As a veteran watch collector, it may be simple to overlook at instances that the core of this interest is de facto about having enjoyable. Fanatics can often get so caught up in chasing the “appropriate watch” for a set that they overlook to put on what makes them glad, and that typically a dose of enjoyable could be each bit as satisfying as all of the provenance and pedigree on the planet. The brand new Bulova Oceanographer “Satan Diver” is a textbook instance of this, bringing each a surprisingly devoted revival of the unique 1972 Bulova Oceanographer diver and a vibrant playfulness to the desk.
Whereas the present Oceanographer line was first launched in 2018, the case designs up so far have been sized at a thoroughly modern 44mm. For this new revision, nevertheless, Bulova has compacted the stainless-steel type all the way down to a extra ‘70s-accurate 41mm. Even at this extra reasonable dimension, the brightly polished C-case of the Oceanographer “Satan Diver” nonetheless carries loads of wrist presence. The practically full polish catches the sunshine at each angle, and even with the sloping curve of the case across the wrist, the vertical case sides have a pleasingly stable visible weight. Likewise, the coin-edge bezel feels strong and substantial, with a satisfyingly heavy and exact really feel by every of its 120 clicks. The acrylic bezel insert provides the Oceanographer “Satan Diver” an additional injection of classic type, with a shiny end and a vibrant orange and black scale. Bulova tops off this extremely vertical design with a double domed field sapphire crystal that offers the dial only a trace of old-school distortion at indirect angles. Like earlier Oceanographer fashions, Bulova opts for a cyclops magnifier above the three o’clock date window, however in follow, the lens doesn’t appear to have a serious impact. The screw-down pillbox crown is easy and useful, topped with the model’s throwback textual content brand, and helps this diver ship a decent 200 meters of water resistance.
Naturally, when speaking in regards to the dial of this explicit Bulova Oceanographer “Satan Diver,” there’s one thing of an elephant within the room. With the tall sloping C-case, quick vast handset, and vibrant orange crosshair dial, there’s greater than a passing resemblance to the traditional Doxa Sub 300 Skilled right here. Whereas orange dial vintage-inspired dive watches are admittedly a slender area of interest, there’s definitely room for multiple mannequin on this area, and Bulova has a historical past of professional-oriented orange dial divers of its personal relationship again to the ‘70s. In follow, the “Satan Diver” provides a markedly totally different and flashier interpretation of this system, beginning with the matte orange tone of the dial itself. It is a vivid, traffic-cone, nearly DayGlo orange tone, a colour that stands out even when seen throughout a room. On a bigger watch, this is perhaps overwhelming, however with a comparatively small dial for its 41mm diameter, the “Satan Diver” comes off as daring and playful moderately than garish.
The sector dial design and utilized Bulova brand at 12 o’clock are each carried over from the ‘70s unique, as is the namesake “666 Ft” dial textual content at 6 o’clock. Whereas so many vintage-inspired designs compromise with a extra trendy typeface, right here the printed black textual content is crisp and period-correct with a contact of classic character shining by within the italic “snorkel” textual content. Maybe essentially the most intriguing classic carryovers, nevertheless, are the distinctive utilized indices. Somewhat than easy printed lume plots or polished metallic markers, the indices of the “Satan Diver” use a miniature crystal cylinder mounted in a metallic body nearly like a diamond setting with lume on the backside of the cylinder. These indices have been an Oceanographer hallmark for the reason that line’s introduction, and the tip result’s fascinating, including miles of visible depth to the dial to match the verticality of the case. The crystal covers do little to dim the efficiency of the lume as properly, as each the indices and the stout baton arms shine vigorously with stable longevity.
Bulova powers the Oceanographer “Satan Diver” with the Miyota 821D computerized motion. Whereas accuracy is spectacular, averaging +eight.four seconds per day throughout the assessment interval, a number of the 821D’s specs could also be contentious with fans. The beat charge is a comparatively low 21,600 bph with a decent energy reserve of 42 hours, whereas the motion typically reveals a classic type “hesitating seconds” attributable to its oblique drive format. Lastly, the 821D doesn’t hack. Whereas these options could show divisive, additionally they add to the classic sporting expertise in a manner, delivering a extra genuine early ‘70s really feel than a contemporary ETA or Sellita powerplant.
The Bulova Oceanographer “Satan Diver” comes outfitted with a curved-end rubber strap in black. Whereas this strap flows nearly seamlessly into the case and contains a properly executed crosshatch texture insert, the thickness of this strap modifications the sporting expertise of the watch considerably. Though the case itself curves dramatically downward, the strap tasks outward noticeably earlier than wrapping across the wrist. This leads the comparatively compact case to really feel longer on the wrist. The rubber itself is perhaps supple and cozy, however this projection and the curved ends detract barely from the classic really feel of the remainder of the watch. That stated, this could be a main candidate for a tropic strap or Milanese bracelet to drive residence the early ’70s diver ethos.
Combining each devoted classic replica and enjoyable right into a single dive-ready bundle, the brand new 41mm Bulova Oceanographer “Satan Diver” stands as each a playful summer time assertion piece and a willful counterpoint to a lot of its competitors. The place many gamers at this value level soften their vintage-inspired dive watch designs with trendy reimaginings, Bulova sticks to its weapons to ship a much more authentically classic expertise than its direct rivals. For that purpose alone, this needs to be a real contender, and the sheer quantity of pleasure on this design makes it a tough one to beat. The up to date Bulova Oceanographer “Satan Diver” is on the market now by licensed sellers and on-line at an MSRP of $750. For extra particulars, please go to the brand’s website.
>Mannequin: Oceanographer “Satan Diver”
>Worth: $750 USD
>Measurement: 41mm-wide, 14.5mm-thick
>When reviewer would personally put on it: As a summer-wear classic assertion piece for holidays or dive journeys.
>Buddy we’d suggest it to first: A ‘70s classic type fanatic, or a diver buff on the lookout for a Doxa different.
>Greatest attribute of watch: Vibrant colour and intensely devoted replica of the unique ‘70s dial and bezel, distinctive indices.
>Worst attribute of watch: Thick rubber strap disrupts the stance on the wrist, old-school motion specs could also be a turn-off for some.