Audaz Octomarine Diver
If you are looking for a relatively inexpensive dive watch, or even as some would call it, a bargain, the Audaz Octomarine Diver might be a watch to look at. Believe it or not, it is hard to even for me to keep up with all the watch brands out there these days. It seems like every day I find a new brand on social media, or through an email from them directly. Now, this is good and bad, as I feel the market is getting flooded. I felt it was getting flooded a few years ago, as there is a lot of, well, let’s just call them less desirable brands or watches out there these days, and you have to really try and discern what is really worth the money. The Audaz brand and the Audaz Octomarine specifically is a new brand to me, and this is the first model I have checked out in person. The brand is not really new though. They seem to have been in business since 2016, but it really is hard to find any info on the brand online, including their own website. Audaz seems to have a few homages or watches that could be mistaken for others, but the Octomarine looks to be mostly all original, at least in case design. On the website, they are $400, but you can sign up for the newsletter to get 30%, which brings this 42mm brightly colored watch to $280. What do you get for that money?
Audaz Octomarine Specifications
Case Material : 316L Stainless Steel
Case Diameter : 42mm ( Excluding Crown )
Case Length (L2L) : 51mm
Case Height : 16mm ( Including the Crystal and Caseback )
Lug Width : 22mm
Bracelet : 316L Stainless Steel material with SOLID END LINKS
Dial : Blue
Crystal : Sapphire
Bezel : Unidirectional with CERAMIC Insert & Lume markers
Crown : Screw-down
Water Resistance : 500m and HEV mechanism
Movement : Seiko NH35A – Automatic Movement
Watch Weight: 225 Grams
Price $400, but use WR30 to get 30% off, or sign up for the Audaz Newsletter to get the same discount, which brings the price to $280.
If the brand is offering a 30% discount and you can seemingly get it regularly, it is not a $400 watch but rather a $280 watch. So, looking at it for under $300, at face value, this watch has a lot to offer. Actually, the Audaz Octomarine is quite the bargain. But before I get into that, allow me to touch on the company itself. I know nothing about the brand at all. I know my contact at the company who sent me this model for review, his name is Sean. I know they are produced and shipped from Hong Kong. That is about it. I have not seen the brand on the forums or Facebook watch groups and I have no idea if they are what most of us consider a microbrand or a factory brand that is just branding and producing watches, much like Spinnaker is. For many people, that does not matter. Many watch guys just want a good watch for the money and are not concerned with the brand behind it, especially when considering the price tag here. For those that are concerned about such things, I wanted to make sure I put this out there front and center.
Unfortunately at the time of publishing, this blue dial is sold out, along with the grey and green dials, leaving only the black dial. It seems the Audaz Octomarine is a very popular watch. Hopefully, they will have more in stock soon, though I am not sure offhand if that is the plan or it is a one and done type of deal. Should there be more or you are searching for one on the pre-owned market, let me talk about the blue dial I have in hand. It is a sunray blue dial, but the shade of blue has a greenish hue to it, so if you were looking for that royal blue color, this is not going to be it. I actually prefer this color though, especially compared to the blue of the Oris Aquis recently reviewed. It is a warmer tone and it is very pleasing. Keeping true to a dive watch, the dial is mostly uncluttered, has minimal text, an orange minute hand to make it stand out and orange model text just to add another pop of color. Of course, being 500m water resistant, it also has a unidirectional 120 click rotating bezel and a massive screw-down crown. While in some of the photos the indices can look flat and printed, take a closer look and you will see they are in fact applied indies, and for a watch of this price, they are not only well machined but the lume compound is evenly and cleanly filled.
Speaking of that massive crown, it is absolutely one of my favorite things about this watch. Now, that might sound odd to some, as yes, this watch is loaded with good specs with the ceramic bezel, sapphire crystal, solid end link bracelet, and stamped case back. But, this crown is the standout for me. Not only does it have a large PVD surround that makes it easy to grip, but it looks good as well. The bonus is, with the Audaz Octomarine only being 42mm, the crown does not dig into the back of my hand or wrist, at least not on my 7 1/2 inch wrist. At 225 grams, this watch is no lightweight by any means the case, and bracelet has a nice heft and it balances out on the wrist very well. It does not feel top heavy whatsoever.
The bracelet is a multi-link variety, and as I said, it is solid with a nice feel to it. The finishing is ok, and when I say ok, that is what I mean. It is a slightly dull satin-brushed finish, but mostly what I expected with a watch of this price. Links can be removed of course, but it does use the pin and collar setup. This is what Seiko uses on most of their watches, especially the divers, and is very secure, but is a little more of a pain in the butt to remove links. If you are not familiar with this, take it to a watchmaker or jeweler to do it for you, and save yourself a little aggravation.
Audaz went with a full stamped case back and put the octopus on the back, and it really is a nice looking case back. Not only that, but it is also very well buffed and polished, and not one part of the case back has any rough edges. It seems they spent a little too much time on the case back finishing, and not enough on the bracelet. Under that case back is the Seiko NH35. The workhorse as it tends to be referred to. As I sit here and write this, I am not sure what that term has ever really meant. I guess you can look at it as, it is not flashy or pretty and doesn’t keep the best time, but it will get the job done and be dependable for a long time. Accuracy is within specification, but again, it isn’t meant to be a very accurate watch-over 3 days, I clocked it at 20 seconds fast.
There is a lot to like about the Audaz Octomarine, and as I stated earlier, at present 3 of the 4 colors are already sold out. It is strange to be doing a review of a watch that isn’t readily available, but when the watch was sent to me, and when I published the video review, it was. It is a good looking diver style watch, and even though it has an HEV, it lacks a proper clasp and extension that would be normally used for a dive watch, and there is no mention of an ISO rating at all. So, it is more about the looks here and mostly like that $280 price that makes it hard for people to pass up. That’s not a bad thing though, especially with all going on in this world right now, we could all use a cheap thrill, and the Octomarine certainly fits that bill.