Watch Review: Kaventsmann Hadal II

How do you choose your next watch to buy? Do you base it on the brand? Perhaps your decisions are based on certain specifics on design, such as case material, case size, bezel (ceramic insert, lume, ect) For me personally I base it on the overall physical design. As many of you know my personal preference tends to go towards those unique pieces, those outside of the box thinking types. Of course there are some traditional designs that I do enjoy still as well, rare but I do. There is definitely a love affair that I have with bronze. As I have surely mentioned in the past, what I truly appreciate about bronze is that it doesn’t like to stay stagnant in it’s life. This is something that I have come to put into motion into my everyday life. In my opinion no other material used for a watch case ages as beautifully as bronze do. Even scratches are a thing of beauty on a bronze case. Then the real thing of beauty comes through, patina, bronze’s life partner. Patina is natural beauty at its absolute best which adds a depth of character to a watch case that no other material can even come close to.

Today’s bronze bombshell is no other than the Hadal II handmade awesomeness from the masters at Kaventsmann. For those of you unfamiliar with Kaventsmann, here is a bit of information about them from their website: Kaventsmann was founded by maverick watchmaker Michael Fernandez who started his new venture of creating his own watch in a small garage.

The watches are entirely handmade in Berlin Germany, the work of just one man wanting to hand build a watch for his father’s birthday.

While studying engineering & construction technology he started to build watches in 2011.

His first watch model in 2011 the “Bathyal” made of Bronze CuSn8 passed a pressure-test of 280bar.

In 2012 he developed the deepest dive-watch made of Aluminium with a pressure resistance of 300bar. This prototype was also known as C-4 proofed watch, it was tested by some guys in Fort Bragg.

In March 2017 we passed a pressure test up to 1200bar /12000m /39370ft with our Kaventsmann HADAL II Bronze, the deepest Bronze watch ever.

In September 2017 we passed the 2nd pressure test to 1200bar , this time with a watchcase completely made of high strength aluminum, the deepest Aluminum watch ever.

In German, ‘Kaventsmann’ is a term used colloquially to describe hefty objects. It is also used to describe rogue waves, relatively large and spontaneous ocean surface waves that occur far out at sea.

Since 2017 Immelmann and Kaventsmann produce together in one workshop to put their knowledge together.

Only a few watches leave the workshop each month.

The Hadal II has a commanding presence as soon as you lay your hands and eyes upon it allowing a quick understanding why it holds the record for deepest diving bronze watch at 1200 bar. I will save some of you time right here, right now, if you are one of those people who put your watch buying decision on the size of a watch, you can stop reading and move on to save yourself some time. If you admire handmade horological creations that follow a personal individualized journey, then please keep reading. Everyone can buy what speaks to them by all means, but my reviews for with those like myself who appreciate the unique, small brands that still have that passion for creating unique pieces, sharing that horological love, unlike the big brands that the soul drive is for the almighty dollar.

The Hadal II is a bronze beauty and beast measuring an impressive 49mm x 25mm. Like anything in life there are those negative stubborn people who actively choose to live a sad existence just to troll while wearing their horse blinders, with the belief that think simply buying a watch is contributing something positive to this hobby and that bashing anything that they don’t like is a real contribution. For you open-minded folks who like to expand their horological palate and appreciate listening to other things besides their own voice let us continue exploring the Hadal II together, shall we?

The main part of the case on the Hadal II is a handworked solid piece of bronze. The caseback is stainless steel and is secured by several hex nuts creating a tight seal. Like the case itself, the caseback is also quite clean, void of unnecessary jibber jabber. I am definitely a sucker for an oversized screw down crown so of course the Hadal II crown is amazing in my opinion. My only complaint about the crown is when it’s fully open it has a bit more wiggle/wobble that I prefer my crowns to have. Other than the extra play, the crown is extremely easy to grip and operates smoothly for winding/time setting. Kaventsmann was definitely mindful when designing this watch as evidenced by the position and placement of the crown. This piece is remarkably balanced in terms of how it wears with comfort despite it’s size and weight. Even with the location of the crown Kaventsmann was still conscientious of protection with the crown guard and lug as the active protectors. The shortening of the drilled lugs allowed the Hadal II to sit well on my wrist without much overhang.

The massively thick tempered domed plexiglas crystal gives a great porthole view into the Hadal’s dial. The crystal is amazing without a doubt but the dial is even more awe-inducing. Typically blue is not my first choice of a dial color but this blue works extremely well on this piece. The sandwich style just adds to my personal appeal that attracts me to this piece. The style gives depth and the orange color of the bottom portion of the sandwich looks like rust. That rust color emanates an unmistakable sunken ship soulfulness. The raw brushed minute and hour hands truly accentuate that feel and the shape/size fit this dial unbelievably well. The length of all three hands meets my personal approval which allows optimal dial legibility and hitting all their designated positions also aides in functional timing. Legibility/functional timing can be done with ease in all environments, lighting situations and wrist angles.

