Exclusive: Helson Titanium Gauge Watch Review

Exclusive: Helson Titanium Gauge Watch Review

Exclusive: Helson Titanium Gauge Watch Review   hands on

This is a new model from Helson, the Titanium Gauge, and we have an exclusive first review . This one takes the cool look of their 3500m gauge, scales it down to a mere 1000m, and goes to a full titanium case for a more wearable design. Let's take a look.

  • Titanium case with helium escape valve between the top lugs and signed, inset & screwed 7.9mm crown opposite.
  • Sapphire crystal, double-domed with antireflective coating
  • ETA 2824-2 movement (note that the date function is not used here)
  • Lumed 120-click bezel.
  • 47.0mm by 16.8mm high (top of crystal), 53.6mm lug to lug.
  • 131g on the Isofrane-style strap

Amazingly, this is the smaller version of the Gauge, a watch whose design is based on a vintage depth gauge. The original version from Helson is rated to a ludicrous 3,500m and measures 47mm by 19.4mm in heavyweight bronze:
Exclusive: Helson Titanium Gauge Watch Review   hands on

Not a design for the bashful. Here's a similar angle on the new version:

Exclusive: Helson Titanium Gauge Watch Review   hands on

At 130g, the titanium is actually comfortable to wear; that's only slightly more than my titanium IWC Aquatimer, which is 120g on its bracelet.

Exclusive: Helson Titanium Gauge Watch Review   hands on

The color scheme of grey titanium and matte black dial works very well. With it's lack of reflective surfaces, the watch looks, in a word, bad. Very much a functional design. The minutes (instead of hours) numerals on the dial catch the eye and pique the interest. I also like how the end of the minute hand flies over the angled chapter ring, as does the blacked-out second hand. It's important to have proportional hands on a watch this large.

Exclusive: Helson Titanium Gauge Watch Review   hands on

Even with the steeply angled lugs, it wears tall and seems taller due to vertical sides. The machined buckle is a delight, nicely made and engraved with "Helson."

Exclusive: Helson Titanium Gauge Watch Review   hands on

Attention to detail in seemingly minor areas; it's one of the positives of fine watches.

Exclusive: Helson Titanium Gauge Watch Review   hands on

Cool engraving of an articulated diving suit on the back. Yep, this is number two; number one is currently on the wrist of Peter Helson.

Exclusive: Helson Titanium Gauge Watch Review   hands on

Goes well with a grey shirt and jeans; about the only thing that'd look better is a wetsuit. This is a watch that cries out for adventure. The titanium on the case will quickly acquire scars, each a small reminder of that dive in the Augean. Or maybe of that steel door frame at work.

Exclusive: Helson Titanium Gauge Watch Review   hands on

The metalwork is excellent - note the lack of a gap between bezel and case. Nowhere for sand or mud to get in. It also has an automatic helium escape valve, in case your adventures include decompression chambers and saturation diving. The straps use the same system as the Blackbeard, with a flat blade screwhead on one side for simple changes.

Exclusive: Helson Titanium Gauge Watch Review   hands on

Luminosity is first-rate, of course:

Exclusive: Helson Titanium Gauge Watch Review   hands on

The domed crystal has a very effective anti-reflective coating on it and is visible from extreme angles. The dial has the minute markers on the chapter ring, a design I like as it leaves the dial less cluttered.

Exclusive: Helson Titanium Gauge Watch Review   hands on

Exclusive: Helson Titanium Gauge Watch Review   hands on

Price on the titanium Gauge is $899 from Helson direct.

Like the Helson Blackbeards, this is a fun design that will appeal to some and not at all to others. It's imposing, wearable and of course would be a great dive watch. I like it, though probably not every day.

11 comments
300Watches
300Watches

I think that any Rolex GMT would suite perfectly for any person because it is very sporty, at the same time dressy, as well as functionality very reliable.  You have the option of having a few times, like dual time, also the two tone does make the watch a little more dressy rather than a simple stainless steel.

nateb123
nateb123

I recently said the 2 tone Rolex GMT was Valium in watch form.

 

This must be heroin then.

CG
CG

Helson is really becoming one of the most useful dive watch makers... they even intigrate a bit of fun and whimsy in some models. Very wearable and useful for diving. Have not seen them adv in dive mags... are they missing the.. (ahem)... boat on that market? Watch collectors are just one side of the diving market.

Henry Miller
Henry Miller

Good review. Well written and great pictures.

Very good tool watch. Construction and materials look to be first rate.

An exercise in over-engineering accomplished.

But dammit..its a watch. A time piece. Put some numbers on it. You know, hour designators - 1 thru 12.

You might even add 12 - 24 hr markings inside the loop.

Also, looks to be a very reasonable price...Well done Helson.

punet
punet

Fair price, I think.

300Watches
300Watches

I love the design, the titanium and minimalistic design goes very well together.  Looks like a watch from the 50’s 60’s, typical diving

jstacey
jstacey

Nice review Paul, definitely more watch than I will ever need. It would be great to see that dial and hand set ported to a smaller/thinner 200m diver (still in titanium).

Neil C
Neil C

Wow - that is on my wish list, but won't be for very long!

 

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

That looks pretty... pretty HUGE!  I think it's beautiful, especially the all grey model.  The matte finish is so dull it almost resembles clay.  A very impressive level of fit and finish.  OK, got to go back to watching the berthing of the Dragon module on the ISS...

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

Consider me an 'other'. 1000m of WR is less than useless (unless you happen to drop your watch overboard while cruising out on the open ocean, and plan on sending a robot down to fetch it), and makes for a hideous abomination of a design.

 

I like the Helson brand, and ended up acquiring a Blackbeard chronograph because I thought it was fun (and it is - I wear it often), but this is just an excersize in ridiculousness.