The relatively new to the turtle scene is the SRPC44 Golden Goose! This watch is identical to the former popular Seiko Prospex turtle line, but its painted in a gold coating/color. No, this is not real gold in any way and is just a coating of a gold color. The case 200M water resistance case measures 45MM across by 13MM thick with a pair of 22MM lugs. A nice little feature is the drilled lugs which made changing out straps
that much easier, especially with those thick stock Seiko spring bars which can be a real pain sometimes to remove. In terms of finishing the gold is highly polished on each side while the top portion remains brushed just as every other Seiko turtle. It does fit nice on wrist and does wear smaller than its' dimensions suggest due to a short lug to lug width. It also features a steel screw sown caseback with the typical Seiko embossing. The crown on my example is located at the 4:00 which is very true to most seiko dive watches and actually threads very nicely and I didnt have an issue with this model unlike a few of the Seiko SKXs I have picked up over the years.
Dial and Lume
The sunburst-like black dial features lumed Lumibrite markers and a very legible handset. The dial really does go well with the gold tone as well as the gold/black 120 Click bezel. Believe it or not...My bezel ligns up! I was quite surprised as most seiko divers from the Prospex line have misaligned chapter rings and bezels. Hence, one of the reasons many buyers opt out for other watches with good quality control
and better specifications for the same money, such as the Oceanica Reef Dive watch. The bezel insert remains aliminum, so no ceramic upgrade yet - but it does operate fairly smooth with minimal backplay. Now the lume is always good with seiko models as they use their in house formulated Seiko Lumibrite which glows green in color and will
last the night! ( well no Lume really lasts 9 hours but,
it will last around 30 minutes before it fades.
Same Rubber Band BUT...Gold Buckle
I really do like these Seiko silicone bands , as they are really really soft and conform
perfectly to the wrist. There is absolutely no reason to swap this one out as it fits the aesthetic of this diver perfectly as well as my wrist. The buckle is also painted in gold to match the case, which you would expect at a price of around $400 for this Seiko diver.
Yep...Did you guess? It is using the Seiko 4R36 which is the Day/Date version of the seiko NH35A. This movement works, lasts a long time, is robust tough and fairly accurate within + or - 10 seconds usually out of the box. The movement is quite simple and beats at 3HZ , has hacking and hand wind with a quickset day and date function.
If you are a true Seiko fan, and really want something out of the ordinary, or perhaps a "Blingy" turtle, perhaps this model is for you. I have even seen the new custom jubilee bands in full gold color which pair with these, and...it looks pretty good and bad at the same time. It is kind of like wearing a Michael Kors gold watch, but your wearing an actual decent entry level Seiko diver at the same time. I am not sure if these are for everyone, most definitely not for me as I would
only wear a gold watch if it was actually gold, or atleast gold capped with real gold material. But, as I have always said we all have different tastes :)
The Woodstone Craftsmaster wood/steel version model is probably my favorite model this new company has to offer. It has a very vintage look and almost reminds of the color of the panels on the old Jeeps and station wagons of the 90s. It is crafted of solid steel in a brushed finish fitted with a sandalwood bezel , which is a very arromatic tropical tree and is all natural
of course. It has a smooth texture and I am sure you will not get any splinters! The actual dimensions are very wearable at 43MM in diameter by 11MM thick. The lug width is a standard 22MM which can be swappable with any band of your choice. The crown is nicely sized and proportionate to the case - also nicely signed with the company logo. In terms of water resistance this is not one you will be taking underwater but it does boast 50M of water resistance with a screw down steel caseback.
The dial features an all wood construction with applied lumed hour markers, and swordlike lumed hands. Now, the lume is nothing to write home about - but I am sure on this type of watch most people would not mind. Overall, it is actually extremely legible with our date cutout at the 3:00 position and minute markings in white to match the markers and hands. The Woodstone logo is applied and polished above the 6:00 position. If there was one thing I would change it would
ne to put the logo at the normal 12:00 position and possibly slim it down a bit. But overall, it is a very clean, legible and easy on the eyes straightforward dial.
