COMPANY: Deaumar Watches
“NEVER TRUST A BALD BARBER”
This can be true of many aspects of life. It can be especially true of the world of watches.
There is a “gold rush” on at the moment. Many people seeing readily available watch designs available and are creating cheap and quick rebrands (putting their logo on the face of an otherwise stock watch), then putting them on Kickstarter as “redefining minimalist / luxury / Swiss…watches”.
These people talk about their “love” and “passion” for watches.
Custom 316L Solid Surgical Stainless Steel “Cushion” Shaped Case – With drilled lugs to enable easy strap changing. Screw down signed crown and screw down steel caseback.
Seiko (SII) NH36 (OEM version of the 4R36) Automatic Day / Date Movement – 24 Jewel – Hacking & Hand-winding. Charges by the movement of your wrist, never needs batteries.
Steel bezel with ceramic insert and superluminova triangle.
Slightly domed, scratch resistant, Sapphire Crystal Glass with Anti-Reflective coating.
Applied indices with C1 Super Luminova Lumed Markers.
120 Click Uni Directional Rotating Bezel.
Custom “H” link solid steel strap with Solid End Links (SELs) and 2 piece solid clasp.
200m / 20ATM Water Resistance.
Case Width – 42mm Excluding Crown.
Lug Width – 22mm.
Lug To Lug Length – 47mm.
Height – 14.3mm – including slightly domed sapphire crystal.
Weight – 170g.
One day I was standing in my friend’s tattoo shop and I came across a great sign. It stated “good tattoos aren’t cheap and cheap tattoos aren’t good”. True words. Some would also believe that this applies for watches as well. There’s a certain stereotype that when a watch is inexpensive that it’s no good. Certainly there are watch snobs that truly believe this. Today I will be exploring this offering from Ensign. It’s definitley on the affordable side coming in at under $350 USD. Let’s see if it comes at a cost?
Upon first look at the Ensign it’s hard to ignore the shape like a form fitted dress. The “cushion” shaped case is something that is out of the norm and it works well here. The case comes in at 42mm x 14.3mm, a good size in my opinion. Anything under 42mm is not in my personal sweet spot, so Deaumar gets points in my book. A start in the right direction for sure.
The drilled lug holes are also a bonus because it makes for easy strap/bracelet changes. The curved profile of the case runs right into the lugs which gives a great profile aesthetic and assists with the whole “cushion” shape.The signed crown(Deaumar logo) screws down and up with ease you would hope to find when operating a watch with this style operating system. Though the case has no crown guards, due to the 4 o’clock location part of the lug acts like a mini crown guard.
Like most of you, a bezel is something that can be a pretty awesome detail if it’s done correctly. From the overall design appearance to the addicting sound it makes when you rotate it around. The Ensign bezel possess all the things that make a bezel great. It’s 120 clicks are music to the ears. It sounds solid and it also has very little play. The bezel is very easy to grip. The stainless steel bezel with a ceramic inlay is as beautiful to look at as it is hearing the clicks. At the 12 o’clock position there is the welcome addition of a lumed triangle. Rising slightly above the bezel is the slightly domed and scratch resistant, sapphire crystal glass with anti-reflective coating. When dealing with dive style watches, I expect and prefer a domed crystal. And of course it has to be sapphire.
As of late, I have been all about the solid case backs. I can’t explain why, but I am. The Ensign case back is screw down in function and high polished finish is appearence. There’s nothing fancy about the laser etching on the back, just some info about the watch and the Deaumar logo. The case is a nice combo of brushed steel and polished steel. Working together in good harmony. Making the Ensign a watch that can accompany you to work and to play.
Especially with the stainless steel bracelet. I like when a bracelet and a case share like elements & design aesthetics. Brushed steel is what makes up most of the bracelet with subtle hints of polished finish on the sides. I’m glad that Deaumar decided to go with a mostly brushed bracelet because a full polished bracelet would look to blingy coming off cheesy.
The dial is a real stunner. It leans more on the side of dressy than it does on the tool side. I’ll start with the dial itself which is black, not matte but gloss. There are a lot of dress qualities about this dial which make you forget what the price of this watch really is. The dial gives you the impression that the Ensign costs much more than it actually does. Even before you see the Ensign just reading the specification you would just expect this watch to cost more.
The applied indices look really good. The polished edges of the indices nicely tie into the polished hour/minute hands. The hour and minute hands like the indices are coated with C1 Super Luminova which has a beautiful bluish tint. I love the way it looks in complete darkness. Ohhh that glow. There are some nice touches of color splashed throughout the dial that add to the depth.
Starting with the most obvious of course is the red arrow second hand. A detail that I really like in addition to the red, is that the arrow head tip has a tiny bit of lume on it. A must have in my opinion, especially on a diver. The other color splashes on the dial come in the form of the white and red text printed on the dial. The day/date window at the 3 o’clock position adds to the dial rather than does it break up the flow. I’m not a fan of date windows but Deaumar did a nice job here. There’s a flow of consistency in the details here. The border of the date window matches the borders of the indices, and the shape mimics the shape of the 6, 9 o’clock markers.
The dial really has some great depth and detail. The applied markers give a 3 dimensional edge, teamed with the color splashes, the shape/color of the hands, all bordered by the lovely bezel. But that’s not all that borders the dial, there’s a nice inner chapter ring with white hash marks that really makes this dial sing. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s pretty impressive giving the asking price of $332 USD.
Ticking away inside the Ensign is the Seiko NH36. A safe and reliable movement featuring a day/date function with a central minute/hour/second hands. With a power reserve of 40 hours, 21,000 beats and an accuracy rate of -25~+35 per day. Can’t really add anything about this movement that hasn’t been said before.
The Ensign is quite the affordable and solid offering from Deaumar. Ceo and owner Tony V. knows his watches and is a very passionate member of the watch community. I believe this is a vital position to hold because it allows watch brand owners to keep an ear to the ground to see what the watch community likes and dislikes. It allows them to deliver a good quality and wanted product.
Now keep in mind that this is a prototype and the final production piece will actually be better. I like everything about the Ensign especially considering the price. It’s affordable without sacrificing quality. You get a lot of bang for your buck.
What would I personally change about the Ensign if I could? The pins that hold the links on the bracelet. I would change them to a single sided screw down style. They just stay in place better and make sizing the bracelet much easier. I’d also make the crown just a bit bigger so it’s easier to grip. A full brushed case would be my preference. I prefer a more tool looking dive watch as opposed to a dress style. Something that you can easily do with some home modification.
What’s nice about the Ensign? The bezel appearance, design and solid function. It’s my favorite part of this watch. 120 clicks of pure music to the ears. The applied indices are really nice as well. The price. You can’t ignore the fact how affordable this piece is. If the prototype is this nice, I can’t wait to see the final production piece. Speaking of, once they are released I will update this review to show the final piece that will be the true Ensign.
I want to personally thank Tony for this honor and opportunity to look and explore the Ensign.
Thanks for reading!
Wrist is 7 1/2″ for reference: