Dive watches are a favored creation of the indie crowd, and for good reason. Â For starters, theyâ€™re always a popular design. Â Even for people who do not dive (such as myself), thereâ€™s something about the idea that the watch can handle more than Iâ€™d reasonably throw at it is compelling. Â Then again, the looks of the watch have a large part to play, and dive watches have some classic cues that appeal as well. Â One of the more recent entries into the dive watch segment is the Ocean Crawler Champion Diver.
Before I ran acrossÂ theÂ Ocean Crawler Champion Diver on Instagram I had not heard of the brand. Â From what I was seeing in the photos there, I felt there was something worth checking out in person (that blue dial didnâ€™t hurt, either). Â I reached out to the brand, and even though the watch is actually sold out (more on that later) I was able to spend some time with the watch.
The first thing that struck me on theÂ Ocean Crawler Champion Diver – and likely will for most folks – is the size. Â Now, sure, a 44mm case (15mm thick) is not out of the realm of the ordinary for independent dive watches. Â Perhaps itâ€™s just my own movement away from reviewing them as much (not a conscious decision, it just worked out that way), the size becomes a bit more of a shock to the wrist, I guess. Â Then again, when you get into those bigger cases, you can do other things.
For starters, theÂ Ocean Crawler Champion Diver carries a 300m WR rating. Â While 100m will be reasonable for most folks, the extra couple hundred meters nets you a bit more peace of mind. Â Next up is the shock resistance rating, which in this case is 6000G. Â Prior to this, the highest rating Iâ€™ve seen on a watch that Iâ€™ve reviewed has been 5000G (most of theBallwatches carry this level of protection). Â Some of this, no doubt, comes from the steel. Â More importantly, though, is the movement the steel is surrounding.
For theÂ Ocean Crawler Champion Diver, theyâ€™ve used a modified Seiko 4R36b movement to help net that protection from bumps, bangs, and drops. Â While Iâ€™m not movement expert (that would be Victor, for those keeping score at home), this level of protection along with an accuracy of +/- 5 seconds per day (in three positions), well, that just seems like a good movement to have on the wrist. Â And itâ€™s not like Seiko is unknown for competent, reliable tick-tocks.
Letâ€™s move on to the aesthetics of theÂ Ocean Crawler Champion Diver. Â As I suspected from the photos, I did really dig the deep blue dial the watch has. Â Stacked on top of that youâ€™ve you the internal counter bezel, something weâ€™d be more used to seeing on a dual-crown watch. Â Here, the ring is locked in place. Â What isnâ€™t locked in place is that coin-edge bezel. Â Thatâ€™s actually a 120-click uni-directional bezel, along with the lume pip (which youâ€™d then align to the minutes on the chapter ring). Â This mixes things up a bit, and I think the bezel design works well for us desk diver types.
Under the thick domed sapphire crystal of theÂ Ocean Crawler Champion Diver, youâ€™ve got some thickly applied lume, with numerals and indices that stand out nicely against the dark dial. Â The hands are also lumed, of course, and they contain another design surprise. Â When you first look at them, they look almost like arrows, or perhaps stacked triangles. Â This is just a matter of how the hands are painted. Â Nearer to the pinion, theyâ€™re outlined in black, and then they transition to another color – white on the hour hand, and the oh-so-dive-watch orange on the minute hand. Â Itâ€™s an interesting look, and one Iâ€™m surprised Iâ€™ve not seen more of in the past.
Now, when I started talking about theÂ Ocean Crawler Champion Diver, I mentioned that the $999Â watch is sold out. Â Thatâ€™s true, at least direct from the brand. Â They do have a partner on Amazon that has some in stock for $949. Â However, lucky reader that you are, you can use the coupon code OCEAN201 (which is valid until October 28) to drop that price down to $711. Â If you want to pick one up, and miss out on that remaining stock, just be patient. Â Weâ€™ve gotten word that the brand will be introducing three new dial designs in this case at the end of October.
And with that, weâ€™ll wrap things up with our review of theÂ Ocean Crawler Champion Diver. Â It has a design that mixes things up a bit will still retaining classic dive watch cues, and brings a movement into the mix we do not commonly see from independent brands. Â It is a big watch, so it may overpower smaller wrists, but on either the included rubber or leather straps, it will be a bold everyday sort of a companion. Â oceancrawler.com
- Brand & Model:Â Ocean Crawler Champion Diver
- Price:Â $999
- Whoâ€™s it for? Â Whether or not you dive, youâ€™re looking for a rugged watch that will take just about whatever you can throw at it
- Would I wear it? Not regularly – itâ€™s just too thick for my everyday preferences
- What Iâ€™d change: Â Just some overall shrinkage, both in the thickness and the lug-to-lug
- The best thing about it:Â In this one, itâ€™s the details – things like the coin-edge bezel and the stacked-triangle look you get out of the handset
Tech Specs from Ocean Crawler
- Movement: Â Caliber OC729 (modified Seiko 4R36b);Â +/- 5 seconds/day in 3 positions
- WR: Â 300m
- Shock Resistance: Â 6000G
- Domed sapphire crystal (4.5mm thick) with AR coating
- Case Diameter (excluding crown): 44.2mm
- Case Thickness: 150mm, Lug-To-Lug: 51.8mm, Lug Width: 22mm
- Case Material: 316L Stainless Steel
- Bezel: Unidirectional Rotating Bezel with 120 Clicks and Swiss SuperLuminova Marker