overthought, overdesigned, overtested and the result is a watch that functions without fail. I haven’t experienced a watch like this before. In fact, I can easily say that this watch has out-perform any tool/military watch out there that I have personally experienced/owned/reviewed. Designed by a professional for people who demand the most from their watch when it matters most.

SEL engineered quality that will handle the demands of your daily life. If you are out in the military field or if your daily missions are from behind the desk, this watch won’t fail you. If for some reason it does, SEL is there to stand behind their products 100%. Andrew has even gone so far to hand deliver a watch in person. I met with him in person before this review. He is what makes this inspiring, he is what makes it fun and that is often lost in this industry/community. Listening to Andrew enthusiastically talk about how even the smallest of detail is hand done by either himself (in fact he will screw down his crown and mark it to make sure that the engraved SEL will line up perfectly once it is in the fully closed position. A detail not even ROLEX does) or his small team was one of my favorite moments in my watch reviewing experience.

What would I recommend to make the Omnidiver a even better, more functional tool watch? One change I would make is adding a black date wheel instead of a white one. This is a more aesthetic change than a suggested change of function. Making the crown larger with deeper machined grooves for easier gripping and operation is my suggestion for functional change/improvement. On the HAQ version this isn’t necessary in my opinion. On the automatic version I believe that this is a must, especially if you enjoy winding the movement yourself.

I certainly don’t baby watches when I wear them though it’s never a pleasant experience banging your watch on door frame. The Omnidiver is the first watch that if I hit it on a doorframe or on a rock during a climb, that I don’t give it a second thought. I know that the engineering of this watch has been tested by SEL to be basically “bombproof” and I have spent months with the watch testing it myself. There are no concerns in my mind that this watch can’t handle anything I put it through when it’s on my wrist. Now that I have spent months with both the HAQ Omnidiver and the Automatic prototype, which version will I choose? Please check back in a few months to see which one I purchased.

A short but extremely informative interview with Andrew Founder/CEO of Sel Instruments.

What is your background, give us a glimpse of life before Sel:

I started SēL as I was leaving my prior career as a private contractor.  My job then involved a ton of travel, basically assembling and running small teams to work special projects for a variety of organizations including governmental/non-governmental, private and public multi-national corporations, etc.  I worked in all kinds of environments from maritime to alpine to swamps. 
   

What was the watch responsible for your love of watches?

My love for watches really comes from the concept of a watch being at its simplest this self-contained utilitarian tool that unlike a hammer or coffee machine, has an excruciating amount of energy put into balancing aesthetic design, engineering, precision machining, etc.  A watch is as much art as machine.  A wristwatch, more than a tool, is an expression of who we are at our core.  Just like with cars, I think you can infer so much about a person’s psychology and values just from the type of watch they chose to wear.            

Portable timepieces were some the earliest engineering complications and I think that even today, maybe more so now, I appreciate this self contained and self reliant “computer” that will run for years with no charging cords, no fuel, no intervention other than just wearing and using it as it was intended.  For example, we have a power supply for one of our quartz movements that has a theoretical autonomy of almost 10 years.  In a properly clean and well sealed case, that’s got to be one of the most worry free things in my life.          

I know and appreciate the story of why you decided to manufacture and start your own brand, please explain it to my readers: 

I broke a lot of watches.  Everything from $100 Casios to relatively expensive “professional tool watches”.  I lost bezels, cracked crystals, broke straps, bracelets, spring bars, etc.  I was frustrated with bracelets that required special tools to size. Straps that could be too loose in one hole, too tight in another.  Bracelets that didn’t easily re-size from season to season or environment to environment as wrist size changes due to changes in temperature and hydration.  Because I always loved watches, I started thinking about how to improve mechanical performance and reduce breakage.  Nothing we’ve done is different for the sake of being different.  Our engineering focus has always been function first.  If it works better, is stronger, more adjustable, etc – we’ll consider it. 

What is the most important thing that you have learned along Sel’s journey? 

