Helson Shark Diver 42 Watch Review

Helson Shark Diver 42 Watch Review

Helson Shark Diver 42 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

This is the Helson Shark Diver 42mm. A more purposeful and less whimsical design than the Blackbeard and chronograph reviewed here, the Shark Diver is a solid dive watch.

Basic specifications:

  • Available in black, blue or white dial, in white, orange or blue hands and markers.
  • Two movements: ETA 2824 at $699, or Miyota 9015 at $599.
  • Water resistant to 500m
  • Stainless steel case and bracelet
  • Bracelet is 22mm, hex-keyed solid end bar, solid links and solid end links, flip lock with fixed-length wetsuit extension. Screwed links and 4 micro-adjustments. Special hex key tool provided.
  • Sapphire crystal with inner antireflective coating
  • Automatic helium escape valve
  • SuperLuminova on hands, dial and bezel
  • Lumed bezel, plastic
  • 40.8mm across, 14.4mm thick, 42.0mm wide at the bezel, 46mm at crown. 51.7mm lug to lug.
  • Signed 7.9mm crown with massive 6.9mm crown guards
  • 32mm dial
  • 255g on the bracelet, 135g on the Isofrane-style rubber strap

It's a serious dive watch, with 'big shoulder lugs' and oversized square-cut crown guards:

Helson Shark Diver 42 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

From the side:

Helson Shark Diver 42 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

I found the crown guards a bit too large, they're only 1mm smaller than the crown and leave little metal to grab when you need to screw or unscrew it. On the plus side, it's pretty much impossible to strike the crown, so if you're especially tough on your watches it's a plus.

Here you can see the hex-keyed bar used to attach the bracelet. Helson includes a two-piece driver for changing straps:

Helson Shark Diver 42 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

There you can see the solid end link, massive bracelet construction and the bolt/nut construction. I like this design; the recessed hex keys are easy to use and, unlike a flat blade, won't risk scratching the case as you apply force. The bar itself is very strong, much more so than spring bars.

I was initially puzzled when I opened up the canister and saw this - it's not obvious that the driver unscrews into two pieces. D'oh!

Helson Shark Diver 42 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

On the other side, the flush-mounted automatic helium escape valve:

Helson Shark Diver 42 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

I'm not fond of helium valves, as they're a potential leak source that almost no one needs. Alas, they are de rigeur on dive watches with few exceptions. Notice the beautiful bezel teeth, with their gear-like profile and easy-to-grab case overhang. Well thought out.

The watch is heavy enough that I only wore it on rubber straps. That brings the weight down to a very comfortable 135g, light enough that I wore it biking, playing ultimate and day to day.

Helson Shark Diver 42 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

And of course, I had to try it on my orange/red Ocean Diver strap:

Helson Shark Diver 42 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Quite fun to wear. Visibility day or night is excellent, with plongeur-style hands that are nice and large. Lots of SuperLuminova makes the dial and bezel visible for many hours:

Helson Shark Diver 42 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The movement in this version is the trusty ETA 2824; as expected timekeeping is excellent. For $100 less, there's a version with the Miyota 9015, a very comparable competitor with very similar specifications. I've not tried the Mioyta personally, but would expect good performance from it as well.

At 14.4mm, it's medium-to-thick, and the square-sided case is best with short sleeves:

Helson Shark Diver 42 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Overall, this is a very solid and well-made dive watch. If you want a less obtrusive look, the black on black is a good choice; personally I like the blue on white and find it great fun to wear. The 42mm is size is just right, and with a 32mm dial it's maximized for readability. I'm also quite fond of lumed bezels, both for function and just the enjoyment of seeing it light up at night. For $699, this is a very good value for money: Helson has a 12-month international guarantee and excellent after-sales service.

What do you think?
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  • AtSeaWatch

    Thanks for the write-up, Paul. It was well written review of a really appealing watch. Helson has been chipping away at my resistance for a while now. The only thing holding me back at this point is that I’ve seen pictures of the bronze Shark Diver on their website and it doesn’t appear to be available, especially in blue, so I’m safe for a bit.

    • Kris C

      @AtSeaWatch so this does come in bronze; I thought so. Not yet available though? Odd, bronze seems to be gaining a lot of popularity as of late.

      • Greg S

        @Kris C@AtSeaWatch

        Sorry to be the bearer of sad news but the bronze diver sold out very quickly early last year, there were only something like 50 pieces made at about $1100 if i recall correctly, i narrowly missed out on one at the time. I agree, it’s a beauty and i hope they consider doing another, larger run, as i’m sure it will sell well once again.

        • AtSeaWatch

          @Greg S@Kris C Thanks for the info Greg. I noticed there were several variants of the bronze watch. I wonder how many of each variant were produced.

          Well, if Helson wants to separate me from my money, they have the means.

  • JohnnyJohnnyJohnny

    Not bad, though the date window is a little wonky.

  • nolasensei

    So what is the difference between this diver and a Deep Blue diver except price point? Are all of these boutique brands essentially the same?

    • JohnnyJohnnyJohnny

      @nolasensei the movements are usually all the same, just small cosmetic differences.

    • It is hard to comment on them globally but many do get at least some parts from similar suppliers.

  • Neil C

    What strange hands – the hour hand is thinner than the minute. I guess great under the water if all you are interested is the minutes, but otherwise above water it’s hard to determine the hours vs. minutes.

  • CG

    These are nice reasonably priced well made dive watches… Should have no lume on the hour hand for night dives it’s less confusing; you only need to see the minute hand to count your descent-bottom-ascent time. Very nice watches, have one of the Blackbeard series, going to get another of their watches.

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