Ocean7 Watch Company is the brainchild of owner Mitchell Feig who knows that to make it in the watch business, you need to produce a unique and endearing product, carve out a niche, and stick to your core competencies. As the name suggests, Ocean7 makes watches designed to function in aquatic environments; their current lineup consists entirely of dive watches.
Ocean7 Watch Company is what we call a transparent operation which means they keep close, even personal, connections with the people who have bought, and will eventually buy, their watches. From the beginning, Ocean7 started building not only watches, but watch collectors. Daily, one can find Mitch conversing with owners, collectors, and soon-to-be both on the Ocean7 forum and the Watchuseek Ocean7 forum. This is how Mitch gets input and advice from the most important watch connoisseurs in the world: his customers. The idea of a watch company listening to its customers about case size, dial style, hands etc. seems simultaneously amazing and painfully obvious, and has lead to increasingly impressive timepieces.
Just a few days ago, I received the Ocean7 LM-2, a titanium clad beast of a watch that is best described as striking. Let’s start with some specifications:
- All titanium case (optional titanium bracelet).
- Internal rotating bezel (called a reflector).
- Beautiful domed sapphire crystal.
- Swiss automatic movement (either an ETA 2824 or a Sellita SW200).
- Twin screwdown crowns, and screwdown caseback.
- Water resistant to 300 meters (or about 1,000 feet).
- Price starting at $899 USD.
First off, I still have a really hard time believing that this watch is only 44mm in diameter. It wears very large on the wrist, and feels as good as any large watch I have ever worn. The fit and finish is outstanding; the case is brushed titanium, and there is not a hard edge to be found. The domed sapphire crystal is thick and smooth, and reflects light in very interesting way. The LM-2 is a convergence of old-school PloProf divers and modern horological technology, all at a very reasonable price.
The lower (four o’clock) crown operates the time and date setting. The mechanism is smooth, and the crown and stem thread well. The upper (two o’clock) crown is used to rotate the internal bezel (the advantage of an internal rotating bezel is that it is protected by the case and crystal, and therefore can’t be unintentionally rotated after being set). The action of the second crown is choppy, but for good reason. Mitch explained to us that he insists on using brass and other metals for the reflector and its travel which makes it feel rough, but also ensures that it will last longer than any of us are likely to. The alternative is to use nylon which feels smoother, but wears out much faster. In general, the head on this watch is something that Ocean7 should be proud of.
This bracelet does not need a great deal of explanation. It is a simple brushed titanium bracelet that is held together by screwed links (which should save you a trip to the jeweler when sizing it). It is the perfect weight for the watch, and with its well integrated butterfly clasp, leaves very little to be desired. The only comparison to be drawn is against my Tissot Seastar 1000 bracelet which does not stand up the LM-2’s. If you’re interested in an LM-2, we definitely recommend upgrading from the silicone to the titanium bracelet.
The packaging is basic but not lacking in the least. The watch comes cased in a warm wooden box, and includes a wrist shaped pillow for the watch and a polishing cloth. The packaging is basic, but very tasteful and more than sufficient, especially considering the fact that the watch probably won’t leave your wrist unless you’re getting mugged (and even then, you might hesitate).
The Ocean7 LM-2 is a beautiful and unique dive watch. It’s simple, classic, and well built. The titanium makes it a great daily-wear, and the 13mm height and clean classic dial design make it compatible with almost any wardrobe. We love the fact that Mitch is so accessible to his customers, and that he is not just building watches and a brand, but he is also simultaneously building a community. We feel the LM-2 should send a clear message to all the big brands out there that Ocean7 intends to be a real player. They will work and fight hard for each and every customer, and many of those customers will inevitably become collectors.
By James Stacey