We have faced some absolutely huge obstacles in growing the company from a start-up concept on paper to a legitimate manufacturer of extremely high quality timepieces.  I think the lesson learned was that never abandoning our original focus on engineering the product for the highest performance possible regardless of difficulty or expense was the thing that ultimately began to win over customers and start selling watches in the beginning.  That commitment is what defined the brand and continues to reinforce our existing customers’ confidence and win over new customers.  So many people tried to convince us to do things differently because it would be faster or cheaper or whatever and that’s the kind of profit-only business philosophy that frustrated us. We’re committed to growing a profitable company but not at the expense of our core values.  The US watch market didn’t want or need another company importing watches from overseas that were for all intents, built identically to watches already in the market.    

and also tell us about the best moment and worst moment so far:

There are several “worst moments” but the silver lining common to them all is that they each represent a huge evolution in the company that ultimately made us stronger and more capable.  I guess the irony is the worst moments lead to the best moments.  For example, during the very first submersion test we did years ago, our cases flooded at about 5 feet.  Not kidding. It was something like .02% of our design goal of 6000m (19,685 feet).  Months before, we had hired an engineering firm to help with the development of our sealing and built prototypes to their calculations. We thought we were just a few months from being in production.  We were so wrong.  They had done the calculations wrong which meant the 5 prototype case assemblies we had machined were now scrap.  Sometimes the old adage is true – “If you want something done right…”, so we spent the next few months learning about high pressure sealing and redesigning our cases and seals completely.  We moved all of our engineering, modeling, and simulation in-house.  We also built our 20,000psi hydrostatic testing system. We developed the two stage seal we use now during this redesign and seeing the watch case literally crush under pressure while the seals still held was an awesome feeling.

Can you give us a teaser of what is in the works/future plans for Sel? 

Our biggest focus is on expanding our product offering without loosing our focus on unique in the world performance and bombproof engineering.  In the immediate future we’re working on additional modules for the interchangeable Exoskeleton that the OPTx is based on.  Basically the Exo-1 is an ultra lightweight chassis into which different modules can be interchanged in seconds.  We’re planning a digital option with GPS/GLONASS and some color options for analog.

We’re also working on some other designs like a smaller and lower profile dress diver or aviator but those are still very much in concept.  

One of the biggest challenge has been resisting the urge to take on too much too quickly.  For companies who do aesthetic design only and outsource production overseas, this isn’t much of a problem but because we have to do all aesthetic design, engineering, prototyping, process engineering, and production, making a new watch is a huge undertaking in terms of both financial and time management.  We have to carefully balance current production to fill orders against time to work on new projects.            

Please feel free to add anything you would like people know.

Retail price vs manufacturing cost.  I think this is one of the most misunderstood aspects of watch manufacturing by consumers and definitely results in the most misinformed comments on social media. 

Movements do NOT drive the cost of sub $10,000 watches nearly as much as people seem to think they do.  Grand complications – sure.  That’s an entirely different thing.  But for our tool watches, it really makes very little difference if we case a chronometer grade HAQ or Automatic or even a lower grade quartz.  The bulk of our manufacturing cost comes from doing real R&D, prototyping, higher performance case and bracelet designs that are much more complicated to manufacture, better raw materials, tighter tolerances, hand finishing time, rejecting (sent to recycling) parts that don’t meet our extremely strict tolerances, CNC machining EVERYTHING instead of using less expensive and lower quality manufacturing processes like casting, stamping, forming, and yes, making nearly everything in the US instead of overseas. 

Before we even started promoting the SēL brand or the OmniDiver we completely destroyed 5 of them in destructive testing to understand the failure modes of our engineering and design.  That’s $28,000 in retail dollars that we sent to the recycling bin before the company even had a name.  Based on our findings, we improved the entire design and went into more testing.  Thousands of hours (literally) and a lot of hard cost expense goes into developing a high performance product.  But it’s also the reason we had no problem driving over one with a Jeep when you suggested that it would be awesome to see.              

Design cost and product quality are typically commensurate.  Take any average dive watch and typically you can wiggle the bezel around on the case because the fit between the two is very loose.  It’s easier to manufacture a bezel this way because fundamentally, everyone wants a “smooth” bezel and the tighter the tolerances get – to eliminate the wiggle; – the harder it becomes to make it smooth.  One common industry solution to retain a bezel on a case is a piece of bent wire.  These are neither high precision or strong.  I learned this when I watched a bezel I knocked off fall to the bottom of the ocean.  

