I have always said, value is very subjective. Some may think a $3,000 watch is a value because of what it offers for that price point. The Helm Khuraburi is much less than $3,000, 10 times less actually, at a price of $300. The term “Bang for your buck”, can be used to describe the Khuraburi, which would be an accurate description. I am one man, and this is one man’s opinion, but the Khuraburi is one of the the best budget dive watches out on the market. Some may disagree and say that could go to the Seiko Monster or various other affordable dive watches out there. There are countless choices available these days. For what it is, especially in the microbrand world, this watch does rank very high on that list.
Helm Khuraburi Specifications:
- Brushed 316L Stainless Steel
- Diameter; 42 mm
- Diameter (with crown): 45 mm
- Bezel Diameter: 43 mm
- Lug to Lug: 49 mm
- Lug Width: 22 mm
- Height: 16 mm
- Weight: 225 Grams
- Sapphire Crystal and Bezel Insert
- Stainless Steel Bracelet
- 300 Meters Water Resistance
- Seiko NH38 Automatic Movement
- ISO 6425 Compliant
Price $300 plus $30 Worldwide Shipping
If you read the specification list above or watched the video review already, you can see how much this watch has packed in to that $300 price point. It has been my experience that when a watch has all these elements for such a low price, corners have been cut. The finishing is not that great, there are rough edges on the bracelet or case back, or the dial work is sloppy, crown wobble, you name it. I can honestly say, not of that exists with the Helm Khuraburi. I have always considered Obris Morgan to be one of the leaders of the budget microbrand dive watches and not taking anything away from that brand, but man, this is a great watch for the price. If this watch were $200 more, I still do not think I would have an issue with it. The dial work is crisp, the machining and finishing is definitely up to par, the bracelet and clasp are solid and aesthetically pleasing; this watch just ticks all the boxes. I think they only thing some might complain about is the thickness.
At 43 X 49mm, the Khuraburi is not what one would consider a large watch. The profile though is a little different. The height is 16mm, which is on the thick side for a watch of these dimensions, but I will say that thickness adds to the look of this model. It is a robust watch at 225 grams with the bracelet and is not going to be that lightweight under the shirt cuff type of watch. It was not meant for that though. This is a dive watch, and is ISO 6425 compliant and water resistant to 300m. So, what if you do not dive? That is okay, I wager many reading this have never dived, yet own 10 dive watches in their collection. Some just like the look of a dive watch, which would make sense seeing as it is probably the most popular style of watch available. Some that own this watch or others like it, may never even get their watch wet. If you do not, it is a just a great looking sporty watch that if you chose to, could take the abuse from the pool, river, ocean, etc.
There are a few versions of the Helm Khuraburi, though all come standard with a stainless bracelet. Different colors are available, as well as two crown choices, the 10 o’clock version I show in this review and a more standard 4 o’clock version. I like both but chose this one just because while Helm is not the first brand to do this, it is definitely not the norm. It is harder to set the time on the wrist, as I wear my watch on the left hand, so that is something to keep in mind, but if you are a lefty, and wear your watch on your right, you would probably really appreciate this version. As shown in the video, the crown and bezel both operate as they should, with no issues I could detect, at least with this example.
One of my favorite aspects of the Khuraburi is the dial. Helm did not try and crowd the dial with a date, which would have interrupted the flow of the large hour markers. This is why they chose the Seiko NH38 movement-the no date version of the NH35. The large markers and hands are easy to read and make the dial stand out from many other dive watches on the market. Not really shark teeth like the Benarus Megalodon but similar in size and shape. These applied markers sit high off the dial and are immediately what grab your attention with the Khuraburi. The logo is not applied but is not flat paint on the dial, it is raised and has a nice gloss to it, making it pop. The dial text is also kept to the bare minimum, something I always appreciate. You do not need to write a novel on the dial of a watch.
The bracelet of Helm Khuraburi is heavy and chunky, which balances out the watch head. Solid steel links as one would expect and solid screw bars are used to hold the links together. It is recommended that any watch that has screws in the bracelet, whether one sided like these or the double sided versions, to use loctite to keep the screws from backing out once you have it sized where you want. Still, I find this to be the easiest method for sizing as all you need is a small jewelers screwdriver and you can size it in a few minutes. If you sized it and it is still a little too loose, there are plenty of micro adjustment holes in the clasp to help with that. One thing I do find odd though is the lack of a divers extension in the clasp.
While I like the bracelet, I have worn it more on the optional blue canvas strap. These straps can be purchased either seperately or when you are ordering a watch, which brings the price down to $20 instead of $28. Seriously, if you like canvas straps, it will be the best $20 you have ever spent. I own a few of the straps and wear them on multiple watches. I removed 3 links from the bracelet to fit on my 7 1/2 inch wrist. The canvas straps are on the short side though, so keep that in mind.
When a watch has really good lume, like the Helm Khuraburi does, I love photographing it. I don’t know why really, but I can take like 20 lume shots and I do so with a smile. I just love how a brightly glowing watch looks in the dark. The Khuraburi is lumed all over, so it not only makes for easy time telling in the dark, but a great photo as well.
There is not a whole lot left for me to say to wrap this review up. This is one of those rare times where I really did do a “glowing” review. If one does not like the look or design of the Helm Khuraburi, I get it, but as far as what it offers for the money, it is just flat out crazy. This is not a good watch because it is $300, it is a just a damn good watch, period. It is built well, finished well, wears comfortable on the wrist, and while I am not the biggest fan of the NH series movements, it makes sense at this price and I love that they went with the no date version. Bottom Line: The Helm Khuraburi delivers.