This is the Helson Shark Diver 40mm, and my favorite Helson yet.
The Shark Diver line started out at 45mm, added a 42mm model and now has 40mm as well. As someone who prefers 38-40 for wearability, this is great news. With three sizes and many dial colors, the hard part now is the decision!
Let’s begin with a picture from Helson:
Those are the three sizes. We are looking at the model on top. It measures 39.7mm wide across the bezel by 12.1mm thick and weighs 174g with the bracelet sized for my 7.25″ wrist. The dial is approximately 30.6mm, and the case is 49.2mm lug to lug with a 7.4mm crown. Sapphire crystal with antireflective coating, water resistant to 500m, stainless steel with custom hex-keyed bars. Bracelet is 20mm wide by 3.8mm thick, non-tapering, snap clasp with fliplock and three micro-adjustments. Adjustment is via screws. All surfaces are a brushed finish.
The movement is the Miyota 9015, their answer to the ETA 2824. It’s the same diameter and thickness, and nearly identical in specifications: 28800 vph; handwinding and hacking; three hands plus date; quickset; power reserve in excess of 42 hours; automatic; and 24 jewels. About the only notable difference is the unidirectional winding (the ETA is bidirectional), which sometimes gives rotor wobble and audible spin sound. Timekeeping has been chronometer-grade, very impressive. I like the color-matched date wheel here too, a very nice touch.
Compared to the larger models, the 40mm version lacks a helium escape valve and diver’s extension on the bracelet. I have no use for either, but it’s worth noting.
The thing I like about this dial is the vertical brushing. It changes in color and appearance as the light changes, and reminds me of other textured-dial watches like the Rolex Yachtmaster, an impression reinforced by the plain steel bezel.
The hands are bead-blasted or frosted, a matte finish that remains legible better than mirror finishes.
At 40mm by 12mm, it’s an easy size to wear. Fits under most but not all sleeves, though the design is bold for formal wear.
As I’ve come to expect from the brand, the luminosity is spectacular in area and brightness.
Legibility is excellent under all conditions. The coin-edged bezel is 120 clicks, and precise but stiff. The crown is really well protected by two squarish lugs, with heavy threads and gaskets.
The bracelet is solid and balances the watch well.
It’s a good daily wearer, well sized for me and robust enough that you don’t ever worry about it.
I like seeing the effect of the vertical brushing on the dial, it’s a nice detail to enjoy.
Here’s a comparison shot with the Blackbeard we first reviewed:
Quite different in character and detail, but I fancy that you can start to see the brand identity.
They’re both quite wearable, a consequence of careful design and restrained lug-to-lug dimensions, but the SD40 wins due to reduced thickness.
This is my favorite to-date. The size is much more versatile, and with the dressier dial color, this becomes a watch you can wear all week long. Bash it around and it’ll look better, and for the price you don’t have to panic about a dent or two. An understated Shark Diver. Who would have thought? helson-watches.com
>Model: Shark Diver 40 grey
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Normal sized people who want a great dive watch.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Bezel is stiff and slick when under water.
>Best characteristic of watch: Helson style in a size and style for everyday.