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    Nordic Marine Instruments SØVÆRN

    Nordic Marine Instruments SØVÆRN

    Nordic Marine is a new brand to me, but this isn’t their first watch. The Demark-based brand released a dive model last year through Kickstarter. While I didn’t get to check that one out in person, it looked fantastic, especially with its very colorful and textured dials. This time they are going for more of an everyday field-style watch with the Nordic Marine Instruments SØVÆRN. This new model, which uses the same style case and bracelet only now sized at 39mm, comes in 6 different color options, and the one I have for review is the FULDMÅNE, which translates to full moon. All are sandwich dials, have sapphire crystals, a Miyota 9015 automatic movement, and a solid link bracelet with on the fly adjustable clasp. They are currently up for prodder at the price of $549. 

    Nordic Marine Instruments SØVÆRN

    Specifications

    • 39mm Stainless Steel Case
    • 10.5mm Case Thickness47.60 mm case length / lug-to-lug
    • 20mm lug width tapers to 16mm at clasp
    • Bracelet fits up to 8.5-inch wrists
    • 160 Grams in Weight 
    • Sapphire Crystal 
    • Full lume Sandwich Dial
    • 100m Water Resistant
    • Stainless Bracelet with on the fly micro adjust clasp
    • Miyota 9015 Automatic Movement

    Current Preorder Price $549 (As of July 11, 2024)

    https://nordicmarineinstruments.com/collections/sovaern

    Nordic Marine Instruments SØVÆRN

    The dial color of this one I think is best described as sand or a muted tan color, and like most watch dials, it can look a little different depending on the lighting, and this is the only version of the Nordic Marine Instruments SØVÆRN that is full lume. All the dials have a slight texture to them, though it looks a little more pronounced on the other dial colors, probably because of the lume paint applied to the dial. This is a real multi-piece dial as well, as while it is a sandwich dial, with a bottom layer and the indices cut out, the chapter ring is also a separate piece as you can see a cut line around the main part of the dial. This gives this flat dial a little extra depth or dimension. The hands are all black, including the second hand. (with orange tip), and the second hand is the only hand to have lume applied. 

    Nordic Marine Instruments SØVÆRN

    All the dials have color-matched date wheels, an anchor counterbalance for the second hand, and a raised Nordic anchor logo, that catches the light nicely and is highly detailed, especially considering how small it is. All in all, this is a very clean, easy-to-read dial, with a lot of attention to detail, especially for a watch at this price point. If this color is not for you, make sure to check out the Nordic website as there is a light blue dial, black, silver, a gorgeous moss green, and an all-black with an old radium lume color, in a DLC case. (That one is a limited edition with a price of $599. 

    The Nordic Marine Instruments SØVÆRN has a pretty svelte case at 39mm, and only 10.5mm in thickness. And unlike a lot of field-style watches, this one has a unique case shape along with some beautiful finishing. The mid-case is ever so slightly curved, but also has a somewhat straight profile to it, similar to some Seiko models, while the middle is brushed, sandwiched by polished chamfers top and bottom.
    This gives the case a lot of dimension and that finishing is continued not the bezel area, the inner parts of the lugs, and the bracelet clasp. I also love how the crown guards are shaped, as they look to be machined out of the same solid block of steel, and they do a great job of protecting the signed screw-down crown. You can tell that this case was originally a dive watch case, but it works well in a field watch design as well. 

    Nordic Marine Instruments SØVÆRN

    One area that I have a bit of criticism on is the end link/lug end. The lugs come to a pretty abrupt end, and the end links of the Nordic Marine Instruments SØVÆRN sit inside the lugs, so they are not exactly flush. Now this is not uncommon, many end links and lug ends do not line up perfectly and I think to my eye, it is just more noticeable because of the sharp cut to the end of the lugs. It is something purely subjective and of course does not affect functionality as the end links sit perfectly inside the case without any gaps and are very secure, it is just something that stuck out to me a little as I continued to look at the watch over as I wore it. 

