The case is one of the more unique elements of this 500 meter diver. It features an unusually long crown positioned between 10 and 11 o’clock which is flanked by rather sizable integrated crown guards on either side. This comes with a few quirks but they are definitely worth it overall. Screwing and unscrewing the crown can feel awkward due to the guards and some relatively sharp case angles on the upper lugs. Manual winding is standard but setting the time or date can feel disorienting if you are used to more traditional crown positions as the watch will be almost completely upside down in the process. So why is the peculiar position worth such annoyances? It’s all about comfort. I would challenge you to find a strap tightness and position where that crown digs into you. It doesn’t matter how tight you crank this thing down it’s just not going to happen. The last thing you want to do on a dive is have to needlessly adjust and readjust gear. Not only does comfort add to the enjoyment of a dive but distractions become a safety issue. The location also places the crown far away from where it is most likely to get bumped or damaged by force. The prodigious solid case displays some very interesting angles and transitions so that even though the finish is the same, there is still a lot going on visually.
The K500 is 44mm wide, 51mm lug to lug, and 14.75mm thick. Since the crown isn’t protruding from the side, it feels smaller on the wrist (though by no means small) than a similarly-sized watch would with a traditional crown placement. Written on the screw-on case back is the usual information along with the serial number out of 500. Inside the K500 beats the Sii NE15/Seiko 6R15. This is a workhorse Seiko movement which should prove very reliable and is adjusted to six positions by Hexa. The movement also brings a welcome 50 hour power reserve to the K500.
Hexa offers the K500 in three case finishes which are limited to 500 pieces in total. Those fishes are brushed, bead blasted, and PVD black. While the PVD case is only offered with a matching bezel, the other two finishes are offered with both a case-matched or black PVD bezel. By default Hexa supplies the K500 with both a stainless bracelet and rubber strap though you do have the option of only the rubber strap when ordering. The bracelet consists of five individual links across and a ratcheting diver extension clasp. The stainless bracelet is nice enough but nothing particularly special. Hexa does include two different types of end links which is a bonus. One continues the look of the bracelet while the other integrates more with the case. They are subtle differences that change up the look of the watch to a surprising degree. To me the K500 really shines on Hexa’s rubber strap, however. Perhaps it’s due to the contrast of this example with the bead-blasted case and PVD bezel but the included rubber strap looks fantastic.
The K500 also feels rather heavy and clunky on the stainless bracelet but sits extremely comfortably when worn on the rubber strap. The Italian rubber is thick, soft, and feels very strong. Hexa includes this strap in black with the K500 but also offers red, green, and grey for purchase on their site in addition. In a surprising move for any watch company, Hexa offers these, as well as the stainless bracelet, at extremely reasonable prices. The rubber straps really are excellent and I’d gladly add all of them to my collection for wearing on the K500 and other watches with 22mm wide lugs. Given the strap and bracelet options, the inclusion of a changing tool and maybe some extra spring bars would have been a welcome addition. If you’re into changing up the look of your watch often you are likely already setup for this work though it would be helpful.
The Hexa K500 is unabashedly and unashamedly tool in nature. This is one watch that will only look better as it gets battered and worn. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t try to keep it nice as any other watch, but it is obviously intended to be a piece of equipment and used for that purpose. Safety is a primary concern when diving and you don’t want to be too self-conscious about marring your pretty dive watch. Think of the K500 more like a baseball glove that only improves with use and age. The Hexa K500 isn’t a watch with design cues to look like a piece of dive equipment. It actually is a piece of dive equipment. This is Hexa’s initial offering and as long as they adhere to the same design principles moving forward, I’m sure we will see a number of great watches from this company in the coming years.
The K500 is limited to 500 pieces total. Unfortunately, the all bead-blasted variant is sold out as that would likely be my favorite (clearly I’m not alone there). There are still four other versions available to satisfy your tough dive watch desires. They range from $624 USD for the all brushed version on rubber only to $799 USD for the all PVD black version with both bracelet and rubber dive strap. I can’t think of another dive or tool watch in this price range that feels as well designed and constructed as the K500. Hexa gives the K500 a 2-year international warranty and it is available for purchase direct on their website hexawatches.com.
>Price: $624-799 USD
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes, especially while diving
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Anyone looking for a tough dive watch and appreciates a tough form following function design aesthetic.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Underwhelming stainless bracelet.
>Best characteristic of watch: Purposeful design with robust construction.