Watch Review- OWC MS-6538 James Bond Crown

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The MS-6538 is the latest diving watch from the OWC (Orange Watch Company) in its ISO (In the Spirit Of) Series of watches. It takes its inspiration from the Rolex 6538 made famous in the early James Bond films with Sean Connery wearing this watch while saving the world from SPECTRE. This is OWC’s 7th iteration of the classic diver. OWC watches are incorporate some interesting technology which separates them from other “microbrands. Dan the man behind OWC, he remains quite busy always trying to refine his dive watches. He is like a mechanic, Dan has been quoted many times explaing his watches as “they are like a Porsche 911 – the same but different”.

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The DNA of the MS-6538 is obvious, as is the inspiration,  but the “devil” of this watch is in the details. Dan has gone through and has made many changes, these changes are hard to see, but rest assure the detail is more than skin deep. The are quite a few 6538 models/clones out there, so why do we need another? What separates this one from the others? The MS-6538 is an inspirational piece with so many departures from the inspirational. If you want a 6538 clone and a good one, this is not the watch for you. I will explain why throughout this review.

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The MS-6538 case is 40.5mm case and has no crown guard. The 4.5mm thick sapphire which is quite impressive given that the watch is only 12.9mm. This is where OWC uses pure engineering. The case can be defined as a “Fluid-Tight” case or a Super Compressor case. The MS-65-38 is among very few watches that use this revolutionary technique. To explain this in simple terms, the crystal and the case back are free to move. As pressure increases the crystal and back are forced together and the watch becomes more water resistant. This is not a new, with the idea patented by E. Piquerez S.A (ESPA) back in the 1950’s.

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The larger 8.0mm crown is a great size for function and appearance thanks to both the size and the knurled edges. The crown operates with smooth threading without lack of “grit and grab” seen on other microbrand watches. The crown is, as expected, screwed down. The crown is signed with a raised OWC. The pendant (crown tube) is screwed (not pressed) into the case. There are some nice internal splines inside. The watch is tested to 30ATM (300m) of water resistance. The crown gaskets are specially sized and produced for the MS-6538.

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I like the contrast that is created with the the ceramic bezel insert. It gives a touch of dress to this tool/dive watch. OWC has been using ceramic inserts for some time. Ceramic inserts are very scratch resistant, though they can break if hit with a hammer, but they tend to maintain their clean appearance for much longer than aluminum inserts. The bezel have no extra play and is secured with 4 tiny screws. This aides in the cleaning process though doing so is not recommended unless you are very careful as the l.0mm screws can be easily lost.

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Dan has taken the best that exists and made it better. This is demonstrated with his massive 4.5mm sapphire crystal with anti-reflective (AR) coating. The crystal sits on an O-ring and is secured with a crystal retaining ring (a la Omega Ploprof from the 1970’s). Note that the AR coatings are multilayer with an extra hardening step, for a durable and clear set of coatings for superb visibility.

The OCD continues inside the case. There is no movement ring to move or distort. The inside is milled to the exact dimensions of the movement. The movement is installed from the top and secured from the bottom. Normal servicing can be done by simply taking off the 6 case-back Torx screws. No other milsub does this!

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The dial is available in black and with or without a date window. This is the first time OWC has offered applied and printed dials. The applied indices give the MS-6538 a luxury/dress feel. The compulsory Mercedes hour hand is present partnered with a and a very long stylish minute hand, which reaches out to the rehaut. I like the pop of color of the red second hand. My personal preference would have liked the hour hand slightly longer. SuperLumiNova C3 provides flashlight level luminescence as you can see in the lume pic down below. The text on the dial is like most OWC watches, minimalistic. The minute track has been moved from the dial itself to the rehaut (sight ring) which aides in making the dial super clean/legible.

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The MS-6538’s bracelet is 20mm. The sure heft of the 4.0mm thick links adds a rugged feel. The links are 33% thicker than most bracelets on the market. The bracelet does not taper and has a butterfly deployant clasp. Dan explains this choice “some may find this strange, but being a pragmatist, most diving watches rarely see the bottom of a sink, this is more than adequate and makes it a perfect partner with cuffs and a suit.”  I have personally taken almost every type of clasp out their diving and I have never have an issue with any type, including butterfly style. Each link can be removed (torx screws again) and there are also 2 ½ links that makes sizing the bracelet for even the most elegant wrists a breeze. The bracelet is attached to the watch with solid screw bars, not spring bars. These are strong and while some MilSubs have fixed bars, the Screw Bar offers the strength of the fixed with easy attachment and removal. This is a detail that I rarely see and I completely appreciate. Something else that I initially didn’t appreciate at first, but as the years go on I completely appreciate, are drilled lugs. This little detail makes bracelet and strap changes so much easier and less likely to scratch up the lugs.

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As I have discovered, Dan from OWC has OCD and is more than happy to be honest about his condition. He is a little too black and white and his focus is far more on the engineering than the aesthetics. He has written extensively on the benefits of Torx vs Philips vs Hex heads. He used Torx screws throughout the watch. The case back looks like a submarine hatch or bank vault. The case back is like the dial, it is very clean and it is very minimalistic.

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One very small point that most will not see, is the changed solid end links. The solid end link is now longer and it follows the lug right to the end. I have never see this on any other watch. This means the first middle link is longer and the bracelet hugs the wrist better.