    Under the case back of the Nordic Marine Instruments SØVÆRN is the slim Miyota 9015 workhorse Japanse movement. This movement is known to have a pretty audible rotor noise, and this one is no different, but I have always kind of liked that quirk to this movement. What does stand out a little to me is how plain the case back is, with the polished outer area and empty brushed circle in the middle. Again, something purely subjective but I think this would have been a great place for a nice Anchor etching.

    The bracelet tapers from 20mm down to 16mm at the clasp and is a beautiful oyster-style link bracelet, very solid in feeling, and because of the female end links, they allow the bracelet to drop right down on the wrist, instead of jetting outwards. The links use screw pins and are very easy to size, and of course, if you need to get an even better fit after removing a few links, you can do so with the push button on the fly tool-less adjustment clasp. This is very similar to many other microbrands, and the link can slide in and out, probably about a half links worth, to help obtain that perfect fit on the wrists whenever you need it. 

    And speaking of the wrist, the Nordic Marine Instruments SØVÆRN is only 39mm, and that initially did give me some pause. I am fully aware that watch sizes have been dropping over the past 5 years, and while 15-20 years ago it was all about 45mm and up watches, these days it is a lot of 40mm and under, and I have quite a few watches in for review that are much smaller than this.
    With that all said, this one truly surprised me, as some watches do, to look completely fantastic on my 7 1/2 inch (19.0cm) wrist. It doesn’t look or feel small at all, possibly due to the large dial opening and no dive bezel, and with how thin this watch is, it has been a joy to wear. I do prefer to wear it on the bracelet, but Nordic does sell some tropic straps in case you want to switch it out. I do admit it does look good on a black tropic rubber, but the bracelet is where it is at for me. 

    We can’t forget about the lume though! The Nordic Marine Instruments SØVÆRN is a full lume dial, and in the dark, this is somewhat of a pale/green-yellow color. I will admit, I think I prefer more of a BGW9 blue when it comes to fully lumed dials but one thing is for sure, you will not have a problem telling time in the dark with this navy field watch. 

    Nordic Marine Instruments SØVÆRN

    The Nordic Marine Instruments SØVÆRN has truly impressed me. For a watch that is under $600, it sometimes just amazes me how good watches at this price have become. This is a very attractive-looking watch, especially with the sandwich dial and overall layout, and the entire watch is just very well made and finished, so much more so than say a Seiko in the same price range. Now I do love me some Seiko, so that is not a slight, but I doubt you would be able to find one this well put together and with all of these details for $550. Of course, this is all subjective, and with that said, this sand color dial is not my first choice at all. I am much more fond of the silver or moss green dials, as I think both of them are just striking. If you like full lume dials, this is the only way to get it in the collection, but with 6 different options, there is something there for everyone, if you dig this design. 
    Many brands do not achieve a watch that looks and feels this good with just their second offering,   but the man behind Nordic Marine Instruments is Mick Jørgensen, who runs the Instagram channel Wristporn and more importantly owns Watch Bandit, a very popular microbrand and strap retailer. It is because of Watch Bandit and selling so many microbrand watches over the years that he wanted to start his own, and it looks to me like the brand is off to a great start. 
    Nordic Marine Instruments

    Marloe Solent Timer Rescue

    Marloe Solent Timer Rescue

    Does anything say summer more than a creamsicle? Creamsicle pops, creamsicle cake, and a creamsicle watch. Well, Marloe isn’t marketing this watch at all in that way, but it is the first thing I thought of when I saw the dial of the Marloe Solent Timer Rescue. The cream dial with an orange timing track just reminds me of that delicious snack, and with this teal strap, it also looks perfect for summer. But make no mistake, this is a serious watch. Orange is the international color for emergency and this 42mm stainless steel case has dual crowns, one for the inner timing bezel, 100m of water resistance, sapphire crystals, a subtly patterned dial, and a Miyota 9039 automatic movement, with a starting price of around $460. 

