[dropcap size=big]L[/dropcap]ike many this year, everyone is looking for a deal, or something more affordable, and that extends to watches as well. The Audaz Sea Armour is listed at $400 on their website, but also listed on their website is the opportunity for 30% off by signing up for their newsletter. That brings the price of this large diver to $280, a pretty good price for all that it offers. I am not sure if that discount can be used multiple times as Audaz does have quite the array of models, but at the very least you can save on one. The under $300 price point has become quite competitive in the microbrand and factory-brand watch space and that just means more options for you. The Sea Armour is definitely affordable, but is it the perfect budget diver for you? Let’s explore.
Audaz Sea Armour Specifications:
Case Material : 316L Stainless Steel
Case Diameter : 45mm ( Excluding Crown )
Case Length (L2L) : 53mm
Case Height : 15mm ( Including the Crystal and Caseback )
Lug Width : 24mm
Bracelet : 316L Stainless Steel material with SOLID END LINKS
Dial : Black
Crystal : Sapphire
Bezel : Unidirectional with CERAMIC Insert & Lume markers
Crown : Screw-down
Water Resistance : 200m
Movement : Seiko NH35A – Automatic Movement
Watch Weight : 239 grams
5 Colors available
Price $280 (with 30% discount available on Audaz Website)
The Audaz Sea Armour has a similar design to quite a few of the Audaz lineup, including the Octomarine I reviewed a few months ago, along with the Reef Diver, among others. The Armour has a modern cushion case, while the others I mentioned have your typical round diver style case, but present on all of them is that massive 10mm super grippy screw-down crown, that has this hardened plastic covering most of the steel, which just makes it easier to grip and creates a nice aesthetic. Like most dive watches, this watch is water-resistant to 200m and has a uni-directional rotating bezel. Well, rotating is a loose term, isn’t it? All kidding aside, the bezel is so hard to rotate because it has no grip whatsoever. Watch the video above and despite what I said when I was recording, you’ll see the footage and know this bezel is impossible to turn in any normal fashion. Just my example? Probably not, unless I am the only one who received a completely different bezel than everyone else.
Dial-wise, you are looking at your typical microbrand style dive watch; large sword hour and minute hand, a brightly colored second hand, large applied markers, and in this case-no date. The dial of the Audaz Sea Armour is clean and uncluttered with only the most pertinent info. For the most part, I prefer a clean dial, especially when you are dealing with pretty boring fonts. One of my favorite affordable watches I reviewed this year, the Rotary Super 7, is the opposite of this watch here, with a day/date complication and quite a bit of text. But when you look at that dial, the custom text is part of the charm, and the day/date is integrated very well. Now, this part is very picky on my part, but I am just not in love with the model name. I know these days it is very hard to come up with anything original, but Sea Armour just does not do it for me.
When it comes to case construction, it is your soft style cushion case or modern cushion case as I call it, where the lugs are integrated as opposed to defined lugs that really separate from the case body. This allows the watch to look much more like your typical diver than a Panerai, and that is not a bad thing at all-way too many Panerai look-a-likes out there as it is. Another feature I like is that the top and sides of the case are satin-brushed instead of high polished, and very nicely brushed, especially for a watch of this price. There is quite a lot of high-polish at play here though, from the bezel to the parts of the crown and the center link of the H-link bracelet. It is too shiny for my tastes, at least for this style of watch anyway. Remember, this is not a small watch at all, with a 45mm case, that massive crown, and 24mm lugs.