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This watch has been designed by a fanatic and built by people who care. I know this sounds like madness, but OWC sources the parts from different manufacturers in different counties and they all arrive in Orange for inspection. If the part (including movement) is not up to par it is thrown away and the search continues until it meets OWC’s standards. Each watch is all assembled and tested individually and each watch is individually made to order which gives a special and individualistic feel to your watch. OWC is very transparent in their sources, they source from China, Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, Germany, Switzerland. Currently trailing leather bands from Vietnam, using OWC’s own leather. But these are not quite up to OWC’s standards yet, but I am very excited to see them once they meet OWC’s high standards.

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OWC uses 2 physical identically sized movements that are worlds apart. The entry level movement is a 2892-A2 clone – not the cheaper and less refined 2824-2 or the popular choice amongst micro-brands, the Miyota 9015. OWC’s movements are made by Seagull, China’s premium  watch manufacturer. They are far more expensive than the 2824-2, the 9015 and the 6R15 and offer better performance. If movements choices were a tree, then the Soprod A-10 (now called the M100) Swiss made automatic movement would be towards the top of that tree. Currently only a handful of high end makers such as Sarpaneva use this movement. It is based on a Seiko 4L25 (unconfirmed by Soprod), but as Dan says, “it is the closest one can get to a Grand Seiko without actually buying one.” This watch has remained +4 seconds per day during my review process.

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Some might think that the MS-6538s price is on the high side. While it is on the high side when it compares to other micro-brand watches on the market, but if you look at the engineering and overall design, the MS-6538 in my opinion punches far above its weight. At $1,350 USD, you get precision Torx screwdrivers, spare screw bars, detailed engineering, a quality hefty bracelet and a very unique double box. The two areas that I suggest that can be improved upon is a slightly longer hour hand and a dive extension clasp. Dan is currently working on an alternative to the clasp. The hour hand was specially sized to “kiss” the edge of the triangle at 12 O’clock. Not deal breakers in my book, just nit picky personal preferences.

The MS-6538 is a watch that has clever engineering, great execution and understatement.

I want to thank Dan & OWC and Thank you all for reading.

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Watch Review: Andersmann Oceanmaster II

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Many people whom own dive watches won’t ever venture into depths of the ocean but that doesn’t hinder the magic that encompasses a dive watch, especially a dive watch that goes beyond the 300m mark. True lovers of dive watches know exactly what I am talking about. Not only does having a deep depth rating add to the appeal but also having a solid overall build also adds to it’s appeal, it’s magic. I will be exploring the Andersmann Oceanmaster II today and I will see if Raymond Chan has delivered more magic on this watch as he did with the Deep Ocean watch I reviewed a few months ago.

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Upon opening up the box, the polished case really caught my eye. The polished case does give the Oceanmaster a dressier appearance, yet still maintains that rugged, “come beat me up” feeling. Not that you are going to purposely go out to beat up this watch, but it does give off that “I can handle it” badass feeling. The 47mm stainless steel case will surely scare off the weak of heart, but those who are not so easily scared off will truly appreciate it’s size. My personal opinion is a watch is only as big as you let it be. There isn’t a rule that says if you have a certain size wrist, you can only wear XXmm watches. I pull my bullshit card out on that. There are so many great watches out there for you to miss out on just because of the size. Trust me I know, I used to be a size snob.

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The case combines both a brushed finish and a polished finish. As you can see in the pictures, the top of the lugs are brushed and the sides of the lugs & case are polished. The lugs are cut square on the ends which creates a nice clean look. The lugs are solid and are slightly curved allowing the Oceanmaster to sit nicely on the wrist. The screw down crown on this watch features some subtle details that go a long way: knurled grip, raised ‘A’ signed crown, and angled edges. As for operation of the crown, it functions flawlessly as you would expect. Smooth winding, easy to set the time and screws in/out without any problems. The crown is protected by the angled crown guards which are built right from the solid stainless steel case.

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I was very impressed with the ceramic bezel on this watch. Under certain lighting you can see a nice little detail that I really like and that made this bezel a step above. That detail is what appears to be brushed finish, that detail can be seen in the picture above. This bezel not only looks nice but it also has a great mechanical click when rotating the bezel.  The bezel can be easily gripped by the knurled edges of the bezel. This bezel is one of the easiest to grip/operate in the water. One thing I appreciate about Andersmann watches are how thick the bezels are, it makes a unique profile on the watch. What also is unique about the Oceanmaster is the exhibition case back, a detail not often found on dive watches with a deeper depth rating.

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The caseback also allows you to see the reliable ETA 2892-A2 movement. Andersmann added some good amount of detail work to the movement. This gives you something interesting to look at instead just a standard stock movement as you can see from the picture below.

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Flip the watch back over so we can take a look at the black grain sandwich dial. The black grain teamed with the sandwich layered dial adds a great deal of depth. The dial is so easy to read thanks to it’s generous size and also thanks to the double curved sapphire crystal. The crystal  is 4mm thick & treated with an anti-reflective coating. The hands are quite lovely on the Oceanmaster. What makes them lovely is that they are proportioned just right to the dial itself. They reach where it makes sense, that aren’t too wide or too short. All three hands also have a generous amount of lume as well, making for optimal legiability in dim or dark situations. The hour, minute and lolipop style second hand are polished beautifully, all catch the light nicely.

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The dial is very clean/sterile, no added BS here, just what you need. The text is kept to a minimum as well. No date to upset the numeral flow on the dial either. The simplicity of the Oceanmaster’s dial is a thing a beauty.