    Specifications

    • 42mm diameter Polished Stainless Steel
    • 12mm Thick
    • 22mm lugs
    • 48mm Lug to Lug
    • Natulite lume on hands, indices, and bezel
    • Internal rotating bezel
    • Sapphire crystal with dual-side AR coating
    • Miyota 9039 automatic movement
    • 40+ hour power reserve
    • Hacking function, Parashock anti-shock
    • 100 Metre / 10ATM water resistance
    • 72g

    Price $460 (As Reviewed)

    https://www.marloewatchcompany.com/collections/solent-timer

    Marloe Solent Timer Rescue

    I reviewed a Marloe Solent a few years ago, and that watch was similar to this as it had the same case design and dimensions, but a very different dial and only one crown. The Marloe Solent Timer changes up a few things, by adding the internal bezel and the crown to control it, and this patterned dial with round applied indices. Now only 2 versions of this Solent Timer have the patterned dial, the Rescue (orange), and the Oceanic (blue). Two other models are available, the Cardinal (black and yellow) and the one simply dubbed the black edition, which yes, you guessed it, is an all-black dial.

    And I love this dial. The pattern is light, you have to get close or see it in the right light. From further away, it just looks like a white or cream-colored dial, but once you get up close, you see those diagonal lines, of alternating hues of cream and white, and add in the orange accents around the round domed indices and the orange inner bezel, and this is just an easy to read, vibrant dial. The hour and minute hands are partially skeletonized, and kind of unique, and they work here with this style of watch. And you will notice, this dial is pretty symmetrical and there is no date, and while I know many love to have a date on a watch, I appreciate that this one does not, as it would have ruined the dial by getting rid of one of the indices or making a mark in this pattern. 

    Marloe Solent Timer Rescue

    Marloe Solent Timer Rescue

    While many watches with this dual crown setup are diving watches, the Marloe Solent Timer Rescue is a nautical watch as the British brand dubs it, so think of watches that can be used on a boat, while sailing, or just out on your favorite picnic table this summer and timing your steaks on the grill. Whatever you are using it for, both crowns do screw down, and with that, I did find the internal bezel crown on this one to be a touch finicky. It only takes a few turns to unscrew, but when you do, the bezel easily moves in either direction, but you need a light hand to screw it back down and have that bezel stay where you want it. Check out the video above to see what I mean. 

    Unlike the previous version, this Marloe Solent Timer Rescue is all highly polished, and while I love the look of highly polished watches, especially ones that are finished very nicely like this one, I am just not a fan of them on pieces meant for the outdoors. A brushed or blasted finish would be better in my opinion, but this is also a relatively thin round case, with thin lugs, and even at 42mm, I don’t think it will get banged into a lot of things, so it should hold up fine over time. 

    Marloe Solent Timer Rescue

    On the case back, we have an open window to see the Miyota 9039 movement, and I like that they chose this movement, as it doesn’t have the date complication, so no worry about phantom date positions on the crown. And while I would have liked a nice case back engraving, the ring around the movement does have a nice little proverb from Franklin D. Roosevelt. The case back screws down and is also pretty much almost perfectly flat, which ends up being very comfortable on the wrist.

    Marloe Solent Timer Rescue

    And speaking of on the wrist, this 42mm case fits me perfectly. While to some a 42mm is a large watch these days, this one doesn’t wear large, as the case is thin, and tucked in if you will, and even with the 48mm lug to lug, it fits well on my 7 1/2 inch (19.05cm) wrist. Now there are a few caveats, which is the silicone straps. Yes, the rubber straps they offer in many different colors are silicone, not FKM or natural rubber, and I was very hesitant about this. I will say they don’t catch lint and dirt like I thought they would, and though I only wore it on this strap a few hours at a time, it didn’t seem to make me sweat like I thought it would. These straps are a little on the short side as well in my opinion, especially for a watch that is 42mm. All that said, you have a large choice of other straps on the Marloe website, including leather, horween leather, and some metal bracelet options (without fitted ends though). These are 22mm lugs, so if you like none of the straps, choose the cheapest option and put on your favorite 22mm.