We hold a tolerance of +/-.0002” (+/-.005mm) on the critical features and use 12 high precision silicon nitride balls to ensure a “wiggle-free” fit, smooth rotation, and absolutely no chance the bezel will ever separate from the case until we want it to.  In machining, we’re holing that tolerance on 21 different features of 3 parts to make the bezel function that way it does.  No doubt there are less expensive ways to do it that can still be serviceable but our method is higher precision and much stronger and unfortunately much more expensive.

Take a standard off-the-shelf tri-fold clasp.  These are produced from thin sheet metal in a high pressure form press.  In terms of cost and time efficiency, it’s a brilliant solution.  It takes literally a few seconds and a few pennies of material to make parts like this but they can not form the off-axis features and crisp sharp edges that are essential for our WavLock to function as it does in such a relatively small size.  Each of our three main clasp components take about an hour to machine from solid titanium.  The irony is that even though our clasps are more expensive than the stamped steel alternative, they hold a much higher profit margin on theirs.  That’s why we constant remind everyone that our business model is design/function driven, not profit driven.               

Here’s another example.  Titanium is not all the same. We use a domestic (US) produced lab certified alloy.  The lab certification adds expense in itself BUT the requirement that the raw materials are certified before melting, along with the entire process to guarantee the alloy composition is very expensive.  Buying uncertified material from overseas is a gamble.  Sometimes it’s what it should be, sometimes not.  The result is that our titanium is almost twice as expensive as non-certified alloy.  We will not represent an alloy to our customer as Ti-6AL-4V unless we’re absolutely certain it actually is.  

And, I could go on like this for hours but I think the most important thing for people to know is that to us, more important that the brand you’re wearing or what it cost you, is that that you love it and that it works for you.  Buy what works for you.  If you like a $75 digital watch with a plastic case, go for it! I wore them for years.  If you can afford a $20,000 or $100,000 luxury watch, and that’s what you want, buy it!  Everyone’s needs are different just as their realities (financial and otherwise) are different too.  One thing we try to remember is how lucky we are to be doing what we do everyday.  There are so many people who struggle with the most basic necessities of life and so many people who are still giving their all in high risk environments so that we can have a better and safer life.  That’s why we donate 100% of our scrap recycling buy-back to veteran and first responder charities.  It’s not much, but it’s something we can do to help.      V/r, 

Andrew McLean, Founder/CEO

SēL Instrument – Arizona, U.S.A. 

SēL is a First-Responder owned company.

Thank you all so much for reading!

Watch Review: Scurfa Diver One D1-500 ND713RD

Diver One D1-500 ND713RD

Divers working in the North Sea are made up in teams of three and on any working dive you have a diver 1, diver 2 and the bellman, diver 1 controls the dive and this is where the name for the watches come from, diver 2 is there to make his job easier, the bellman tends the divers from the diving bell and the divers work in the water for a maximum six hours, a normal saturation diving system will house four teams of three divers covering the full twenty four hours of the working day stopping only for bad weather or crew changes, the work period for the divers is 28 days including decompression.

Paul took the already tough Diver One design and made it into the classy ND713RD. Like the previously reviewed Diver One, the ND713RD comes in a 40mm case. With a 500m depth rating, the ND713RD features a 1mm case back gasket which ensures it’s water tightness in diving conditions. The “classy” D1 features a black PVD coated 316L surgical grade stainless steel case. The case includes everything I expect a functioning dive watch to have. It has a screw down crown, rotating bezel with a lume pip, thick domed sapphire crystal and a gas release valve.

The gold details weren’t just reserved for the details on the dial, but also on the Ronda 713SM movement. The movement is a gold plated 5 jewel Swiss made movement, with a long battery life and features a EOL indicator. I love that the movement is a clean non date movement, as opposed to a movement which date window takes away from the overall flow of a dial. The generously sized sword style hands allow for great legibility even when conditions are not optimal. I wasn’t worried about the legibility of this watch since Paul tests his watches himself in the murky, dark waters of the North Sea. The gilt hands and printed markers are set beautifully against the gloss black dial. The dial is kept minimalistic as well with the limited amount of printed text. The text was kept to the Scurfa name logo under the 12 o’clock position and Diver One just about the 6 o’clock position.