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The straps for the Oceanmaster will not disappoint either.The Oceanmaster comes with 2 different straps. It includes a rubber dive strap and one leather strap. The rubber strap that comes on the Oceanmaster is extremely comfortable straight from the box, soft & pliable despite how thick it is. I have worn the Oceanmaster for well over 24+ hours straight and it remained comfortable that whole time. The same can be said for the leather strap, soft, comfortable and well made.

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This is my second experience with an Andersmann watch and I can speak for their quality. I have said this before and it holds true for the Oceanmaster. With extreme confidence, I can say that this watch can compete with some well known names in the watch industry such as Tudor, Bremont, Breitling, Tag. I am not just saying this based on my Andersmann experience, I am saying this because I am a dive watch freak and I have owned/own watches from all those companies.

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This watch will not disappoint fans of rugged, dive watches. The Oceanmaster comes in around the $1400 mark. Yes it is higher than other microbrands, but you have to look at why it is higher than others. It has a movement that has been trialed and tested throughout for a long time. The watch is constructed solid, from top to bottom, all of which was well planned out by Raymond Chan and his team of experts. Raymond himself is a huge dive watch aficionado, so he uses his vast experience with dive watches and infuses his watches with that passion. This passion is quite evident in his watches.

I would like to personally thank Raymond and each of you for reading my review.

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SnapseedSnapseedMOVEMENT :
Swiss automatic movement ETA 2892-A2
FUNCTION :
Hours, minutes, seconds 42 hours power reserve
MATERIALS :
Brushed / polished 316L Stainless steel
CASE :
Diameter 47mm, screw-down winding crown
CASE LENGTH :
56mm
LUG WIDTH :
26mm
THICKNESS :
17.6mm
CRYSTAL :
Double curved sapphire 4mm thick with anti-reflective coating
BEZEL :
Anti-clockwise unidirectional rotating bezel in ceramic and brushed steel
BACK :
Flat smoked 4mm sapphire crystal
DIAL :
Black grained dial with luminous Arabic numerals and hour markers
WATER RESISTANCE :
1000m
STRAP :
ANDERSMANN personalized natural rubber strap
LIMITED PRODUCTION :
100 pieces

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Watch Review: In loving memory of Jay Taras, The Venator Reticle

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I had the honor and opportunity to become friends with Jay during this review process. Jay had been battling health issues for awhile, unfortunately he passed away recently. No matter what was going on in life, Jay always maintained his amazing sense of humor. We shared many, many laughs together. It is a great honor to have met Jay and an even greater honor to call him my friend. I dedicate this review to him and his family.

 

Company: Venator
Website: Venator | Home

About:
Venator Watch Company was started with one particular purpose in mind: to manufacture time-telling tools focused on providing maximum ‘RAR’ (Reliability, Accuracy, and Readability). We created Venator to offer a line of timepieces that contrast the trendy, cheap and gaudy fashion watches that seem popular today. We believe that the world is ready for a new brand of watch – a better brand of watch.
Here at Venator, our backgrounds range from Aerospace & Defense Engineering and Horology to Photography, Information Technology and International Business. We leverage our diverse skill set to bring our customers quality products with top-notch support before and after the sale.
Bottom line… Are you looking for a watch with a tactical look and feel, excellent readability, and quality construction backed by one hell of a warranty? Are you that ‘Professional’ whose gear is his lifeline, where equipment failures are NEVER an option?

Model:
Specifications:
316L Stainless Steel w/ Brushed Finish
Other case material options available:
316L Stainless Steel with PVD Finish (Physical Vapor Deposition)
Grade 5 Titanium w/ Brushed Finish
CASE DIAMETER: 42MM
CASE LENGTH: 50MM
CASE THICKNESS: 14MM
LUG WIDTH: 22MM
CRYSTAL: Custom Domed Sapphire w/ Inner Anti-Reflective Coating
LUMINESCENCE: BGW9
WATER RESISTANCE: 20ATM/200M/660FT
MOVEMENT: Seiko (SII) Caliber NH35A 24 Jewel Automatic [21,600 bph] [41 Hour Power Reserve] [Movement Regulated by Greiner Timing Machine]
OTHER FEATURES: Anti-Magnetic, T7 Torx Lug Bars (2 Tools Included), Water & Air-tight travel case with custom EVA Foam Insert, and 3 NATO Straps.

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Just in case you don’t know I have to say that I am all about watches. Everything about them I love, eat, breathe, blah, blah, blah. But something else that I love is filling my pockets with badass stuff. EVERY DAY CARRY gear. Knives, pocket tools, mini flashlights, field notes, any gear that is essential to your daily carry. There is some really cool …. out there that you can fill your pockets with. EDC in pockets? ✔️ Watch on wrist? ✔️
Let’s face it EDC goes hand in hand with watches and Venator has found a way to connect this bond even more with the Reticle. When I opened up the packaging upon receiving the Reticle, the first thing that smacked me in the face was the case design. The case just screams “abuse me please”. The Reticle case is solid and you can tell as soon as you handle it. The brushed stainless steel case is heavy and can take some abuse. This is what I would expect from a watch that is made for adventure. There are some watches that claim they can handle adventure with their high polished cases. I’m sorry but high polished cases are not the type of case finish that exactly says “I’m ready for adventure”.

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What I like about the Retcile case right away was the choice to go with a fixed bezel. I know, I’m just as addicted to playing with rotating bezels as much as you guys are. The reason I like this fixed bezel choice is that it’s one less thing that you have to worry about damaging when you are out in the wild. Also, I just think that the Reticle looks no nonsense with it’s fixed, brushed bezel.

