A different kind of review: SeL Omnidiver Automatic

When I initially reviewed the Omnidiver I was impressed with it as well you know by now. The more time I spent with it, the more I came to appreciate the engineering that went into the watch. I knew that I had to own it so that I could continue spending time with it to expand that appreciation. That’s why I did the year on the wrist review not only to go into further detail on it’s engineering but also to show how it held up after a year. Since Andrew, CEO of SeL allowed me to purchase the “as is” review piece, I was able to experience it’s performance on a daily basis. It never truly felt like it was mine, it just felt like I was “doing a job” with it. I wanted to change that and make the watch mine for real. I reached out to Andrew to pick his brain a bit and after many conversations I decided to send the Omnidiver A-001 in for some “personalized updating” to make it more mine.

I broke the Omnidiver down into pieces by examining the components and carefully calculated what I could change that would make it more individualized to me. After some long and careful deliberation, I picked the details on the Omnidiver that I wanted to change. What did I pick to change and why? Well I will get into that momentarily. What I want to elaborate on a bit more in the interaction and customization process with Andrew. For those of who don’t know, Andrew is extremely hands on throughout his Arizona based workshop. That’s one of the many reasons of why SeL is such a special company. Andrew is always just an email away which he reply response time is always impressively quick. He was extremely helpful throughout this whole process and the customer service is some of the best there is.

I’m going to start with the smallest update and work towards the biggest for this review. That smallest update is the new semi-skeletonized hour hand. The hands on the Omnidiver are what initially drew me to the watch years back when I was perusing on Instagram. I like the new hour hand, but I think I like the old version better. I haven’t decided if it’s because I became accustomed to it over time or if it’s because I just like having more lume on the hand itself. This will be one of those “time will tell” situations. I asked Andrew the why behind this change and his response was “Originally I though max lume was the way to go so I lumed every hole but I started thinking about how the geometric shapes played against each other visually and the new lume fill really accentuates how one is a circle and one is a rectangle. It does look visually stunning when the lume is glowing like a torch. The hand applied lume on any SeL watch is an absolute pleasure to witness whether it’s accidental day-lume or it’s waking up in the middle of the night-lume, or whatever kind of lume, it’s bright and beautiful. The lume lasts 17+ hours after a good 10 minute light charge from my eag-tac flashlight.

The next upgrade I want to talk about is the no-date dial. I am a fan of no-date dials because they are more symmetrical in my opinion. I honestly don’t need my watch to tell me what date it is anymore since all my documentation at work is done on a computer Vs. when I was doing it by hand with pen and paper. Again I have something to get used to with SeL’s MK2 dial. There is a “sub-set*” circle in the center of the dial as opposed to the flat MK1 dial that I had gotten used to. I do like the cleaner no-date and the exclusion of the open circle that gave view into the movement that was originally on the automatic movement Omnidiver’s dial. I wanted some different text added to this dial too which Andrew did for me ever so nicely.

* Sub-set- In engineering terms it’s a “counterbore” but in general terms it’s a reverse step dial. Aesthetically this adds more depth to the dial, but functionally it’s to relieve the hour hand to create more clearance.

Now I can talk about two of the bigger changes I did to my Omnidiver to make it more my own! First let’s talk about this new crown. There is no doubt in my mind that this upgrade is anything but awesome. My “complaint” about the original crown was that it was difficult to grip and operate which made winding/setting the time a chore. The larger size of the new makes gripping it so much easier but the knurled edges is grip on steroids. I don’t need to remove the watch from my wrist to operate the crown either. A side note: the SeL logo perfectly lined up when it’s completely screwed done. Something Rolex can’t even do with their “superior” quality control. It’s extremely hard keeping my fingers off of this crown. It’s so addicting to “play with”. This crown screws/unscrews with such smooth fluidity with no extra wiggle or play.

Finally, onto the upgrade that made this more personalized to me. The caseback of awesomeness. Before I delve into that more, let me remind you of what the old case back looked like.(see above pic) The small porthole window on the old caseback allowed you to have a sneak peek into the automatic movement but it came at a sacrifice because the water resistance took a hit. Yes you can make the argument that when will this watch come close to 4,000 meters?!? The Omnidiver is about over-engineering and for me to make it the ultimate over-engineered tool watch I wanted it to be at it water resistance highest. I not only went with a solid caseback but I also had Andrew do a thing (which now has become a trend) I reached out to Andrew after seeing one of his projects that he did for his personal Omnidiver and I asked him if we could do something for mine. Hence the “SeLetor”caseback. See the pic below to behold the sheer magnitude of it’s awesomeness.

I am extremely satisfied with the updates/upgrades that my Omnidiver received to make it a more personalized piece. Andrew was extremely accommodating throughout the whole process. He was always just a quick email away and his response time is always impressive considering how incredibly busy he is. Anyone who has experienced the bezel function on a SeL knows that there isn’t any bezel that can even compete. Andrew took the smooth operation even further by adding a Teflon thrust bearing in addition to the 12 ball bearings. I can’t believe that he improved upon perfection. There is absolutely no extra play or wiggle on this bezel and it sits tight against the case symmetrically around the entire circumference of the bezel. This kind of experience isn’t possible with “big name” hype brands and it’s one of many reasons why I will never go back to those brands. I’m not bashing the hype brands by any means, they just don’t offer what I want or need.

Thank you all for reading this update style review. Thank you to Andrew and SeL for making this such a fun experience.

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