Diver One D1 500 Nd713rd 14

The 40mm by 47.7 by 14.4mm case is equipped with a Heliox escape valve which was built into the watch case located at the 9 o’clock side. The escape valve has been tested by Paul Scurfa himself at different depths and gas mixtures, with the deepest decompression being 154 metres to the surface. This is why I love Paul’s watches. People ask me why I review his watches since they aren’t a style a typically go for. They also know how I am bored with the watch industry as a whole and extremely tired of rehashed designs. It’s the extreme amount of testing that Paul puts into his watches that draws me to them. They are affordable, they are tough and they are packed full of tested features. Paul personally tests his watches in the harsh conditions of the North Sea.

Diver One D1 500 Nd713rd 10

The dial in daylight has an old style radium look that adds a nice vintage feel to this watch. At night the lume on this watch glows like a green flashlight thanks to the grade A C3 Super Luminova treatment. The lume is generously coated on the hands and the markers. Paul has a deep appreciation for vintage Rolex and Tudor watches. His watches aren’t the “only out for the money” by riding the coattails of Rolex or Tudor either. Paul takes his deep love and appreciation for the designs of the past and incorporates that into his watches. He also includes his “trialed and tested” in the field DNA into each of his watches.

The watch comes equipped with a 20mm rubber strap that is based on the Italian style straps that are often found on vintage diving watches. The strap is made of extremely durable rubber that not only holds up against abuse but is also extremely comfortable on the wrist. I am personally a huge fan of custom made straps and this watch will definitely look amazing on a custom made leather strap. One detail that I have come to prefer on my watches is having drilled lugs. It makes for an easier strap change with minimal risk to scratching the lugs. If I could get Paul to include screw style bars instead of spring loaded ones, I would be even happier. I personally prefer the added security of the screw in style.Everything on this watch is purpose driven, with function in the field as it’s driving force.

AB0209F7-4F4C-4C53-8C8D-7BACEECD7934

In my opinion Paul has just about perfected the affordable “daily beater”. $228 gets you a truly trialed and tested watch that is packed full of ideal details. The best part of these details? The fact that they aren’t just details. Each detail was added with purpose and each detail functions with out fail. The signed D1 crown is easily gripped and has smooth operation. It unscrews without any issues and screwing it back down is free of any accidental cross threading like some poorly made watches experience. The unidirectional bezel is also easy to grip, but more importantly it doesn’t have that cheap extra play feel to it. This bezel not only sits tightly against the case but it also has that nice tight mechanical “click” that you can put into position and it will stay in position until you physically move it again. That’s a critical detail especially when life is dependent upon timing.

2EADC35C-536E-48EE-86D8-1B70F7E57352

There are only a couple of changes that I would make to this watch not because Paul made a mistake but rather to make this watch more perfect for me. The first is the size, it wears smaller than I prefer. I know that we all have our personal size preference, but I would love to see something from Scurfa in the 45mm-47mm. A big, rugged beast would be a welcome addition to the watch lineup. The other change which I mentioned earlier was to add screw style lug bars. This detail would add a bit more security to the watch. Paul’s watches are also purpose driven with the main focus being functionality in the field. Yes in this day and age dive computers are relied upon more often than watches, but if your “field” isn’t underwater, you can rest knowing that the D1 isn’t going to fail you. If you do use watches when you dive then you know damn well Paul already put any of your watch concerns to rest. He saw to that personally.

Thank you Paul for allowing me to take a look at another one of you tough watches. I also want to thank you all for reading. For more information on Scurfa Watches just follow this link:

Watch Review: Neminus Master Diver 1000

Seasons change, people change, times change, tastes change, and with those changes comes new experiences. I used to fear change, fear the new, but now I embrace it. Embracing it allows me to experience new things in life. Stainless steel used to be my preferred watch case metal of choice. I have to say that now my new favorite material is bronze. Bronze is a metal that is always changing as it ages. Bronze also wears scratches like a true champ. I love that about bronze.

