BACKGROUND This is the Sea Captain Tungsten prototype watch from the reborn, La Chaux-de-Fonds based, Bentley.
The Sea Captain range is Bentley's first attempt at creating a line of nautical watches. I wouldn't call them true divers, as they are slightly under-par when its comes to diving features. However they aren't without merit, either!
CASE It's case is in Stainless steel with an ultra high-polished finish and beveled edges. The case has a basic rounded shape with downwardly curving lugs.
While the lug design has a slight curvature to its underside, its top is angular. The lower sides of the lugs have been recessed to accommodate a set of huge hexagonal lug screws. The screws are actually functional as apposed to being just for show - cool!
The left side of the case features a nicely sculpted crown guard that has a bit of slope to it, so that it can deflect any unwanted blows. The crown itself has a sort of cog-like design, so that it offers plenty of grip.
The bezel of this particular model (as its name suggests) is in a solid Tungsten. It is also finished with an ultra high-polish. Tungsten has remarkable robustness, so is a really great choice for the bezel. I believe the bracelet's center-links are also made of Tungsten.
DIVERs features: A tough flat Sapphire crystal with AR on its inside, a unidirectional rotational bezel with indications - no 12hr lume, though and only 100 meters of WR. This really needs to be doubled or tripled.
Then there's the scredown crown, but the caseback is only secured with little screws. The caseback does sport a very striking black ceramic Bentley 'B' emblem, though, which is made up of two pieces.
DIAL The dial is in white with Rhodium plated applied indexes and hands. The sweep-second hand has a red tip, but no lume, though. There's a date aperture at 3 o'clock.
The dial is really quite elegant looking. However despite the serpent-headed minute hand, it just doesn't feel like a diver. The only difference between this dial and that of the production model, is that it will have the text 'automatic' on it somewhere.
MOVEMENT Currently the Sea Captain family are only available with Swiss Quartz Rhonda calibers. However, this prototype watch is powered by a Swiss made ETA 2824.
BUILD quality The overall fit and finish of the watch is excellent; as it should be from a Swiss brand. The watch feels really solid. The bezel is nice and tight with a solid yet springy action. It's a really nicely built watch. Only the use of the mechanical moment is being prototyped. The case, dial etc. have all been taken from current production models.
LUME the dial markers and hands are applied with luminous material, but to be honest it isn't anywhere near where it should be for a proper divers watch. It''s only just passable. :(
BRACELET The watch comes on three-link, solid Stainless steel bracelet with Tungsten center-links. The bracelet has a finish to match its case. It is fitted with a Stainless trip-lock clasp. It isn't that it isn't any good, but it is a pretty generic clasp. The watch would really benefit from something a little more solid and little more special.
on the WRIST the watch feels quite heavy, that might be the Tungsten adding a little extra weight? It sits nicely on the wrist. It is pretty comfortable thanks to the downwardly sloping lugs. The watch has fairly low height, but because it is so highly polished and with a white dial it really stands out. Perhaps a little too blingy for my taste.
OVERALL The Sea Captain didn't disappoint on quality, but for me it lacked soul and felt a little bit too much of a generic 'diver style'. As mentioned earlier the watch is very nicely executed, it looks really elegant on the wrist, but Bentley will have to offer something a little more exceptional if they want to compete with other better known Swiss brands.
I am looking forward to a possible revision of the Sea Captain or possible serious diver from Bentley. Follow the link HERE for a few more pics of the Sea Captain Automatic Tungsten and HERE for pics of the Sea Captain Quartz Date . . .