Dive Watch Releases / Articles

2010-04-10

PROMETHEUS Ocean Diver Review





FIRST IMPRESSIONS
The Ocean Diver came presented in small leatherette travel case. The case itself, nice that it was, was nothing to write home about, but (I know I keep saying this); I love this kind of packaging; it makes perfect sense to me. It’s cost effect, convenient and a great space saver.

Inside the case was the watch itself (presented on a black silicone tropic-style vintage dive strap) along with a second red version of the same strap.


GOODIES
Prometheus were generous enough to include a very nice black Ocean Diver t-shirt.



AESTHETIC
The Ocean Diver is a dive watch designed in the of spirit of the great compressor cased divers of the 1960s; not so much a homage to one but a tribute to all. A tribute to iconic divers such as the Longines’ Legend Diver, IWC Aquatimer or Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Polaris. All three have seen a reemergence in the last couple of years with reissues and releases, however all three come with pretty hefty price tags. In steps the Ocean Diver; truly capturing the look and feel of these watches, but in its own unique way.



INNOVATION
Prometheus Watch Co. have developed a custom unidirectional bezel for the Ocean Diver not found elsewhere in market (especially at its price point). Its unidirectional bezel remains water tight to 300 meters, and at same time is unidirectional. Thus it is fully operational underwater. A very cool innovation when compared to other compressor cased divers on the market such as Longines' Legend Diver, which uses a screw-down bi-directional bezel, no way near as functional or as technically advanced as the humble Ocean Diver's bezel system!

A few brownie points should also be given for the silicone tropic dive strap; it’s a nice modern alternative and makes the watch, a nice finishing touch.


The Ocean Diver conception was pretty innovative, too. The product of a design competition won by a gentleman called Brian F. Green, who although received much valuable input from fellow enthusiasts should be given credit for what the Ocean Diver is today, a modern, affordable version of the aforementioned divers. "Great job, Brian, I am very much enjoying the Ocean Diver! "



CASE / DIAL
The Ocean Diver’s 44mm stainless steel case has been beautifully finished by means of micropeening, a fine bead blasting process that gives the watch a very smart yet low-key appearance, perfect for a dive watch; it won't attract the big fishies* in the sea, but will certainly attract the gazes of others!

*Actually to be honest I’m not sure how true this is, I read in a Breitling Chronolog about 10yrs that the Superocean Professional was finished as such to avoid unwanted attention from ‘aggressive’ fish’. Sounds cool though! ;)



Back to the case finish. It’s a superb modern update on what would typically be either a polished or brushed finished vintage compressor case. Could this be the first stages of the evolution of the compressor cased diver, next stage PVD?! Who knows, but I really like it and love where Prometheus have taken it.

On the top portion of the case around the circumference of the dial are eight little circular indentations, they serve no real purpose that I can see, but do add interest and in some way make the Ocean Diver feel more functional. Kind of like the grip of an external bezel.



Two large crowns protrude from the side of the case. The top crown at the 2 o’clock position operates the internal bezel. The bezel itself is of the 120 click type. It’s a pleasure to use although if you have smaller fingers than I do, it will be or all the more pleasurable, I guarantee you.

The second (screw down) crown at 4 o’clock operates the watch’s time settings and day-date functions. It has a lovely thick crown stem, no wobble to speak off. Its action is nice and precise. Both crown fascias have been cross hatched, to give that full vintage look with the added benefit of also being grippy.



I absolutely adore the case back. I think I went a bit mad photographing it, taking way more shots of it than anything else. It’s such a beautiful design. The outer portions are as the case is, bead-blasted, but there is this lovely center piece with a semi polished wave pattern design and polished coin edging round its circumference, which is so attractive and highly photogenic, see for your self.



DIAL A nice simple dial layout with a mix of hour markers and 6, 9, 12 Arabic numerals on mat-black work perfectly. The markers themselves, closer to those of the Longines Legend Diver are reminiscent of an ‘i’, personally I would have taken a simpler route myself losing the dot, but they still look pretty good.

The day / date wheel at 3 o’clock seems suitably positioned; it’s very legible. A simple hand-set ties everything together. If I had to be picky, I don’t care too much for the raised, shiny black ‘OCEAN DIVER’ text on the dial it’s a little lost and out of place in my opinion.




STRAP / BUCKLE
The Ocean Diver comes on black silicone tropic-style vintage dive strap; it adds a touch of authenticity to the Ocean Diver and is a nice reminder of where its roots lie. It is extremely comfortable. The only issue anyone ever has with silicone, especially textured as this one is; is that it’s a lint and dust magnet. The included red strap gives the watch a very sporty modern look; a must for the summer.

BUCKLE A stainless steel tang type buckle signed PWC; looks great, but is very wobbly. There’s plenty of room for improvement here. Prometheus should be looking at a new buckle.



MOVEMENT
The Ocean Diver houses a Swiss made ETA 2824 automatic. Not much to say other than it’s a great choice.




WATER-RESISTANCE
300 meters is very apt in my opinion, watches with dial to crystal ratios such as the Ocean Diver and other compressor cased divers are not typically known for their tolerance of high pressures; however one would expect to be able to put any dive watch through it paces in its intended medium, the ocean. The 300m rated Ocean Diver is quite worthy of its name ;)



FUNCTIONALITY/ WEAR-ABILITY
The Ocean Diver is WR rated to 300m, has an inner rotatable divers bezel, an automatic movement with day / date function and a good lume application. To be honest it is more dress-diver than tool-diver, but it would be more than capable of serving as a functional dive watch if need be, even though (personally) for actual diving I favor external bezels over inner bezels, which can be a little fiddly to manipulate.

WEAR-ABILITY The Ocean Diver sits beautifully on the wrist and is extremely light and comfortable owing to its silicone diver’s strap. You hardly notice you’re wearing a watch.



DURABILITY
I’m confident that the Ocean Diver would hold up very nicely over time. It has a marine grade stainless steel case, tough sapphire crystal and a very dependable Swiss automatic movement. I have no idea how well the straps would hold up though, but they should be very cheap and easy to replace, I’m sure.



LUME
I’m not really a lume man to be honest, but I would rate the Ocean Divers’ lume at good. It is not incredibly bright but held its luminosity for a good amount of time. No complaints!



VALUE
The Ocean Diver is a great compromise. It has much of the appeal of far more expensive watches from JLC, IWC or Longines; however buying one won’t mean remortgaging your house or even maxing-out your credit cards. The Ocean Diver offers exceptional value; for a very reasonable €400 you get a very nicely made Swiss dive watch that is a limited edition of 500 pieces. Sure it hasn’t quite got the caché of the above but has a certain charm and quality that you can’t usually get in a watch in its price bracket.


© OceanicTime

OVERALL IMPRESSION
Prometheus have made what was inaccessible (for some) accessible to everyone. Poor mans Vintage Compressor reissue? No! Affordable, modern, updated version of a compressor cased diver? Yes! Kudos to Prometheus for holding the design competition that bore such fruit. Kudos to Brian F. Green for his updated compressor design and kudos again to Prometheus for going Swiss it turned out to be a very smart move.

OVERALL RATING


3 comments:

  1. OMG - How did I ever miss this fantastic review? Great photos and thanks so much for the kind words, it means a lot to me that you appreciate the design and have taken the time to point out some of the finer details that often get overlooked. And yes, I am "that" Brian Green :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Brian, glad that you finally had the opportunity to read my thoughts on your GREAT design! My gf wears the watch these days - it's her favorite! ;-)

    ReplyDelete