The all new Obris Morgan SeaStar 70s is definitely a watch to take a look at, especially this model. Upon initial impressions I was really blown away by the fit and finish - including some awesome accessories the watch came with. The case itself on my model is completely sand blasted and done right. It is very smooth to the hand without any sharp edges nor errors/marks. The case itself is rather thin which was a delightful surprise, coming in at 11.5MM thick with a case diameter of 39.5MM across. The watch features a 49MM lug to lug span and 20MM lugs. A nice detail referring back to most watches from the 70s are the drilled lug holes which really make swapping out straps a breeze on the SeaStar. On wrist, the watch wears very thin and almost conforms perfectly to the curvature of my 6.5" wrist. In terms of extra specs, we get a fully anti magnetic watch with the use of a metal plate hovering above the Miyota 9015 below the caseback. This is really quite smart and inovative as I have never seen a smaller company do this before. The watch also features two screw down crowns for that 200M of water resistance. One of the crowns is a HE valve for you serious divers out there - But I doubt most users really wont ever go diving...It does however give the watch a more vintage and tooly look in my opinion. Heading to the screw down caseback we get a very nice moulded seastar emblem which is very neat and detailed, for some visual excitement.
The enamel black sunburst dial is crisp, clean, legible and features hand filled BGW9 lume which glows blue on all the chrome applied indices/hands/bezel. It is rather a legible dial with a very new and simple
Obris Morgan logo below the 12:00 position, which more fans seem to like. At 3:00 we have our black date window to match the dial and a white outline to match the hands and markers. Some nice details which you may notice is the pop of Neon Green on the sweeping seconds hand which matches the green "200M" printed above 6:00. As you would expect at this $369 pricepoint the crystal utilized is an inner anti reflective coated genuine flat sapphire crystal. The 120 Click lumed bezel is a 12 hour bezel instead of our typical 60 minute dive bezel. However, if you really wanted to use it to time sixty minutes you most definitely can. One thing that was really noticeable was the smooth and precise bezel action. Now, it is not rolex buttery smooth, but its' almost there.
Most of you are familiar with the japanese made Miyota 9015 automatic caliber - as it is used widely in the watch industry. It is a 4HZ movement meaning that it beats at 28,800 BPH allowing a nice smooth sweep of that seconds hand. We get around a 42 hour power reserve and a stated and regulated accuracy of +6 seconds from Obris Morgan themselves. Now usually these movements can be a bit loud with the excessive rotor spin - BUT considering we have that anti magnetic metal plate the movement is actually rather quiet and I could not hear it whilst on wrist..
The 3 Link solid steel sand blasted bracelet is a nice one, and I dont see myself swapping out to the rubber strap for a while to be quite honest. It features screw links, solid end links, and the same level of finishing as the case. We also get a nice solid custom milled clasp along with a signed buckle which seems custom as well. It certainly suits the character of the watch and I do not see and issue with it. However, if you are a strap guy I would not hesitate swapping out for the genuine rubber strap if you want some more versatility.
Furthermore, this is my first experience with Hong Kong based Obris Morgan and I must say it has been quite a good one. The international shipping was very fast, everything pretty much exceeded my expectations from the build quality down to the bracelet and bezel action. I am not sure if it actually feels like a microbrand watch because everything is rather perfect and symmetrical down to the decimal point. I think they did a great job in all honesty and I can now see why they are one of the more popular and more respected smaller watch brands in the industry.
Save 10% on ANY Phoibos using code "watchaddiction" at checkout!
The phoibos eagle ray gmt is housed in a solid 316L steel brushed case with a diameter of 41MM and a case thickness of 10.5MM. The wingspan measures up at 47MM lug to lug and the case features 20MM lug widths. The compressor styled diver features the obvious two screw down crowns for 300M of true water resistance making this a very capable dive watch if needed to be. I do really like how the watch fits on my 6.5" wrist with its thin and slender profile which cam easily be dressed up or dressed down depending on strap options. Overall, there are no errors in finishing nor sharp edges and I really do like the slim design. The caseback features all your timezone information you will need to set another timezone on the front of the watch which really makes it a breeze if your iPhone is dead and you cannot do a quick google search..
The Dial on the Phoibos GMT is rather interesting as it fades from blue to black on the outer portion. I do like the bold applied lumed markers and the chrome outlines which make it pop a little. The hands are generally the same as the previous eagle ray which were rectangular with small needle points towards the end. Our GMT hand is bright and orange for increased legibility when you want to get a quick glance at your second time zone. The neatest part is actually the whole jnner rotating gmt bezel is fully lumed as well as the markers and hands with blue BGW9 lume which is quite potent, and lasts some time. The crystal is a domed sapphire crystal with anti reflective coating and is definitely legible at most angles in high light conditions. There are many different dial variations in terms of color, however the blue/black seems to be my favorite of the batch.