Now the nice thing about Woodstone is they went a step ahead of some of the other companies and used a good swiss made quartz caliber. It is a Ronda 515 Quartz caliber which is battery powered, long lasting, accurate, and super reliable. These are the standard movement used in swiss made quartz timepieces and I must say they never cease to amaze me.
The bracelet is quite interesting featuring sandalwood panels placed into the solod steel bracelet which does not feature any end links. The clasp itself is signed nicey and has a pretty strong and solid fold over clasp. The total weight of this watch on the bracelet is 100 Grams, so it definitely is not super heavy - but if you are one who likes a wood watch with a bit of feel and weight on the wrist , perhaps this is the model you should
be looking at. The wood finish is smooth and clean, without any sharp edges or errorsi. Overall, they did a good job constructing this bracelet and it definitely shows in its' comfort when on wrist.
Furthermore, wood watches are definitely
new and emerging like wildfire in todays market due to a number of reasons. One being, people are much more ecologically aware these days and like to use natural materials instead of machines that pollute the air to create other materials. Also, they bring back a new sense of old fashion and a bit of the past in their charm. They are quite "Hip" and stylish to wear I must say. This is just another good example of a new brand with some interesting designs and wood choices. I think they did a good job on this model and it feels well put together and it doesnt feel cheap in any way, as some other wood watches I have handled did. I can definitely reccommend this model to my readers, and if $200
is too heavy on the wallet, they do offer more affordable options on their website as well..
The Manta Ray is housed in a Skin Diver style case which pays homage to some of the first diving watches from brands such as Enicar and Aquastar, who used these cases in their dive watches as far back as the 1960s. It is a comfortable design, and one that wears well on a variety of wrists. Solid 316L Stainless steel was custom cut for this case, No Stock OEM case here. It also has a very wearable dimension of 41MM in Diameter and 12MM thick with a 47.5MM lug to lug width, paired with 22MM lug openings. The flanks are mirror polished as well as the embossed logo crown, while the tops remain brushed. The finishing is rather good and certainly on par with other microbrand divers I have reviewed from the likes of BOLDR, Zoretto, and Phoibos watches. The case itself is tested to 200 Meters making this a very capable and useable dive watch, if you choose to dive. It does have a very nice vintage aesthetic, but in no way is a homage to any watch really out there. The caseback features a screwed down sealed back with a nice raised and custom moulded manta ray which is quite detailed if you take a closer look. I think it looks pretty retro like and unique.
Now, from what I know there are two dial
options for the Ray, Matte blue and Matte
Black. Each color gives off different feelings and rays of color in the sunlight which is nice to see. For increased legibility and no distortion they chose to utilize a flat under ar coated Sapphire crystal. Now, one change on the final units will be to use clear anti reflective coating on the underside, instead of blue, which will bring out a richer black and blue color - it is a bit more expensive but worth it in my opinion. The hand applied markers are sharp and neat without error on the prototypes. They also are filled with Swiss Made BGW9 Lume. This lume is the strongest lume one can have and it does glow a blue hue. Another nice feature is the 120 Click ceramic bezel which features BGW9 Filled numerals and markings as well - This allows for the same exact strength of lume on the bezel as the markers. See, many companies go the cheap route and paint or layer it on the bezel, and the bezel always fades out before the hands and markers...well not on the Manta Ray. The hands themselves are very reminescent of the vintage Superocean hands, as well as the hands on some of the Lorier Watches I have had my eye on. Everything seems to fit perfect here without any irregular sized components, which many microbrands fail at.
Now, on the past four releases by Oceanica minus the Flieger which housed a 90S5 in 2018 - they did what many were asking for and used the Miyota 9015 Japanese made caliber. This movement is about double the price of the NH35 , hence the price jump in pledges. There is no doubt it is a much better and reliable
movement beating at 4HZ and featuring 26 Jewels. It also is better finished and has a much faster smoother sweep at 28,800 BPH. The blue prototype which I wore had an accuracy of around +1 seconds per day which was insane. I am not sure all of the Manta Rays will be like this but you can generally expecy around +5-10 seconds a day from these movements.
