Microbrand dive watches – love em or hate em, there are always new and interesting ideas being put out there. The Okeanos Explorer from the Heitis Watch Company is one of them. It was funded on kickstarters, features a few bold colorways, was conceived of from the singular vision of 1 person, and features a Miyota movement. If this isn’t the definition of microbrand dive watch, then I don’t know what is.
The Heitis Okeanos Explorer is the ultimate Hi-Beat dive watch with unsurpassed quality and value throughout the piece.
Buffalo is located on the shores of Lake Erie. Lake Erie is one of the mighty Great Lakes, the largest freshwater source in the world. This was the inspiration for the Heitis Okeanos Explorer. “Okeanos” is the mythological god of freshwater and this watch bears his name. This watch features 200 Meters of water resistance and has a nautical theme throughout the timepiece.
Cool case! The Heitis Okeanos Explorer comes in a very nice double-sided padded leather case, with a zipper all the way around. Given that most watches lately either come on a plastic or cushiony pillow, or flat in a box, it was a nice change to see this one in a padded leather case – something that actually seems functional for travel and storage, rather than simply shipping and delivery.
First impressions of the watch are that it’s pretty big! At 42mm, it’s certainly pushing forward the trend that “bigger is better”. The heavy stainless steel bracelet is matching and attractive – if not a bit rough around the edges. Also since it’s a diver, should it have a diver extension? The fabric NATO strap included in the case was a welcome edition – as soon as I swapped out the bracelet for the NATO, the thing came together.
On the Wrist
Once I got over the size of it, the watch feels great. I loved the blue and yellow colors, matched perfectly with the NATO strap. Legibility for every day wear was just fine – however the high polish bezel and hands made for lots of sparkles in the sunlight. Given how many diver watches are out there, I was proud to wear this one around town – it’s a bit more stylized and bold than your typical SKX, the yellow colors “pop” off the wrist and compliment the yellow in the band, and the size makes it feel like you’re making a bit of a statement.
- Time – Seems to keep accurate time over the week I wore it. The Miyota Hi Beat 9015 movement is a solid workhorse, and I expect this movement to give good service for many years.
- Date – Yep, you see the day of the month. Of note, I thought it was interesting that the day number is rotated in step with the the 4-o’clock position on the dial. It might have been a fun twist to straighten this back out on the wheel and square it up on the dial – especially to match that very square and stylized font on the big numbers.
- Think about squaring up the date window and doing a custom date number wheel to make the numbers align straight up and down to compliment the square-ish font on the big numbers.
- Big bit of feedback – it really feels like the brushing on the case and the polishing on the bezel are mismatched. When looked at in direct sunlight, it’s obvious that those piece are two different types or grades of metal – their colors don’t match perfectly. This mismatch makes it seem like the bezel is of lower grade metal than the case. Something that kept giving me second thoughts the whole time I was wearing it.
- Brand & Model: Heitis Okeanos Explorer
- Price: USD$529
- Who we think it might be for: Dive watch collector into microbrand watches with different styles and colors. This is a pure microbrand play – so pick it up if you’re truly into these microbrands and all of their quirks and weird features.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Improve the matching of the case and bezel.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: Gotta appreciate the determination of the brand founder, and push to be releasing new fashion0-forward watches with a bit of maritime history. Nothing in particular spoke to me about the design, but I do appreciate the guy who made it.
- Case Diameter: 42MM Polished Outside Ring Brushed Inside
- Case Thickness: 12.3MM
- Dial: 34.5MM Deep Press Plaid Matte
- Crown: 6MM Screw Down With Deep Press Logo
- Lug Width: 22MM
- Lug-to-Lug: 50MM
- Crystal: Sapphire, Single Dome with Anti Reflective Coating on the underside of the Crystal
- Case Material: Stainless Steel 316L
- Caseback: Screw Down Stainless Steel 316L with Deep Press Okeanos Explorer Logo
- Bracelet: 22MM, Solid Stainless Steel 316L with Double Safety Clasp
- Water Resistance: 20ATM (200 Meters)
- Mechanical Movement: Automatic, Miyota Hi Beat 9015