A more than capable dive watch, a GMT, and the ability to time two different events at once. That is the Elliot Brown Beachmaster, a mission timer GMT that also happens to have a patent for how it is displayed and all works together. Late last year Elliot Brown released the automatic version of the Beachmaster and recently they dropped quartz versions. Like most EB automatic watches, they don’t come cheap, and the auto version is well over $2,000. These new Ronda 515.24H quartz versions come in under $1000, and you get pretty much everything that you get with its predecessor but now in quartz. This rugged timer is available in 3 different colors, a choice of either a bracelet or rubber strap, but at this time, it is only available in a dark grey PVD finish. Pricing starts at $727.
Beachmaster: our apex mission timing watch. 4 years in the making and so original its design and functionality was granted a patent.
Initially imagined in response to a request at a Royal Marines event then refined into the most capable watch we have ever put our name to.
As a nod to its inception via the Royal Marines, we christened it Beachmaster: the Beachmaster is the military officer in charge of the disembarkation phase during an amphibious assault.
Above is an expert from the Elliot Brown website about how the Beachmaster came about. Taking a look at the design of the Beachmaster, it definitely follows suit of other models from the British brand, most notably kind of a mix of the Bloxworth and Canford models. That is not a knock either, as I have always found the brand’s watches to be very distinct, with a form-follows-function ethos about them.
With this being similar to other models, the Elliot Brown Beachmaster should be familiar if you are a fan of the brand or own a few of its offerings. If you don’t, well this is one hell of an introduction to the brand, as not only is this easily now their flagship model, but it is easily the most complex. This watch could be used as a dive watch with 300m of water resistance, it can time to different things at once with the outer and inner bezel and it also has a GMT hand as well, so you can track two timezones. All of this, and the way it is implanted on the dial, is what led to Elliot Brown seeking a patent for this watch. You can read more about their patent process HERE.
The timing bezels are more involved than one might assume though. Again, in the words of Elliot Brown:
Countdown to an event less than 12 hours in the future:
Align the ‘H’ on the internal rotating bezel to the time that the event starts.
The number of hours until the event starts can be read directly off the scale on the inner bezel in conjunction with the tip of the 24-hour hand.
To count up from an event:
Align the ‘H’ on the internal rotating bezel to the time that the event starts.
The number of hours since the event has started can be read directly off the scale on the inner bezel in conjunction with the tip of the 24-hour hand, to a practical resolution of 30 minutes
To countdown to an event less than 60 minutes in the future:
Align the triangle on the external rotating bezel to the minute that the event starts.
The number of minutes until the event starts can be read directly off the scale on the outer bezel in conjunction with the minutes hand.
That is quite a lot that can be done with this analog watch, but the one thing you can’t do with it is tell the date. Yes, with all the Elliot Brown Beachmaster is capable of doing, there is no date display. It’s an interesting choice and one that does make me wonder why would you leave the date off a GMT watch, even one dubbed a mission timer such as this. In military applications, I am guessing that if you are timing all of these things and tracking timezones, maybe the date just isn’t needed or practical, but for civilians buying something like this ultimate tool watch, one would think that it would include the date.
Okay, so it doesn’t have a date, but the build quality on the Elliot Brown Beachmaster certainly makes up for it. Using a steel grey PVD case, ball bearing mechanism for the bi-directional inner rotating bezel, a ceramic insert on the 120 click bezel, sapphire crystal with clear inner AR coating, a screw down crown (that really takes some force to push in and screw down), precision screwed in case back, and overall just a very solid feeling and well-built watch, just like all the EB watches I have reviewed. Also, the case has screw bars for bracelet or strap attachment and these are not ordinary screw bars, they are sizable screws with special screw heads (tool included), to which it is very easy to remove and change the straps, while also being extremely sturdy, and the star head screw bar tool pretty much makes scratching the case or marring the screw head impossible. Yes, it may take a few seconds longer than your quick-release spring bar system, but this system is far and away the better of the two, especially when it comes to durability.