Custom Rubber Deployant Band
Another custom made part of the Manta Ray is the Quick Release rubber deployant band. The clasp
is quite strong and super easy to adjust on the go! I was surprised by the comfort level and curvature from the lugs as it is not end fitted. The buckle is secure and features a custom milled clasp and signature across the top. I think its good, and once in hand you
will only realize the true comfort level it has. Now, the early bird backers at $324 will also receive for free a $39 Genuine Rubber custom signed Buckle Oceanica band free of charge for being an early bird as well as the double watch option. The tropic straps also feature Quick Release and are quite comfortable with a relative buckle size. Good stuff.
Conclusion and How To Get One
Furthermore, Oceanica has proven themselves over the past 3-4 years as producing high quality watches at affordable prices, really stomping over many other brands in their territory. They provide the same exact quality at a lower cost, and produce some really
nice dive watches for the coin. This might just be their best one so far as I love watches with a vintage nod and with great strap accessories. It all just flows together perfectly and seems like a true watch - not one of those watches you see YouTubers presenting that look like they took 30 parts from 9 different swiss brands and put them all together. Well, How do you get one? To reserve a Manta Ray - you must back them on Kickstarter in Dec/Jan when they launch, and thats pretty much it. They ship worldwide for free and usually deliver on time within 2 months or so after the campaign ends.o Thanks for taking the time to read and I hope you found the article useful!
The Stella Felix "Lucky Star" in Latin is a new watch company that emerged from New York with an interesting yet tastefully done automatic swiss made everyday watch. The watch arrived quite fast via UPS within a couple days and I was quite surprised by this one! The custom leather case is of good quality and features a leather holster as well as their custom caseback tool which is really heavy duty and can be actually considered a weapon! Anyways, it is well packaged and I do enjoy a nice leather case instead of the typical black lacqeur presentation box which usually goes straight to the closet..
The Stella Felix features a very unique case design crafted of solid 316L solid stainless steel with mixtures of brushing and slight polishing such as the chamfers across the tops of the lugs and the sides of the brushed smooth bezel. The finishing is pretty good without any error and sharp surfaces. The 20MM lugs curve down slightly and really grasp the wrist nicely on the supplied band and even more impressive is the black pvd coated portion of the case for a nice contrast. The watch measures in at 40MM across by 13MM thick including the domed AR coated sapphire crystal. In terms of lug to lug we are looking at a very wearable and comfortable 46.8MM from my calipers. Nice details include the drilled lug holes which is a breeze for swapping out straps - especially in todays times' where many enthusiasts own a number of straps. One specification I really do appreciate is the screw down enamel crown/caseback which helps seal that 100M of water resistance. This makes the Felix a very capable watch as I am able to swim, shower, wash my hands, without worrying about water entering the case. Overall, it certainly is a very unique case design and something I have never come across in my time here at Watch Addiction, which says something about Stella - they want to be different..
The Dress Blues iteration which is one of several dial/strap combos they offer is probably the most appealing along with the 77 Blackout, atleast for me. The blue linen dial just screams "I like wearing Jeans and a T-Shirt.." It is a very versatile dial and one that can be matched with many types of attire, from the workplace to home on the weekends. It also screams vintage a little bit, which I do like. All of the numerals are applied and filled with SuperLuminova as well as the hands and indices with a mixture of C1 and C3. It is by no means a "Lume Monster", but this is not a dive watch and the lume is actually fairly decent for a casual timepiece. The arrow pointed red tipped seconds hand is quite unique and matches the pointer hour and swordlike minute hand very nicely. Honestly, nothing about this dial looks out of place and whoever designed it certainly did a very good job at matching all the elements together. Our date is featured in a circular window at the typical 3:00 with a black wheel, and kind of stays out of the way of things which allows for a more symmetrical dial. I, for one can definitely appreciate the work that went into creating this design - as it is 1:1 and 100% Stellas own.
Swiss Made Automatic Movement
The movement featured is a swiss automatic caliber which some may be familiar with produced by the Fossil group. The STP 1-11 26 jeweled 4 HZ caliber is a newer movement ( 2012+ )and essentially runs just like the ETA 2824. It features everything we want in a watch at this price such as hacking seconds, hand-wind, and a quickset date. They went a little above and beyond using a higher grade caliber which features blued screws, their own custom black rotor, and nice perlage detail on all of the main plates. In my few weeks with this example, it has gained around 4-5 seconds per day and winds quite smoothly as well. Some other brands which utilize this movement include Zodiac - a traditional diving watch manufacturer.
