A watch like this one turns heads. Stalingrad, a watch company that essentially builds watches that come from some alternate steampunk Soviet timeline, has released a bronze diver called the Kursk and it’s a real beast.
The 45mm piece consists of a lumed face with California-style indicators that feature geometric shapes and Roman numerals at the top and Arabic numerals on the bottom. This style, designed in 1942 for maximum readability underwater, give a bit of a kick to this monster and the lumed hands are eminently readable.
It comes in blue, black, and green. The green is unique in that it has a rugged, pitted bezel that looks like it was pulled off a sunken wreck.
Two peeves: A small date window at three o’clock is superfluous as is the unmarked bezel which turns but is otherwise unmarked. I asked the team why they added it and they said it was just because people liked fiddling with it. Fair enough.
That blasé answer gives you some idea of the target for this watch. At $600 it comes in far lower than similar bronze pieces from Oris and others but the size and style are the real draw here. A beefy watch like this is a statement more than an effort at absolute utility and, given the automatic movement and clear homages to dive watches of the past, it’s more of a fashion/tool watch than anything you would wear while exploring the briny depths – although its rated for 200 meters.
As for the name I’m going to just put this out here: if you know your Russian history you probably won’t want to take this watch too deep. The Kursk was an atomic submarine that sunk in the Barents Sea and 118 crew were killed. It’s not exactly the image you want to put out there when it comes to diving watches but I guess they did it with the Titanic DNA watch so who are we to judge?
In the end, you have to decide if this beefy watch is for you. I love bronze watches and I really like what the designers have come up with here. It’s a large watch, to be sure, and it wears big. It’s a statement piece and, given all the heavy-handed Russianism going on in the branding an design, an acquired taste. That said, at least you’ll be able to see its big, bold watch face for a few more hours than the next guy if you go down with the ship.