Zahnd And Kormann ZK Diver 2
The Zahnd And Kormann ZK Diver 2 launched on Kickstarter this morning and offers a very affordable way to get a COSC certified dive watch that is available in many different colors, different metals (steel or titanium), and also as a GMT. I only had a short time with the Diver 2 as I had to get it passed on to another person and I was heading out on vacation shortly after the watch arrived but I was able to record a video review which you see posted above. Because of my short time with the watch I am not sure if I gave it the fairest shake or if I was a little jaded in my view of it, which sometimes does happen. I will try here to be as objective as possible, within reason of course.
Zahnd And Kormann ZK Diver 2 Specifications:
- Available in Stainless Steel, PVD, Titanium or Solid Gold Cases
- 44mm Width
- 15mm Thick
- 51mm Lug To Lug
- Ceramic Bezel
- Sapphire Crystal
- Sellita SW200 or SW300 (GMT) Movement
- COSC Certified Movement Upgrade Available
- 600 Meters Water Resistant
- Delivery in August/September
Price: As low as $462 for the NON–COSC movement. Check Kickstarter for all pricing and rewards.
The Zahnd And Kormann ZK Diver 2 is the second watch to be released from the Switzerland based brand. Their first, a moon phase chronograph was successful on Kickstarter in 2017 and of course, the company is hoping the lighting will strike twice. While moon phase chronograph watches are not rare, I personally feel there was a little more originality to the overall design of that model. This Diver and the GMT (which share the same case and bracelet, etc), are very reminiscent of a Rolex Submariner. The size is larger than most submariner homages at 44mm and of course, the dial and hands are very different but it is obvious to me where the inspiration came from. Now, many know I have covered many sub homages here on Watchreport, but those watches replicate the original more closely. Here, they wanted to do something different, but not totally different and I feel they could have gone with a different case and bracelet so that the watch would stand out more and not be compared to those others.
Now, let me be clear here. For those that are not familiar with this site or my point of view, I am here to give me an opinion, and yes, I always try to be objective and compare to what is currently on the market. It also does not escape me of course that many watches no matter what will end up looking similar to others or homage others etc. It is inevitable. So why do I have an issue with the case and bracelet of this Zahnd and Kormann Diver 2? I am not exactly sure. In a way, I guess it seems to be the easy way out. On the other hand, using a more simple and well-recognized case design might have helped keep the cost down and allow for the very affordable pricing for the COSC movement and because of the very popular case style, allow it to have a wider audience base.
So what exactly are you getting with this Diver 2? Well, there are a lot of options. On Kickstarter, the base pledge (where you receive a watch) is $462, which will get you the watch you see being reviewed here, in any color combination and choice of steel or black PVD steel. This option uses the élaboré SW200 automatic movement. There are then options to upgrade to a titanium case and bracelet and of course, the COSC option. If you really want to upgrade, you can now also get this watch (or the GMT) in solid rose gold, solid yellow and solid white gold, which of course is going to set you back a good chunk of change.
Initially, I felt that the best value would be the titanium and COSC option, which would put you around $720 and I still stand by that. That said, at $462, the élaboré version with an SW200 or just a little more if looking at the GMT versions, is not a bad price at all, considering you do get a very nice looking patterned dial, ceramic bezel, solid steel bracelet that has a quick removal mechanism along with a ratchet extension clasp. All of that for under $500 is very appealing, especially if you really like the design.
This watch is built, or at least the company claims it is built to be a hard use dive watch as well, as it has a 600m water resistance rating and a helium release valve on the non-crown side of the case, which it oddly promotes on the dial as you see above. If that claim holds true, then this watch is more than just form and functions well above many dive watches in its price range that are normally rated only to 200m. Are Zahnd and Kormann actually testing these watches to that depth? I hope so.
The watch I had in hand was, of course, a prototype, a sample and I am not sure what changes are planned for production. I do know what changes I would like to see. Most have to do with the bracelet as opposed to the dial or case, but I will say the large Z&K logo is a little off-putting, but it is lumed as you will see in the lume shots below. No, the biggest thing I would change would the high polished center links of the oyster link bracelet. If that is not an option, maybe then add some high polish areas to the ratchet dive clasp, as it looks like it was meant for a different watch as is.
As far as comfort goes, I would say this Zahnd And Kormann ZK Diver 2 feels like a 44mm Steinhart Ocean One on the wrist and of course looks similar as well, as far as the case and bracelet go. I did not have to remove any links from this bracelet and considering I have a 7 1/12 inch wrist, I would consider the bracelet to be short. Again, this was a sample watch, so hopefully, more links will be included come to the production models. If you do need to size the bracelet, it uses split pins as opposed to screws, which I would prefer.
I always state when I am in love with or enamored with any watch I review, and that is clearly not the case with The Zahnd And Kormann ZK Diver 2. That does not mean I do not see the tremendous value it offers and while this watch is not for me, I can see why many would want it and be happy with it, especially if you have always wanted a COSC movement and can get one here for well under $1000. As far as the solid gold options, I am not sure who would be dropping the coin for those-lets be realistic, the brand does not have the name or history for someone to spend that kind of money on a watch, gold or otherwise. Steel and Titanium are where it is at for this model lineup at this point in time. As always though, this is just one man’s opinion. Click the links through the review to take you to their Kickstarter if you are interested in pledging or to their website for more info. I want to hear what you think, so leave your comments below.