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By TLex Probably one of the most surprising dive watch discoveries of Basel 2012 is this new mens' diver from Austrian, crystal specialist Swarovski. Surprising, not because Swarovski are a jewelry company and as such wouldn't know how to create an attractive utilitarian diver if their lives depended on it, because some can and do. But because of its innovative use of color for the case. Anyone remember the KREMKE concept DIVER?

The new SWAROVSKI Octea Abyssal Automatic is available with two case materials. A stainless steel case with either a satin or black PVD finish. Or a radical looking matte orange finished aluminum case. Both cases measure 44mm in diameter and are fitted with scratch-resistant, non-reflective sapphire crystals and are water-resistant to 200 meters. They sport black faceted ceramic bezels engraved with Arabic numerals in white, black, or orange. The caseback has an engraving of the SWAROVSKI Swan logo.  

The crowns which have been designed in such a way as to compliment the bezel teeth are also decorated with the SWAROVSKI Swan logo in polished stainless steel and then outlined in black enamel. The dials are in either matte white or black with rounded or triangular SuperLumiova applied hour markers. There's a black date indicator at 4.30. The watches are fitted with a black rubber strap with a polished and satin finished stainless steel or black PVD folding clasp, engraved with the Swarovski name.

I really want to like the Octea Abyssal, I actually do. The orange case is so unique and so apt for a dive watch. Not sure how the aluminum will hold up, though? It has an attractive rounded case with angular lugs with a black crystal centerpiece least we forget this is a Swarovski diver. The dial and bezel markers are minimal. Even the handset looks good.

But I can't get past the retched Swan logo. I can live with the swan on the caseback and the crown. I can even take the embossed swan on the rubber strap, but the Swan logo on the dial kills it for me, stone dead, I'm afraid. Nevertheless for a girlie brand like SWAROVSKI to come up with such a clean and rugged design is a pleasantly refreshing surprise, bravo!  

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