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The lugs are another design feature that draws attention from first sight. I am loving these lugs. The lugs have more of square finish than that of a traditional curved/rounded finish. This design choice shows Venator’s commitment to making a watch that is clearly designed for rugged use. Personally, I prefer solid lugs on a watch, lugs without holes. But when lugs with holes work, it’s a magical thing. Venator gets it right here because the Reticle uses something more that just standard spring bars, instead Venator went with T7 Torx lug bars.

Let’s face it, the last thing you want to worry about is standard spring bar failure when engaging is physical activity. I’ve heard the argument that people try to make “why would you wear a watch doing those types of activities?” I answer a question with a question, why wouldn’t I want to wear a watch?” Watches like the Reticle are made for this. I had a watch fail me when I needed it to stand up and deliver. I was climbing the side of a cliff and I slipped my watch strap caught a rock. Unfortunately the standard spring lug bar failed and the watch fell to it’s doom. T7 Torx lug bars won’t fail you rest assure.

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The Reticle has a good size screw down crown and is signed in a killer way. The Venator logo on the crown is extremely nice, it’s a pretty intricate logo and is executed with percision. The crown is easy to grip and operate, that being said, I personally would have liked some bigger gear head style edges on the Reticle. Not that it needs it from a functional standpoint, but I think it would have added to the overall look.

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I am a HUGE fan of solid case backs and the Reticle has a very nice case back which features an engraved version of the the Venator logo. Solid case backs give a company an opportunity to do something creative and to extend the watches personality onto the case back. It’s true that this part of the watch sits on your wrist most of the time and you don’t get to see it, but I do take watches off my wrist just to look at the case back. The case back is more important to me than some fancy packaging that a watch comes in.

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As you look through the beautiful domed AR sapphire crystal, you can see the dial pop. A great combination of grey, black and white make up this unique and killer dial. The dial was inspired by Inspired by looking through the glass of a rifle scope right down to the crosshairs. An appropriate detail that holds true to the design roots of the Retcile. This watch consistent and never loses sight of its inspiration. I have nothing but respect for a company that stays true to their vision.

The text on the dial is not centered and is located on the lower left corner of the dial. Rather than interrupt the harmony set forth by the crosshairs, choosing to place the text left of center was a great choice. Unique as well because most text on a dial is centered, I find this detail refreshing. The square date window located between the 4 & 5 o’clock markers, is on a black wheel with white printing assists with keeping the balance of the dial.
The matte black dial is the perfect backdrop for the glowing white hands and the white hour markers. The white on this dial is so crisp and absolutely beautiful. Where there aren’t actual numerals marking the hours, there are these awesome arrows pointing inward to the dial. These arrows make this dial in my opinion.

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Everything that is white on the dial with the exception of the text, is coated with lume. The lume is evenly applied and glows through the night into the morning on a decent charge from a bright light.

Ticking away inside of the Reticle is the Seiko (SII) Caliber NH35A. A nice workhorse movement that has a 41 hour power reserve and an accuracy rate of -20/+40 seconds per day. This movement features some details that are a must when encased within an adventurers watch. The Seiko (SII) Caliber NH35A has a shock absorber and is antimagnetic both great additions that will help protect the movement well. Rest assured that the case will take the abuse from adventure and as will the movement inside. Venator put the Reticle through some major abuse, much more than normal wear and tear, and the Reticle rose victorious test after test.

For this review, the strap was supplied by DC Leather Company. This beautiful custom leather strap is made from raw Hermann Oak leather. For those of you that don’t know Hermann Oak leather is one of the best vegetable-tanned American leather out there.

The process of making this strap is quite extensive and is all done entirely by hand. DC Leather hand applied the dyes, waxes, and oils to achieve this color and finish. Once the desired color was achieved, all cutting, stitching, assembly, and finish work was all done by hand as well. DC leather used a double layer construction which made for a very strong and reliable strap. A traditional saddle stitch method was used for this strap. which creates an extremely strong connection but also allows ease of repair if ever needed. A lot of strap makers use a machine lock stitch which if one stitch breaks the whole run will eventually come undone. DC leather even used the traditional saddle stitch on the keeper loops.

You can see nice rivets on this strap which not only add detail but are also used to reinforce strength at key areas that get a lot of use. The straps edges are so smooth which DC leather smoothes and has slicked by hand. There is a protective finish that is applied which helps delay wear on the edge of the strap. Once this strap was completed it receivesd an additional oil and wax conditioning.

The end result is a beautiful and rich strap that has an impressive finishing. This strap has the charm like it has been around for years and will age beautifully for many more years. It is extremely well constructed and is the perfect companion for the Reticle watch. Leather like this only beautifies as you wear it and as it ages. This strap is very well made and will definitely stand the test of time.

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The Reticle is an extememely well made watch that is built solid like a tank, ready for your adventure. The pictures do show the beauty of this watch, but you won’t fully understand how special this watch is until you hold it in your hand. I kid you not, this watch in hand is impressive as heck. I am beyond impressed at the quality of build and the design on this watch.

This watch and strap combo is the ideal companion for the EDC adventurer. Whether you are into hunting, fishing, rock climbing, hiking, diving this watch will handle it without hesitation. You will not have to worry about babying this watch by any means. It is this watches destiny to accompany you on your adventure and when it’s on your wrist is rides on comfort. You almost forget it’s on your wrist but as soon as you glance at your wrist it brings a big old grin to your face. Damn look at that watch on my wrist!

