The Breitling Seawolf Avenger was the watch RESPONSABLE for opening my eyes to the world of dive watches. Of course I had a fondness of dive watches before, but the Avenger was definitely a world opening experience. I can still remember the feeling of holding it’s hefty stainless steel case in my hand. As I dove deeper into the world of dive watches I discovered all kinds of mystifying watches, I also discovered how many clones of dive watches. Quite a dead sea fille with unimaginative, uninspired rubbish. Even the big players in the watch world just rehash old designs over and over and over. I find myself becoming bored with the same crap dished out year after year with the almost unnoticeable changes that companies boast about at Basel each year. That is why when Shaumburg Watches explained to me their idea for a new dive watch, that instantly captured my attention and of course my interest! I must admit my friends that I was split down the middle though, 50% intrigued and 50% hesitant. Other thoughts and feelings that came to mind such as, worried, unsure……
Anything out of the norm intrigues me more so than ever this year which made me want to see this piece in person ASAP. But the other 50% was……If you look at the first pictures within this review maybe you may already know what my 50% hesitation was about. In case you don’t know, I will gladly explain. The skeleton dial was what initially caused the hesitation to swirl like a whirlpool within my head when Schaumburg told me their plans. We all know that I can’t stand a sapphire crystal exhibition case back on a diver, so when the information presented that the experience will now be on the Viperfish’s dial I wasn’t keen on this design choice. But you say, “Stephen you tell us all the time that different is a good thing”, and you are definitely right to want to throw that into my face like a cream pie.
Schaumburg had a few magic tricks up their sleeves, not gaudy like a certain mind freak but more liKe tongue in cheek Penn and Teller style. What Schaumburg did with their dial is definitely different, but they also insured that they gave us the wearer something that is worth looking at. They didn’t just give an off the shelf movement with nothing “pretty” to look at. I never understood the point when companies boast about having an exhibition case back but just use an off the shelf movement with nothing done to it. What’s the point right? The whole point in my opinion of the crystal peering “window” is to give you something interesting to look at. This is what Schaumburg’s achievement was here, which in my opinion was done well. Schaumburg added a real nice pallet of color on the movement which begins nicely smack in the center. The red immediately pulls the eye into the dial and into the movement. I admit that watching the movement in action did remind me of the magic of my grandfather’s pocket watch. That pocket watch was the start of my fascination with watches. So having that reminder here on the Viperfish held an extra bit of personal magic for me.
Ok I will end the trip down memory lane here for all of you interested in the quality and execution of this watch. The moderately 45mm x 14.8mm PVD steel case has nice heft to it where it doesn’t feel cheap yet still remains comfortable on the wrist. The matte black sandblasted finish gives the case a magnificent appearance to the Viperfish. In my opinion it creates the perfect set up for allowing the dial to be the center of attention. You may wonder why this model is named the Viperfish. Well, use the picture below as a clue why and also use the Viperfish itself for another clue. This feature was extremely pleasing to the eyes at night, which was so relaxing to watch the beating heart with a soft glow. That beautiful glow is extended onto the hands of the Viperfish with the center of the minute & hour hand that is coated with Superluminova and bordered with brushed steel. Schaumburg insured dial legibility in low lit environments by also coating the generous sized markers and on the lollipop style second hand. After all this is a dive watch so underwater legibility is important to those you will actually dive with this watch.
The case on the Viperfish has some subtle details that cannot go without mentioning here within this review. Some examples of these details I am referring to can be found on the lugs. The PVD case does a fantastic job of hiding these details which made me want to spend more time examining this watch. As I spent more time with this watch the details began to reveal themselves slowly. At first glance the lugs reminded me of the sexy fenders from a 34’ Studebaker with their distinctive curvature and openness adding to the side profile beauty of the Viperfish. The torque screws that assist in holding the lugs in place are an excellent example of Schaumburg’s conscious effort to go up and beyond in the execution of engineering mindfulness. I want to point out another example of this mindfulness, located at the screw down crown a there is smaller torque screw assisting in holding the crown guard in place. These details add in the overall aesthetics of the Viperfish, but more importantly they add strength reinforcement.
This is what I am talking about when I say that I love when companies think outside of the box when designing watches. I don’t review watches that are intended for the great masses, I review watches that are geared for those who appreciate the different. If you are looking for a German made quality dive watch that isn’t a clone/homage/tired design, then the Viperfish may be the watch you are looking for. Everything on this watch not only looks great, but also functions without fail, each detail big or small is purpose driven. The Viperfish wasn’t drawn up over night, nor was it inspired by another watch, it is a well planned out unique design. Some very sad and very unhappy people recently pointed out to me that all my reviews are positive in nature and why don’t I ever give a bad review. The answer is quite simple, I don’t review uninspiring watches, nor do I review watches that are crap. Why waste my time or your time on those watches? In order to create, one needs to be inspired, at least that is how I work. Of course this is the same group of unhappy individuals that also said there are too many pictures in my reviews and that the pictures are over staged. Last time I checked, a watch review should have a lot of pictures and they should be well planned out. Who wants a review with limited shitty pictures? Well besides the mentioned sad individuals.
The Viperfish exceeded my expectations of design because I honestly didn’t think that a skeleton dial was going to interest me, especially on a dive watch. I was pleasantly wrong and that’s why I love having an open mind. Open mindfulness allows you to see the world in a beautiful and positive light. The Viperfish bezel is probably my favorite detail on this watch. It functions with smooth fluidity but it also looks killer. I love the textured detailing and I love where the brushed stainless steel meets the black PVD. Absolutely lovely. The SW-20AS movement keeps excellent time in all positions, during all my indoor and all my outdoor activities and it also handled below zero temperatures. It is beautiful and it is badass, just like the Viperfish itself.
Thank you so much for reading.
A very heartfelt thank you goes to Schaumburg for the honor of this review and for creating watches that inspire.
* Case: PVD steel, matt sandblasted, Case back covered with Superluminova
* Case diameter: 45 mm, hight: 14,8 mm
* Water resistance: 500m / 50atm
* Sapphire crystal with AR coating
* Bezel dot: ceramic superluminova
* Base movement: automatic SW-20AS,skeletonized, red minute wheel and rotor
* Function: hour, minute, second, date,
* Strap: hightech & leather
* Option: steel bracelet
AQM 5 ViperFish
Inspired by the Viperfish the bizarre noctilucent predator of the deep sea. A diver’s watch that shows how she works during the day or night over or under water.We asked ourselves, the AQM 5 should just be a diver’s watch. The mainstream market for diving watches is large but often lacking in creativity. Why not a diver’s watch that opens your heart to the beholder. A diver’s watch that shows how she works during the day or night over or under water. The AQM 5 ViperFish has a skeletonized movement that has been perlated and rhodium plated. The movement is backlit by the Superluminova-coated caseback at night. Individual elements such as the hour wheel and the inside of the rotor have been red coated. So you see through the sapphire crystal as the rotor permanently rotates its rounds. Looking at the AQM 5 on your arm is an experience that almost makes you forget the time to read.