The movement utilized is actually a swiss made quartz 515 gmt caliber. These movements are certainly more reliable and accurate than an automatic gmt caliber by any means. It is nice sometimes to not have to worry if your watch is running a few days after taking it off and if the time is precise. However, I can see that some fans would of loved to see an automatic version of the eagle ray gmt- But do keep in mind the price would have been almost triple of this ( $500-$600 ) due to the increased cost of an automatic ETA gmt movement..
Rubber Tropic Band
The standard tropic rubber band is 20MM and is definitely of decent quality for this $200 pricepoint ( $180 if you use the discount code ). It is definitely comfortable and ready to wear straight out of the box without any break-in period needed. The signed buckle matches the cases finish as well which is a nice little
detail. I also think this watch would look stellar on a nice canvas or Nato strap if your feeling adventurous..
Furthermore, I think at this price - it definitely is a good value watch considering all that we get here in terms of specification and build quality. It has the sapphire crystal, great lume, good finishing, a decent strap - and a very reliable swiss GMT movement. I think all in all this could be one of the best value for money Phoibos releases so far.
Today, we will take a look at an all new microbrand based in Washington created by two watch enthusiasts. The ITHYUS ABYSSI 300M dive watch is their debut model and it seems to be hitting hard when we speak of quality for money. The 41MM x 47MM x 13MM solid stainless steel brushed case is a well finished piece of work. It has beautiful transitions of polishing beside the 22MM lugs and is really some top shelf work for a smaller company. The diameter itself really feels a bit smaller on the wrist when compared to other watches I currently own such as the Rolex Submariner which sits at 40MM. The caseback and crown are screwed down and can withstand 300M of water resistance making this a true dive watch, and a very capable one. These watches are all assembled and pressure tested in the USA - allowing for minimal error and superb quality control on their end. A nice feature is the drilled lug holes for easy swapability between a rubber strap or the stock steel bracelet. I really wish more companies would do this as it makes things a lot easier and also I can avoid scratching the backside of my case. So yes, it feels and appears to be of very good quality in terms of construction and finishing for its' $635 price.
The Black glossy dial which is covered by a Swiss sapphire crystal containing inner anti-reflective coating is extremely legible in most lighting conditions. For example, It recently snowed here in NY and when the snow hits the sun things can be hard to see...but the Abyssi was 100% legible without any issues. The dial
and bezel contain a lot of Swiss C3 blue and green lume which is extremely potent and long lasting which was a big surprise for me. If you watched the video review on our YouTube channel - you know what I am talking about. Other than that it is a pretty straightforward dive styled dial with large legible markers and lumed sword hands with a red tipped sweeping seconds hand for a pop of excitement and color. Now, the bezel is actually steel with a Titanium lumed insert which is a nice contrast with the steel. The bead blasted finish definitely gives it a "Frosty" look which I do like, somewhat similiar to the Platinum Yachtmaster besels on Rolex models. Overall, I definitely do prefer the black dial variant over their other colors / it is just a personal preference of mine.
Powering this rugged diver is the swiss made automatic caliber SW-200-1. It is essentially a ETA 2824 but produced by Selitta. These movements are widely used across the board from brands such as ORIS and even IWC/HUBLOT. A nice thing is that they do have the in house capability to regulate the movement in six positions for their customers allowing for a very precise and accurate timepiece. My example is running around 3 seconds fast a day which is well within COSC specification..
Power Reserve : 38 Hours
Jewels : 24
Beat Rate : 4HZ
Getting to this 22MM solid steel bracelet - for the most part it is very comfortable on the wrist considering it does have articulating curved links. The finish work is good and the solid end links match up to the case without any gaps. They are using the Pin and Collar system which is quite different but not really out of the norm. This collar and pin mechanism is actually much more secure than a standard screw or pin system which feels comforting. The clasp is milled and contains a small buckle which folds over and is signed with the I logo as the crown/caseback is. Im happy with the overall fit and feel on my 6.5" wrist and I only had to remove 5 links in total.
Furthermore, I believe the ITBYUS ABYSSI does add value to the microbrand world of watches. It really hits all the boxes in terms of fit, finish, movement, and specification for the ammount asked. Also, as a buyer we get the assurance of knowing our watch was tested to spec and even further beyond that. I think if your in the market for a well built everyday dive/work watch you really can't go wrong with the Abyssi.
