Anstead Oceanis Watch Review: Decent Cheap Diver

Anstead Oceanis Watch Review: Decent Cheap Diver

Anstead Oceanis Watch Review: Decent Cheap Diver   wrist time watch reviews

Despite the fact that the timepiece industry is generally moving towards smaller, thinner, dressier wristwatches cut from precious metals, the popularity of large steel cased tool/diver watches isn’t going away.  Not by a long shot. Enjoying ongoing affection in the sub-$3000 category is a whole array of bulky mechanical timepieces designed for consumers who fancy themselves adventurers. Although I would speculate that very few of these timepieces actually see the bottom of the Pacific, the top of the Himalayas, or jungle combat, that doesn’t stop them from being cool watches with tremendous design appeal.

Joining the ranks of perennial favorites such as MkII, DOXA, Marathon, Ocean7, Kobold and the like is newcomer brand Anstead - designed in the USA by brand namesake and Veteran Naval Officer Tom Anstead. They recently sent along their first model, the Oceanis, for us to wear and review. The Oceanis is the first release in what they are promising will be a line of timepieces inspired by Naval Combat, and it shows promise.

Anstead Oceanis Watch Review: Decent Cheap Diver   wrist time watch reviews

First, the details:  The Oceanis features a large 316L stainless case with dimensions of 44mm wide x 14.30mm tall, giving it the substantial wrist presence popular with tool watch buyers.  The watch features a solid case back as well as an anti-reflective coated sapphire crystal that fits ever so slightly above the downward sloping bezel.  The case has a depth rating of 300 meters.

The black dial is clean and uncluttered, featuring luminescent markers for both 12 and 24 hour timekeeping, with Explorer-esque Arabic numerals at 6,9 and 12.  A day and date function sits at 3, which can be quickset using the large locking screw-down crown.  The minute and hour hands have a healthy dose of SuperLuminova, as does the orange-tipped sweep seconds hand.

Anstead Oceanis Watch Review: Decent Cheap Diver   wrist time watch reviews

The Oceanis, despite its brutish size, is a handsome piece, and manages to incorporate iconic tool watch design motifs without being a straight up “homage” watch like others in its category. The most defining characteristic of the Oceanis is without a doubt the Sawtooth bezel. The bezel is vaguely reminiscent of designs from Kobold or Fortis, but is much more “raw” and definitely gives the Oceanis its character. The bezel ratchets unidirectionally with 120 clicks, and has engraved markers and a SuperLuminova plot for timing dives in low light conditions.

The piece comes on a 24mm brown genuine leather strap with contrast stitching, and is supplied with an additional black rubber dive strap. Both have branded buckles. I found that the leather strap, despite its thickness, broke in very nicely after just a few days of wear. Although the whole watch wears very large on my wrist, the leather strap in particular was very comfortable and balanced the piece nicely... (more »)

20 comments
PhilMaurer
PhilMaurer

Sry James...  Looks like all Serious Diver watches have the date on them.  But I think your on to something!   I'll call Omega and tell them to stop production of the ploprof and all other Seamasters, and then go to Rolex and have them pull the date off.  Better call COMEX also have them stop requesting watches with the date.

I personally agree with you, and will never again even consider a Lunar complication as I can just go outside and look at the moon.  I will never buy a diving watch that does not have the ability to have a wetsuit expansion on the bracelet.


I'm also going to sell off all of my now worthless Speedmasters that have a stupid date on them as while I am using the Speedmaster for their intended purpose to help my navigation in rallies, and estimate out my fuel loads the date is 100% worthless.  

I will also be joining the army and enlisting in artillery so that I will not be an idiot when I wear my vintage omega with a telemtre bezal.  Thankfully the gift watch I got for a friend with the Pulsations marks had a Son in Med school, so that watch went to a usefull home, I was worried!!!!


You know what come to think about it, why even sell a low end diving watch?  No Divers use them anymore, we use diving computers, there are around 1,000 deep sat divers in the world, and they would never use a watch with this rating!   Heck a Deep Sat diver doesn't even need a watch as he has a full support crew on the service taking care of all the calcs anyway!  DEATH TO ALL DIVING WATCHES!!!!!

DG Cayse
DG Cayse

Interesting watch. The mentioned quibbles are, IMO, minor.

Day & Date...not needed, but almost a standard for many people. So, give the client what they expect.

Crystal above bezel - Valid point, but not a deal breaker. (saying this as someone with rather wide shoulders and scratch marks on the bezels and most crystal of almost every watch I own)

Leather strap (with an included rubber one) - nice offering. How about a metal bracelet as an option?

I like the Seiko mov't. In reading their web site I get the impression that it was a compromise based on item price. Its a good caliber - but not an outstanding one. Its a 21.6k caliber which many today consider less than the preferred 28.8k. Its accuracy rate is not particularly impressive. But hey, if you want accuracy - get a quartz...right?

Maybe something in a Miyota 9215 (or 8215) or a Seagull 28.8k would have been  a worthy choice. For the intended use, durability and shock-resistance appears to be a major consideration...in the designers eye.

