I would like to start off this review by giving a quick thanks to Keith Boschetti and Boschett Timepieces for giving me the opportunity to get one of the first glimpses of their brand new Reef Ranger 2 Prototype. I am honored and thrilled about it, and am also very excited about this watch and will explain why in this review. Also please be sure to check out my photography and quick HD video of this piece at the end.
First, a quick flashback to June of last year. Being subscribed to Boschett on Facebook, I get to see all of the latest things that they share there. Well, about mid June is when we all got a first look at some new movements that Keith was very excited about (and rightfully so). Well, this movement, pictured below, happens to be a Top Grade Swiss Made Sellita SW200 movement, decorated with Boschett’s insignia. This is also when he announced that this will be the movement used in the production release of the brand new, redesigned Reef Ranger 2 seen in this review.
I am very excited to write a review of this brand new offering from Armida. This review is going to be a bit different than my previous, most recent review of the Boschett Harpoon. I would love to stick to a certain review format, but every watch that I decide to purchase, I do so for a different reason. As such, I feel the need to review each watch in a different way, to fit my reasoning for purchasing it. The design of this watch is what drew me to it, so there will be more emphasis on the design, but I will get into everything else as well too, just not as much. I hope this makes sense to you all!
First, I would like to flash back to a few months ago. I first became familiar with the Armida watch brand through a few friends of mine who experiment with new and different independent “boutique” or “tool” dive watch brands. I really like the way they do things. It is very straight forward, their model names are simple, their designs are simple but very effective, and they use the best dive watch cases out there, while putting their own unique spin on them…
Some INSANE news. Deep Blue has finally released their new, long awaited, Valjoux 7750 watch. The pictures, taken by Jim Skelton, have been released as well, and the watch is available for purchase on Deep Blue’s website!
I have coined this watch the “Superbeast”. It literally has EVERYTHING. 65 Tritium tubes, Luminescent (BGW9 Superluminova) sapphire crystal and bezel inlay, Swiss Valjoux 7750 automatic chronograph movement, 500 meters of water resistance, absolutely insane 26mm bracelet, I mean the list goes on. It comes in two color variations, blue and black.
Check their website below for the entire list of detailed specifications, a gallery of amazing photography of it by Jim Skelton, and a link to purchase it direct.
I have not done a review in a long time, and I thought there is no better watch to do a “come back” review of than the infamous Boschett Harpoon, or otherwise loosely nicknamed: ”The Poon”. The watch has received quite a cult following among all of the boutique dive watches out there, and in this review I will outline why I think I, and many others, consider it to be the best boutique watch of 2012. This is going to be a long one, so get yourself comfortable! It would be impossible for me to write any less than 2000 words about this phenomenal watch.
Mind = blown. Stan and Deep Blue have gone nutso again and have come out with a freaking radioactive lumefest of a watch and a fantastic addition to their Day/Night series of watches. The watch is called the Day Night Recon. This thing has 65 T-100 tritium tubes. Yes. SIXTY FIVE. It’s like Chernobyl on your wrist. Oh, by the way, why not just put a unf-ton of Superluminova on the bezel to top it off. You will have to see movies at the theater twice, because you will be staring at this light show the first time around.
Check out the link below, and major props to my home slice G money dawg Jim Skelton of World of Watches once again for taking some fantastic pictures of this beast. It is not easy to capture the glow of tritium while showing the details of the watch at the same time. He took it an extra mile and did pictures with and without the bezel lume.
You better strap on a welder’s mask before clicking the link below because these levels of lume may or may not melt your face (not really don’t worry, well maybe).
Stan has laid out all of the tech specs and details on the page as well. The watch comes in three awesome color configurations so be sure to check them all out. It’s kind of pricey but really who cares, no one does this. Well, Ball does it, but they are twice the price and half the awesomeness of Stan and Deep Blue (IMO).
Credit Photography to Jim Skelton
A short while back I wrote up a review of the DaLuca Shell Cordovan Leather NATO straps and received quite a positive response. DaLuca Straps is well known for their extremely high end offerings and it is no secret that the prices reflect the quality of the merchandise and are geared towards higher end pieces such as Rolex and Panerai. However, DaLuca Straps does offer some fantastic lower priced straps, some of these being their Ballistic Nylon NATO straps.