    Lastly, we get to the lume, and the compound used here is Natulite, when I looked it up, I found this is a proprietary lume compound that Citizen uses, and I assume licensed to be used by others. For a watch with relatively small indices, it glows well and is easy to see in the dark, but don’t expect a lume monster here either.

    I have reviewed quite a few Marloe pieces over the years, and the one thing I appreciate about them is they are different. They don’t produce dive watches, which of course saturates the market, and they did not go the cookie-cutter homage route either like so many other brands do. Their watches are distinct, well-made, and finished, with a lot of good details. The Marloe Solent Timer Rescue is another example of that. The timing crown is a little finicky on my example, but still very usable, and I am in love with this colorway with the patterned dial, of course with either the orange strap or this teal strap, a perfect summer watch. And if you want to grab one even cheaper, well they have a 10% pop-up on their website which would bring this watch down to around $414, (depending on strap choice) and I would say that is a good bargain for all it offers.

    Ball Engineer III Outlier

    Ball Engineer III Outlier

    Ball Engineer III Outlier

    One thing you should not say about the Ball Engineer III Outlier is that it is an homage, especially to the Rolex Explorer II. I took some flak on the video above, where I referenced this. Now, in terms of actual design, this newer piece from Ball is not the same. The case design is different, as is the dial because Ball uses tritium tubes. I took the word homage in the truest definition, something that is inspired by and has similar characteristics. Paying homage to. But in the watch world, homage tends to mean copy, a replica with a different name.
    The Ball Outlier is a 904L stainless case and bracelet, this particular version has a black dial, an orange GMT hand, and a date magnifier, and this is a true or travelers GMT as well. So, in that sense, and if you laid it out on paper, you would say they are similar. Again, the design is different, but I meant no disrespect to Ball, nor did I want to offend anyone. I do bet had I not mentioned it in the video, the reverse would have happened, with people saying it was an Explorer homage. Back to the Outlier, this piece has a custom GMT movement, is limited to 1000 pieces per color, and comes in either a black, blue, or white dial, with either a black ceramic or stainless steel bezel insert, and starts at $3,4000. 

    Specifications:

    • 40mm 904L Stainless Steel Case and Bracelet
    • 41.2mm bezel diameter
    • 9-3 with crown-44.2mm
    • 46mm Lug to Lug
    • 20mm Lug Width
    • 13.4mm Thick including crystal
    • Weight 162 Grams
    • Top Hat Sapphire Crystal 
    • Ceramic Bezel Insert
    • Automatic BALL Manufacture caliber RRM7337-C
    • Chronometer certified COSC
    • Amortiser® patented anti-shock system
    • 1,000 Gauss (80,000 A/m)
    • 5,000Gs shock resistance
    • 200m Water Resistant

    MSRP $3,749

    https://shop.ballwatch.ch/en/search?search=OUTLIER

    Ball Engineer III Outlier

    With three colors, and two bezel options, pricing starts at $3400 for the stainless bezel insert, but this version, with the ceramic bezel insert, is $3,749. This is MSRP, and I have seen this model listed at dealers for a few hundred less for each model, but constantly the ceramic bezel version is about $300 or $350 more. I incorrectly stated in the video that the steel bezel version is not lumed, but I was incorrect. The steel bezel has dual lume, black lume on half, and C3 lume on the other. The bezel is a GMT or 24-hour bezel, but instead of a 24 they put a lumed pip triangle, of course, this is a bi-directional bezel, and it has such a precise feel when turning it, where it “locks” into place at every hash mark. It is quite a solid feeling GMT bezel, which is not always the case with this style of watch. 

