Tempest Viking Diver’s Watch Review

Tempest Viking Diver’s Watch Review

Tempest Viking Divers Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Like many watches that I review on aBlogtoWatch, I took my time with the Tempest Viking. Sure it frustrates brands when it takes several months or longer to review a watch, but the honest truth is that we are rather backed up and go as fast as we can, publishing a full hands-on  "wrist time" review once or sometimes twice a week. The benefit, however, is that when I review a watch, I get a lot of time to consider it and mull over it. My experience with this indie dive watch is a perfect example.

Before sitting down to write this review, I revisited my video review of the Tempest Viking that we published on our YouTube channel last year. I do this a lot in order to remind myself about how I felt about a watch closer to the beginning of a review period. What I found is that my review of this watch is pretty useful to listen to: I not only review this particular independent dive watch but actually discuss the entire segment–I suggest you give it a listen. So now that I have spent time wearing the Viking Tempest on and off how do I feel about it?

Tempest Viking Divers Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Tempest is a brand I had been in contact with prior to them having a completed product. I experienced the founder (Ben) going from a concept phase to a completed product and having to change his mind a bit a few times during the process. Like many independent watches, the Tempest Viking represents one person's idea of a dream watch, that they toiled to put together given the resources available to them. There is a good and bad side to this. The good side is that the result is a very pure form of timepiece in the sense that it is a watch made specifically to satisfy a single watch lover's desires. Love it or hate it, you have to appreciate that a single person struggled to bring their dream to market–and their own wrist.

The bad side is that, unlike large companies, small independent watch makers lack large budgets, marketing plans, deep industry connections, and the experience of having made watches for years (for the most part). So what you get is often a dream and a compromise and these range from pitiful shells of their own potential to truly impressive timepieces that combine a load of features for a fair price. The Viking is much closer to being the latter.

Tempest Viking Divers Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Tempest Viking Divers Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

I don't necessarily know why dive-style watches are the most common indie watches out there, but they certainly are. Watch guys love the idea of creating their own ultimate tool watch, which often takes the form of a diver. The Tempest Viking certainly epitomizes the concept of one person wanting to throw in as many ideal features as possible. There really is a lot to the Viking, and it is rather unlike much of the competition. That starts with the uniquely designed, massive 45mm wide case.

That isn't to say that all 45mm wide cases are massive, but this one is. It is 52mm lug to lug and 17mm thick. Actually, that is the thin version. The watch comes with two sapphire crystal options; one is flat while the other is a "super dome crystal." So, the thickness of the Viking case ranges from 17mm thick to 22mm thick. That is a really thick watch, for sure. It wears large on the wrist given the length of the watch and how tall it is. It is also heavy–which is a blessing for those that love chunky watches and a warning to those who do not. All of this, however, is part of the Viking's rather massive water resistance rating of 2000 meters. Most professional dive watches are "only" water resistant to 300 meters. Is anyone going to take this watch down to 2000 meters? That is highly unlikely, but we are currently in the world of fantasy performance–so it really sounds cool.

Tempest Viking Divers Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Tempest Viking Divers Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

The Viking case is also high detailed with inset sides, a complicated crown, and a lot of little features that make it more interesting than most large watches. Even the three-link bracelet has interesting angles to it that prevent it from being just another big dive watch. The case is available in brushed steel, but also in black PVD-coated steel, which adds a totally different look. The lugs and bracelet links each use hex-screws versus normal ones, but thankfully Tempest includes a tool in the box.

Around the dial is a pretty hefty looking rotating diver's bezel, and it is among the more impressive elements of the design. Tempest really wanted a bezel with a sapphire crystal insert, and that is what they got. The core bezel is fully lumed with minute markers, and over that Tempest places a sapphire crystal ring which is highly scratch resistant. This is a feature you'll not find in any watch at this price that I am currently familiar with.

Tempest Viking Divers Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

12 comments
arieldoucher
arieldoucher

Take off those douchey gloves when you're doing your video reviews. Pretentious douchebag.

