I am sure you are all familiar with the Ocean One, one of the most popular microbrand watches in existence, and if so, you might also be aware of the Steinhart ComeX Ocean One, a special edition originally done in 20092010, and now being Exclusive to Olko Watches, a dealer in Germany. Now I do not exactly have all the facts as far as if these are NOS dials or being reprinted for these latest versions, but I have concluded they are defintily based on the latest Ocean One models with the ComeX dial and a domed sapphire crystal. Priced at about $535, this special edition is a lot of watch for the money, and of course a little quirky with the Ocean text with the white background, which mimics Rolex ComeX watches of the past.
So, this watch takes the standard Ocean One, adds a domed sapphire crystal and of course, the Ocean text on the dial gets the white rectangle treatment. Why? Well, for those not familiar, this is an homage to the famous Rolex Sea Dweller ComeX edition, made for the ComeX French Diving company. Now, a version of this watch came out back in 2010 (give or take a year or so) but recently, Steinhart started making exclusive versions for Olko Watches, an authorized Steinhart dealer in Germany. The rest of this watch, with the information I was given and could find, is basically a standard Steinhart Ocean One as they are currently made.
Rolex Comex-Pic from Chrono24
So why is this a thing at all? I’ve heard some people ask this and I have heard some comments saying why would one pay a premium for this over a standard Ocean One (Which is about $130 cheaper)? Well, because it looks like a very spefic and ultra rare Rolex Sea Dweller, that is no longer made. Steinhart has made their company on the Ocean One models, which they have made and still do make countless versions, most that are direct homages to Rolex. So the Steinhart ComeX Ocean One seemed like a good one to do, and they did in fact do this well over a decade ago. I am not sure how long Olko has been selling the latest version of the ComeX, but I want to say maybe 2 years or so, but now that it is available again, it is a hot ticket item, and lets be honest, its basically because of that dial.
Is it worth the premium? Only consumers can decide that, and everyone has a differing opinion, but I would say so, only because the traditional Ocean One just doesn’t do it for me, especially these days with the latest versions having the date and cyclops. Now I am fully aware it is kind of silly when I step back and go, they took the ocean text and just made the background white, in that one little spot. This is a no date dial as well (not a no date movement though), and of course the domed sapphire, which is available on other Steinhart watches and Ocean Ones, but that little detail makes this watch stand out to me, and I have just always had a thing for it. Otherwise, this is a regular Ocean One, with the same printed markers, the same Mercedes hands, the same case, bezel, crown, and bracelet.
But like the title of the video review, sometimes it is the little things that make the difference and at least for me, in this case, those two little details of the Steinhart ComeX Ocean One, have always made this a desirable version for me. Rolex homages are all over, by Steinhart and many others, and beyond the Rolex itself, there are Seiko’s that have been modded to look like the ComeX and a few others, but this just stands out to me, and because of that, its special. Fortunatley it’s a Steinhart, so it’s also a very solid watch for the price. Everything else on this watch is just a standard Ocean One, but that is not a bad thing.
Solid end links, solid bracelet, standard clasp, 300 meters water resistance, a brushed and polished case and of course the ETA 2824 Elaboré movement, all for around $500 with this ComeX edition are damn good specs for a watch at this price. Steinhart has been producing these for so long, so of course they have buying power but it does still make me ponder at times how they are able to produce watches like this for much less than everyone else. The finishing is not going to make you think of Rolex, but the brushing and high polishing that is done here is not $150 Aliexpress level either, far from it, and the whole watch is smooth to the touch with no rough machining edges either. And then we have that bezel.
Yes, the bottle cap style bezel, which not only looks great but is just so easy to grip and turn, and the 120 click ratcheting system works flawlessly, and not only will it stay in place where you put it, but like many of us desk divers is fun to play with as well. This one in the Steinhart ComeX Ocean One is aluminum, something I know many balk at and yearn for a ceramic bezel insert, like many brands are using these days. And Steinhart makes a lot of models with ceramic bezels, so one would think with the premium price, ceramic would have been nice to incorporate here. I personally like that it is aluminum, as this homages a vintage Rolex model, and ceramic, to me at least, just wouldn’t look right. Unlike many though, I am not a huge fan of ceramic bezel inserts, nor sapphire, as I just feel the aluminum looks better, even though it doesn’t have the scratch resistant properties.
Unlike a lot of Rolex homages, Steinhart has kept the Ocean One at 42mm for a long time. These days, they do have 39mm models and there is a Steinhart ComeX Ocean One in 39mm, with patina lume, though that seems to be sold out at the moment. But many Rolex homages are 40mm, but not this one. And for someone like me with a 7 1/2 inch (19.05cm) wrist, 42mm is a very welcome size and though I can wear some 40mm, and even 39mm depending how they are shaped (like the Marin Instruments Standard Diver), I still prefer a 42mm watch. This fits my wrist perfectly and looks perfect, not too small, not too large. The Goldilocks. And sizing is a breeze with screw links, though like always, make sure you use some kind of thread locker when putting those screws back in, so they don’t loosen over time.
So yes, the Steinhart ComeX Ocean One is not much different from the standard version, and the biggest change is actually very small. But just that one change, that white background on the model name makes all the difference for me. The rest of the watch, as many know is very well made and Steinhart seems to still be as popular as ever, and even thought this commands a premium, I still think it is worth it. For someone like me, it’s not exactly that I always wanted an actual ComeX, I just like how this watch looks and of course the affordability of Steinhart certainly helps. For those that always wanted the actual Sea Dweller and can’t afford it, this is a great budget option, and for those that just like something a little different, I think this fits the bill as well. Oh, and as you can see below, it looks great in the dark also.
You can see more at Olko Watches, the exclusive dealer of this Comex Ocean One.
I've been an avid watch lover since the age of 7. Watches are not only my hobby but a passion. My favorite style used to be dive watches, but field or non bezel watches have been growing on me. When I'm not reviewing watches I am either cooking or with family and friends.
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