For as long as I have been doing this, I sometimes feel like I have at least seen – or heard – of many of the watches that are out there. Sure, new brands pop up, but a lot of the styling can be considered to have some derivative roots (good, bad, or otherwise) to what preceded it. And then I get a pleasant surprise via a comment on one of my Instagram photos mentioning that I might light to check out the watches from Terra Cielo Mare (disclaimer, it was not from a representative of the brand, as far as I know). And wouldn’t you know it, they do have some clever designs. Today, we’re taking a look at what I feel is their most colorful, the Terra Cielo Mare Orienteering BP.
I have not reviewed many Italian watches, but they (the Italians, that is) are certainly renown for a sense of style, and for me, that comes through on the Terra Cielo Mare Orienteering BP. What drew me to requesting this particular model for review were the colors, and that impression held up once I had it in hand (and on wrist). On paper, a black dial with four other colors (white, yellow, blue, and red) seems like it would be entirely too chaotic, but that was not the case at all. White is the dominant secondary color, courtesy of the filled handset and the applied numerals. Blue and yellow are used for hemisphere indications (more on that in a bit), and then red for indicating compass directions.
The other great bit of color comes courtesy of the blue strap on the Terra Cielo Mare Orienteering BP. Usually, I am not really a fan of distressed, crackled leather on a strap. I’m not sure if it’s the hue, the finishing, or what exactly, but I really quite became a fan of this strap. I only wish it was in 20mm (rather than 22) so I could have tried it on some of my other watches! As it is, it pairs quite nicely to the black PVD case, and the orange stitches near the lugs add another hit of color to things. While the colors of the straps on the other Orienteering models vary, they do carry that same distressed look.
Now, what about that Orienteering part of the Terra Cielo Mare Orienteering BP? While you can certainly orient yourself with just about any analog watch (which we wrote about here), this watch sets itself up as having that as a primary purpose (well, after telling the time). The process is something you can read about on their page, it’s pretty simple. First off, you have to orient the watch so that the red-tipped hour hand is pointing in the direction of the sun. Then, you unscrew the crown at 2 o’clock (revealing a red crown tube) and rotate the inner bezel to get the current time (careful of your hemisphere) up at the 12 o’clock position. Lock the crown in, and then you have your compass points indicated correctly, provided you keep the watch oriented towards the sun (and take care to reset as time progresses).
Now, this is indeed a well-sorted trick, and certainly sets the Terra Cielo Mare Orienteering BP apart from other watches. In terms of daily usage? At least for someone like me, it’s not something I would use regularly, so the details that facilitate the direction sense really are more colorful accents than anything (and, for my eyes, a tad hard to read). Realistically, if you are headed out in the wild, you probably are carrying a compass already, or perhaps even an ABC sort of a watch. What does that mean for the Terra Cielo Mare Orienteering BP, then?
I think it has a couple of purposes. First off, it just plain looks good, and sets itself apart from other ETA-2824 powered three-handers. Second, it reinforces the idea that you can indeed use an analog watch to tell your direction, without having to remember all the steps. Oh, and if you need your directions at night, they do include a simple star map on the case back (another cool touch, if you ask me). Finally, it just shows you that a watch can be designed with functionality that, while you may not use it all the time, it does not detract from the overall aesthetic, and, instead, enhances it.
In terms of daily usability, there is absolutely no problem reading the time or the date quickly. The 44mm case is on the upper end of what I consider comfortably wearable, but it did fit my wrist well, with it’s shortened and angled lugs. Offsetting the bezel crown to 2 o’clock, and moving the main crown to the 9 o’clock position (aka, a “lefty” watch) also helps immensely with comfort, as you do not have to be concerned about a crown digging into your wrist. The case is perhaps a bit taller than I might like to see on a non-diver (100m WR here), but, as with the diameter, the 94g Terra Cielo Mare Orienteering BP manages to wear a bit smaller than the specs might suggest. Coming in at a price of €2450 (approx $2,580), the Terra Cielo Mare Orienteering BP is definitely a three-hander unlike any you’ve seen before. Well, unless you’ve seen World War Z – then you’ve seen this watch on the big screen. Unlike the zombies, though, this watch actually has utility (and exists) in the real world. terracielomare.it
- Brand & Model: Terra Cielo Mare Orienteering BP
- Price: €2450 (approx $2,580)
- Who’s it for?: This is for the outdoorsy guy who wants a basic Swiss watch with a healthy dose of style
- Would I wear it?: Indeed I would – it was a fun change of pace.
- What I’d change: I wonder about a non-orienteering model. Drop the inner bezel, shrink the diameter. Would the charm of the watch still hold?
- The best thing about it: For me, it’s all about the colors, which are used to great effect on the dial and the strap. And whoa, that strap!
- Automatic charge Eta 2824 movement with calendar
- Grade 2 titanium case with through screws and black PVD treatment
- Solar compass function ®
- Back case with titanium medallion and blue PVD treatment
- Antiscratch and antireflection sapphire chrystal
- Two screw crowns
- Dial with turning bezel for orientation
- Waterproof up to 10 atmospheres
- 44mm diameter
- Numbered edition
- Strap in English leather, handcrafted in Italy, with Terra Cielo Mare stitches
- Italian design, Swiss made