If you are looking for a watch that you don’t have to worry about this is the watch for you. It’s build quality rivals watches that are over 5x the price of the Reticle. You can get the stainless steel Reticle for $462.00 right now on Venator’s website. Trust me when I say this, you get a ton of watch for your money here. This is an absolute great value for your money. A solid case that has a water resistance of over 600 feet, an awesome signed crown, a rugged automatic movement, a killer dial and so much more.

I want to personally that Jay for the honor and opportunity to be inspired by this watch during this review. This is a very special watch and people should not miss out on this. Once you hold one in your hands, you will understand what I am talking about.
7 1/2″ Wrist for reference:

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Watch Review: Orodeus Time Odyssey OD1-4FF

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My childhood was filled with awesome memories of cartoons and action figures. There were so many great cartoons & TV shows throughout growing up that usually had great action figures that accompanied those shows. When the Time Odyseey arrived and I opened up the shipping box, upon seeing the packaging took me back to my childhood instantly. Like some sort of science fiction time machine, that transported me back 30+ years ago. To those simpler times, before responsibility, before world politics, back to a beloved place where playing in my grandmothers backyard with my older brother with all our action figures was a daily summertime occurrence. Great, great memories.

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The box art on the Time Odyssey’s packaging makes it one of the coolest set ups I have seen. The colors are vibrant, the art is amazing and it just sets the tone for what is to come. I particularly like how the main character of the art on the box has a Watch rotor incorporated into his weaponary. An awesome touch.

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As you can see from the pick above the exhibition case back allows you to view the same rotor that the box art shows off. The rotor features the Orodeus name and log engraved onto it. That is just a glimpse at one of the little details that makes the Time Odyssey a unique offering. The case back also features a cool quote engraved on it “Man is never perfect nor contented” -Jules Verne. A fine example of a little detail that goes a long way.

IMG_3151As you can see the case is a combination of brushed 316L stainless steel and black pvd, teamed with the rectangular shape gives the Time Odyssey quite the unique look. The fixed bezel is brushed stainless steel with high polished edges. The base of the case is black pvd.  The case measures in at 51.50 x 39 mm (without crown), 51.45mm lug-to-lug, 13mm thickness. The Time Odyssey features a sapphire crystal that is 1.6mm-thick, that is coated with an anti-reflective coating. The Time Odyssey has a water resistance of 5ATM or 50 meters. The the push/pull crown operates very smooth and is also signed with the Orodeus logo.

SnapseedThe lugs on the Time Odyssey have a good amount of curve to them that allows the watch to sit comfortably upon the wrist. As you can also see from the above picture the crown guards do a nice job of protecting the crown. Take notice of this nice detail of the lugs being brush finished and the crown guards have a polished finish, this contrast is a beautiful detail. On the non crown side the case the same protrusion that made up the crown guards can be found. This gives the Time Odyssey’s case very nice balance.

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The dial is definitely unique and full of detail. The hex head screws on the bezel give the perfect border to the “futuristic”  dial. The most striking feature on the dial has to be the matte black cross bar. It is fastened to the metal plate which rests upon the rotating discs that are used for telling the time. The cross bar is fastened by larged hex head screws, which nicely match the ones found on the bezel itself. Directly in the center of the cross bar is a small cross that is actually the seconds hand. Telling the time on the Time Odyssey is actually quite easy.  If you look at the pic below you will see a red line on the stainless steel ring that encircles the numerals. Lining up the numbers with the red line you can see that the time below reads 8:40. Also worth mentioning is the section of visible numbers for the time is clear, and the other numbers on the wheel are behind a tinted crystal which you can see below in the picture. In certain spots you can see clear through the watch out the exhibition case back.

IMG_3146The dial has some nice depth to it which is created by the multiple levels. At the base of the dial is a textured copper plate.  The brushed stainless steel ring that encircles the numerals is attached to the dial by 2 flathead screws. The dial has a very futuristic industrial look to it. Orodeus seems to understand that since all the numerals are visible on the dial, that keeping the text to a minimum was essential. The text reads as follows Automatic, Time Odyssey, and Orodeus. The black leather strap can be seen in the picture above. It reminds me of Darth Vadar’s suit. It is nicely padded and nicley accents the watches style/look as a whole.

SnapseedTicking away inside the Time Odyssey is an open worked automatic Miyota 82S0 that features a custom gold-plated rotor and it was modified with rotating discs for time reading. Basically it is a reverse dial where the dial rotates and and the hands stay still. Innthe Time Odyssey’s case, the red line stays in place. The movements frequency is 21600vph, features 21 jewels. The accuracy rate is -15~+15 seconds/day, which isn’t bad at all. When the Tme Odyssey is fully wound, it has a power reserve of 40 hours.

The Time Odyssey is a unique offering and definitely with create some diversity in anyone’s collection. It refreshing to see something that is “outside of the box”. The Time Odyssey is a great piece for someone that is looking for a watch that looks different and tells time differently but looks good while doing it. It is a well made watch. “For those in the know, parallels can be drawn between this aspect of OD-1’s design and Kubrick’s Space Station V.”-Orodeus. Fans of Kubrick’s Space Odyssey will truly appreciate this piece.

I wish that the lume was brighter on watch, like out of this world bright, glowing green. This would have made for a really cool effect that would stay consistent with the futuristic theme of this watch. I partially understand why the lume isn’t super bright because it would create a bit of difficulty telling the time at night. But darkening the tinted area on the dial would eliminate that problem. My other area of recommendation is that a comic strap with the box art on it would be a cool addition to this package as a whole.