The full grain leather band is comfortable, and only required a few days or so to firmly grasp my wrist. It features a custom buckle which is brushed as well as quick release pins for swapability in seconds, which is becoming more and more common these days. Im not really one to fancy leather bands as I like to Swim
during the summer, so I did swap the band for a rubber quick release. However, the quality is definitely there as well as the styling, and looks like it belongs on a $1200 watch.
Conclusion and Thoughts
Furthermore, as a complete package I think they did a pretty good job for their first release into a market saturated with tons of watches from all over the world. They definitely do stand out with their design and that is somethjng certainly not easy to achieve. If you read about the two owners of Stella - you will realize they do have experience in the watchmaking industry, and development. I like the semi vintage New York feel of the Blue Jeans model, but also gravitate towards the matte black dial as it is a bit simpler to look at. ( Check the video where I display that model ). I do look forward to seeing what this brand has to offer us watch enthusiasts in the future, and I believe it can only get more interesting from here on...
The all new stunning and impressively built $239 Stingray is housed in a 41MM diameter stainless steel brushed case with 200M of water resistance making this one a true tool dive watch! It really is well finished and punches way above most other microbrands in terms of case quality, cut, and finishing. To my belief most brands with this type of quality charge upwards of $350 USD and up for this type of work, but not Oceanica, making this really a bargain. It is sad that most will never seem to realize that though! The lug to lug is 47MM whole the lugs are 22MM and the thickness at 12.5MM. One of the impressive areas is also the embossed custom designed by owner Caseback of a stingray swimming in the Ocean. It really is very detailed and perfect down to the details. The sides of the case are finely brushed with lug guards and a signed shark screw down crown.
There are two Sunburst dial options for the Stingray and possibly more if they reach 50,000 in funds. These are black and a nice blue which changes hues indoors and outdoors. The ceramic lumed 120 Click bezels are also very solid with satisfaction at each click and a luxury feel. The custom bezel contains good traction for your fingers at all angles, and easy to grip. The dial itself contains orange and red/white colours depending on the dial you choose and a nice arrow seconds hand. The indices themselves and hand applied and bordered with a polished silver border, making them pretty easy to read, as a diver should be. We get a domed sapphire crystal which feels tough, as the watch does with five layers of under anti reflective blue coating.
The seiko NH35A automatic movement is utilized here with a beat rate of 21,600 and 24 jewels. It has about a 40 hour power reserve when fully wound and also features hacking , self winding via crown. This is a well known movement and a tough robust one , a good choice for a tough automatic diver. Generally speakong these are usually accurate within 5-10 seconds a day and require little to no maintenance.
H-Link Style Bracelet
I really dig this bracelet, its the same bracelet actually seen on some microbrands that charge around $600 for their watches which I find funny. The custom clasp contains six micro adjustments making it possible for a perfect fit without a quick adjust. The clasp also contains the oceanica logo and a flip over lock with two button eject. Its a comfortable bracelet , and even has solid end links which match the case perfectly. Adjusting this one was a breeze with screws on one side and I removed four links for my 6.5" wrist.
Furthermore, the STINGRAY definitely has features and characteristics seen at much much higher price ranges in microbrand watches. They honestly should
of charged atleast $300 for this one. Well, the value goes to the customer I assume! It really is a great looking multi situational diver which has superb qualities in every aspect. You wont find an area where they skimped on- The bracelet is stellar as well as the caseback and case / dial / lume. I think they knocked this onw out of the park and hope to see more from this young brand which emerged in 2018. If I were you I would reserve one on their Kickstarter as they usually sell out instantly or within days of releasing them on the website...from past experiences.
Today, we come back to the 94 SUCCESSOR , a watch we had the privilege of taking a look at during their prototype stage. The watch is now ready for sale and available via their webshop linked below. Let us see how it came out!