The Marloe Beacon Morar automatic dive watch is a brand new model released by Marloe Watch Company based in the UK, with british design. The watch itself is a more casual diver in my opinion but is tested too 310M enabling it to be a true and useful companion on your deep dives. The case is solid 316L steel
and finished with a very neat bead blast. In terms
of dimensions it wears rather true to size at 40MM wide and 48MM lug to lug. The case also features a very sturdy screw down crown with great action and construction which is surrounded by large crown guards for extra protection. In terms of weight it is certainly not extremely heavy nor light with a total weight coming in at 101 Grams. Its a nice balance whether the leather or standard rubber strap is equipped and I do not get a top heavy feeling, which is a good thing. The caseback is rather interesting because it is engraved with the Spirit of the Loch ( Loch Morar is situated on the NW cosst of Lochaber in the West Highlands and is the main port for the small isles and Skye ). The "Morag" create which is seen engraved on the screw down caseback is said to have lived in this Loch for centuries and is around 30 feet long.
The grainy blueish/grey dial is rather interesting as we have sea shells shaped as the lumed markers and nice bold rectangular hands in orange and white. Other small details suchbas the 310 which pops out a bit really make this watch unique and unlike any other. We do get s genuine sapphire crystal along with a 120 Click bezel which features no backplay and lines up just fine to the 12:00 position. Now getting to the lume - the lume is actually quite potent and lasts some time as a true dive watch should. They used a combination of BGW9 and C3 superluminova which creates a nice contrast.
Powering the Beacon is the trusted and robust japanese made Miyota 8039 automatic caliber. It is essentially a miyota 9015 without the date complication. This movement features 24 jewels, hacking, and beats at 4 HZ just like an ETA 2824. The power reserve is reasonable at 40 hours and in terms
of accuracy I am getting around +6 seconds a day which is very good in my book. This movement was definitely a good choice as It helps keep costs down especially for smaller companies not producing thousands of watches each quarter.
Supplied Silicon Strap
Now - there are two options for straps with Marloe - I opted for the silicon band which is actually really comfortable and fits my 6.5" just fine with a lot of extra space incase you have a large wrist of lets say 8". The quality is decent and the strap
contains some perforated holes for breathability when on wrist. However, I think they could of upgraded the strap a bit to perhaps a nice vanilla scented genuine rubber strap and It would of gave the watch a much more luxurious feel for this $535 pricepoint. They do however have an option for a leather band which seems a bit higher end..
Furthermore, the Morar Beacon is certainly not your run of the mill Diver as it has many key characteristics that separates itself from the rest. It truly is its' own thing and is not trying to be something it's not. I like the unique details such as the shell shaped markers and multi colored lume, as well as the Loch engraved on the caseback. I think if you are in the market for a robust automatic diver and want to be a bit different from the rest - It is not a bad choice.
History Behind the Stowa Marine Classic
Today we are going to take a look at a classic and traditional piece produced by German watchmaker STOWA, that being the Marine Classic 40. This watch is based off of the original Marine Observation watches which were utilized dating back to 1939 around the time STOWA opened its' first factory. There were 239 custom
built Observation watches in total built inside wooden boxes for waterproofness and protection. These watches had to be extremely legible, accurate, and were even painted completely with luminous paint. Below, you can see an actual photo of the original STOWA movement which was used - being a beautifully crafted hand wound mechanical masterpiece.
The Stowa Marine Classic 40 has a perfect set of dimensions for my aversge 6.5" wrist. The solid steel polished case measures 40MM in diameter and stands 10.3MM tall. It features 20MM lugs and a 48.6MM lug to lug span. It really is the perfect size for todays ever so changing times. While a few years ago larger watches were a bit more standard, it seems now most traditional
companies are sticking to smaller diameters of 42 and under. In terms of finishing, I have never really had a complaint with Stowa - their finishing is very very goos for this pricepoint and definitely sits above other brands I have taken a look at such as Hamilton and Laco. In terms of water resistance, this watch does feature 50 Meters with a screw on caseback ( Classic German Tradition ) and a pull and push circular crown. The watch sits just perfectly across my wrist and rides nicely without any odd positioning at different angles. Another nice standard feature is the Sapphire crystal featured on the front of the watch and the backside for a nice clear view of the STOWA signed Swiss Made ETA 2824 Automatic calibre.
The white almost enamel looking dial definitely stays true to its lineage with great legibility and large numerals evenly distributed. I must say, this is probably
one of the most legible watches at a quick glance I have owned in a long time. A standard railroad track on the outer portion of the dial completes the look along with a reference triangle above 12:00. The thermal heated blued hands are really quite stunning to look at in the sunlight or at angles. The hands themselves are very long which I do prefer, reaching all the way out to the railroad track for better legibility and precise time telling. It is a rather simple and clean dial , and has always been like that for good reason.
