Seasoned Watch Report readers will know OCEAN7 very well. Over the past few years WR has reviewed a half dozen watches produced by the Florida-based brand and we have always been impressed by the quality, design and value that OCEAN7 presents with with each model. Today’s review focuses on a new version of OCEAN7’s dress diver, the LM-5. This new model incorporates a practical and watch-nerd-approved GMT complication into the already lovely design of the LM-5 diver. With a laundry list of features, a rock-solid Swiss movement and a versatile wrist-friendly design, the OCEAN7 LM-5 GMT appears to cover the most important bases for a dress diver and still manage to set its self apart from the base LM-5 in more ways than simply having a fourth hand.
- 42 x 13 mm polished stainless steel case
- 53 mm lug to lug
- 110g weight as reviewed
- ETA 2893-2 GMT automatic movement
- Domed sapphire crystal with internal AR coating
- Domed sapphire bezel insert
- Black or red/blue lumed unidirectional GMT bezel
- Carbon leather strap with deployment clasp
- Price: $899.00
The LM-5 GMT features a 42mm stainless steel case that is completely polished and only 13mm thick. The lug to lug width is 53 mm thanks to the very pronounced lug style used in its case design. The LM-5 GMT comes fitted to a 22mm carbon style strap that is leather lined, very soft and secured with a push-button deployment clasp. The strap material almost reminds me of sail cloth and it integrates nicely with the clasp for a very comfortable on-wrist experience.
Both the crystal and the bezel insert are made of domed synthetic sapphire and the crystal features an internal anti-reflective coating. The crystal has only a very slight dome which does not distort the dial or attract any noticeable increase in reflections. The bezel features a fully lumed scale and can be had in either the red/blue coloring seen here, or an all black option which also looks great. The domed sapphire insert adds both depth and a rather pleasing jewel-like appearance to the bezel, along with additional scratch resistance when compared with standard aluminum inserts.
Hidden within the polished case and solid case back beats a ETA 2893-2 automatic movement. This is the same movement seen in the OCEAN7 G-1 GMT we reviewed a couple years ago and it is a completely reliable work-horse with an independently adjustable jumping 24 hour hand (see video for full usage). For those that have not had the pleasure of a 2893-powered watch, the GMT hand makes a single rotation in 24 hours and, when used in conjunction with the 24 hour bezel, can help the user track the time in a second timezone.
The LM-5 GMT, and its non-GMT sibling, bear a noticeable resemblance to the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms diver which can trace its heritage as far back as the 1950′s . If you’re going to draw inspiration from a classic dive watch, we would be hard pressed to recommend anything better than the modern Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, as there is certainly no shortage of divers that bear a resemblance to the Rolex Submariner.
We see a very similar handset, polished case, bezel grip, and the sapphire bezel insert but the dial, lugs and bezel scale are quite different. The OCEAN7 LM-5 GMT features a distinct dial design (carried over from the G-1 GMT) and the LM-5 family is slightly smaller than a modern Fifty Fathoms (42 vs 45mm). We feel that OCEAN7 has really made the design their own, while preserving the tough-yet-dressy allure of the Fifty Fathoms design. For those that disagree, the absolutely stunning Fifty Fathoms can be yours for roughly $13,000 (and up).
In practical “on-wrist” terms, the LM-5 GMT is a delight. The thin case felt perfect on my 7.5 inch wrist and, thanks to its light weight strap, the LM-5 GMT does not encumber or even announce its presence in any bothersome way. The polished case is a bit on the flashy side but I feel it matches the design and the works well with copious amount of sapphire that makes up the bezel and crystal.
Crown action is excellent with easy to grab threading and a simple two-pull system with idle, then date/gmt advance (depending which way the crown is turned) and then time. Bezel action is also very good, not too tight with a good grip and tactile response from each click. The bezel is fully lumed and, along with the hands and markers, offers a very bright initial charge that lasts a great many hours, just as a dive watch should. The bezel will be the first to go dim, then the markers eventually followed by the hands.
All of these elements work together to create a watch that is easy to wear, quite dressy for a sport watch and one of the best “daily-wearers” we have seen of late. The LM-5 GMT’s practical size combined with a versatile design mean it should be able to dress up or down and OCEAN7 even offers an optional mesh bracelet ($199) if you prefer to sport a bit more steel. I tried the LM-5 GMT on everything from a nato to a series of leather strap and they all seemed to fit really well thanks to its simple case design and robust diver styling.
OCEAN7 is selling the LM-5 GMT for $899 and we are not entirely sure how they are making any money. The base LM-5 diver sells for only $100 less and features a more sporty dial design with over sized numerals. We very much prefer the dial design and added practicality of the GMT complication, especially for such a small increase in price. While the sub $1000 diver segment is a hot bed of competition, many of OCEAN7’s competitors are producing much larger, thicker and increasingly-casual sport watches. We like our divers in the 40-42mm range and as thin as possible so it’s no surprise that we feel the LM-5 presents itself as a fantastic option for anyone looking for a tough but dressy diver that won’t break the bank or their wrist.