    Ball Engineer III Outlier

    The Ball Engineer III Outlier does have a 904L stainless case and bracelet, and this is not the first time Ball has used 904L, as they do use it on a lot of their higher-end models. 904L is not stronger or harder, but it is more corrosion resistant, and it does have a different sheen or luster to it, especially when polished, this GMT is very highly polished, dare I say too highly polished for this style of watch. The entire case is highly polished, not just the sides, as is the crown, the bezel edge, and the outer links of the bracelet, with the inner links being brushed. It does look very beautiful but I think almost all highly polished steel could have been toned down a bit. 

    Ball Engineer III Outlier

    And even though his is a GMT watch, you still get 200m of Water Resistance on the Ball Engineer III Outlier. And, as I said above with this very much being a “tool watch”, I am not sure why they polished everything as they did, as 904L is not more scratch-resistant than 316, so if it does get hard used, it will be noticeable. That said, it is a beautiful-looking piece, that can withstand a lot of abuse as far as the movement shock protection and its being anti-magnetic. This watch is built internally to be able to take a beating. 

    Before we get to the movement of this Outlier, let’s discuss the dial. It very much is a Ball dial, with a lot of tritium tubes, the Railroad counterbalance to the second hand, and the Ball logo and text. The dial is matte black, not a glossy or sunburst dial, and at times can look more of a dark grey, but this does cut down on reflection. On top of that, the outer edge or chapter ring of the dial is placed on top of the main dial, almost like a stadium dial but not quite, and with the dial and bezel, you can track three timezones. 

    Ball Engineer III Outlier

    The date magnifier is present as well, something Ball really seems to like on their watches, which is not my favorite, and for the most part I would always like a watch better without one, but at least this does have a date as I have seen a lot of GMT watches lately without one. One thing I very much do like though is the top hat sapphire crystal used on this piece, a classic touch to a modern style watch, and it just adds to the overall look of this piece and gives the dial a very cool look with the way those tritium tubes can distort from certain angles. 

    Ball Engineer III Outlier

    But let’s talk about the movement for a bit, It is listed as a Ball Caliber movement, but I have found is a base Soprod M100 movement. Ball worked closely with Soprod to develop this movement and added quite a few touches along with the module to allow for this flyer’s GMT. This allows the hour hand to move independently of the minute hand and allows the user to quickly change the time to their destination upon arrival. This movement much like the newer Miyota 9075 movement does not have a quick set date feature though, which I do find a little odd that this could not be factored in somehow. 

    In the dark, the Ball Engineer III Outlier is like pretty much all other Ball watches, in that it will glow without any light source or charging, and in my opinion, Ball does tritium better than anyone in the game. The bezel on this example is Superluminoa, as there are parts around the dial, so you kind of get the best of both worlds with this one. 

    On this wrist, this is a very comfortable watch, as the case is 40mm, but the bezel is actually 42mm, so this watch wears larger (as is the case with a lot of Ball Watches). On my 7 1/2 inch (19.05cm) wrist, I think it looks and feels fantastic, and it is not overly heavy either. It feels very balanced. 

    Now the bracelet of the Ball Engineer III Outlier is very well finished, and it is comfortable on the wrist, but the deployant buckle is a little underwhelming. Sure, it functions just fine and there are half links present, but for a watch with a retail price of almost $4,000, I guess I expected more than just a signed butterfly deployant. I think a more elaborate clasp not only would enhance the bracelet but would also allow one to get a more custom fit on the wrist. 

