Watch Review: Ocean Crawler Core Diver

What’s your 2019 gonna be? I know what my focus is, positivity. I have witnessed so much negativity, anger and hate in this hobby of ours. It is sad enough that the media focus is mostly negative, but to face it in our “escape from reality” is quite upsetting. In the past I would react to negative comments/posts with anger and during some reflection I realized something. By responding with anger I am no better than the original source of the negativity. Every year I try to grow and better myself just as I try to better my blog here. I want my experience and my readers experience to be a positive one. I try to see the beauty in everything and using this method has not only helped me overcome the demons of my past but it also has helped me realize how much more beauty and positivity there is in this world. Much more than the negative ugliness that receives undeserving attention. I have had so much positive experiences with Ocean Crawler watch owner Christian that is so inspiring. The positive focus of his brand is very apparent in each of his watch designs. The Core Diver that we will be exploring together today is packed full of diving charm.

Ocean Crawlers Core Diver case comes in at a size that I can really appreciate, 44mm x 15.6mm thick, L2L 50mm and a lug with of 22mm. I say a size that I can appreciate because it has a good heft to it that won’t make me feel hesitant to use it as it was intended to be used for, reliable in the field dive watch. Now just because it has a large, brushed finished stainless steel case doesn’t make it immediately reliable. There has to be other details that come into play to earn the title of a reliable dive watch. I know when I am diving or just in the water relaxing there are certain details that are a must for me.

One of those details being is that a bezel must be easy to grip, easy to operate, and easy to read. The Core Divers bezel was very easy to grip with wet hands while I was in the water and out of the water. The bezel has a combination of eye shaped notches and line marks on it that act as both aesthetic details and as functional details. Gripping the bezel to operate its precision 120 unidirectional clicks is done without fail no matter what environmental conditions you are in. The same can be said for whatever the lighting may be because the sapphire crystal bezel has BGW9 markers that make it easy to read in low-lit and dark environments. I mentioned its precision clicks and by precision I mean no extra play in this bezel.

A reliable dive watch must also have a worthy crown as well. My definition of a worthy crown is that it must be larger enough to grip with gloves on, must have easy to grip edges and it must be a screw down operating crown. First of all I have to say that I love the domed shape on the Core Divers crown. Since I went to aesthetic details first, I will continue to make mention of these details by stating the crown is also signed with an engraved Ocean Crawler logo and has gear/cog style edges. That last mentioned detail not only looks good but also lends a helping hand in terms of actual function. Like the bezel, the crown is easy to grip and easy to operate. I like the clean look of the crown side of the Core Divers case because of it having no crown guards. Located on the opposite side of the case is an escape valve to help protect the watch when in the pressure building water depths.

On the top of the case you are protected by a 4mm thick sapphire crystal (AR treated) and on the bottom of the case is a solid screw down caseback. The vintage inspired shape of the case allows the Core Diver to wear comfortably on the wrist and it also allows for it to wear smaller. The short lugs cut back on wrist over hang and the mesh stainless steel bracelet is extremely comfortably. I was really surprised on how I found the mesh pleasing in both function and aesthetics. It helps balance out the way the Core Diver how the watch wears by cutting back of potential of becoming top-heavy. I’m not typically a fan of how mesh bracelets look when I see them in pictures but seeing the Core Diver on one in person really looks nice.

There’s something so incredibly magical about the water and how the shades of blue appears to change so easily, that magic has been captured by the sunburst blue dial on this Core Diver. So much magic in fact that I found myself playing with my wrist in all different lighting. The hands, with their orange borders and 7 layers of BGW9 lume guarantees optimal legibility in all lighting situations and in all weather conditions. The applied markers and bezel insert also are received that same lume treatment. I personally think that placing a date window at 6 o’clock is more aesthetically pleasing if you must have a date window on a watch. Even more aesthetically pleasing on the Core Diver because it is a round date window. I would love to see companies stepping it up on date windows though. In the case of the Core Diver, having a blue date wheel with orange numerals would look fantastic in my opinion. I like Christian’s design choice here by the fact that his Core Divers date window didn’t eliminate the 6 o’clock marker. It helped maintain a nice balance to his dial here. I also like the depth on the Core Divers dial that is created by the laid silver minute track and the applied markers that are both set against the blue ocean depth style dial.

Someone posted a question on one of my Facebook posts questioning what does testing a dive watch in cold weather have to do with a dive watch? My response basically was this: in my experience in my years of collecting watches, reviewing watches and as an active member in the watch community, I would say that maybe 1 to 5 percent of people who buy dive watches, actually use them to dive with. Yes I do take my watches diving to test them, not for depth testing but for legibility, durability, ect. I also like to see how they handle themselves in extreme weather conditions, because if they hold up and perform well in these conditions, they are definitely going to hold up for guys who buy watches for every day use. No, I am not saying that I am better than anyone because I test my review watches to the extremes, I do it for the people so that they have peace of mind knowing that their watch isn’t going to fail them when they use them for the important things that they purchased the watch to do. Whether it is for office use, outdoors use or weekend play use. The Core Diver easily handled -30 F temperatures for 24 hours without fail.

Christian makes sure that each of his watches are delivered with quality intact. After multiple reviews I have done on his watches, I absolutely recommend them to anyone who is looking for an affordable, limited edition dive watch that not only looks great on the wrist, wears great on the wrist but most importantly functions great without fail.

Thanks for sharing my obsession and passion for watches.

Thank you Christian for making such awesome watches.