Lkcons
Lkcons

Size is very much a subjective evaluation criteria. Granted, an oversize watch on a small wrist looks ridiculous, but that is as a result of the small wrist, not the large watch. Hence well executed larger watches have their place,, such as these, for those who can successfully pull it off (And no, Ariel, you don't :-) 


On this topic, the move back towards smaller watch sizes (widely lauded in all fora) smacks more of market demographics than actual "stye' - my old pre-bond  Seamaster looks absolutely ridiculous on my wrist compared to my 45.5.mm Planet Ocean Chrono - both pretty similar watches otherwise - but then, I am cursed with large wrists. Surely there is a place for larger watches for bigger guys - its just a pity that they are mostly tool watches & even big guys sometimes wear suits....

spiceballs
spiceballs

Very very nicely done Tempest.  Big yes but looks pretty comfortable on Aaron's wrist  and hands style (similar to some Seikos) work well for me.  Apparently very solid and great value divers watch for serious divers.  If practicable (?) and since its a heavy duty diver I'd add a safety to the strap, a la Rolex/Seiko, nevertheless Winner IMO.

Ryan B
Ryan B

holy shit I love this watch!

aworon
aworon

I only looked at the pictures, and I love it.  I think the design is fantastic, and I want one.  It really embraces the coin edge bezel and looks like it weighs 1 ton.  I have never seen hands like that on the dial, and they remind me of a neo-vintage look, which I love for some reason I can't explain.  Now time to read lol

bichondaddy
bichondaddy

I have more than my fair share of dive watches....despite the fact that  I live no where near anyplace to go diving.  As long as mine can stand up to my weekly physical therapy done in a pool....i'll pass on a new dive watch.  I do, however, love orange dials...so a version of the all black PVD model with the orange dial would be tempting.  Oh yeah....I already have 2 all black PVD dive watches with orange dials.  Very good review though...I really enjoyed reading about the watch1

DG Cayse
DG Cayse

Very good review and video. I pretty much agree with all of your covered points.

I seem to have 6 or 7 "dive' style watches in my collection; I like this one....but,

it's just too big. ( I am not a small person). It is a 'fantasy' watch and it looks to be well designed and manufactured.

The attention to detail is commendable. But...it's, for me, just too big. Personnel thing - no disrespect to the watch.

Of the Viking marque, I think the "Commodore" is more in line size-wise.


Legibility is high, materials and manufacture looks to be very good. They have brought a very good piece to market at a very good price point.

This should be a dramatic lesson to the watch public, and other makers, that a fine piece can be made available at a very good price.

Consumer wins!

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

It's not bad. A bit unwieldy, and I'm getting more than a fair dose of Seiko from that dial, handset included. Luckily the case has it's own personality, and I do like that sprocket-look bezel. 


Personally, if I'm going to have something engraved on the back of my dive watch to conjure up thoughts of water resistance and a general affinity for the sea, I'd rather have a ray or squid or some other creature of the deep. A Viking ship might be a powerful symbol for something above the water, but what happen to it under the water? It sinks and dies. 

Zeitblom
Zeitblom

How heavy? Grams, gimme more grams.

SN0WKRASH
SN0WKRASH moderator

@arieldoucher Ariel doesn't use gloves in his videos.  He's against that practice.  And name calling is not allowed here, white trash troll.

aworon
aworon

@DG Cayse  I've owned a super avenger at one time, which I think is slightly bigger than 45mm, and it takes some getting used to. That thing was way more outrageous than this though.  


What I love about this watch is it manages to be macho big, but plays it off (I think very convincingly) in a "it has to be this way for practical reasons" sort of way.  It's desire for practicality is evident in the watch design: the lume, grippy bezel, links, extreme water resistance, but especially with the tool and price, which I think gives it the most credit.


Maybe even more interesting, I think it does this all while not approaching the "gshock element", which overemphasizes how great of shape your watch will be in after a nuclear blast.


This was off my radar but after today it's on my list.

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