    Ball Engineer III Outlier

    So no, this Ball Engineer Explorer II is not an homage to the Rolex Explorer II, at least not to most of our viewers. I thought it was, in the sense of materials used, colors and that is a round GMT watch, but I meant it in the best sense. I guess what I should have said was it was a great alternative as it does the same thing as an Explorer II, with a slightly similar look, while also being thousands of dollars cheaper and not sacrificing any functionality. I think it is a beautiful piece, and every dial color looks great, especially the white, though I am not sure why Ball does not offer the ceramic bezel on the white dial. Maybe there will be future iterations of this piece, but for now, these models are limited to 1000 pieces, maybe we will see an Outlier II in a few years. 
    Ball Website

    Ball Engineer III Outlier

    Zodiac Pro DIver Pistachio

    Zodiac Pro Diver Pistachio

    I am kicking off the summer series with the Zodiac Pro Diver Pistachio. This new release is the latest colorway of the Pro Diver series, and this pistachio is not just a vibrant fun color ready for summer. Still, it also has a full lume dial, Ala Heuer and Citizen with this green full lume dial, and black hands and indices. Now there are two versions of this watch; a limited edition Red Dot done in collaboration with Red Bar (200 pieces), and this standard model, which removes the red dot from the dial and case back, and otherwise is the same watch, but will be part of standard production. The rest of this watch is the same as the one I reviewed back in 2022, all stainless steel case, ceramic bezel insert, sapphire crystal, 300 meters of water resistance, and now an STP 1-121 COSC movement, replacing the SW200 found in previous models. Pricing is $2, 295. 

    Specifications:

    Price $2,295  

    https://www.zodiacwatches.com/en-us/watches/collections/super-sea-wolf-pro-diver/

    Zodiac Pro Diver Pistachio

    Let’s start with the dial, which is the biggest change to this model besides the movement. The Zodiac Pro Diver has a pistachio-colored dial, with black hands and outlined indices, and not only does it look great as a summer watch but it’s also just a great-looking dial in general. When Zodiac debuted the Pro Diver a few years ago they did come in a few different colors, including a white lume dial with an orange bezel, as well as others, and now a few years later they released this Pistachio dial. It can look different depending on lighting, as most watches can, and of course real camera vs a phone camera outside can affect things as well. Inside, it does give that Pistachio vibe, outside taken with an iPhone, it can look a little more mint. 

    Zodiac Pro Diver Pistachio

    The rest of the dial stays exactly the same as its predecessor, it is still a no-date dial, (and a proper date delete on the movement), the indices are the same except now outlined in black, the zodiac logo counterbalance on the second hand, and this time the water resistance text is in red to match the red around the lume pip. This is more of a faded red FYI. All in all, it is a very beautiful dial, with a great color. 

    And of course, with this dial, you get a full lume dial, and in the dark, well this thing really glows! The entire dial lights up, and in this example, it is really well coated, and the hands and indices do glow as well as the entire ceramic bezel insert, but I will say the lume on the indices is dimmer than the rest. Not sure of the reason for this, but as you can see, there is no trouble seeing this watch at night. 

    The other change here is the movement. The previous gen (which is available on the Zodiac website) used the SW200, and it got the COSC treatment. Now they have switched it to the STP 1-12 movement, as STP is owned by Fossil, as is Zodiac, so it does make sense they are using their movement. It is COSC, and from some research online, this movement has been upgraded over the 1-11. How upgraded I couldn’t find out, but hopefully it is less problematic than the previous movement as STP movements do not always have the best track record. I have never personally had an issue, but there are lots of articles and complaints online. 

    The rest of this Zodiac Pro Diver is exactly the same. The bezel action is still very good, and I didn’t experience any issues with the crown in this example either. The bracelet is the newer 7 link bracelet, which alternates between brushed and polished and the same chunky deployant clasp is still being used, with no micro-adjustments. The clasp has stretch links, right before the clasp on each end, which have some extra give to them, but I would still prefer a standard dive clasp or one with the on-the-fly tool-less extension that so many brands are using.

    On my 7 1/2 inch or 19.05cm wrist, this 42mm wears perfectly. It is a perfect size for me, and this also sits pretty flat on the wrist, making it very comfortable. The bracelet as I said, I would like to see a different clasp, but a few links out, and I can get a good fit, as I tend to wear my watches slightly loose when on a bracelet. One thing to note is the use of the pin and collar system for the links as opposed to friction pins or screws. These are not the easiest to size, so a trip to the jeweler may be required. I can do them myself, but these days I just take them to my local guy, he’s much quicker at it than I am. 