Obviously this watch isn’t for everyone. Some might find it difficult to read the time. It honestly doesn’t take that long to get accustomed to and it is definitely a conversation starting piece.

The OD1-4 is available at $715 USD from:

http://orodeus.com

I would like to thank Orodeus for this review opportunity. I would also like to thank you for reading.

More pics below.

7 1/2″ wrists for reference.

 

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Watch Review: Ocean7 LM-8

SnapseedLet’s face it, even if you never dive a day in your life, there is something magically magnificent about dive watches. Especially the ones that are built solid like a tank and can withstand depths that are not humanly possible. Yes I take my dive watches into the ocean, no I won’t be breaking any dive records but that still doesn’t hinder my love and appreciation of my watch that can go much, much deeper. Adds a coolness factor to the watch in my honest opinion. The Ocean7 LM8 is a watch that appears to be built solid like a tank and the specs suggest it to. The stainless steel case is 45mm x 17mm thick, 56mm L2L and with a lug space of 24mm, with depth rating of 2000m.

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Picking up the LM-8 you will immediately feel the heft of this watch. The stainless steel case has a nice combination of brushed and polished finish. The sides of the case are polished and on the non crown side you will see an automatic helium release valve. The crown on the opposite side of the case you will find the well protected crown. The rounded crown guards cover 3/4 of the crown, but the crown is still very easy to grip and operate, thanks in part to the size and large, deep grooves. There is a nice space in between each groove that really allows you to grip and hold the crown itself. The crown is signed with a raised O7 which looks great and is a little destil that really adds so much detail.

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The bezel is very hard to ignore. The ceramic bezel inlay is an eye catching detail for sure. The gloss black ceramic hits and plays with the light almost magically. The bezel can be a bit tricky in terms of function. Establishing a good grip on it takes some getting used to when trying to operate it. It clicks unidirectionally. The small triangle/pip nicely lines up with the 12 o’clock position on the dial, as does the 30 with the 6 o’clock position. The numerals on the bezel are cut out with precision. I was a bit disappointed that they didn’t have lume applied to them. At least the pip is lumed though.

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The screw down case back features a nice engraved O7 and also  features some details about the LM-8 which are also engraved. The bracelet keeps this heavy professional diver balanced due in part to the 24mm width. The end links are solid, but not rounded quite enough as wear the bracelet and end links meet looks off. By off I mean that as the lugs curve down to meet the bracelet/end links the bracelet doesn’t line up to the curve of the lugs. I included a comparison picture so you can see how it would look if this was corrected.

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The bracelet does match the case because the top of the links are brushed and the sides are polished. The links are wide and thick a combination that creates a solid bracelet. The clasp of the bracelet is definitely a highlight of the LM-8. Not only does it operate smoothly opening and closing but it also has a two areas that can make micro adjustments. See the picture below that shows both adjustment points. These points ensures a comfortable fit and is very easy to adjust as your wrist swells in the heat you can adjust the fit with no tools. By squeezing the rounded buttons on the clasp it allows you to make the bracelet longer.

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The matte black dial on the LM-8 is stunning both in daylight and at night.  During the day the dial is quite legible since the hour markers are large that are bordered in polished metal that matches the polished hands. The dial is legible at night because the hands, markers are coated with C3 lume. The lume glows like a flashlight when fully charged, and it lasts throughout the night gradually fading but always legible. Even the second hand has lume which is always helpful. Something else that I like about this second hand well several things actually. One, the second hand is nice and long reaching the inner chapter ring. Two, the tip is orange which helps tremendously in daytime situations. Lastly, the rectangle near the tip of the second hand not only adds detail but like I mentioned earlier has received  lume treatment.

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The orange tip on the second hand has some nice accompanying detail on the dial. The deatil comes in the form of the printed text as the 7 in Ocean7 is orange and it is loccated below the 12 o’clock position. The other orange detail is the 8 in LM-8 that is located about the 6 o’clock position. There is also a very cool orange arrow that points down towards the 6 o’clock position. Printed quite small directly above the arrow in white is 2000M. Of course this watch can go deep as it is labled a professional diver, this can be found engraved on the inner chapter ring along with Ocean7. These two engravings can only be seen when you hold the watch at certain angles. Looking straight down at the dial you can’t really see the engraved text. There is a date window located at the 3 o’clock position. The date window is bordered just at the hour markers are. The date wheel itself is white and the numbers are printed in black. Personally I would have liked to see a black wheel with white numerals or no date window at all to keep the flow of the dial more consistent.

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The LM-8 has an impressive depth rating, a solid case and it is only natural that Ocean7 placed the ETA 2824-2 automatic movement inside. It is an accurate, trialed and tested movement. For an additional $200 Ocean7 will include a COSC upgrade to the movement if you are particular to having more accurate time keeping which are a deviation rate of -4/+6 seconds per day.

The LM-8 is a solid piece that has an impressive depth rating and a nice solid bracelet. This is a large piece that is built like a tank. This is a consistent theme throughout this watch. Yes this watch is large and is heavy but it is surprisingly comfortable. The 24mm bracelet does the balancing act of weight allowing the LM-8 to sit equally centered. For $799 USD you do get a lot of watch for the price. The ceramic bezel is absolutely beautiful and the 4mm thick AR treated flat crystal is so clear that at certain angles it appears that there is no crystal whatsoever.

This is a good value for someone looking for a deep diver, with nice specs, a reliable movement that won’t break the bank at all. There are a few areas for improvement which are having a better finish on the bezel edges to allow for easier grip/operation of the bezel, coat the bezel numerals with lume, and round the end links a bit more. The watch is well constructed and feels very solid. The matte black dial is beautiful and has extreme legibility. I would absolutely have no problems with recommending this watch.

