FIRST IMPRESSION Not many watches look as good in the steel as the studio images put out by watchmakers themselves, the Subzilla was one of those that did. It looked sensational!
There is something very special and quite unmistakable about satin finished stainless steel. Maybe it’s the way in which the metal soaks up and absorbs light without so much as a glimmer or twinkle, maybe it’s the way light softens the metal making it appear almost malleable and pliant. Whatever it is, the Subzilla looks very appealing in satin and will certainly wow you. And as far a scuba diving is concerned the Subzilla shouldn’t attract any unwanted attention.
My dial type of choice; matt black with C3 Super-LumiNova™ applied indexes, a black date wheel, and one of the nicest handsets I’ve come across in a long time. A large orange plongeur-esque paddle shaped minute hand coupled with a rhodium plated dwarf hour hand completes the look. The time is easily readable at a glance.
44mm X 17mm thick / 22mm lug width. The Subzilla’s case is made by German case maker Fricker, whose customers over the last 25 years have included Oris, Tutima, Kobold and Hanhart to name but a few. But this doesn’t mean to say that the Subzilla is just another Fricker cased diver because it isn’t.
Nevertheless it is a Fricker cased diver and that in itself is usually enough to have dive watch collectors and aficionados scrambling for a piece of the action when one is released onto the market. I know of many collectors whose only focus is on such watches.
So what is it about the quality of a Fricker cased diver that keeps collectors coming back for more?
As far as the Subzilla was concerned I was immensely impressed by the attention to detail that had gone into the fabrication of the case, which itself had been milled from a single, solid block of surgical grade stainless steel. The case also houses a thick inner case made of soft iron, made to shield the watch’s vulnerable movement from the ill effects of underwater magnetic fields.
The seamless integration of the lateral automatic HEV; the effortless and uncomplicated lines of the case that come from skilled German craftsmanship are what give the Subzilla pristine look. You get the picture!
The domed caseback is very cool. It features an engraved technical drawing of a deep sea submersible.
The knurling on the crown is very attractive and has been exquisitely executed. It has been signed with a six-sided hexagon and the letter ‘K’ which is representative of KREMKE.
The bezel has been ergonomically designed with divers specifically in mind. KREMKE call this form the Super-grip Unidirectional Bezel or SUB, which facilitates ease of use when manipulating with divers gloves. The Bezel has a nice smooth, precise action and felt very secure. The bezel also features an engraved elapsed time scale to assist divers with measuring the length of their dives.
The Subzilla has an extra thick sapphire crystal which is double-domed, and has anti-reflective coating on the inside only. The double dome makes for a very mesmerizing and attractive feature.
The Subzilla is rated at 1000m or 3300 ft; is anti-magnetic to 80,000 a/m, is shock resistant and pressure-proof to 100 atmospheres.
Swiss made ETA 2824-2 mechanical automatic with 25 jewels, an incabloc integrated shock resistance system, 40 hrs power reserve, 28,800 beats per hour, hacking and a signed rotor with Geneva stripes. It keeps perfect time, well within C.O.S.C standards.
As with the case it is satin finished stainless steel with solid end links to fit flush against the case, the only way to do a bracelet in my opinion (at least on a contemporary diver). It has a micro-adjustable flip-lock clasp with diver’s extension. The clasp is a little stiff which makes opening it a little hard but nevertheless reassuringly secure. The use of screw-pins made sizing the bracelet very easy.
The Subzilla at 44mm X 17mm is a fairly large watch on paper but in fact it does wear a little smaller. The watch sits very nicely on the wrist and is tremendously comfortable.
The Subzilla uses C3 Super-LumiNova™. I would rate the lume at very good to excellent.
At 1695USD the Subzilla is by no means the cheapest diver on the market; neither is a 10,000USD Rolex DEEPSEA, you get what you pay for and KREMKE gives you a lot for your money with the level of detail and craftsmanship that has gone into producing such a fine example of a professional dive watch.
OVERALL IMPRESSION When I first heard the name KREMKE Subzilla, I was little unsure. The name Subzilla for me has always belonged to the Panerai Sub 2500m (PAM00194). BUT now I get it, and feel that KREMKE’s first diver is worthy and fitting of such a name.
The KREMKE Subzilla is the first mechanical dive watch (at least of note) to come out of Australia; Aussie watch enthusiasts should be extremely proud of KREMKE’s endeavors. A first class job has been done on the Subzilla and I’m very much looking forward to seeing what KREMKE produce in the future. Many thanks to Ian Kremke for producing such GREAT looking diver and for his outstanding service, cheers mate!