There’s something really magical about the sea and the watches that are made to handle it. I came across the Dark Sea watch from Undive’s Kickstarter campaign. I really liked what I saw from the initial pictures and I really wanted to see this piece in person. I have backed other Kickstarter campaigns from what I liked in their campaign pictures only to be very disappointed when the watch arrived. I was disappointed in both the design outcome, the quality and overall execution. I was hoping that I wouldn’t suffer the same fate when the Dark Sea arrived to me.
Today we will be looking at the Undive dark sea dive watch. The watch arrived in a rugged travel case. The travel case is designed to secure the watch well and it does it’s job damn well. I really like how the case has a lot of extra room inside of it which came in quite handy during this my review adventures with it when the watch wasn’t on my wrist. It also made a pretty sweet prop. The travel case is signed with the Undive name and logo, both of which are printed with precision in white. The case is sealed by a standard zipper style closing.
When I initially unzipped the travel case to get to the Dark Sea watch, the watches case was what caught my attention first. It wasn’t only the design style/shape of the case that grabbed my attention but also the finish of the case. I was really impressed with the attention to detail on the overall completeness that this case has. The Dark Sea is a combination of both a polish finish and a brush finish which together looks absolutely fantastic together. The case shape gives a sublte nod to those vintage 70s dive watch turtle style case but doesn’t give the Dark Sea a vintage feel throughout. At the 4 o’clock position on the case is where you will find the screw down style crown. The crown is securely tucked in the case which the curve of the lug is nicely flows out naturally to create a crown guard. The crown itself is signed with a very cool and appropriate trident logo. While I was photographing the watch at the beach I often reset the time to 10:10 and thanks to the machined gear style grip made for easy operation. I found it extremely easy to operate the crown both when it was dry and when it was wet. I will say it agian that I really like how the crown guard is integrated from the side of the case and how it features both brushed and polished finish. The case itself has some really sexy curves to it and with the different finishes it really makes this case stand out when it is on the wrist.
The Uni directional rotating bezel also receives the same quality finish as the case itself with both brushed and polished finish and an overall execution. Thanks to the machines edges of the basil it is extremely easy to grip and operate both and wet and dry conditions. The top of the bezel features a brushed finish and the markers at the 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, and 9 o’clock positions feature polished finish markers. At the 12 o’clock position on the basil it features a faux lumed pearl and out the rest of the hour markers on the basil there are indented circles. There is a gas release valve located on the non-crown side of the case at the 9 o’clock position. This valve keeps the case from blowing apart when use for diving when pressure builds up inside the case the valve is there to help release the pressure.
The 45 mm x 15 mm case wears much smaller than the measurements and play due to the short lugs. The dark sea fits my 7 1/4 inch wrist very comfortably and has fantastic wrist presence. Typically I’m not a fan of the shape of cases like this but in the instance here it works absolutely perfect with the whole design of this watch. The case back is a screw down style and features the engraved trident logo, ‘Dark Sea’, and information about the specs themselves.
The dial on the Dark Sea is my favorite design feature of this watch. The layout of the dial features large white applied markers, semi gloss black dial and a combination of white and light blue colors. This dial has excellent legibility both in sunlight and also in low light/dark situations. Undive nailed the hands on the Dark Sea in terms of shape, length and color. The second hand steals the show here with it’s unique color choice and it’s unique shape. Color coordination is what Undive was going for on this dial by matching up the color of the seconds hand with the blue colored markers on the chapter ring, the border around the date window and the Dark Sea printed text. This shade of blue really stands out set against the black dial backdrop. I found it extremely easy to use the second hand to measure with both during professional activity and leasure activity. I love the contrasting colors on the tip of the second hand as you can see in the photo above.
The text on the Dark Sea is printed in crisp, bold lettering. It’s a four liner which actually looks good in my opinion on this piece. Why? The Dark Sea has a larger dial which allows the text not to appear too intrusive as it would on a smaller watch. 500m of water resistance allows more than enough protection when diving. When I was skin diving with this piece I found it to be one of the most legible dials that I have experienced.
The Dark Sea was definitely a pleasant surprise, I enjoyed it far more than I thought that I would. There are quite a few impressive details on this watch that are well executed. The bezel for example has that Italian diver charm, and functions with no extra play whatsoever. It is apparent that Undive did their research on how to merge nice details and functionality. Examples of this can be found with the crown with the signed trident logo and with how the crown operates with the grip. Another example of this is with both the bezel and the dial. The lume glows bright for quite a long time after it is charged from a external light source. How does it feel when it is on the wrist? Well I already established how the case feels/looks on the wrist, and the rubber strap assists well with the wearability of this piece. The Crafter Blue rubber strap is very well made and is extremely soft/pliable from the get go.
The Dark Sea is a piece that is worth checking out. You get a lot of watch for your money here. It’s not just another sub clone. Yes, the watch has details that were influenced by other divers, but it is executed with Undive’s own DNA making it have a unique watch experience. I can’t express it enough that the Dark Sea has a great wrist presence and offers an unique watch experience.
316 L Stainless Steel Case
(with DLC coating on brushed bezel (BLACK STORM version)
500m / 50ATM / 1640ft water resistance
Heilum Escape Valve
120-click unidirectional bezel
CASE SIZE: 45mm (47mm including crown)
CASE THICKNESS: 15.40mm (including crystal)
LUG TO LUG: 50mm
Seiko NH35 movement
Matt black dial with Super Luminova BGW9
High-quality dome sapphire crystal
Big screw down and TRIDENT logo
Professional accordion-style diver strap