From https://www.oceancrawler.com/collections/frontpage/products/ocean-crawler-core-diver-blue-orange

• True water resistance to 2000 feet or 600 meters

• All Sapphire Crystal (including crystal and bezel)

• 316L Stainless steel case with brushed finishes

• Automatic, precise diver watch – no batteries needed. Watch winds itself with the movement of your wrist.

• Thick sapphire crystal glass with 4.0mm thickness. An anti-reflective coating is applied to the glass to prevent any reflection under water.

• Guaranteed to keep precise time for at least 5 years.

 

Technical Specs:

• Case Diameter (excluding crown): 44mm

• Case Thickness: 15.6mm, Lug-To-Lug: 50mm, Lug Width: 22mm

• Case Material: 316L Stainless steel

• Bezel: Unidirectional Rotating Sapphire Bezel with 120 Clicks and BGW9 Markers

• Movement: Swiss Made Selitta Sw-200

• Frequency: 28,800 vibrations per hour

• Water Resistance: 600 meters, 2000-feet or 60 ATM

• Power Reserve: 40 hours

 

Watch Review: Strumento Macchinista Ocean Bomber II

A brand new year is upon us and it’s a start of a new journey for me both in my personal life and in my watch reviewing life. I had a lot of time to self reflect and to grow. I want my personal growth to carryover into my watch review/work. It’s very important to me to continue and move forward without staying stagnant. This year I am focusing on quality over quantity as I enter my 6th year of my blog. I am focused on watches that inspire me on a multitude of levels, and today’s watch is exactly what I am talking about. Today’s watch encompasses a passion directly from the watchmaker’s hand infused into all aspects of this watch, the Ocean Bomber II.

Strumento Macchinista is a company that is very inspiring to me because I can relate quite a bit with the man behind the brand. A one man operation that is very enthusiastic and passionate about watches and what is put out there. Nirut’s passion is apparent in every aspect of the Ocean Bomber II. The large stainless steel case is nothing short of awesome in terms of sheer size and overall execution. The wide bezel makes that initial statement straight out of the box.

If I were to try to make the Ocean Bomber even more awesome, I would have filled the arrow on the bezel with luminous material. This would have added more functionality and aesthetics to this bezel. As for the actual mechanics of this bezel rotation, it rotates extremely well with extremely smooth action and with precision. There is absolutely no extra play and the smooth ratcheting is “music to the ears”.

I am pleased that the bezel is easy to grip which can be associated with the large size of the bezel and the edges that the fingers grasp nicely. I am definitely a bezel-bater, I can’t help but to play with my watch bezel. So satisfying. I really like the thinner style of the numerals on the bezel which sit well on the brushed stainless steel wide bezel.

The OB II has a large stainless steel case with full brushed finish. Not a bit of polish on this case which is how I prefer a finish on a watch like this. This case is a serious piece of metal. I really like Nirut’s choice to have the lugs angle sharply down and having it solid stainless steel across keeping the lugs on the short side. Keeping the lugs short definitely cuts back on wrist overhang, especially for those with smaller wrists.

The hidden lug style on the OB-2 gives a more unique profile to the watch itself. How can these lugs get any better? Well if they were drilled of course and it just so happens that these lugs are drilled. The large screw down crown certainly keeps consistent with the rest of this watch. Consistent because the crown is easy to grip, easy to operate, all with extreme smoothness. Normally I’d nit pick about an unsigned crown, but the OB II simplicity adds to the sterile beauty of this piece. This sterile beauty is also carried out onto the screw down case back, “OB-2 No. 100.” Simplistic and yet fuckin beautiful.

The dial definitely doesn’t disappoint on the OB II. That simplistic beauty shines on with this dial as well. The hands are so killer. In my opinion the shape, size and color were nailed by Nirut. The long, yellow second hand definitely gets noticed and with deserved attention. The unique elongated triangular shape is what makes this hand so perfect. It would have been perfection personified if it had some lume treatment added, but the lack of lume there is definitely made up for on the minute and hour hand. These hands glow bright. The shape and color of each hand set against the matte black dial adds to the great legibility of the OB II. The wide, squared shape of the hour hand looks fantastic, as does the arrow tip of the minute hand. Consistency is a theme that carries the OB II from average diver to something special in my opinion. The application of the markers are done with precision and being set inside of the gray minute track brings this dial into a beautiful finished execution. The dial text is kept to a nice minimum as well as you can see by the pics.

The OB II is a prime example of what is nice about a watch that is produced by a nano-brand The number of watches produced is small and typically the watch maker does the quality control allowing for a damn near perfect watch experience. This is no fluke either. This is my second review of one of Nirut’s watches and they are getting better each time. I love his passion and his unique eye for detail. This is the kind of watch that inspires me on a multitude of levels. It definitely stands out in the vast sea of uninspired, unimaginative designs that is flooding the market right now. I definitely respect those who stick to their vision without compromising/conforming to current trends.

I have no reservations about recommending the OB II to anyone looking for a unique dive watch that has great attention to detail and has beautiful overall execution. A few of my simple nit picky suggestions would bring about a more perfect version of the OB II, which are adding lume to the bezel and to the second hand( the second hand is extremely visible because of the color) Of course there are so many things that I love about the OB II, the dial, the hands, the case design/size, the domed crystal, ect…. A great watch to kick off the new year with, my new chapter in life’s ever growing journey.

Thank you all for making 2018 amazing and I look forward to sharing 2019 with you all.

A very special thanks to Nirut for creating these passionate designs.