I hope this signals a slow trend towards rational pricing. Well, one can hope.

All and all...not a bad 1st offering. I hope they make a lot of money and look forward to their next one.


Will_F
Will_F

Nice looking watch with nice features for a great price. The presence of a date function is not a problem for me, but the size is.  I'm no longer a fan of watches over 42 mm and I prefer 40 mm and under.   

jmfloresa
jmfloresa

Dial it's a kind of a... mix-match of sea  & air  watch features, works fine for me.  Now,  if they are able to get the day/date digits white on black, this watch will outstanding, setting it apart from the other price range  (or greater) dive-watches.  

mattsh
mattsh

I purchased the watch when it was still a Kickstarter project, and I must say that I like it a lot.  Initially, he did not have a second strap option, but added a branded silicone strap as an optional purchase based on feedback from backers.  Since I do dive, I bought the strap, though I have yet to get the watch wet.  I am fine with the day/date window.  It is far more readable than on some of my other watches, and since 99% of the time it is not going to be used for diving, why not have it, as long as it is readable.  The lume on the watch is well done, and I don't really see the hands as being wimpy.

I have not noticed the same finish issue with the brushing, though there is an angle between the area of the watch under the bezel and the lugs, so the two surfaces catch the light at different angles.  My only complaint about the watch is that the bezel is tight.  Very tight.  It might just be an early production issue, and it might loosen over time (and tight is better than loose), but adjusting it takes a definite purpose.

Ryan B
Ryan B

Lots of people wear dive watches all the time (me) so a day/date window really isn't a bad thing.

Dan Baxter
Dan Baxter

How many Seiko dive watches use the 7S26 movement and take advantage of the day wheel as well as date?  Because so many people don't want a 1 trick pony watch, having something that can go from the ocean to the office is attractive.  

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

I'm much less offended by having a day/date on a dive watch than I am with this wimpy handset - they look downright feminine on this dial. A serious dive watch should have a serious handset.

Also, what kind of dive watch review doesn't show a good lume shot? Review fail.

Lesthepom
Lesthepom

I think this is a whole lot of watch it may look like a divers watch but I doubt that a diver worth his salt would potentially buy this watch but I suspect anybody looking for a watch that will take a few knocks could do worse than this one at this price I think this one tick all the appropriate boxes this I think is another one that would make an entry level watch for a new collector and would make a good gift

John Spear
John Spear

I think it's a very nice looking watch, and I don't mind the day/date. In fact, I prefer it since it adds additional useful functionality all around. My Seiko divers have day/dates and I take those diving and wear them around the office. The raised bezel is the big issue with me since I have smacked watches on walls. I prefer a recessed crystal.

mattsh
mattsh

@PhilMaurer You don't need to kill of the diver watch.  Just rename it.  In reality, 99% of the time anyone sets the bezel, it is done to time a parking meter.

mcv1973a
mcv1973a

Good luck with that. Tried contacting the company to ask some questions... no answer. Guess since I'm not in the Navy, my questions are irrelevant.

PhilMaurer
PhilMaurer

@jmfloresa  Since this is a sieko movement, any of the sieko modders can put in a black with white text day/date wheels.

gleam
gleam

@Kris C Also, complaining about day/date on a serious diver but not complaining about the fact that it comes on leather? It should come on rubber if they're too cheap to supply a bracelet.

Honestly, this watch is at an awkward price. It sits between the new 4r36-based monsters and the 6r15-based Seiko sumos. I think both are better divers than this. Hardlex is much more shatter-resistant than sapphire, they come on bracelets or rubber instead of leather, and they're ISO 6425 certified.

This is a fashion watch with decent guts.

Ryan B
Ryan B

@Kris C  agree, a lume shot should be standard on a watch review

Will_F
Will_F

@gleam @Kris C I own more than one diver that isn't ISO 6425 certified including a sub, so I don't know if that makes much difference to most divers. Probably does to some but it doesn't to me.  Personally I prefer sapphire over hardlex, but I understand the hardlex.preference. 

Leather on a real diver is useless, but I admit I do have a couple divers I put on leather just because they look good that way and it's easy enough to switch to rubber before going in the water.


SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

Read twice, type once - the watch comes with leather AND rubber.

To be honest, leather on a dive watch is no longer an offence, it's a common and widely accepted practice. Taking the Paneristi into accound as dove watches, I would have to say that damn near 50% of the strap requests I get are for 'dive' watches, and most people are not shy about the fact that they like dive watches even if they never intend on getting them wet.

gleam
gleam

@Kris C Whoops. Just saw that his came on leather. 

Putting leather on a diver is fine, if you want a fashion watch. For the reviewer to talk about it like it's a serious tool watch but wear it on leather? Stupid.

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  1. […] Despite the fact that the timepiece industry is generally moving towards smaller, thinner, dressier wristwatches cut from precious metals, the popularity of large steel cased tool/diver watches isn’t going away. Not by a long shot. Enjoying ongoing affection in the sub-$3000 category is a whole array of bulky mechanical timepieces designed for consumers who fancy themselves adventurers…. read more » […]