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!