Specifications

The Master Diver was birthed from a block of CuSn8 bronze which was given shape through CNC machining, 44mm x 18.4mm shape to be exact. Weighing in at 162g, the Master Diver won’t weigh down the wrist, but also doesn’t have the lightweight “cheapness” feeling either.

The details found throughout the Master Diver watch illustrates the great respect and admiration Neminus has for the deepest depths of the sea. With the rugged CuSn8 bronze, I expect equally rugged qualities to be found throughout the rest of this watch that is geared for the abuse that comes along with life at sea. The angular thick bezel features a scratch resistance ceramic insert which is a tougher material as opposed to commonly used aluminum bezel inserts. The angles of the bezel allows the wearer to easily grip and to easily rotate, even in all weather conditions. The same is true for the screw down crown and helium release valve.

Signed helium release valve which is located at the 10 o’clock position.

The dial is my favorite detail of this watch. The uniquely painted dial reminds me of the scales of the mythical Kraken. Green, textured and beautiful and the best part is that it’s unlike any dial I have ever seen. Neminus nailed the dial itself and thankfully they also nailed the hands as well. The trident second hand is campy, but it works regardless. A nice tie-in on this dial is the hands and the applied markers, both similar in design and both have BGW9 luminous treatment. The large hands and dial are extremely legible in daylight and in darkness.

The screw down case back of the Master Diver certainly did not disappoint me either. I have been obsessed with the depths of the sea and all of it’s hidden creatures since I can remember. I had a Fisher Price deep sea diver play set when I was a kid. That was the start of my love for old diving helmets like the one found on the Master Diver case back. The case back doesn’t feature a simple flat laser etched picture, what it does feature is a raised, textured diving helmet that has great depth, depth of detail like the sea itself.

The beautiful details of the Master Diver’s case back

$599 USD gets you a watch that is packed with unique details and details that I personally don’t see on a watch at this price point. The details alone made this watch a “no brainer” decision. The pro’s heavily outweigh the cons. My cons are the date window and the bezel in lay. The reason the date window is a con for me is because the textured dial’s beautiful flow is sadly interrupted by the ugliness of the intrusive window. The reason why the bezel inlay is a con for me is because it doesn’t match the watch. A solid bronze bezel with protruding markers would have been much more cohesive with the design of the Master Diver.

The pro’s of the Master Diver are the unique dial, the large hands, legible dial, the case(shape, size, case back, drilled lugs, materials). The watch is very well made and held up remarkably well throughout my review process. It got some light scratches from the waves knocking it against the rocks, but who cares? I certainly don’t care about scratches on my watches. The 5mm thick double domed sapphire crystal is quite resistant to scratches and is treated with 4 layers of anti-reflective coating.

The Master Diver wears comfortably on the wrist and has great wrist presence. That wrist presence is due to the fact that Neminus wasn’t afraid to go outside of the rehashed design box that is currently plaguing the watch industry. If you are looking for your first bronze piece or if you are looking to add another to your collection then you should consider this watch. I guarantee you that you haven’t seen a dial like this one before and yes that’s a good thing. The Master Diver is available for purchase on Neminus’ website: https://www.neminuslab.com

Thank you all for reading and thanks to Neminus for allowing me to review this watch.

Watch Review: SEL OmniDiver

Company

SEL Instrument

https://selinstrument.com/purchase/

Case Size

with 48mm Bezel

Case Thickness

15 mm

Weight

168g with Bracelet & Clasp

Warranty

5 years

Total Clasp Adjustment

38mm

Incremental Adjustment

24mm In 4mm Increments

Auxiliary Extension

14mm

Material

Grade 5 Titanium

Crystal

Kyropoulos Shock Isolated Suspension Mount

Timekeeping Accuracy

+/- 0.027 sec per day normal conditions

Water Resistance

600atm/6000m

About SEL

SēL Instrument is an R&D focused high-performance watch manufacturer located in Arizona, USA. Founded in 2013, our focus has been to challenge and deconstruct many traditional embodiment’s in watchmaking and re-engineer better solutions for rugged field instruments. In addition to our products, we have developed significant intellectual property with several patents pending and new research in areas including high-pressure sealing, thermal stability, and impact shock mitigation. We measure success not only by the quality of our products but also by the breadth of relationships we cultivate to support other watch manufacturers, defense contractors, and the end users of our products in the field.