Thanks to Ocean7 and thanks for reading!

 

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Watch Review: MARC & SONS Pilot Watch MSF-006-2

 

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Sometimes the smallest detail can standout amongst giants.

This is what happened to me when I first starting to really examine the MARC & SONS Pilot Watch MSF-006-2. The brushed 316 L case is definitely made to impress with it’s shear size of Case: 46 x 52 mm , Height: 14,8 mm, 22 mm lug space. In the white corner, weighing in at 112g, fighting out of Germany, is the MSF-006-2. Some people think that the big watch trend started a few years ago but take a look at the German pilot watch B-Uhr from the 1940’s and you will see that it was 47mm-56mm. Not small at all. Originally worn over flight jackets and the large case offered the pilot extreme legibility.

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The 006-2 case size is impressive and has some noticeable presence. The large screw down crown also adds to the overall presence of this watch. You don’t often see a pilot watch with a screw down style crown. A detail on the 006-2 that is an added bonus. The crown is easy to grip and operate because of its size and gear style edges. The crown isn’t signed but there is a nice amount of detail as you can see in the pic below. The brushed finish on the case gives the 006-2 a menacing, no nonsense look. My favorite part of the finish is on the curved lugs, which is a good focal point to see the brushed finish.

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Flipping the watch over bottom side up there you will find an exhibition case back. One of the first things that I immediately noticed on the movement was the skeletonized rotor of the Miyota 8217 movement. There are a few little details on the 8217 that splash some interesting things to look at which is nice to see. As with most case backs, on the 006-2 you will find some info about the watch encircling sapphire window.

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The dial on the 006-2 absolutely pops out at you as you would expect from a white dial with black numerals/hands. This make dial legibility very optimal. Sometimes the smallest detal can standout amongst giants and that is what the sapphire crystal has done here. This is my favorite detail, not because of it being sapphire crystal but the fact that it is domed. A feature that I am not familiar with typically on a pilot watch, but I absolutely appreciate it here on the 006-2. This also allows for great legibility. The fixed bezel gives rise nicely to the domed crystal giving a completed/finish look.

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At first glance I saw the subdial at 9 which I assumed was a small seconds dial, but after closer examination it is a 24hour indicator which is quite useful for those who travel and for pilots. Yes I get that we live in a technologically advance day that one wouldn’t have to rely on their watch, but those like myself who appreciate the simplicity of yesteryear, it is refreshing to see the past made present. The subdial adds depth and balance to this dial as at the 3 o’clock position you will find a date window nicely bordered in black. The 24hour indcator also features texture with engraved circles/rings and a black printed cross perfectly in the center.

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The text on the dial is kept simple and balanced, Marc and Sons under the 12 o’clock position and automatic above the 6 o’clock position, both printed in black. Then ever so subtly is the MADE IN GERMANY underneath the 6 o’clock hour. The numerals are bold, easy to read and look crisp. Like I mentioned earlier the black just pops off the white dial. The signature of pilot watches there is a triangle with 2 dots on either side that can be found at the 12 o’clock position, which coincides with the rectangles at 3, 6 and 9. I like that the rectangles are included with the numerals and that the numerals weren’t removed thus keeping the dial balanced.

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The 006-2 is comfortable on the wrist thanks to the shorter curved lugs and cushioned-style case. The brown leather strap is decent enough. Thick, soft and with off-white stitching. Nothing special but gets the job done. It has a nice brushed stainless steel in style buckle that is etched with Marc & Sons. I like that the pin is flat and the holes on the strap are rectangular. Adds a bit of different detail on the strap. The strap has 2 keepers on it. For roughly $326 it is a good value for what you get. The superluminova treated hands glow nicely when fully charged. I like that the center of the hands were kept dark instead of using white and it makes for great legibility once again on the 006-2.

The 006-2 is a good value and a nice “little” pilot watch. It has a nice throwback feel to the flieger watches of yesteryear yet gives off a nice modern touch as well. The crown and domed crystal make this a must have for those looking for a pilot/flieger watch on a budget. I would definitely recommend this watch to my friends as I know a few of them were waiting for this review. Rest assured that I believe you won’t be disappointed if you try this watch out.  My only complaint about the watch is the second hand occasionally stutters. I don’t know if this is with every 006-2 or just an isolated occurrence.

Thanks to Marc & Sons and thank you all for reading!

Full Specifications for ease of reference:

http://www.marc-and-sons.com

Case:

Stainless Steel 316 L
Sapphire crystal, antireflective
Glass bottom
Pressure tested up to 10 ATM

Movement :

Miyota 8217

Automatic
21 Jewels
Power Reserve: 42 hours
Functions

Hour, minute, central second, date
Screw down crown
24 hour indicator
Dial & Hands

 

Dial:

White dial
Luminous indexes with Superluminova
Luminous hands with Superluminova
Central second hand
Date

Strap:

Leather 22 mm
Pin buckle with engraved logo
Band length: 21 cm
Dimensions

Case:

46 x 52 mm
Diameter: 46 mm
Height: 14,8 mm
Width of bracelet 22 mm
Total weight: 112g

Movement Specifications:

Brand Miyota (Citizen)
Caliber Number 8217
Movement Type Automatic
Jewels 21
Vibrations Per Hour
21,600 bph
Anti-Shock System Yes
Power Reserve
40+ hours
Winding Direction
Uni-directional (left)
Hacking No
Diameter 11 1/2”’ (26mm)
Height 5.67mm
Lift Angle 49 degrees
Stem 065-212
Functions Hours, minutes, central seconds, date calendar, 24 hr subdial
Country of Manufacture Japan

