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!