Ocean7 LM2-AD Watch Review

Ocean7 LM2-AD Watch Review

Ocean7 LM2 AD Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

New analog-digital watches are few and far between, so when we heard that Ocean7 had one we contacted them for a review. It’s called the LM2-AD and I think you’re going to like it. Well, some will – analog-digital is definitely not to everyone’s taste.

The LM2-AD uses the same case as the LM2 predecessor, which was an internal-bezel diver with an ETA 2824. The Fricker-style case is titanium, coming in at a mere 67g for the watch itself despite its 44mm by 15.8mm size. At 52.6mm lug-to-lug, this is a modern sports-watch size, with a spectacularly clear domed sapphire crystal that spans 42.4mm all by itself. The double dome and inner anti-reflective coating combine for some of the best off-axis visibility I’ve ever seen on a watch:

Ocean7 LM2 AD Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

That’s unusual for its clarity and lack of distortion. The analog dial is much to my liking, very uncluttered and a snap to read.

Ocean7 LM2 AD Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Underneath the analog hands is a reverse LCD display for the ISA 9011 movement. Since the LCD is reversed (light on dark) the digital nature of the watch is almost invisible to others unless you point it out. There’s less contrast on the LCD, so the downside is that its harder to read. It’s super difficult to capture in a picture, so my apologies. In person it’s quite readable.

Ocean7 LM2 AD Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

The upper left button is the backlight, which is wonderful and also causes the hands to move to 10:11 for unimpeded reading:

Ocean7 LM2 AD Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

So the ISA movement gives you two time zones, the second of which is digital-only, a stopwatch and alarm. Nothing exotic here, though I’d love it if they added a countdown timer. The analog portion is synchronized to the digital, and there are separate bidirectional motors for each hand, so when the hands move out of the way it only takes 2-3 seconds. Quite fun to watch.

Nighttime legibility is excellent, as the hands and dial have excellent lume applied without being too busy:

Ocean7 LM2 AD Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

I’ve yet to need the backlight at night, actually. Note the unusual numbering on the inner bezel – the reverse triangles have 24-hour numbering, but the other numbers are minutes:

Ocean7 LM2 AD Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

It’s a unique design, and the vintage-lume color works very well.

There are a couple of things I’ve seen on Swiss analog-digital movements that puzzle me. One is the crown and how it’s used: Here, as with the Omega X-33, the rotation of the (non-screwdown) crown does nothing; it’s a button that is also pulled for setting. It just looks like a conventional crown. The second is the lack of a second hand. The ETA E20.321 does the same thing and I don’t know why. Less busy dial perhaps? Some Casios do this too, to be fair.

The LM2-AD comes with a ridged rubber strap and stainless steel buckle. While the watch is rated to 100m, the strap encourages you to not worry about getting it wet.

Ocean7 LM2 AD Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

An option when ordering is a replacement buckle made of matching titanium.

Ocean7 LM2 AD Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews
Buckle options: steel on left and titanium on right

I like the titanium more. The weight and finish are immaterial, but the Ti version is thinner and thus more comfortable when resting on a desk.

Ocean7 LM2 AD Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Here’s the steel buckle on the wrist, protruding just a bit.

Ocean7 LM2 AD Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

There’s also a carbon-fiber-patterned strap option with PVD buckle:

Ocean7 LM2 AD Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews  

With 24mm lugs, there are lots of strap options due to the Panerai influence. I’d been meaning to check out the new segmented-plastic bracelets made popular by the JLC Navy Seals, so I bought one from Panatime to try here. At a super-light 33g for the bracelet, it’s an excellent complement to a titanium watch:

Ocean7 LM2 AD Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Ocean7 LM2 AD Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

On all of the options, the watch feels almost weightless. The light weight and 44mm equals low density, and the lower specific heat capacity of titanium is really nice in hot spells like we’ve all had this summer.

Ocean7 LM2 AD Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

The height is noticeable. Despite that, the angled lugs and beveled bezel keep it very wearable. It’s 13.8mm high at the bezel, and tops out at 15.8mm at the center.

