The Pantor Seal is the latest from Pantor Watches, but is not really a new watch, as this case design and bracelet have been around for quite sometime and used by many brands. It’s a large chunky beast of a diver with a black dial and very stark white hour, minute hand and markers. At 288 grams in weight, this could be a wrist anchor for some, unless you like a heavy watch, or are a big fella who can pull it off. If you never bought one when other brands such as Deep Blue, Nauticfish, Ocean 7 or many other brands produced their versions, this “new” model from Pantor is now another option.
Pantor Seal Specifications:
- Movement: Swiss Made Automatic Movement
- Screw Helium Valve at 10H
- Swiss BGW9 Super LumiNova
- Screw Down Crown
- Case Diameter: 44mm
- Case Thickness: 17.25mm
- Bracelet Width: 24mm
- Sapphire Crystal: 5.2mm
- Lug to Lug: 53mm
Price $539 USD
Let me get a few things out of the way here first. I do find it odd that Pantor released a new watch and yet it was a catalog case design that has been used by countless brands. Now, we have seen so many variation of Rolex Sub homages, Panerai homages, etc, so why is this any different? I guess if this came out about 8 years ago, it wouldn’t. It just seems strange to release it in 2018 is all. But moving on, I am sure there is a market out there for it, so how does it stack up to me? Keep reading.
The Pantor Seal is sold and marketed as a dive watch, but I am going to label it as a divers style watch. There are a few reasons for this. One of them would be the lack of a dive extension on the bracelet. Another would be the almost impossible to grip and turn bezel, and yet another would be the black second hand, which in bright lights is hard to see, let alone in the dark or under water. So, in my opinion, while it has the look of a dive watch, and does include a helium escape valve (which only saturation divers would need anyways), I consider a divers style watch. I personally do not see any diver that would use this model, but it should be fine in the pool, ocean, lake etc.
I will say my favorite aspect of the Pantor Seal is the stark white hands and markers against the black dial.The hour and minute hand are fat and easy to see at at a glance and so are the Arabic numerals and markers. Of course, my least favorite date placement is at play here, but I do love the brightness of the dial in general. Which makes me scratch my head even more that they did not lume the second hand. Seriously, you can barely see it moving around the dial.
The biggest issue I have is the movement used for the Pantor Seal. Things like the case size and the use of an overused case design are subjective. The movement having issues and not being well regarded are not. I can not remember the last time I saw a Claro Semag 888 movement being used, and the reason is it had a lot of problems, many which are well documented online. To be fair, I have seen no issues with this particular one, but I would keep your eye on it for erratic behavior.
On my 7 1/2 inch wrist, the Pantor is big and chunky, though I was able to get a really good fit by removing 2 links and moving the spring pin in the clasp over. It’s a heavy piece and I am just not used to wearing them anymore, but I can say I feel no rough spots or issues with the case or the bracelet. If this were more in the 42mm range, I think I would really like it a lot, as the case design has been growing on me.
The ice blue lume is great, and will last a good few hours, I just wish, again, that the second hand was lumed. Other than that, the Pantor Seal gets an A in the glow in the dark department.
It may seem like I am a ragging on the Pantor Seal, but hey, I review watches for what they are here. You may be in love with this case style and overall design, and there is nothing wrong with that of course. At the end of the day, I do find it an odd choice for a new release in 2018, and I have never nor will I be a fan of the movement. I am hoping maybe they had the movements tested or regulated, as I said, I saw no issues, but we are talking a 2 week time frame here, who knows what will happen in a few months. If you like a big chunky watch and do not plan to dive with it and are okay taking a gamble with the movement, well, maybe look into this further. Personally, it is not for me, but fortunately, it doesn’t have to be.