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Watch Review: Borealis Porto Santo

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I have always marched to the beat of my own drum. I blame it on my shyness growing up, an introvert of sorts. I was the kid that would hide behind his big brother not saying too much if I didn’t have to. It really wasn’t until I started working in healthcare were I had to come out of my shell and now nobody can believe that I was shy when I tell them. My shyness has translated into what I am drawn to naturally in life, I always go the unique first, the out of the ordinary, the underdog. Gong against the grain, going against the odds, going against the majority, all of these are commendable. Especially when there is known risk involved. There is something that I respect when a company goes outside of the box. This is what Borealis has done with the piece we will be taking a look at today, the Porto Santo.

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I was immediately intrigued when I saw the pictures of this watch. What pulled me in first was the shape of this case. Venturing away from the standard round case and going for a squarish shape is what starts to create a mystique about the Porto Santo. I must admit that seeing pictures of this case vs. holding it in person is quite a different experience. The case size and shape in person in impressive. The fixed bezel has a mirror polished finish as does the top edges of the case itself. Both create a very nice border of the dial and the case. The signed screw down crown not only screws/unscrews smoothly but operating the crown to wind, set the time, etc… also operates smoothly without fail. The crown is signed with an engraved Borealis ‘B’. The 316L stainless steel case is 44mm x 53mm x 14mm height. The brushed finish on the Porto Santo is done with nice precision and consistency throughout the case, which gives this watch a real rugged/tool watch feel.

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The screw down case back features an engraved swimming mermaid and some information about the PS, such as 300m WR. Yes, the Porto Santo case is on the larger size, but Borealis smart choice of lugs allows the PS to wear smaller than the dimensions suggest. The lugs are reminiscent of the welded wire lugs of the WW1 trench watches, which not only aid in the wearability of the Porto Santo, but also gives it a cool vintage feel as well. The lugs do allow you to change the strap unlike the trench watches where the strap would either be cut off or disintegrate over time. In between the lugs there is a standard spring bar that allows easy strap changes. If you take notice of the hexagon screw heads that are on the side of the case these hold the lugs in place. Not only do these screws add function but they also add nice detail to the case.

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Speaking of straps, the 24mm leather strap is anything short of awesome. Thick, soft leather deep brown in color, with black stitching, it just adds a depth the the Porto Santo that is hard not to like. An awesome strap with a mediocre buckle is something that is all too common on a OEM strap, but Borealis follows up on the strap with a very nice custom roller buckle.

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The dial on the PS is clean, simple but packed full of detail and is easy to see because of the sapphire crystal with A/R coating inside. Let’s start with the chapter ring that is engraved with Borealis around the top and Porto Santo around the bottom. This is a detail that is becoming quite popular these days. Instead of having just a plain chapter ring, a bit of engraving detail steps it up a notch. The black dial looks quite plain at first glance, but play with the angles/light and you will soon see the details begin to appear with the raised ‘Borealis’ located under the 12 o’clock marker.

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The splash of color that comes in at the sunken small seconds dial at the 4/5 o’clock position gives the dial some nice depth. The yellow second hand and yellow cross hair, that is set against the matte black dial just pops brilliantly. The sunburst style small seconds again adds dimension and depth. I like how the 20 seconds marker is printed larger than the 40 & 60 seconds marker, giving the seconds a 3D look.

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The raised rectangular shaped, white hour markers also pop off the black dial. The hour/minute markers have a nice clean/balanced look that keeps the symmetry in check on the Porto Santo. I think that we have ignored these hands long enough, especially the tail on the hour hand. The balance of this dial is carried through on the hands as well, in terms of proportion to the size of hands vs. size of the dial. All too often companies have a large dial, but the hands are lost due to inadequate sizing. That is definitely not the case here. The time can be easily read in low light or dark situations thanks to the superluminous BGW9 superluminova. A full charge will allow you to read the time throughout the night with ease.

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Ticking away inside of the Porto Santo is the automatic Miyota 8218 movement. It is a 21 jewels movement that beats at 21’600 vibrations per hour, 3 Hz. This movement has non hacking seconds with a power reserve of 40 hours. This movement has been proven over and over to be reliable with an accuracy of -25 ~ +40 s/ day.

There are risks of course from a business perspective when you go outside of the box. People are ofter hesitant to try something different. Personally I admire Borealis for taking a known risk and delivering this unique watch. There are a lot of pro’s to this watch that should eliminate any buyer hesitation. The case has solid construction, it has a reliable movement ticking away inside, the strap & buckle is pro-custom quality and the clean dial is legible in both day light and dark.  I like the way it looks & feels on the wrist and it has excellent wrist presence. It has a great vintage aesthetics infused with modern flare. You get a lot of nice details for the $299 price! The Porto Santo should be available June/July.

I want to personally thank Borealis for the honor of doing this review. Thank you all for reading.

Specifications:

Case Size: 44.00mm x 53.00mm
Screwed down crown
Sapphire Crystal with A/R coating inside
Miyota 8218 Automatic Movement
316L Stainless Steel Case
Lug Width: 24.00 mm
Water Resistance: 300 meters
Case height: 14.40 mm
Premium Leather strap
Swiss Made C3 or Superluminous BGW9 Superluminova applied to dial, watch hands
Screwed Case Back with engraved mermaid

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