Ocean7 LM2 AD Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

No-nonsense caseback.

Ocean7 LM2 AD Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Other small notes from wearing it: The stopwatch measures 0.01 second fractions until one hour, after which it switches to 1 second increments. If you enable 12h mode, then the display of ‘AM’ or ‘PM’ replaces the seconds readout and you have no way to see seconds. There’s also no way to display the month or day, which I miss at times. The alarm is of average quartz volume, and with normal usage the battery life is rated for just under four years.

The watch is also available in sandblasted-finish black DLC for an additional $50, which would give it a seriously stealthy look. I like plain titanium myself, but DLC should have excellent durability if you like black.

I’ve a special fondness for analog-digital watches, and this one is excellent. At $549, it has competition from Casio and Seiko, but it’s a heck of lot less than an MR-G and way way under Swiss models like the Chopard or new Omega Z-33. It’s not cheap, but it is an excellent value. I’ve bought this one myself, and have worn it non-stop for several weeks now. Just a lot of fun to wear, and light enough to double as an exercise watch. There aren’t many 44mm watches I can wear during a volleyball match, but on the rubber strap this one is just fine.

Recommended.

11 comments
HARANUX
HARANUX

Hey Im new I have a question has anyone had quality control problems with Ocean 7 watches ?

nateb123
nateb123

This review just leaves me thinking this particular Ocean 7 is a worse version of a Momentum Chronologic F3 for more money.  They're so interchangeable it makes me question if Ocean 7 is ripping them off. The movement isn't as good (the F3 adds 3 timezones which can be switched to the analog face, countdown timer, digital tachymeter) , the crystal is domed rather than flat, and the band options from the factory are way more limited.

I don't mean to say its a bad watch but it seems Ocean 7 should have done a bit more research before making this watch.

jdm025
jdm025

I am a fan of the analog/digital thing as well.  I have a Tissot T-Touch and love it.  I think that this watch represents a really good value for the finish of the case and the unique face that you get.  Though I rely quite heavily on my T-Touch in the mountains for altitude and compass features, the nighttime visibility is not very good at all.  I like what this Ocean7 does at less than half the cost of my Tissot.

I like the multiple bands that you fitted as well.  Helps people like me to envision the watch with a few more aesthetic options.

DG Cayse
DG Cayse

I like it.  Clean looks. Very good, and sensible, price. Glad to see the info on the various straps/bracelets.

With WR of 100m/330' and a  non-screw-down, serious water working is dicey at best. But should be fine for an occasional shower od dip in the pool. 

Suggestions:

Add a second(s) hand. Lose the digital. Or offer these feature in another model.

Raised domes take a LOT of whacks and hits. Think about recessing it.

DangerussArt
DangerussArt

I like it. I wish the hands matched the other lume color better. I wonder why they're so white in comparison.  My favorite feature is the price. I was afraid it was going to be something silly like over a grand.

NickVarley
NickVarley

I like it! looks great on the plastic bracelet. is it possible to turn the LCD off or does it have to display something all the time?

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@nateb123  

Thanks for mentioning the Momentum Chronologic F3. Something I had not seen until searching after your post. Just a personal thing but I find the F3 dial unattractive. While somewhat similar, I don't see the Ocean 7 as a rip-off design wise. The price difference is about $50 from what I saw on Amazon for the F3.

Cheers

nateb123
nateb123

@DangerussArt Hands and dials are usually not done by the same supplier.  Often lume doesn't match between the two, either in glow quality or in colour.

nateb123
nateb123

@MarkCarson @nateb123 Apples to apples, the F3 is almost $100 cheaper, but its mostly sold with a titanium deployment clasp instead of just a simple buckle (though you can get that option as well) which bumps the price.  Even with a full titanium bracelet its the same price as the LM2-AD.

But I agree, the looks differ enough that some will not mind the price difference and go with the Ocean 7.  I just wish they had a movement that had all the basic functions you expect from a digital.