Dive Watch Releases / Articles


UTS 4000M Diver REVIEW

BACKGROUND For more than a decade now, UTS München have been producing high-quality, German engineered, Swiss powered mechanical dive watches. Handmade in a small workshop by a fastidious mechanical engineer, who had previously been in charge of solving complex technical manufacturing problems for well known watch companies, and industrial clients; Nicolaus Spinner personally hand-builds, finishes, assembles and tests each UTS watch himself!

In 2004, UTS produced what was at the time, one of only a few 3000 meter water-resistant watches. It garnered itself a considerable amount of attention and was given an almost cult-like status by dive watch aficionados and connoisseurs, who revered it for its simplicity of design and remarkable feat of engineering. The UTS 4000M is simply the evolution of that watch; bigger bolder and deeper; it is everything that the 3000M was and more . . .

PACKAGING The 4000M comes in a Pelican water-tight protective case of the type that has become a ubiquitous dive watch delivery system; however UTS were in fact one of (if not the) first dive watch purveyors to present their watches in such a way. Inside the indestructible black plastic case was the 4000M, a black rubber divers strap with a steel buckle, a strap changing tool, a small round container (with spare links for the bracelet) and the 4000M’s warranty and instruction booklet.

DIAL The 4000M’s glossy black dial is made up of three parts. The first (inner) portion, which is ever so slightly recessed, has a beautiful concentric Guilloché pattern (much like a vinyl record) with Arabic numerals in white at 3, 6, 9 and 12. The single digit numbers have been prefixed with a ‘zero’. Below 12 is the UTS name, above 6, the watch’s water-resistance, and at 5, a black date window.

The second (outer) section features large white baton and dual trapezoid (12hr) shaped hour markers with minute indications in-between. A third outer ring slopes down from inside bezel wall, echoing the hour markers, which kind of gives the illusion that the hour markers are refracting.

The black dial is perfectly complimented by a white handset with a block hour hand, a sword minute hand and a needle seconds indicator. The dial is perfectly balanced, however I wouldn’t have minded if the Arabic numerals had been excluded; for my mind they were a little unnecessary.

LUME The hands and dial markers of the 4000M have been applied with Swiss BG W9 SuperLuminova, which glows blue in the dark. The 12hr bezel pip has been filled with C3, which has a greenish hue. I would rate the lume at ‘very good’.

CRYSTAL The 4000M has a 6mm thick Sapphire crystal with AR-coating on its inside. Surprisingly it is flat, not domed, which is usually favored for deep divers. An industrial grade black rubber ring can be clearly seen sat between the outside of the crystal and the bezel. This unusual feature helps to keep the crystal firmly in position and is reminder that this watch was engineered rather than designed.

CASE Neither stamped nor molded the 4000M’s case has been CNC machined (in-house) from a solid block of German, surgical grade Stainless steel to within tolerances of a few thousandths of a millimeter. It takes on a simple yet elegant drum shape with UTS’s signature detachable lugs at either end. The case has a fine brushed finish. UTS believe the 4000M to be so well sealed that no Helium Escape Valve was included in its design. It measures 45mm in diameter, with a thickness of 17.5mm.

BEZEL The 4000M is fitted with a bi-directional rotational divers bezel affixed by 4 screws. Its grip is made up of 12 beautifully scalloped indentations. Its dive time scale, a combination of engraved Arabic numerals and these super-cool deep engraved corndog-style markers marked out in 5 minute increments. The steel bezel sits on a ceramic ball bearing mechanism that allows it to thud precisely through its 60-click cycle.

The bezel is securely locked in position by a locking crown system at 2 o’clock with a red dot indicator and an arrow and text indicating ‘locked’ or ‘open’ positions. You need to be eagle-eyed to read these, but it’s a cool detail. The bezel actions is unlike anything I have ever experienced as the ceramic ball-bearings somewhat dampen the clicks, but it is still very satisfying to play with.

CROWN The 4000M’s winding crown is positioned at 4 o’clock. The crown, which is signed with the UTS name is of a generous size. It features a fluted design that offers excellent grip. The crown action is excellent, the stem is rock solid – I wouldn’t have expected anything less.

CASEBACK The 4000M has massive 4 or 5mm (could be thicker) thick Stainless steel case back that is secured to the case by 8 hex-screws. The case back is engraved with 9 rows of text indicating key specifications as well as country of origin and the watch’s limited # / 200 - nothing as superfluous as an engraving of a deep sea diver or some mythological sea creature (that would have been wrong on this watch). The text actually looks really cool and is yet another reminder that the 4000M was made by engineers.

WATER-resistance The 4000M has a water-resistance of 4000 meters (400atm, 400bar, 4000m, 13,123feet). It is one of only a few mechanical watches with such a high depth-rating. It pips the Rolex Sea-Dweller DEEPSEA by a mere 100 meters. In fact Rolex made a deliberate strategic choice to rate the DS at 3900m instead of 4000m, because in Asia (a huge market of theirs), ‘4’ is an inauspicious number – I digress.