I have always been a fan of nylon NATO straps ever since I saw one on the wrist of James Bond in the film Goldfinger. The scene shows James Bond holding a lighter up to his Rolex Submariner mounted on a NATO strap. Ever since then, I’ve just been fascinated by the look of them on various dive watches. I think it tones a watch down and gives it a more rugged, sporty look. Not to mention they are extremely comfortable.
Once again, Benarus Watches has hit another home run. This time, with the new Benarus Sea Snake. This company never ceases to amaze me with their full commitment to making extremely high quality, unique and detailed tool dive watches. There are many tool dive watch companies out there, many of which put out some excellent watches, but, in my opinion, Benarus is head and shoulders above all of them. There is a reason there is a long waiting list whenever they come out with a new timepiece. The Sea Snake is no exception.
When I first received the Sea Snake, I was simply blown away.
First things first, the watch comes packaged in a fantastic brown leather zip-up case with orange contrast stitching stamped with the Benarus logo. Included with the watch is an extremely high quality sueded leather ZULU strap as well as an Isofrane style genuine, natural rubber strap (each of which could easily cost $100 a piece alone, elsewhere on the web). Despite the quality of the accessories that accompanied the watch, I just had to set them aside temporarily, because I was instantly mesmerized by the watch itself.
I was quite amazed at how a watch, with such an understated and simplistic design, could have such a compelling appearance. After unwrapping the watch (which is very carefully “mummy-wrapped”) I had the opportunity to inspect and analyze why this watch is just so amazing. In this review I will go over my observations as to why I have dubbed this watch the most affordable luxury dive watch.
A little while ago I wrote a full review of the Depthmaster 3000. It quickly became one of my favorite watches that I’ve ever owned. When it first came out, I was in awe, but I had a hard time choosing between blue or black. I eventually went with black, as seen in the review, but I had really wished they would have made a white dial at the time.
Well, fast forward to a few weeks ago, and Stan revealed on WatchGeeks that there was indeed going to be one done in the white dial configuration. Once I saw the photos, I knew right away that I needed to own one.
I have just picked up my first NFW AutoPilot and couldn’t be happier with
it. I was just blown away when I opened the trademark metal NFW case.
It also just so happens that my first AutoPilot is an extremely limited edition run done in only 55 pieces ever made. This particular configuration features their classic skull and trident logo dead center done in black and laid upon an incredibly vibrant, blood red sun ray dial. It really has a sinister look to it, which I love. The finish on the dial is absolutely incredible, and you have to see it in person to understand just how vibrant the color is and how well it plays in the light.
What makes the color “pop” even more, is the fact that it is contrasted by an all black IP case and bracelet. I must say, on that note, the black IP finishing on this AutoPilot (and from what I hear, all of NFW’s watches) is top notch. The fit is also fantastic, for a 45mm square watch, it wears on the wrist like a dream, the machining on the case and bracelet is out of this world, and has just enough of a sharp downward edge at the lugs to fit my 7″ wrist comfortably.
I should also note that after 48 hours, the Miyota 9015 movement that this watch houses has not gained or lost a single second. It is dead on accurate.
This limited edition will stay in my collection. It will definitely be my go to “malevolent” watch when I’m wearing my signature plain black t-shirts or whenever I’m wearing red. Heck, I’ll wear it with any color, it’s just that cool.
Stan and Deep Blue have hit another home run. Just announced, the NEW Deep Blue Juggernaut II. Has the same features as the original Juggernaut: 46mm Case, 18mm thick, Miyota 9015 automatic movement, 1000 meters of water resistance, etc. This time, however, they’ve added a Sapphire bezel inlay, with luminous indices beneath, all done with Superluminova (as usual). Another improvement is they’ve added half links and a clasp with three micro adjustments for the perfect fit. Comes in 4 colors: Orange, Yellow, Blue, and the classic Black. The Black, Blue, Yellow bezels all glow in blue lume, and the orange glows in orange. I’m debating between the blue and black. I must say, personally, I have not been this excited about a watch in a very long time.
Jim Skelton has taken some fantastic photography of it and can be seen and purchased directly from Stan and Deep Blue via the link below.