When you’ve been in the watch game as long as I have and do reviews, you see countless opinions on what is right and wrong in the watch world.Who’s right? I have no idea, but I do know that no matter the brand, there are companies that will undoubtedly borrow design cues, and materials and even make straight-up copies.Look at all the pastel dials everyone is doing after Rolex did theirs. What’s this all have you do with the Epos Sportive Diver? Well, as I said in this REVIEW, the case shape and more specifically the lugs and integrated straps and bracelets do remind one of the Oris Aquis. There is just no getting around it, but is that really a bad thing?
If you have been here before, you know I won’t mince words or beat around the bush, and maybe some will seat it as beating a dead horse, but yes, there are a lot of similarities to the Oris Aquis. In that vein, there are a lot of differences as well, and beyond that, this is not some inexpensive microbrand looking to capitalize on a popular design made cheaply by the lowest bidder, but rather a brand that has an extensive history and produces a fantastic watch for the price. I chose the previous model I reviewed simply because it really didn’t look much like anything Oris produces at all, and it’s nice not to review a dive watch from time to time. But the more I looked at the dive versions, and the requests I got for it through social media and Youtube comments, I felt it was time to take a real look.
And fortunately, while the design inspiration is apparent, this Epos Sportive Diver, especially this 3441 DD (Day/Date), really sets itself apart from the Oris. This model shown on the rubber strap (also available on a bracelet and of course many color variations) is not only a more rugged-looking piece, but is also a fun and quirky piece because of the day placement located in the upper left of the dial, which is pretty uncommon, but in my opinion, works.
The Epos Sportive Diver is rated to 500m, and yes that pesky Helium Release Valve is present, but on the other side of the case you have a large crown nestled into some decently sized crown guards and the crown has a little rubber ring for that extra pop of color to match the dial and just a fun design element. The crown could you some more grip, I have gotten used to it, but you have to adjust your fingers a little to get the best grip when screwing the crown back down or winding. The case finishing is beautiful but also very smooth to the touch, just a nice fine satin brushing with some high polished chamfers, just enough to give it a touch of class and some extra dimension.
For those that are unsure about the day placement of this model and just find it too much, there is a date-only option of the Epos Sportive Diver, and those are a few hundred cheaper, but I just like the way this dial looks. The day and date are easily readable, and yes you do lose a view indices, but telling the time is no issue. I fully understand this will not be for everyone, but it’s nice to see a brand that isn’t afraid to change things up a little. The sunray blue pattern is overdone but always great to look at, especially in the sunlight and the shape and size of the hour and minute hands are perfect for this dial and easy to read at a glance. I could do with less text though and I am still not sure why so many brands have to put the word automatic on the dial.
Another area that I think makes this piece stand out is the embossed or relief matte ceramic bezel insert. I am not the biggest fan of glossy bezels, I just think they are overused and don’t work on every watch, so I have been gravitating towards PVD or aluminum bezels, even if it means sacrificing scratch resistance. This relief matte ceramic though is the real deal. I not only love how it looks but also how it feels the bezel itself moves quite easily and has a great grip, but it is not a loose bezel with a lot of play. It ratchets nicely and clicks firmly into place.
Powering this quirky diver is the Sellita SW240, Elabore grade, nicely decorated and can be seen through the mineral crystal case back. Honestly, I have no idea how much they save by not using sapphire on the back, I mean this is a small opening, is it $10? $20? Anyways, Sellita is basically the go-to if you can not source ETA, and some brands have switched to Sellita exclusively, and why not? They are reliable and smooth and a good, solid choice.
There are a few issues with the strap though, more specifically the clasp of this Epos Sportive Diver. It is a pretty basic and standard-looking flip-lock clasp with a stamped extension, and it just does not match up to the rest of the watch. Pair that with a strap that needs to be cut to fit and lugs that only fit Epos straps, and well, you really need to love the rest of the watch as you really do not have a lot of other options. Again, you run into much of this with the Aquis and a few other brands, but the clasps on those are of higher quality and appearance.
If you have a massive wrist, you are in luck though. This rubber strap is quite large and can be cut down a lot as well, so no matter your wrist size you should be able to wear this piece. On my 7 1/2 inch wrist, the 43mm case size and short lug to lug length look and feel good, and though I want a better clasp, it works just fine and should keep the strap securely on your wrist.
If you are in the dark often or just a lume junkie, either way, you will probably like the Epos Sportive Diver’s BGW9 glow. The lume is applied evenly and you should have no trouble seeing the time in a movie theater, bedroom or you know the closet when you are trying to take that perfect lume shot for social media.
Epos is a brand I heard of years ago but was never really on my radar, and that all comes down to marketing and lack of a retail presence here in the United States. It seems they are making it much easier to find the brand as you can now order directly online, and customs and taxes are included in the price, so if you are wanting to check out the almost 50-year-old brand, the watch can be on your doorstep in only a few days. There are many more models from Epos I want to check out, but the Sportive lineup, including this day/date diver, is very popular for a reason.
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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