One of 4000M’s pressure defying tricks includes a 6mm thick Sapphire crystal that has not only been glued to the case, but is also held in place by a massive Stainless steel ring itself secured by 7 additional hex screws.

MOVEMENT The 4000M is powered by a Swiss automatic movement, the venerable ETA 2824-2, which provides accurate and reliable time keeping. It has an integrated ‘Incabloc’ shock-protection system, as well as a glucydur balance wheel that UTS have adjusted in 5 positions for increased accuracy. The watch keeps excellent time!

BRACELET Attached to UTS’s trademark detachable lugs is a 22mm wide 5-link bracelet in solid steel. The bracelet is of fairly generic design, but it does suit the watch well. My only complaint is that the bracelet is attached by spring bars and that the holes in which they sit poke out the other end of the lugs. If these had been big old sturdy drilled lugs, that would be fine, but these aren’t – the holes are rather timid looking things and what’s more they are positioned somewhat precariously right at the very ends of the lugs!

CLASP The 4000M’s bracelet is fitted with a steel divers ratcheting clasp. There are dual buttons on either side of it, depress one set to open ‘n’ close the clasp, depress the second to extend the clasp so that it can be easily fitted over a wetsuit. The clasp has a brushed finish with ‘UTS München’ engraved in its center. Its design is clean and modern. There is even some perlage on its underside.

However it is exactly the same clasp that is being supplied by a number of micro brands whose watches sell for a 5th of its price. It would be great if UTS could develop something themselves that was befitting of the 4000M’s majesty. Both ascetically and functionally it works very well, but I’m just not sure it’s really on par with the rest of the watch, especially when we consider the 4500euro price tag. It’s kind of like putting a Mazda door on Mercedes 500SL!

on the WRIST The 4000M weighs in at 205grams on its rubber strap and 305grams on its bracelet. I’ve been wearing it on and off for the past 2 months on its bracelet. The watch perches itself quite high up on the wrist - you’d expect that from a 4000 meter diver. However owing to its flat underside and UTS’ trademark lugs which are angled downward it is pretty damn comfortable – as subjective as that might be ;)

BUILD I have already discussed how Nicolaus Spinner personally hand-builds, finishes, assembles and tests each UTS watch, himself and how each watch is CNC machined (in-house) from a solid block of German, surgical grade Stainless steel to within exacting tolerances of a few thousandths of a millimeter. From the beautifully designed Guilloché patterned dial with its crisp white markers to the execution of the precision finished case and its components – the workmanship is flawless.

VALUE The list price of the 4000M is 4500euro, which is a tad over 6000USD. That isn’t cheap, nor should it be. The 4000M, as are all UTS watches was hand built in Germany. It was produced in a limited series of just 200 pieces. It’s not a watch for the uninitiated. It’s aimed at serious collectors, those that can truly understand and appreciate what it takes for one man to develop, engineer and build such a watch, and believe me – I am in no way trying to patronize anyone. That’s just the way it is. It takes balls of surgical grade stainless steel to throw down 6K on boutique diver, but if you ever get the chance to do so, there’s no better candidate than the 4000M!

also CONSIDER If you like deep divers but are on a slightly lower budget you might also consider the Aquadive BS 300, the Ball Hydrocarbon DeepQUEST, the Breitling Avenger II SEAWOLF or even the upcoming CH1 from Helberg. If you’re on a slightly higher budget; not much compares to the Rolex Sea-Dweller DEEPSEA. If you like over-engineered monstrosities then look no further than Hublot’s super-diver, the King Power Oceanographic 4000M.

© OceanicTime
OVERALL rating / 5
The 4000M is a watch that I had been hoping that UTS would build for a number of years now. When I got involved in dive watches it was because of my fascination obsession with high depth ratings. I already owned the 3000m Breitling Avenger Seawolf and was saving my pennies for the 3000m, Girard-Perregaux Sea Hawk II Pro. Unfortunately in those days watch sizes were getting bigger and I had kind of bought into that fad.

At 43mm; I felt that the 3000M was a little too small for me, so I never actually acquired one; in retrospect it wasn’t. Still, I can’t begin to tell you how happy I was when the 4000M was released. It mightn't be a huge departure from its sibling (it wasn’t meant to be anyway). It has the same dependable sober German engineered design. It retains much of its predecessors DNA, but at the end of the day - it is bigger, it does go deeper and is just that little bit better, I’m very glad that I waited!


  1. Excellent review. I agree completely that the one disappointment is the clasp -- it ought to be a lot more solid. Can anything be done about that aftermarket?

  2. Many thanks! There are plenty of after market clasps, I am sure, it's just a question of finding one that is big and solid. But I would miss the UTS engraving. UTS should consider developing their own.