    I absolutely love the new dial on the Zodiac Pro Diver Pistachio and of course, it was a great way to start off the summer series. I have a lot more watches planned for the summer series, all with bright colorful dials and straps, so make sure to keep checking out the reviews if you are looking for a great summer watch. 
    As far as this Zodiac, I like the updated dial, and only time will tell on the movement, but I do think it is time to update the clasp, and I also wouldn’t mind seeing screws or pins in the bracelet. One last thing is that you can still buy the Red Bar Red Dot special edition, which is limited to 200 pieces and beyond the red dots, which will come with an extra strap as well. Both the Red Bar and this standard edition are the same price though, so if it were my money, I would probably opt for the Red Dot, because it is limited and a touch more special in my opinion. 
    Zodiac Website

    Zodiac Pro Diver Pistachio

    Ocean Crawler Bolt

    The Ocean Crawler Bolt is a new dive watch from the now North Carolina-based boutique or microbrand and this latest piece is thin, at only 12.3mm, and has an integrated bracelet, something we have seen a lot of over the past 2-3 years. This 42mm dive watch is rated to 600m water resistant, which is pretty impressive given how thin this watch is. Regarding design inspiration, OC went a different route than most and pulled from a vintage Yema design, a Wristmaster Traveler. That watch was not a dive watch but you can see the inspiration, Ocean Crawler didn’t just copy a design, they took that look and modernized it, made it a dive watch, and gave it all the goodies you would want-Sapphire bezels and crystals, an automatic movement, tons of lume, and both an integrated bracelet and leather strap, as well as a lot of different color combos.

    Specifications:

    • Case Diameter 42mm
    • Thickness 12.3mm
    • Length 55mm (including the first link of the bracelet)
    • Bracelet 28mm at lugs tapering to 18mm
    • Weight 190 grams
    • 600m Water Resistant
    • Sapphire Crystal
    • Sapphire Bezel
    • Screw Down Crown 
    • C3 Lume
    • Sellita SW200-1 Movement
    • Bracelet and Leather Strap

    Price $1299

    https://www.oceancrawler.com

    Ocean Crawler Bolt

    At 42mm the Ocean Crawler Bolt is on the larger side compared to a lot of integrated bracelet watches released these days. Most follow a Gerald Genta design, and many are 40mm or below. At 42mm and a length of 55mm (more on that in a bit), it is not for the small-wristed folks, unless they just want a watch to hang off their wrists and I think that is ok. While small watches have been the trend for the past few years, it doesn’t mean every guy wants a small sub 40mm watch. Some still want a larger watch and some still want a massive watch like a 48mm that was popular 15 years ago. What does that mean? Well, look around, there is a watch for everyone and if it’s a size that is too small or too large for your tastes, look around the corner as there is sure to be a watch that will suit your needs.

    Ocean Crawler Bolt

    The design of the Ocean Crawler Bolt is quite different than anything else the brand has produced, and technically this is the second watch to include a full link bracelet, but I consider it the first, as only one other model from the brand got a bracelet, but it seemed like more of an afterthought. This new design for the brand does take a lot of inspiration from the Yema when it comes to the case lines and lug curvature, and the bracelet is pretty reminiscent of the Yema as well, but as I said, that was not a dive watch, and this one is.
    And with that comes a unique bezel, one that sits low on the blocky angeled case, and while you can grip it and turn it, I still think if it sat a little higher off the case it would be easier to grip. Turning it is not hard, and I was able to get a good purchase it has a nice solid feel, but it could be improved.

