I have been obsessed with the ocean almost as long as I have been obsessed with watches, if not longer. My wife and I have a debate and ongoing argument on which is the more awesome place to go, the depths of the ocean vs outer space. You know what side of that argument that I am on. I am absolutely fascinated by what lies on the ocean floor and the creatures that have yet to be discovered. And eventually though it is not humanly possible to dive to the depths that some of the watches I review can go, it just adds a sense of wonderment to think about what is down in those depths and how the watch can go there to experience it.
Today I will be exploring Ocean Crawler’s Champion Diver. I have to say when I opened up the shipping box and saw the outer box. The box features some of my favorite things, classic movie monster, a deepsea diver and suit and a sea creature. It is the coolest package on a watch that I have ever seen. Usually I am like a kid on Christmas when I get a watch and I want to open the package as fast as I can to get to the watch. This time I spent at least 45 minutes just looking at the box art. It took me back to my childhood and it was a truly magical feeling.
Once the prying away from the box art was completed, I was finally able to get to the watch itself. Immediately the colors of the dial grabbed my eyes to pull me in. The blue dial instantly reminded me of the ocean. As I held this watch and shifted it back and forth, I watched the way the light affected the dial color. Just as the ocean seems to change color as the daylight changes, this dial did the same thing. It went from almost black to deep blue to a sunburst blue, it really is an awesome effect.
The hands are the next detail that I noticed on this watch. Not only did the color get my attention but the shape of each hand did as well. The minute hand and second hand are a vibrant orange that make daylight legibility easy. The second hand long, sleek and has a nice arrow head tip. The orange minute hand is also long, sleek and tappers to a nice point that extends to the printed minute markers. The white hour hand shares the same shape as the minute hand and extends out enough to touch the printed hour markers. The minute and hour hands are also treated with lume, to my disappointment the second hand doesn’t have any lume. The hands remind me of the spear/harpoon that the diver has in hand on the package of this watch.
The hour, minute/second markers have a green tint effect to them which adds ease of daylight legibility but also kind of clues me in on what kind of lume quality I will be dealing with which is pictured below. The Champion Diver does have quite a bit of text on the dial and most of it works in favor of the watch. There is a small bit of text that I would have preferred been left out which I think can be a little misleading. At the 6 o’clock position you will see printed small ‘Swiss Lume’. At first glance I thought it was Swiss Made, to eliminate that I would have rather Ocean Crawler excluded this from the dial all together. Now onto the text that does work. Under the 12 o’clock position printed in white is Ocean Crawler’s name and logo. Also printed in white above the 6 o’clock position is ‘Limited Edition, Automatic, 1000 Feet, Champion Diver’.
What I like that Ocean Crawler did with their date window is the location and the number layout. They went wih the non traditional number layout using all even numbers and it’s this layout that makes for why the date window works well at the 3 o’clock position. Because of this overall layout choice there was no need to eliminate an hour marker thus there was no dial balance interruption. The black inner chapter with the white printed minute marking numerals that count by 5’s. The black border around the blue dia makes for some nice contrast.
The brushed stainless steel case was an appropriate choice in finish for a tool/dive watch. The case size is also a good choice as well in my opinion as well. The 44mm x 15mm with 51 lug to lug, 22mm lug space. The coin edged bezel is a unique choice and it works well with this watch, giving it a touch of vintage charm. The inclusion of the lume pip is a crucial feature in my opinion for a tool/dive watch in terms of functionality and purpose driven tool. The bezel functions with great clicking sound and soild performance in terms of no extra play. The bezel is a bit tricky to operate with wet hands and with gloves on.
The blasted finished crown not only looks awesome but functions like a champ. When I had wet, muddy hands it still was extremely easy to grip and operate. The details on this crown add to the overall finished look of the Champion Diver. I applaud Ocean Crawler for also having the crown signed. So often I see watches that miss that detail which gives the watch an unfinished appearance, thankfully Ocean Crawler signed this crown with their logo.
The case back also adds to the finished look of the Champion Diver. It features some nice engraving work that gives depth and texture to the case back. Companies sometimes forget that just because a case back isn’t a focal point like the dial, it still is an important detail and extension of the watch’s personality.
“The Movement inside the Champion Diver is a Caliber OC729. This is a modified Seiko 4R36b movement enhanced for added accuracy and shock resistance. Power reserve has also been increased from the original 41 to 44 hours.” The movement has an accuracy rate of +/-5 seconds per day, and this particular watch was timed at +4 seconds per day during my review process. I like that the shock resistance was boosted up to 6000 G which means that this watch can take some abuse but remain an accurate time telling instrument. I like that Ocean Crawler took a stock movement and added upon it infusing it with a touch of their own personality into it, insted of just leaving it a standard stock movement.
The Champion Diver comes with a nice assortment of strap options that change the overall look and feel of the watch itself. If you want to dress it up for the office desk diving adventure you can use the included leather strap. The leather strap is nicely padded and has a signed brushed tang style buckle. It you want to dress the watch down and take it on an outdoor adventure just as I did during my review, you can strap on the orange rubber strap with a signed deployment style buckle. The orange strap is my personal favorite strap of this package. I like that the strap has the Ocean Crawler logo on both sides of the strap near the solid curved lugs. Not only does the strap match the dial but it is functional and comfortable.
The limited edition Champion Diver comes in at just a hair under $1000 USD. What I like about this package that you get for your money is a reliable adapted movement that is extremely shock resistant which is ideal for this style of watch. Even if you baby your watch, accidents still do happen. You also get a nice thick domed sapphire crystal with a extremely legible dial that can be easily read in both day and night. You get a nice assortment of well made straps, a box with killer art work and an overall well made limited edition of 300 watch.
The watch does come with areas for improvement like I mentioned before. A lumed tip second hand is extremely helpful in my opinion when using a watch in low lighting situations. I would also remove the swiss lume from the dial and place that information on the case back. The bezel would be easier to grip if the bezel had extended out the portion of the bezel at the 12, 3, 6, 9 positions. Despite these recommendations for change, they aren’t deal breakers in my opinion. I still highly recommend this watch to anyone looking for a unique, well made diver.
I would like to personally thank Ocean Crawler and you all for reading this review. As always your questions and comments are welcome below.
Case Diameter (excluding crown): 44.2mm
Case Thickness: 150mm, Lug-To-Lug: 51.8mm, Lug Width: 22mm
Case Material: 316L Stainless Steel
Bezel: Unidirectional Rotating Bezel with 120 Clicks and Swiss SuperLuminova Marker
Movement Accuracy. +/- 5 seconds/day in 3 positions
Water Resistance: 300 meters, 1000-feet or 30 ATM