Kickstarter Launch March 29 2020 - $385 Early Slots!
Today we will take a peek at the upcoming premiere launch of the Gin Clear Diver by Second Hour Watches - a new microbrand based out of Australia. The new Gin Diver features all those things we hope for in a rugged diver such as a solid 316L stainless steel case with dimensions that are wearable. This piece measures in at 41MM x 49MM x 12.5MM thick. The lug opening is 22MM which is pretty typical for a 41MM size case. The case has a rather smooth and nice brushed finish which sits and curves well to the wrist with its' downward slightly curved lugs. In terms of water resistance we are looking at a standard 200 Meters - which is essential to call this a true dive watch or a watch that you can actually take diving. The screw down signed crown is nicely protected with large crown guards and threads in and out with ease. Keep in mind there will be slight changes for the final models such as chamfered edges on the lugs, a light brushed bezel insert, drilled lug holes, and a greater crown length. If we head to the caseback the watch really comes to life with the beautifully crafted custom caseback which features a turtle with waves which is raised and executed with great precision and detail.
Now there are a few dial color options if you watched the video and even more if stretch goals are released. The Pastel blue is the color we have in hand today and it is quite stunning in person. It gives off nice hues of pastel to baby and light blue colors which matches nicely with the black ceramic 120 Click Lumed bezel. Nice details such as the large and legible multi-shaped applied markers and raised text at 12:00 and 6:00 give this watch a distinct and classy look. If I did not mention, the markers, hands, and bezel are filled with plenty of BGW9 lume which glows blue and is quite potent if you watched the video. ( More will be added on bezel ). The crystal featured of course is a genuine ar coated sapphire which keeps things legible in high light conditions ( one more layer added in production ). Overall, it is what a dive watches dial is supposed to be - legible - easy to read - and well proportioned.
This watch is powered by the trusty SW200 automatic Swiss Made caliber, and at a Kickstarter launch price of $385 I think this is what we should be getting. This movement contains 24 jewels, hacking, hand winding, and a 38 Hour power reserve. It is a movement that can last some years if properly taken care of every so often. In terms of accuracy it all depends, but I have found that most watches with Selittas are usually more accurate than off the shelf ETA 2824s.
The solid steel brushed bracelet is fitted with solid end links and tapers down to 18 at the clasp. It is a rather comfortable one with an H link pattern, screw links, and a custom clasp with 6 micro adjustments for precise fit. The links themselves are articulating which makes it easier to wear and mold to the wrist. It is a good quality bracelet I must admit and I do not believe any shortcuts were taken here. A nice detail in the clasp is the polished sides which do match the polished flanks of the Gin Clear bracelet.
Furthermore, I think for their first model from a new company with a Pre Order price below $400 for this style and spec is not a bad offering at all. The quality is definitely there as is the thought. I like that this watch represents a true dive/tool watch and at the same time I an picture myself wearing this dressed in a suit for work, or just casually wearing a pair of shorts on a hot summer day. It certainly is a versatile piece, and a very useful one that can be worn daily.
Available for Pre Order March 1st $199
The case of the new successor by 94 is comprised of solid brushed stainless steel with dimensions of 40MM x 10.5MM tall. The style of this watch itself is kind of a Gerald Genta ish mixup between 94 and typical luxury genta designs, which is not a bad thing, just means you can buy something similar in aesthetic but also with the DNA of 94s designer. The brushing is decent and does not feature any sharp edges nor blemishes which I found quite nice at this $199 Pre Order price. Another good note is the 100M of water resistance which is a must for many watch buyers who know what water resistance actually means. This watch can definitely be used to swim with which helps many living in hot environments where water activities are the norm. The caseback is rather simple, screwed down - while the crown is pull and push signed with the 94 logo.
The dial is very symmetric which I appreciate without a date cutout. This black dial features applied legible C3 lume filled markers and long polished lume filled hands. The dial features a horizontal plank design which is seen in many luxury watches from Omega and such. I happen to like it and think it fits the watches personally just fine. We do get a nice flat sapphire crystal with inner anti-reflective coating which works wonders under the light and in the sun. Getting to the lume , the C3 glows just fine but do not expect seiko bright lume. However, for this type of watch, it is acceptable and the lume can still be utilized just fine. Some changes that may be taking place may be a Applied 94 logo instead of the printed one this dial currently has. Overall, it is extremely legible, versatile, meaning it can be worn in many situations from a suit to shorts.
The NH36 automatic movement is used in the successor, and for good reason. This movement features self-winding, hacking seconds, and very good accuracy. It is one of those movements that can go years and years without any issue. The movement contains 24 jewels and beats at 3HZ which equals 21,600 BPH for a smooth sweep of the seconds hand. This model itself is gaining around 5 seconds a day which is perfectly fine for me!
The bracelet had to be good on this model, because it is integrated. And the bracelet is sleek, curves nice to the wrist and features a real solid clamp down with the installed dual button butterfly clasp. The fluidity is also quite good and it curves nicely on my 6.5" wrist. Utilizing pins it is easy for any novice to adjust and seems sturdy enough for me. I think they did a good job on the bracelet which many brands going for this design fail at. The bracelet wears just as slim as the 10.5MM case without adding bulk - and I congratulate them for that.
Furthermore, I think 94 is onto something good here, and I do not see a reason why they should not be successful with the release of this model. I like all of the great specs for the $200 price, and you should too. I mean, it does check ALL of those boxes we watch nuts look for when searching for the best affordable watch we can get for our money...Best of luck to 94.