March 24, 2014
by Ariel Adams
Speaking of dive watch, the Scuba Libre case is actually water resistant to 200 meters. The case is 44mm wide with an almost comically large bezel that indeed adds a fun sense of character. The plastic bezel does rotate of course, and while it isn’t as sturdy as a rotating bezel on a luxury watch, it works pretty well. There is luminant on the hands and numerals, but of course it isn’t world-class. The case is quite comfortable and the clear plastic seems to meld well with the see-through nature of the dial. Oh, and I wanted to note something important. If you look closely at the watch there are little black particles on it. This is from the packaging which was not perhaps the best choice of materials. Nevertheless these particles can easily be rinsed off– it is a water-resistant watch after all.
Most of the Swatch timepieces I have owned over the years are smaller, so at 44mm wide the Scuba Libre feels like an adult watch, though it wears a bit smaller because the actual dial diameter isn’t that white. Large or small, the watch is very light given the materials. If you don’t like the weight of a heavy metal watch, then no doubt you’ll like plastic! If it is good enough for Richard Mille (albeit in a more exotic and fancy form) plastic is a great watch case material assuming you are OK with your watches being more or less disposable when they get too scratched up– but isn’t that the point of a beater watch you take to the beach and out with your friends?
Swatch fits their Scuba Libre watches with either silicone or textile fabric straps. This, of course, on the Chlorofish is in white silicone, which is much better to get wet than fabric. It also hugs the wrist a bit better if you are sweaty or being very active. Of course the strap does have that proprietary three-section end that Swatch likes. Even though that strap end does make it hard to get whatever replacement strap you like, Swatch straps are inexpensive. I also find that Swatch perhaps inadvertently produced something that helps people to identify Swatch timepieces on the wrists of others.
For those who cannot afford too much more than $100 and prefer to spend less, the Scuba Libre is a really good choice if looking for a traditional analog watch in a fun, youthful design. The names of various Scuba Libre pieces are enjoyable, and also include others names beyond what I have mentioned such as “Playero, Sundowner, and Stormy.” I also like that the collection is more or less resolutely masculine for the time being. It isn’t the world’s best watch, but it isn’t trying to be. It is a solidly fashionable wrist watch with enough unique elements to make it feel worth the money. Price for all current Swatch Scuba Libre watches is $90. swatch.com
>Model: Scuba Libre Chlorofish SUUK100
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Sometimes
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Watch lovers on a budget who want something light and colorful.
>Best characteristic of watch: Genuinely fun design that feels like a good value for the money.
>Worst characteristic of watch: No good reason to have skeletonized hands on dial, materials of a sub $100 watch.