Dive Watches


The brand “Swiss Military Watch” is about as vague as they come, and the name often invokes poor brand recognition with confusion with Victorinox and Wenger among others. However, SMW (Swiss Military Watch) is known for their very rugged military watches that rival Marathon in their quality.

smw-commander_01

The SMW Commando T25 is a very nicely crafted tactical style diver, with T25 Tritium Tubes used to illuminate the dial when used in dim and low light conditions. For those unfamiliar with tritium tube illumination, it does not require “recharging” like regular superluminova or old-style tritium paint. The tubes constantly glow until they’re dead, which is approximately 25 years.

smw

Here’s the Swiss Military Watch logo above, which is not to be confused with several of the other brands using the “Swiss Military Watch” name.

smw-commander_02

The Commando features a 44mm case, with an orange aluminum insert bezel reminiscent of the Omega Planet Ocean. While the shape and overall style do not resemble the Planet Ocean, the color combinations and materials do. The flat black dial shows the time very clearly above the beating Swiss Automatic ETA 2824-2 movement.

smw-commander_03

The watch has all the go-to features that schrewd Watch buyers always look for, and it checks all the right boxes. Sapphire Crystal, check. Swiss ETA Automatic Movement, check. T25 Tritium Tubes, Check. 44mm Larger and Current watch case, check. 200m Water Resistance, check. Swiss Made, check. Good bang for buck? Check!

smw-commander_04

Overall its a fantastic watch. There’s the shot of the rather unremarkable caseback, perhaps the weakest part of the watch. The caseback is pretty generic, with shallow laser engraving of the logo and other important information such as water resistance, etc. The other important marking is the Limited Edition Numbering, which in this case is a very low production of 200 pieces. The numbering is actually machine engraved, which makes it stand out a bit more. Anyway, the caseback is the least important part of the watch to me, so its not a big deal. Overall, a superb watch for very little money. Much better than the Hamiltons and other similarly priced Swiss Watches.

Specs:
-Diameter appx 44mm – excluding screw-down crown
-Stainless steel case
-Screw-down steel case back
-Fitted with Hirsch black padded, waterproof, leather strap with orange detail stitching – original, unused, black silicone rubber dive stap in box
-Accurate and reliable Swiss ETA 25 jewel automatic movement
-Clear black face with mb microtec H3 gas illumination to hands and markers – glows all night
-Orange sweep second hand
-Sapphire crystal
-Special edition numbered of 200
-Date window at 3-o-clock
-Unidirectional steel bezel with orange insert and lume pip
-Water resistant to 200 metres

Crepas has been creating quite a stir amongst the Dive Watch community with their unique brand of dive watches, becoming one of the most sought after boutique dive watch brands in the industry. With the sheer amount of boutique brands congesting this market segment, its no small feat that Crepas has gained such popularity in such a short period of time competing against veterans like UTS and Ennebi and more sophomore companies like Ocean7 and Dievas. Every watch released by Crepas is a numbered, limited edition of 100 pieces.

crepas

Crepas also started up a Military division called Tactico, of which has inspired this post. While I’ve been aware of Crepas watches for a while, the difficulty in obtaining one has always been a hurdle for me. With the new Tactico release of the TC2, the watch is much easier to get, and probably won’t enjoy the ultra-high resale pricing that most Crepas watches have. The watch is incoming, and I hope to receive it soon. Here she is, and the specs below.

tactico-tc2

Specs:
Case diameter: 42mm
Bezel diameter: 40mm
Thickness: 13,70mm
Length: 50mm
Crystal thickness: 2,80mm
Crystal diameter: 30mm
Space between the lugs: 22mm
Crown diameter: 7mm

tactico-tc22

Materials:
Case, bezel, crown and case back cover: solid stainless steel 316L with a brushed and polished finished.
Crystal: Synthetic sapphire double domed.
Gaskets: Viton and Tefzel.
Stainless steel bracelet with deployant signed clasp.
Nylon NATO straps.
Vintage Tritium Superluminova at marks, hands and bezel insert.

Features:
Swiss movement manufactured by ETASA model 2824-2
Water Resistant: 50atmos/500 meters. Crown and case back cover screwed.
Anti-magnetic: 70,000 A/m. Movement protected by a soft steel cover.
Anti-scratch crystal with AR coated.
120 positions unidirectional bezel.

I was browsing around on a British Watch forum, and stumbled onto this brand called Pacardt. The cases were really cool, reminding me of Kobold and and another German Boutique brand – UTS, both of which have caught my eye at one time or another. Pacardt leans towards the chunky side, but maybe not quite as chunky as UTS. The watches have a minimalist style, with a less-is-more approach to dial design.

Currently all their watches appear to use what they call the 1T case style and come in PVD as well as plain Stainless Steel. They have an impressive 1000m water resistance, with the help of a 5mm sapphire crystal. Price is €440-750, which is pretty reasonable. Interestingly, right now I can’t tell where you can buy these aside from eBay.

Case diameter: 45.5 mm
Case thickness: 15.5 mm
Case material: stainless steel
Case back: screwed
Crown: screw-down
Bezel: unidirectional rotatable, 120 clicks
Movement: automatic, ETA2824-2 Swiss Made
Water resistant: 1000 m
Date: yes
Crystal: Sapphire crystal, 5 mm, screwed with case
Luminous hour markers: Super-LumiNova Grade A
Luminous hands: Super-LumiNova Grade A
Bracelet: silicone strap
Lug width: 24 mm, screwed
Buckle: Pin buckle, screwed

Website: http://www.pacardt.com/

Haven’t updated with my recent video reviews, so just in case you guys have not seen them. Here is the Tutima Di300 Video review uploaded a while back here. Fantastic Titanium watch with a blasted finish. Its a wonderful German-made diver with an Swiss ETA automatic movement. Superb craftsmanship and that great german tool-watch look make this a great watch.

I’ve been eyeing Lum-Tec for a while, ever since they started releasing the Combat Models and they started showing up on eBay a few years back. Some great designs combined with quality German-made cases really caught my attention. But then they started releasing a bunch of PAM-looking stuff without trying to look too much like a Panerai, which kind of turned me off. I do note that they have become immensely popular with the general buyers, however.

The new Lum-Tec 300M-2XL is another story, however. It features relatively traditional diver styling, but adds a few Lum-Tech features such as the Super Luminous Bezel, which is covered in Sapphire Crystal – Nice. It also has the Trademarked (Not Patented) MDV Technology, which stands for “Maximum Darkness Visibility”. See the writeup below for a little more detail on the MDV Lume application:

Overall, a nicely styled diver with some trademark Lum-Tec features and good quality parts inside and out. While the Sii NH35 movement is not quite as desireable as an ETA 2824-2 in my opinion, its still a good movement with hacking and handwinding – unfortunate that it beats at 21,600, which will have a choppier second sweep. Price direct is $925, discounted to $786.25 currecntly, so it is not a cheap watch!

Specs:
45mm width excluding crown.
24mm lug width.
316L Stainless steel.
Titanium Carbide PVD hard coating.
Uni-directional 60-click rotating luminous bezel with sapphire insert.
Alternating brushed and high polished finish.
21,600 BPH Sii NH35 Japan automatic movement with hacking and handwinding features.
Sapphire crystal with clear double side Anti-reflective coating.
Threaded solid stainless steel caseback.
LUM-TEC MDV technology®. (2-tone)
Screw lock crown with double diamond sealing system.
300 Meters / 990 ft. water resistance.
2 straps included. Stainless steel bracelet with diver’s extension and molded rubber.
One year limited warranty.
Free lifetime timing adjustments.

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