    The bezel insert is sapphire, and a mix of blue, orange, and superluminova, and I love the colors of the bezel. Not all of the Ocean Crawler Bolt watches get the colored bezel, matter of fact I think this is the only one, and it’s one of the reasons I like this black dial version so much. That said if you would prefer something different, check out their website for all the colors, including new DLC cases as well.
    The crown is not protected by crown guards, though it does sit nicely into the case, and this is quite an interesting case. I am not sure what to call the shape, but it’s a little square, a little blocky, and then has extremely curved ends that flow into a lug area and the integrated bracelet. The edges have just the thinnest line of high polish that runs down the case and into the bracelet, and it’s just enough to break up an all-brushed case, but almost imperceptible.

    Ocean Crawler claims this is the thinnest 600m dive watch and while I did not do an exhaustive search to see if that is true, I didn’t readily find a watch that is rated this high, that is this thin. As I talked about in the video, I do not dive, and most of us are desk divers as well, so why do we need 600m of water resistance? I don’t know, but it is nice to have a dive watch that is pretty thin such as one. Even though this is a deep diver, one thing that is missing, thankfully, is the helium release valve, and I commend OC for not putting that useless feature on this dive watch.

    The dial of the Ocean Crawler Bolt is pretty typical for a dive watch, sword hands, a contrasting chapter ring, large indices, and of course that signature cursive text of the model name. The Bolt prototypes had a much funkier dial with Pacman ghost-looking indices that can be found on a few versions of the Core Diver, but those did not make it to production. I for one, appreciate that. Those indices just did not fit with this style of watch in my opinion, and look to be different for the same of being different. Here, everything is functional, including a date at the 6 o’clock position.

    Ocean Crawler Bolt

    With the Ocean Crawler brand, many expect excellent lume, and for the most part, the Bolt delivers, but the bezel lume doesn’t make sense to me. Only 8 hash marks are lumed between the triangle and the 10-minute marker, and one at the 35 marker. I am not sure what the significance of this is, as I have never seen this on any other watch. That said, if you are like me and just need to see the time in the dark, this will do quite well, as it is extremely bright and long-lasting.

    Ocean Crawler Bolt

    Integrated watches can be tricky, especially if the watch is a larger size, as it can make the length of the watch massive. And at 55mm, for a 42mm diameter, that is a pretty long length. Fortunately, unlike the Ollech & Wajs 8001, the case curves down, and while it is not going to fit on a large array of wrists or be the most wrist-hugging watch you have, I think it fits well on my 7 1/2 inch (19.05cm) wrist. The integrated bracelet does drop down and I feel this can be an everyday wear piece, as long as your wrist is long and flat enough to pull it off.

    Ocean Crawler Bolt

    The U-link-shaped bracelet is pretty wide at 28mm, but it tapers down to 18mm at the clasp and uses screws to hold all the links together. Like many other brands these days, this has a tool-less micro-adjust clap, where an extra piece of link can slide in and out of the clasp with the push of a button. This is not a dive watch extension, but a great way to adjust the fit on your wrist, especially for times when your wrist swells due to heat or shrinks due to cold. It also has that high polish small chamfer running down the edge of the clasp, just as the bracelet and case do. And if you are not a fan of bracelets, it does come standard with an integrated fitted leather strap, but I was not able to get my hands on that for this review.

    I have long discussed how much I like Ocean Crawler watches and without looking back through their whole catalog I can’t say definitely if this is my favorite so far, but I do think this is probably at the top, at least until I try out the Core Diver. The Ocean Crawler Bolt has a unique design, a lot of attractive colors, two case finish options, and all that water resistance for us guys who take our watches off when washing dishes.
    In all seriousness, I am sure some will take this watch into its intended habitat, the ocean, and it should hold up fine. I see this piece having a lot of future versions, as I can’t see OC retiring this model anytime soon. At $1299, it is one of their more expensive watches, but it also has quite the design and presence and shows that Ocean Crawler is not afraid to explore new designs and styles.

    Ocean CrawlerOcean Crawler Bolt

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