The Hadal II is a fantastic horological beast in every way. This watch definitely had adopted the mantra of “go big or go home!” The German craftsmanship can be easily found throughout the Hadal II. Kaventsmann created the Hadal for those of you who have an obsession with deep diving watches. Theses watched are very rare with only 10 of each variant made and as you would expect with a quality handmade piece price is also a factor. If you are unable to find one on the secondary market, head over to Kaventsmann website as the new Triggerfish watch is up for preorder. Yes the crown stabilization could be improved upon, but let your mind be eased by the lifetime warranty that Kaventsmann watches hold.

Strap: made of AK47 assault rifle leather sling, manufactured in Hungary…

Best history of Dobra straps from the master himself.

Used by a great warrior, an ex USMC, now special commando forces, the guy who gave me the Kaventsmann Acanthurus and his Zlatoust Diver as a gift to show me how much is appreciating my straps…

So a sling that came from war and returned to war after being transformed in a strap… A strap that is not afraid of water, sweat and blood… A strap that will never let you down in the most rough situation…

The brown leather strap in the pictures are that creation from Dobra. It’s one of the best made straps that I have ever owned. Handmade with hand tools, no fancy pretty boy machines here. 8mm thick, yet this strap is ridiculously comfortable on the wrist. It was tested in all environments from below zero temperatures, around water, 24 plus continuous wear on my wrist at work, at play (hiking, fishing, working out) Dobra’s work is so important to him that his straps carry the weight of a lifetime warranty. He is a true artist and a real life badass.

Thanks to Michael for creating these beautiful beasts of the deep! Thanks to Dobra Strap’s for the badass custom AK-47 strap.

Thank you all for reading.

http://kaventsmann-uhren.de

Badass skull ring from

http://intothefirejewelry.com

KAVENTSMANN Hadal II 1200 Bar

HANDMADE IN GERMANY

CASE – BRONZE

MOVEMENT – AUTOMATIC ETA 2824

DIAL – Royal Blue with Orange markers

CASE BACK – STEEL WITH INSCRIPTION

BEZEL – FIXED

CROWN – SCREW DOWN

CRYSTAL – TEMPERED DOMED PLEXIGLAS 15mm thick

LUGS – 24MM

WATER RESISTANCE – 1200 bar

DIMENSIONS – 49mm X 25mm THICK NOT INCLUDING CROWN, CRYSTAL OR LUGS

Watch Review: Schaumburg Viperfish

The Breitling Seawolf Avenger was the watch RESPONSABLE for opening my eyes to the world of dive watches. Of course I had a fondness of dive watches before, but the Avenger was definitely a world opening experience. I can still remember the feeling of holding it’s hefty stainless steel case in my hand. As I dove deeper into the world of dive watches I discovered all kinds of mystifying watches, I also discovered how many clones of dive watches. Quite a dead sea fille with unimaginative, uninspired rubbish. Even the big players in the watch world just rehash old designs over and over and over. I find myself becoming bored with the same crap dished out year after year with the almost unnoticeable changes that companies boast about at Basel each year. That is why when Shaumburg Watches explained to me their idea for a new dive watch, that instantly captured my attention and of course my interest! I must admit my friends that I was split down the middle though, 50% intrigued and 50% hesitant. Other thoughts and feelings that came to mind such as, worried, unsure……

Anything out of the norm intrigues me more so than ever this year which made me want to see this piece in person ASAP. But the other 50% was……If you look at the first pictures within this review maybe you may already know what my 50% hesitation was about. In case you don’t know, I will gladly explain. The skeleton dial was what initially caused the hesitation to swirl like a whirlpool within my head when Schaumburg told me their plans. We all know that I can’t stand a sapphire crystal exhibition case back on a diver, so when the information presented that the experience will now be on the Viperfish’s dial I wasn’t keen on this design choice. But you say, “Stephen you tell us all the time that different is a good thing”, and you are definitely right to want to throw that into my face like a cream pie.

Schaumburg had a few magic tricks up their sleeves, not gaudy like a certain mind freak but more liKe tongue in cheek Penn and Teller style. What Schaumburg did with their dial is definitely different, but they also insured that they gave us the wearer something that is worth looking at. They didn’t just give an off the shelf movement with nothing “pretty” to look at. I never understood the point when companies boast about having an exhibition case back but just use an off the shelf movement with nothing done to it. What’s the point right? The whole point in my opinion of the crystal peering “window” is to give you something interesting to look at. This is what Schaumburg’s achievement was here, which in my opinion was done well. Schaumburg added a real nice pallet of color on the movement which begins nicely smack in the center. The red immediately pulls the eye into the dial and into the movement. I admit that watching the movement in action did remind me of the magic of my grandfather’s pocket watch. That pocket watch was the start of my fascination with watches. So having that reminder here on the Viperfish held an extra bit of personal magic for me.

