February 2014

Just posted this video review on youtube of my Seiko Superior 200m Shrouded Diver. A very cool diver from Seiko that is just a cut above the Monster Diver, for those that are looking for something a bit nicer. Great watch, great price. What else can I say! Seiko is the true king of affordable Dive Watches.

I’ve had some time now to sit with my Breitling Chronomat 44. Its a watch that took me a couple years to truly digest, and took me several years to convince myself to buy one. Now that I have owned it for some time, I’d like to share my deeper review thoughts.


Very well balanced dial and bezel composition. The bezel is thicker than on previous iterations, and the subdials have a very pleasant balance on the dial. The newer style rider tabs are a little less obvious than the originals, but also give it a cleaner look, and they don’t have the tendency to snag on clothing like the old ones did. This is the index model, rather than the more blingy roman numeral model, which I had reviewed before – I prefer this as it just sits better with me in the long run.


The inner ring between the bezel and the crystal has been lowered in height now, and doesn’t suffer as easily from dings and scratches anymore. A common problem for many Breitling owners. The entire face of the watch now follows a smooth contour, and feels very relaxed. it has grown into this new look quite well. The bezel is also a 240-click affair, quite precise.


The Crown and Pushers haven’t changed much in all these years, and it still features screw-down pushers and a rounded cone-shaped screwdown crown, aiding it to 500m water resistance. As you can see from the side, the bezel is still attached the traditional way, with 12 screws from the side.


Beautiful Breitling 5-row high-polish stainless steel bracelet, which is precision machined into one of the nicest bracelets out there. Breitling has chosen to go with swinging rather than fixed endlinks for a more contoured bracelet that will fit a wider range of wrist shapes. This is a good move I think, as free swinging endlinks tend to look better on more people.


The clasp is largely unchanged in over 20 years, and still looks great. The main difference that occured a few years back was the introduction of the raised wings logo on the fliplock.


Nice looking White-on-black date wheel. The Breitling 01 movement beating inside the Chronomat 44 features a fantastic 70-hour power reserve – almost 3 days. It also has the instantaneous date-change mechanism, which is really cool and a great feature for preventing accidental damage. Additional features that one might not notice are the column-wheel chronograph and auto-centering reset hammers for the chronograph.


Nice close-up of the dial to show the fantastic dial-work and great application of writing and lettering on the Chapter Ring as well as the indices.


Finally the wristshot! Its a beauty, and the 44mm diameter looks fantastic on my 6.75″ wrist. Not too big, not too small – just the right amount of wrist presence. I’ve always liked contrasting subdials and the white subs on black dial really look great on the Chronomat 44. I’m very happy with my Chronomat 44, and think that its a great choice for watch enthusiasts out there that are keen on Breitling’s design.

Raven, a sister brand to Benarus, launched a cool vintage style diver early last year called the Vintage 40mm. The watch was released in a limited edition of 200 pieces with a date, and 50 pieces without a date. I was fortunate enough to procure one of the rare no-date versions which I am reviewing here today. A very nice nod to the vintage Submariner.


The watch has 40mm Submariner inspired stainless steel case, with a domed acrylic crystal. Some cool vintage features are the gold tone mercedes hands and red/orange dial and bezel highlights. The watch wears very nicely for a 40mm watch, similarly to the new 40mm Submariners. The bezel insert is old-school aluminum. Lume is C3 SuperLuminova.


This shot catches the cool curve of the acrylic crystal and shows off the coin-edge of the bezel. Its a very well machined piece of kit, with very precise and deliberate machining, giving the watch a sense of quality. Since these were priced in around $450, I wouldn’t have necessarily expected it to feel like a Rolex, but this watch is no slouch.


A beautiful job on the deep precision machined crown. Love the Raven logo on it, and it feels good when in use. You can also get a better idea of what the Bezel edge looks like here, with all the contours.


The watch comes with two NATO straps (One leather, one nylon), as well as a stainless steel bracelet which is shown here. Its a nice oyster-style bracelet, with screw-in links and a standard stamped clasp. The clasp does have a nice deep etching of the Raven logo, which is nice.


The caseback is very clean, with nothing but a large, deeply etched Raven logo and the serial number, which I have blurred out. Very clean and nice. Compliments the rest of the watch nicely in its simplicity. Underneath the caseback beats a Miyota 9015 movement with winding and hacking features.


And the best for last – the wrist shot. For a 40mm watch, this wears remarkably well. The cool domed acrylic crystal, clean, precision machined case, and overall styling really come together well in this nod to the Vintage Submariner. I really think then did a fantastic job and Raven will continue to be on the radar for me when it comes to Sub-style divers.