The all new and first Crafter Blue branded watches are now available for Pre-Order , dubbed the “Mechanic Ocean One”. These watches are certainly capable divers, and well built.
Case and Dial
The first thing you will notice when taking a peep at these models is the crown resides on the 9:00 side of the watch rather than the standard 3:00 position. You also might have seen some limited edition pieces brands such as Tudor put out this year in the same configuration as well. As a left handed watch wearer, it certainly is appealing to me and the crown stays far away from digging into my wrist, which is a big plus. The actual case is quite overbuilt, comprised of solid 316L stainless steel. The pieces comes in at 45MM and is 15.5MM thick. The lug width is 22MM and the overall feel is tough, robust, and meant for the water. A nice feature is the drilled lug holes, which we typically see on vintage watches - this makes swapping out your crafter blue bracelet or rubber strap super easy and effortless. The deep blue dial itself, reminds me a bit of Seiko Prospex divers with applied lumed BGW9 markers, hands, and bezel pip. The bezel itself features a UniDirectional 120 click “Pepsi” style and is really some of the best microbrand bezel action you can find. The clicks are precise with minimal play nor alignment issues, just as Steve Chans UNDIVE watch was. A nice polished lip sits a bit over the domed AR coated Sapphire crystal stating “Professional Divers 300M - Helium Escape Valve”. Yes, there is a helium escape valve located at the 3:00 position of the watch, but I doubt you will be diving to depths where you will actually utilize it. The date wheel does match the theme of the watch as well, which is nice to see.
The movement inside this watch is a regulated, and decorated Seiko NH35 automatic Japanese movement. The movement contains 24 Jewels, Hacking, Hand-Winding, and roughly 40 or so hours of power reserve. I like what they did with the brushed bridges and striped rotor, and overall it came out looking pretty sleek for an NH35.
Bracelet or Crafter Blue Rubber ?
Now, there are two options when it comes to straps. You can either opt for a slightly cheaper version which includes the Genuine Rubber end fitted Crafter Blue strap - or a beautiful solid steep bracelet with a well machines clasp. Personally, even though the bracelet is one of the better bracelets I have seen in my time for a microbrand - the CB rubber straps are just a delight to wear. I have been using a Crafter Blue end fitted strap on my Seiko SKX for some time, and these things hold up very well.
Conclusion and Pre-Order information
Furthermore, Crafter Blue products have always exemplified quality, craftmanship, and well thought out products from my past and present experiences with the company. These watches are definitely worth the asking price and certainly overbuilt, adding them to one of the elite microbrand brackets. I do understand that the lefty crown is not for everyone, but it is different and not something you see so often. The Pre-Order pricing gets you a 15% discount from retail price at $510 USD down too $499.( BRACELET VERSIONS ) If you love the vulcanized scented rubber straps - you are looking at $425 Pre-Order. I think if you are down for a look, and a serious well constructed no nonsense diving watch, this watch could be for you. Thanks for reading.