For the last few years I have really admired the collection of watches from Swarovski. They offered nicely designed quartz watches with a lot of cool personality and prices that aren't totally outrageous. The only problem was that they were all ladies watches... bummer. My favorite model was the Octea Sport. Last year, I heard a rumor that Swarovski was going to release new men's watches - it turned out to be true.
For 2012, Swarovski gets three new watch families, all for men. My favorite is the Octea Abyssal Automatic - which is essentially a male version of the Octea Sport that is a super-looking watch for women. The toughest thing that these watches have going for them is the Swarovksi swan logo. You see it on the dial, on the crown, and on the case back. I guess the logo can grow on you, but it isn't very masculine - not that it was ever designed to be.
When Chanel first released the J12 they likely had the same issue... where men simply could not take men's Chanel watches seriously. Nowadays, you have a lot of men wearing Chanel watches. Perhaps not all types of men. but enough to see how a feminine brand can successfully offer a male product. While not as revolutionary, perhaps the Octea Abyssal Automatic will be Swarovski's J12.
As a dive watch the Octea Abyssal Automatic comes in a 44mm wide case that is water resistant to 200 meters. It has a rotating ceramic bezel, and an easy to read dial. Of course there is the rubber strap with faceted crystal placed in it near the lugs. The bezel is also lightly faceted for a great look. I like the minimalist use of numeral indicators on the bezel.
The dials are bold and simple with an attractive design. They aren't ultra unique, but again they are deeply satisfying. You have a sloped flange ring for legibility purposes and large applied hour markers. Both the hour indexes and hands have SuperLumiNova applied to them. Swarovski will offer the Octea Abyssal Automatic in three versions to start. There is a steel case with while dial, black PVD steel case with black dial, and an orange and black version with a curious case made out of aluminum. That latter model looks incredible, but the aluminum might prove too delicate for "abyssal" use.
Swarovski uses a Swiss automatic movement in the watch but is unclear whose movement it is. I would guess an ETA-2824 or something like that. The little details on the watch give it a lot of personality, but I realize that the entire concept might confuse a lot of people. For me the design of the Octea Abyssal Automatic is about taking design risks, mixing fancy and functional, and adding a badly needed men's collection to the thriving brand's wrist watch arm. Look for them soon.
Round case in stainless steel, black PVD or matte orange aluminum, 44 mm in diameter, black faceted ceramic bezel engraved with Arabic numerals in white, black, or orange. Crown decorated with the Swan logo mark in polished stainless steel, outlined in black enamel. Scratch-resistant, non-reflective sapphire glass - Water-resistant to 200 meters
Matt white or black dial with round or pyramid-shaped LumiNova index markers at all hour markers. Date indicator at 4.30
Black rubber strap with a polished and satin finished stainless steel or black PVD folding clasp, engraved with the Swarovski name.
Mechanical with automatic winding, Swiss made.
Swan logo mark impression on the back of the case.