I can’t imagine it is easy to start a watch company. Sure, these days, we have the internet and it may be easier than ever to hook up with a factory and get a product produced, if you have the money. If you don’t have the money, you have crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter. Sure, you will still have to put in some initial money on your part for renderings, prototypes, photos, videos, etc, but if you do not get funded, you are not out as much as you would be had you paid for the entire production yourself. Even if you do that, you still have to have a design that someone wants. If you forgo the crowdfunding or preorder route, your ass is really on the line. Let’s face it, these days, there is no shortage of watch brands out there, with new ones seemingly popping up every day. That brings me to todays review, the Pontvs Nessi Brass Diver. Pontvs did not go the way of the preorder as far as I know and did not do Kickstarter either.
Pontvs Nessi Specifications:
- Case diameter: 47mm excluding the crown – lug to lug 58mm
- Movement: Seiko NH35 automatic
- Case material: Blasted brass with stainless steel case back
- Bezel: Blasted brass
- Crown: Stainless steel screw down crown 10.5mm
- Crystal: Sapphire
- Dial: Dark Navy Sunray 32mm diameter Japan Super Luminova
- Water-resistance: 200 meters / 660 feet / 20 ATM
- Strap: 24mm blue leather 4.5 mm thick with tan stitching and 24mm blue camouflage rubber strap.
- Buckle: Blasted brass.
Price $390 Including International Shipping
Want to read more about the man behind the brand? Check out this article from our friends at Watcha.
I said that Pontvs did not do a preorder, but that is technically not true, they did do a preorder but did not take any deposits or money up front as far as I know. Again, that is a big risk, especially these days. The big question is, did the risk pay off? I mean, that is why anyone is reading these reviews here at Watchreport, to find out what I think of the watch. Well, to put it simply, I think the risk paid off as far as the design, but this is a niche watch. This is not the Halios Seaforth or Raven Venture that so many clamor for. It is a big-ass blasted brass dive watch that is not going to be for everyone. In fact, it is not for me. Brass and bronze watches are not my go to for an everyday wearer, and at 47mm and a lug to lug of 58mm, it is really beyond my size limits. That is okay though. I can still look at this watch objectively and while I am not the intended audience, I can appreciate this watch for what it is.
The design of the Pontvs Nessi is obviously inspired by few different watch brands, all melded together to create sort of an original design. I say sort of because while it may not be a copy of any one watch, anyone that knows the brands that it is inspired by (Panerai, Anonimo, Ennebi and others), will be able to see those design elements pretty quickly. Now, I am no stranger to homage watches, I own them and review them, I am just laying out the information as I see it. I do like the aesthetics of the Pontvs Nessi though. I have always been a fan of Panerai and even more so Ennebi, so they design is up my alley for sure. Or maybe it is in my wheelhouse. Or it is my cup of tea. Okay, done with the lame sayings, for now anyways. Back to the Pontvs, yes, it is very Italian in design and as far as I am concerned, nothing wrong with that at all.
I love the deep blue dial. It is definitely a standout of the Nessi for me and it is a great shade of blue. I mean, this is a midnight ocean blue here. Most of the time, it is going to look black, but if you are outside or the light hits under the sapphire crystal, you will see that beautiful blue. The dial is clean and without a lot of text, which I always appreciate, though I am not sure I love the two fonts used for the brand and model name, but that is subjective. While I feel this type of dial is best without a date cutout, I am okay with the 3 o’clock placement, as it is not obtrusive to the rest of the dial.
The choice of brass for the Pontvs Nessi was an odd one to me. Not because I have an issue with brass or have a preference over one or the other, rather it is just rare that you see brass used instead of bronze. Most companies are using bronze, at least that is what we are told. I have never sent the watches out for testing. Instead of paraprahsing or copying someone elses words, here are the diffences between brass and bronze.
Okay, are you back now? Did you read it all? Good. Now I can continue. The Nessi is blasted bronze, which I am told will actually speed up the patina process, which is what most want when they are purchasing a brass or bronze watch-that patina. Different factors will still determine how fast and how much your watch will patina, such as humidity, how often you wear it or clean it, etc, but I have seen some pics on Instagram that had a heavy patina and it looked great. It was very much a rich brown color, and made it look aged but not dirty.
So how does the Pontvs Nessi function and wear? Well, I already stated this is well past what I like wear these days, this is large watch, at least to me. Now, for some of you that read and watch these reviews on the regular, you know that I said I enjoyed wearing the Andersmann Oceanmaster, which is similar in size. Yet, it just wore different and while still larger than I normally like, I was able to pull it off and it felt comfortable to me. I can not say the same for the Nessi. It is really just too large for my 7 1/2 inch wrists. As far as function, the crown is easy to grasp and engage, surprisingly enough. The bezel I do find hard to grip and turn though. You have to grab it in a certain way and I feel the bezel should sit higher off the case or have some grip to it. For the movement, we have the Seiko NH35, and as I have said many times, this is not my favorite movement, it does the job and I had no issues with this example. The lume photo you see below is after I fully charged it. If you watch the video, you can see it does not stay that bright for long. It may look beautiful in the glamour shot below, but after an hour or so, I found it unreadable in the dark.
Overall, I feel the Pontvs Nessi has its place in the market and I know there are many guys out there who love a big watch and love the brass/bronze watches. I know this because I see fans of Gruppo Gamma wishing they would go back to the larger sizes they once did. While you might be part of groups or forums out there that like a smaller watch, trust me when I tell you, the Pontvs Nessi has a market. I can only wear brass/bronze watches for a little while at a time because both metals do not react to my skin very well, so I can not comment on the patina process, but as I said, I have seen quite a few photos of this online. As far as price, I think it is okay. The build quality is pretty good and it is not a cheap watch in my opinion. I do not love the choice of straps and found both of them to be on the short side, which is odd for such a large watch. The silicone camo strap I do not care for at all and while the leather is decent, I always say that one quality strap is better than two so-so straps. I am not sure why brands think they have to give so many straps or buckles with their watches. It is rare that I see multiple straps that come with a watch that I would consider to be great quality. If you have some good 24mm straps though, and do not mind that you will probably want to put one on as soon as you get your Nessi, I think it is a nice first effort from this new brand. I know the owners are passionate about it, and at the end of the day, they created a watch that they liked and did what they wanted to do, and I can appreciate that.