The case back is beautifully engraved, and as with all EB watches, is bolted on, so everything stays straight, compressing the oversized seals for maximum water resistance. Beating inside is the Ronda 515.24H quartz movement, which uses a standard 45-month battery. That is something I was disappointed to see, as that means in less than 2 years, you will have to pay for a battery change, and with so many movements having 5 and 10-year batteries, on a watch such as this, I didn’t expect you would need to change the battery out so soon.
While the case back looks good, it could look better, particularly with this quartz version. You will see the blank plate on the bottom of the engraved area, and on the automatic versions, this is to list your limited edition number. Since these watches are virtually the same except for the movements, it makes sense to use the same case backs, and though these are not limited editions, it would have looked much better if they engraved something in this spot, instead of just leaving it blank.
You can purchase the Elliot Brown Beachmaster with either a matching (well somewhat, more on that below) PVD bracelet, or a fitted tropic rubber strap, with a dual deployant. Something I forgot to mention in the video review is that this strap needs to be cut to size, and while it is well-marked with the areas to cut, I am just not fond of straps that need to be cut. That said, this rubber strap is phenomenal. The fitted end pieces really make it flow well with the case and it is just so pliable and feels great on the wrist. I am not sure what type of rubber this is, EB does not list it on the website, but it is for sure a premium rubber compound.
The bracelet is a beast as well, adding about 100 grams of weight to the case when attached, uses screws for easy sizing (the driver is in the box as well), and has a large ratcheting extension clasp (lumed with the EB logo). The clasp may be one of the older styles, somewhat large and blocky, but functions well, and the bracelet itself is smooth against the skin, with oval style links to give it some flair over your standard 3-link bracelet. The one thing I do notice, at least in my example, is that the color of the grey PVD is not the same on the case as it is on the bracelet. This could just come down to my example, or more than likely just different finishes on the case and braelet, before it was lightly blasted. To those who are OCD about things like this, it may be an issue.
On my 7 1/2 inch (19.05cm) wrist, I prefer the bracelet over the rubber strap, even though this is not a lightweight watch at all with the bracelet. The rubber strap is fantastic as I said, I just prefer the bracelet for this watch. One thing to note, the lug-to-lug length is 50mm, but the end links of the bracelet curve out as do the fitted lugs on the rubber strap, so it does make this watch wear larger than a standard 50mm length. This is something to pay attention to if you have smaller wrists or don’t like watches with a length over 50mm.
Lastly, we get to the lume, and yes, this Elliot Brown Beachmaster glows like a torch when initially charged, they are using X1 SuperLuminova for both the C3 and BGW9 lume, but in my testing, the blue lume fades much quicker than the green, and that’s just due to the smaller area for lume application. I still think it looks great all lumed up, and I like how they did the green lume for timekeeping, and the blue lume for mission timing.
I think I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that while all of this is very impressive to have all of these features displayed in this configuration for the Elliot Brown Beachmaster, many of these things can be done with smartwatches or digital watches such as G-Shocks. Now, that is not me demeaning the accomplishment here, but I look at this much in the way I do analog dive watches. Many people buy dive watches, they are the most popular style of watch sold, but most divers don’t wear those watches, as they use a dive computer. Some will wear a standard dive watch as a backup, but that’s about it. With GMT and timing complications like on this watch, I think this is for the person who truly wants that analog experience of being able to track and time by the turn of a bezel and crown, vs the push of a button.
These complications are not really something I seek out personally in a watch but I love how they developed this piece to work seamlessly, and I also appreciate that they came out with a much less expensive version with the quartz models, as the autos start at $2300. While it may not be the next watch I put on the wrist, I do love the watches that Elliot Brown builds and can understand why they are so proud of this model.
I've been an avid watch lover since the age of 7. Watches are not only my hobby but a passion. My favorite style used to be dive watches, but field or non bezel watches have been growing on me. When I'm not reviewing watches I am either cooking or with family and friends.
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