Ok I will end the trip down memory lane here for all of you interested in the quality and execution of this watch. The moderately 45mm x 14.8mm PVD steel case has nice heft to it where it doesn’t feel cheap yet still remains comfortable on the wrist. The matte black sandblasted finish gives the case a magnificent appearance to the Viperfish. In my opinion it creates the perfect set up for allowing the dial to be the center of attention. You may wonder why this model is named the Viperfish. Well, use the picture below as a clue why and also use the Viperfish itself for another clue. This feature was extremely pleasing to the eyes at night, which was so relaxing to watch the beating heart with a soft glow. That beautiful glow is extended onto the hands of the Viperfish with the center of the minute & hour hand that is coated with Superluminova and bordered with brushed steel. Schaumburg insured dial legibility in low lit environments by also coating the generous sized markers and on the lollipop style second hand. After all this is a dive watch so underwater legibility is important to those you will actually dive with this watch.

The case on the Viperfish has some subtle details that cannot go without mentioning here within this review. Some examples of these details I am referring to can be found on the lugs. The PVD case does a fantastic job of hiding these details which made me want to spend more time examining this watch. As I spent more time with this watch the details began to reveal themselves slowly. At first glance the lugs reminded me of the sexy fenders from a 34’ Studebaker with their distinctive curvature and openness adding to the side profile beauty of the Viperfish. The torque screws that assist in holding the lugs in place are an excellent example of Schaumburg’s conscious effort to go up and beyond in the execution of engineering mindfulness. I want to point out another example of this mindfulness, located at the screw down crown a there is smaller torque screw assisting in holding the crown guard in place. These details add in the overall aesthetics of the Viperfish, but more importantly they add strength reinforcement.

This is what I am talking about when I say that I love when companies think outside of the box when designing watches. I don’t review watches that are intended for the great masses, I review watches that are geared for those who appreciate the different. If you are looking for a German made quality dive watch that isn’t a clone/homage/tired design, then the Viperfish may be the watch you are looking for. Everything on this watch not only looks great, but also functions without fail, each detail big or small is purpose driven. The Viperfish wasn’t drawn up over night, nor was it inspired by another watch, it is a well planned out unique design. Some very sad and very unhappy people recently pointed out to me that all my reviews are positive in nature and why don’t I ever give a bad review. The answer is quite simple, I don’t review uninspiring watches, nor do I review watches that are crap. Why waste my time or your time on those watches? In order to create, one needs to be inspired, at least that is how I work. Of course this is the same group of unhappy individuals that also said there are too many pictures in my reviews and that the pictures are over staged. Last time I checked, a watch review should have a lot of pictures and they should be well planned out. Who wants a review with limited shitty pictures? Well besides the mentioned sad individuals.

The Viperfish exceeded my expectations of design because I honestly didn’t think that a skeleton dial was going to interest me, especially on a dive watch. I was pleasantly wrong and that’s why I love having an open mind. Open mindfulness allows you to see the world in a beautiful and positive light. The Viperfish bezel is probably my favorite detail on this watch. It functions with smooth fluidity but it also looks killer. I love the textured detailing and I love where the brushed stainless steel meets the black PVD. Absolutely lovely. The SW-20AS movement keeps excellent time in all positions, during all my indoor and all my outdoor activities and it also handled below zero temperatures. It is beautiful and it is badass, just like the Viperfish itself.

Thank you so much for reading.

A very heartfelt thank you goes to Schaumburg for the honor of this review and for creating watches that inspire.

Specifications

* Case: PVD steel, matt sandblasted, Case back covered with Superluminova

* Case diameter: 45 mm, hight: 14,8 mm

* Water resistance: 500m / 50atm

* Sapphire crystal with AR coating

* Bezel dot: ceramic superluminova

* Base movement: automatic SW-20AS,skeletonized, red minute wheel and rotor

* Function: hour, minute, second, date,

* Strap: hightech & leather

* Option: steel bracelet

AQM 5 ViperFish

https://youtu.be/_ax2Vp77hA0

Inspired by the Viperfish the bizarre noctilucent predator of the deep sea. A diver’s watch that shows how she works during the day or night over or under water.We asked ourselves, the AQM 5 should just be a diver’s watch. The mainstream market for diving watches is large but often lacking in creativity. Why not a diver’s watch that opens your heart to the beholder. A diver’s watch that shows how she works during the day or night over or under water. The AQM 5 ViperFish has a skeletonized movement that has been perlated and rhodium plated. The movement is backlit by the Superluminova-coated caseback at night. Individual elements such as the hour wheel and the inside of the rotor have been red coated. So you see through the sapphire crystal as the rotor permanently rotates its rounds. Looking at the AQM 5 on your arm is an experience that almost makes you forget the time to read.