Now - there are many customizable options abailable with STOWA if you didn't already know. You do have the option of movement, rotor, custom engraving on straps and movements. However, my model contains the standard Swiss Made ETA-2824-2 minus the date wheel. I have much experience with this calibre and it is used widely in the Swiss watchmaking industry as well as the German watchmaking houses. It is a rather robust and trusting movement which contains 25
jewels and beats at 28,800 BPH. This movement also feature hacking and hand winding of course with an average power reserve lasting around 38 Hours. A nice detail on my model is the custom engraving on the Rotor bearing the STOWA branding. Most of these movements are quite accurate when tuned a bit, mine being +5 seconds per day straight from Stowas factory.
My watch came stock with a very decent quality 20MM genuine cowhide leather band. The strap features a signed Stowa polished steel buckle and a solid yet thin construction topped off with black vertical stitching. Straight out of the box, the strap was basically broken jn already and comfortable. I do appreciate that, and hate when companies use super stiff straps on new watches. The backside is a light tan/white color and features branding embossed deep in the leather. Overall, it is comfortable and gets the job done with quality up to my standards. I dont think changing the strap will be necessary and you should be good to go.
Furthermore, I must say I am definitely pleased with this addition to my collection and to no surprise , I do not have a single piece that looks like this watch. I have always respected the history of true watchmakers such as German brand Stowa and others, and especially when they stay true to their lineage as Stowa most definitely does. I have not ever had a single issue with a timepiece built by them and the quality and finishing has always stood a bit higher than the actual cost. In all honesty, I can say I do recommend this brand to my readers and viewers - and hope one day you can experience them
and enjoy this brand as much as I do.
This Seiko 5 diver actually has a nice and sleek solid 316L steel case with drilled lug holes. The size is a bit biggee than norm coming in at 43.5MM x 13MM thick with a lug to lug width of 49.3MM. The watch definitely wears a bit bigger than something like a Seiko SKX but fits slimmer on the wrist. The flanks are highly mirror like polished with decent work and the tops of the 22MM lugs are finely brushed. As most Seiko 5 sports "Dive" models this watch does feature 100M of water resistance with a Pull/Push crown. I would not call it a true dive watch because of the lack of deep depth diving capability but it is certainly swimmable in most scenarios. Overall, it feels right on the wrist and does not sit out of place in any way.
The Blue sunburst dial is actually very eye catching when light hits it giving off different hues of blue. The applied markers are filled with lumibrite which gives off some decent brightness in the dark - but it does not seem to be as heavily applied in comparison to its' older brothers such as the Turtle or SKX. We get a date aperture at the 3:00 and an applied "5" logo and "Seiko" below 12:00. Personally, I always feel as if the 5 and the sports cheapen the look of the watch...but It IS a cheaper watch so I really cannot complain here. Another gripe of mine is the hands themselves...while legibile and filled with ends of lume - they just look out of place to me and I honestly do not like the semi skeletization aspect they embody. The crystal is Seiko Hardlex which is pretty common amongst most Seiko 5s and prospex models. Its obviously not as hard and scratch resistant as a true Sapphire crystal but once again we have to expect and deal with these things at lower pricepoints. Overall, it is legibile and gets the job done at the end of the day. Lastly, the unidirectional rotating Bezel is a good aspect on this model and feels pretty decent with minimal backplay and perfect alignment. ( Yay Seiko )
The common and robust Seiko 4R35 automatic movement is shown beneath the screw down caseback of this model. This movement is produced by Seiko and features a beat rate of 21,600 BPH whilst containing 23 jewels. The good aspect of this movement is the hand wind and hacking capability. Now, Seiko has a tolerance of around -35 +45 seconds a day for this movement - BUT usually they gain around 10 seconds a day max and sometimes even less.
The solid steel bracelet contains hollow end links and push pins to adjust along with a decent ammount of micro adjustments for exact fit. Its your typical seiko 5 bracelet - it works and gets the job done without looking too out of place. It does feature a stamped fold over clasp with a signed seiko buckle which is a nice touch. Honestly, if it doesnt pull hair and fits right I would leave it on the watch.
Furthermore, this watch is definitely a good piece to have as an everyday sports/leisure watch while your more expensive pieces take a break from destruction. It looks good on the wrist, comes in some nice dial
colors, and keeps fairly good time. I can definitely reccommend this watch to any experienced watch collector or someone just getting into the hobby.