The OmniDiver’s Kyropoulos sapphire is protected by a shock-isolating suspension mount. This assists with reducing the risk of fracturing the crystal which can occur from strong impacts. The crystal isn’t just protected from strong impacts but it’s unique mount also helps to protect it thermodynamically that can cause shrinking and expansion from changes in temperature.

The bezel on the OmniDiver is quite possibly the best functioning bezel I have experienced. It not only fits tight against the case itself but the operation is incredibly smooth. The smooth operation can be attributed to the silicon nitride balls that are ridiculously held to +/- .0001” gives the OmniDiver bezel the smoothest high precision fit possible on the casework. This bezel easily blows away anything ROLEX has done. Period. Inside the bezel are large ratchet pistons allowing precise indexing in all of the bezel’s 120 positions without any counter-rotation whatsoever!

“OmniDiver is powered by a next generation temperature compensating ETA PreciDrive movement capable of plus or minus 10 seconds per year accuracy. That’s substantially better than the COSC standard for certified quartz or mechanical chronometers.”

OmniDiver has special two-stage seals with separate low-pressure and high-pressure seals that react dynamically to hydrostatic pressure. SEL insured that the OmniDiver’s 6-piece titanium case to withstand 10,000psi. This helps reduce structural failures which could damage the seal integrity and adds to the overall water resistance of the OmniDiver which is 6000m by the way.

The OmniDiver features a screw down crown which is positioned at the 6 o’clock position nicely protected in between the lugs. Adding to the toughness of this watch, SēL crowns are pressure rated in the open position. Unlikely for most, but if you do forget to screw down the crown you are completely safe if you go into the water.

“OmniDiver uses SēL MKI retention to integrate lug adapters and dual case lugs for bracelet or strap configurations secured with machine screws that are captive at both ends for increased strength. All that means to you is that you can change your mind easily, from bracelet to strap or back again, in about 30 seconds with a common hex wrench (included).”

What I really like about the bracelet on the OmniDiver is that the solid titanium links and cross bars are nicely spaced, allowing any mud, sand, and dirt to slip right through. I am no fan of bracelets by any means, but those crafty bastards at SEL made a bracelet that this asshole absolutely loves. There’s an awesome picture of the OmniDiver connected to an engine puller that the bracelet is actually taking the brunt of the weight of an engine block without failure.

“The SēL WavLock, machined from solid titanium, gives you 24mm incremental adjustment (4mm increments) and a 14mm auxiliary extension. That’s 38mm total adjustment.  No tools required.  Plus, when closed, the design puts all of the stress forces into the solid titanium bottom plate instead of the hinge and catch like a trifold does.”

One of my favorite dive watches of all time is the Tudor Pelagos. As I mentioned countless times before I am no fan of bracelets but I definitely have respect for the bracelet on the Pelagos. Before the OmniDiver came into my hands, the Pelagos bracelet was my favorite and it is definitely better than the overrated SD43’s oyster bracelet. The OmniDivers bracelet, especially the WavLock is like Tudor’s but on serious steroids. There is a slight learning curve with operating the the clasp/micro adjustment but it’s a quick learning experience. It functions with fluidity and once it’s closed it’s solidly closed with confidence of staying in the closed position. The knurled edges allow for ease of sliding the adjustment over the WavLock teeth.

I don’t care much about lume either way. It’s never been a deal breaker for me. That being said, I love how bright the day lume on the OmniDiver is. The science that SEL uses on the watch is a blend of europium, dysprosium doped grade-0 particles and UV transparent binders which makes for some of the “brightest and longest lasting strontium-aluminate illumination.” No, it’s not that bullshit that you charge from a light source and it lasts a few minutes. This lume lasts for hours, I am talking 18+ hours. My fun bouts with insomnia allows me to be awake at all crazy hours and whenever I was tossing and turning, there was the glowing lume of the OmniDiver keeping me company.

