New technologies and manufacturing processes afford the modern watch buyer a dizzying array of choices for their next watch. Modern sport watches feature the use of carbon fiber, rubber, hardened steel, titanium, plastics, multiple types of stainless steel and even ceramic materials. Ceramic is a compound that has long been favored in manufacturing for its resilience, light weight and and considerable strength when compared to most metals. As we mentioned in our preview, ceramic has some excellent strengths that make it very useful in watch making applications but the actual manufacturing process is difficult and costly. The OCEAN7 LM-4 V2 is the second generation of OCEAN7’s ceramic sport watch model that incorporates a fully ceramic case with a swiss automatic movement and healthy does of aviation styling.
- 44 x 15mm
- 55.5 L2L
- 24mm Lugs
- Matte sandblasted ceramic case
- Domed sapphire crystal with AR
- ETA 2824-2
- Screw down crown
- C3 Swiss Super Luminova
- 100m/330ft WR
I have reviewed a series of OCEAN7 watches and they were all somehow rather different from each other and for well over a year I had an OCEAN7 LM-2 that I wore almost daily. The main appeal of the LM-2 is its large and very legible design, excellent lume, and lightweight titanium case. The OCEAN7 LM-4 V2 takes all of those strengths and then changes the game by adding ceramics. The LM-4 V2 is the result of a two year project on OCEAN7’s part to make a ceramic watch with as little compromise as possible. Its 44 x 15mm black ceramic case is sandblasted and carries an unbelievably smooth and even finish. The finish, both under touch and visually is unlike any finish I’ve ever seen on steel (especially under a loupe). The matte black absorbs light like a stealth fighter and the ceramic is smooth but still features crisp edges without being sharp or too edgy to wear.
The LM-4 V2’s ceramic case is fitted with an internal metal sub-case. In other ceramic watches the sub-case can sometimes be seen in the seam between the case and the bezel or the bezel and the chapter ring but the LM-4 V2 design effectively hides the sub-case out of sight so that the aesthetic of the ceramic and its finishing is uninterrupted. The ceramic is also a challenge in that no two of the cases are identical, internally they vary by tiny tolerances so the sub-case has to be measured and fitted individually to ensure a proper fit. OCEAN7 had to battle a series of set backs finding the right groups with the right ceramic experience to help them make the LM-4 V2.
Apart from the very cool case, the LM-4 V2 features a slightly domed sapphire crystal with an internal anti reflective coating. Inside beats a Swiss ETA-2824 movement which shows its date in a small aperture between the four and five hour markers on the dial. The ETA in our loaner was running steadily at +5 seconds a day which is well within the operating range of this movement. In the event that greater accuracy is required, buyers will be able to option the LM-4 V2 with a COSC certified movement which should improve the already acceptable accuracy. The luminous paint on this version of the LM-4 V2 is C3 Super Luminova which is an off white when in a bright setting but glows green in the dark. C3 is the brightest, longest lasting option in the color range and they aren’t kidding when it comes to the LM-4 V2’s ability to glow. The lume ion the LM-4 V2 easily lasts the night and even when it nears complete depletion the hands and markers are large enough to still be visible when the lume is so low that a smaller hand size would disappear into the darkness. The LM-4 V2 will also be available with the option of orange lume or a shadow luminous paint that looks grey/black in daylight but glows white at night.
This unique OCEAN7 comes fitted to a carbon fiber style strap that is 24mm wide and carries a 3d pattern that works well with the matte black finish of the ceramic case. The strap has a leather liner and comes with a matching PVD black tab buckle. The end result is yet another OCEAN7 that will make for a very capable daily wearer thanks to its strong and scratch resistant case. The LM-4 V2 comes with all the usual amenities like a Swiss automatic movement, a sapphire crystal and some pseudo-military aviation styling but the watch its self is much more than that. OCEAN7 set out to make a quality ceramic timepiece at a reasonable price even though much of the Swiss competition falls into the $5,000+ price range. The LM-4 V2 can be had in the pictured configuration for $899. The going rate for an ETA powered sport watch from an indie brand is roughly $700 – $800 so you aren’t paying a huge premium for the ceramic case but it adds a considerable amount of value and practicality to the LM-4 range. The LM-4 V2 is a well built sport watch with a dependable movement, good feature set and backing from a brand known for excellent customer service and reliable dive watches so the fact that the case is made of ceramic is really just a bonus on the score sheet for an already nice watch.
We would like to thank OCEAN7 for allowing us to have an LM-4 V2 on loan for this review.