Watch Review: William L. 1985 1970’s Vintage Diver


There are two things in the title of this review that have special meaning to me, and will most likely age me a bit. I was born in the latter part of the 1970’s and 1985 was a killer year for me growing up. There were so many killer cartoons playing in 1985 Gi Joe, Transformers, M.A.S.K, He-Man, etc… And lets not forget about the great TV shows A-team, Dukes of Hazard, Knight Rider. Michael Knight with his cool watch. I have a lot of fond memories from those days. Seeing alot of these “classics” always brings a smile to my face. Another fond memory is of my Uncle who was an avid diver had a dive watch that resembled the watch I have in for review today. If I remember correctly it was made by Elgin but today we visit the past with the WilliamL1985 automatic vintage themed diver.


The first things I noticed about the case was the matte IP black treatment on the 316L stainless steel and the other thing that I noticed was the size, 38.5mm by 44mm lug to lug. This size is reminiscent of the watches that this piece drew it’s inspiration from. Not only are the dimensions smaller but the cushion style case also allows this watch to wear small. As you can see the lugs are extremely short. The screw down crown is easy to grip and operate because of the gear styly edges. The crown is  signed with an engraved W which gives a nice touch of detail.


The white numerals on the bezel are easily read white set against the black background. The bezel is easy to grip and rotate  unidirectionally. Unfortunately there is an quite a bit of play in the bezel. How much play? You can advance the crown almost one whole position. As disappointed as I was about the amount of play in the bezel, it is some what redeemed by the fact that the bezel arrow lines up with the dial markers/indices and the white fill is even throughout the bezel. The screw down exhibition case back gives a modern feature to the vintage themed diver. This allows you to see the signed rotor of the Miyota 8215 movement.


The Miyota 8215 is a non-hacking,  21 jewel movement. It drives the three-hands and date wheel. The 8215 has an accuracy of -20 to +40 seconds per day. This watch was keeping +15 seconds per day during my review process. The watch also has a power reserve of over 40 hours.


The dial on the is my favorite part of this watch. The combination of colors is pleasing to the eye and on the functional side of things the dial easy to read. The printed indices/markers are orange rectangles that are split in the middle by SuperLumi-Nova green tinted thick lines. There is a date window at the 3 o’clock position. A design detail that I really like here is that the date window is bordered with an orange square which gives the dial a more balanced look even with the 3 o’clock hour indice/marker is missing. The date wheel itself is white with black printed numerals.


The baton style hands work really well on this watch. They have a great vintage look which are proportioned nicely to the dial itself. The hour and minute hands are polished with SuperLumi-Nova treatment. The orange second hand has no lume treatment which is a bit disappointing. I think at least have the tip lumed. There is a small amount of white printed text on this dial which is found below the 12 o’clock position and above the 6 o’clock position, ‘William L. 1985’ and ‘Automatic.’ I like the fact that they kept the printed text to a minimum.


The black leather strap matches the dial brilliantly because of the orange stitching. A nice complementing detail. The 18mm wide strap is very comfortable and soft/pliable right out of the box. A nice feature of the strap is the quick release spring bars. These make strap changes a breeze and will cut down on lug scratches. The strap features a tang style buckle that is simply signed with a W. The buckle is matte black which matches the case.

This watch is extremely comfortable on the wrist, though getting used to it’s size does take some getting used to. I am a 44mm-47mm comfort zone kind of guy. There are divers that are better as desk divers and others that function at what their style suggests, they function as actual diver watches. In my personal opinion this watch would be a good desk diver/weekend adventure kind of watch for a few reasons. One the depth rating isn’t what I would classify this as a true dive watch.(100m) A watch that I would recommend to people who are looking for that dive watch style, but won’t necessarily take it diving. This would also be a great watch to for those guys who don’t like the larger size cases. I can really see the girlfriend/wife grabbing this watch to throw on just like one of our button down shirts.


100m depth rating

Too much play in the bezel


good alternative for guys that prefer smaller cases

won’t break the bank

good lume

easy to read dial

cool vintage design

I want to personally thank William L. 1985 and thank you for reading.


Nowadays divers use dive computers but for those old school guys the bezel on a dive watch is used in conjunction with actual dive tables. A diver figures out what the max depth that he is going to and there is a coresponding safe time limit one can stay at that depth. When the diver establishes that time limit, the diver can set the bezel.  For example if the dive will max out at 30 minutes, then the 30 on the bezel will be synchronized with the position of the minute hand at the start of the dive allowing the diver to keep track of how long he’s been under the water.


CASE: 316L stainless steel polished and brushed with IP black treatment
Lug to Lug: 44 mm
WIDTH: 38.5 mm
BEZEL: Unidirectional rotatable 60 minutes graduated
CASEBACK: Sapphire
CRYSTAL: Sapphire
WATER RESISTANCE: 10 ATM (100 meters) screw-in crown
DIAL: Black sunray
HANDS: Baton with Super-Luminova® treatment
MOVEMENT: Automatique Miyota 8215
FUNCTIONS: Hour, minute, central second, date
STRAP: Black leather and orange stitching with easy spring bars
LUG WIDTH: 18 mm
BUCKLE: 316L stainless steel IP black pin buckle

Price: 349,00 €






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