The OmniDiver comes in an appropriate box. It’s crazy large, tough and just perfect for this watch and SEL’s mantra! The Pelican 1300 case holds the WavLock Bracelet, ZULU straps, lug adapters, and a tool kit. The Wiha tool kit allows you to easily size the bracelet and access lugs for easy strap/bracelet changes.

It is hard to pick my favorite part of this watch. Usually the dial or the case is a clear winner in the race to my favorite but the OMNIDIVER is a clear exception to that. The dial and case are both winners in my opinion. The first time I saw pictures of this watch it was the hands that were responsible for catching my attention first. In person the hands are just as, if not more impressive. They are everything I want and need from a company, sized appropriately to the matte black dial, the dial is extremely legible in both day/night, and unique military design is consistent with the overall design aesthetics of the watch itself.

The busy nature of the dial on the OmniDiver works extremely well in my opinion. There isn’t a single detail that I would remove. I definitely appreciate the inclusion of both the standard and the military time. This is extremely helpful for me personally because of working in healthcare we use military time for everything. I love that the date window is NOT easy to find. Yes you heard me correctly, I like that fact because it doesn’t disrupt the flow of anything, it’s there because it’s helpful and it’s nicely tucked away with it’s cleaver shape/black wheel/white print. If you have to have a date window on a dial, this is exactly how you want it when you prefer a no date dial.

This watch is not easily lost on the wrist because of it’s shear size but extremely comfortable because the lightness of titanium. Most importantly, it doesn’t feel like a toy watch like a lot of titanium watches out there. Andrew made this watch because he was tired of watches breaking on him. The final straw was when he was looking down at the floorboards when on an important mission, seeing a watch bouncing around at his feet. Thinking to himself, that looks like my watch down there, WTF that is my watch down there. That day he decided that it was time he took matters into his own hands and he decided to design a watch that could withstand the requirements of his military lifestyle. Fast forward a bit and Andrew was ejected from a vehicle, his body sliding and bouncing across the pavement. Any normal human being would have been self concerned with injuries but not this super human, bloody and all, Andrew was more excited that his OmniDiver withstood this accident without fail! At that moment he knew he had succeeded at his watch designing/manufacturing mission!

Everything on the OmniDiver has been overthought, overdesigned, overtested and the result is a watch that functions without fail. I haven’t experienced a watch like this before. In fact, I can easily say that this watch will out-perform any tool/military watch out there. Before the negative naysayers come at me with their whining little bitch attitudes/complaints about the price, I will save their time and my time because this watch wasn’t designed for pussies like them. TRUE STORY. Designed by a professional for people who demand the most from their watch when it matters most.

This watch did not disappoint me or fail me on any level. I thoroughly enjoyed every second with this watch. I don’t review watches for the masses, I review watches for individuals like myself. Those individuals above the bullshit, above the nonsense, above everything that tries to bring the unnecessary (negative drama) to this hobby. At the end of the day these are fucking watches and at the end of this day this fucking watch is nothing but passion filled quality. Quality that will handle the demands of your daily life, whether if you are out in the military field or if your daily missions are from behind the desk, this watch won’t fail you. If for some reason it does, SEL is there to stand behind their products 100%. Andrew has even gone so far to hand deliver a watch in person. I met with him in person before this review. He is what makes this inspiring, he is what makes it fun and that is often lost in this industry/community. Listening to Andrew enthusiastically talk about how even the smallest of detail is hand done by either himself (in fact he will screw down his crown and mark it to make sure that the engraved SEL will line up perfectly once it is in the fully closed position. A detail not even ROLEX does) or his small team was one of my favorite moments in my watch reviewing experience.

For the people who prefer automatic movements, SEL is coming out with one for you soon. I will be reviewing that piece as well.

I want to personally thank Andrew for hand delivering this watch to me and sitting for hours chatting about watches/his vision/work ethic/passion for delivering the best products possible. It was absolutely inspiring and motivating.

Thank you all so much for reading!