We know that tourbillon watches are expensive. The complex little movements are at a premium based on the difficultly of manufacture and the prestige of owning one. The bar has been set pretty high with all variations of multi axis tourbillons and flying tourbillons that give a great view of the action. What ever happened to just the basic tourbillon? Because more tourbillon watches go for $50k and up, the proprietors of such luxuries feel the need to spruce them up with lots of gilding and fancy appointments to justify the prices. That is typically the case with most tourbillon watches that feel more a like novelty than like something worth wearing on a daily basis. But it doesn’t need to be that way.

The Nivrel “Sea” series has always been a diver’s watch line that I have admired. I know of Nivrel’s reputation for high quality construction and meticulous attention to detail (what else would you expect from a serious German watch maker?), and now I know that they have gently entered into the tourbillon game with the Shark Sea. Why it isn’t called the Sea Shark, I don’t know. I don’t know that I’d want to go swimming in a place called the Shark Sea.

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The Shark Sea might be Nivrel’s first tourbillon watch. They don’t make the movement, but that is OK. They do enough to make it look nice. The tourbillon is displayed on the face underneath a substantial looking bridge. This is a basic tourbillon without the frills of fancier ones, but at what I would imagine is about $30k, this represents a bargain in the tourbillon world. The movement itself is pretty hardy. It is a manually wound 120 hour power reserve (with an indicator on the face of the watch) movement which has been polished up nicely by Nivrel. There is no see through case back window, but you wouldn’t expect it as this is a fully capable diving watch with a water resistance of 3000 meters (yea, as in over two miles under water). The case size is 42.5mm wide and the entire watch is a strapping 18.5mm deep. The bracelet even features a diving extension clasp. This might be the only other real diving tourbillon watch other than the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Tourbillon.


Let’s look at the style for a moment. This isn’t a pretty watch, but it does have a sober sense of purpose and utility to it. It is handsome like a Rolex Yachtmaster is handsome, but instead of saying “I pay people to polish the wood on my Yacht” look, the Nivrel says “I take pride in polishing the wood myself.” It doesn’t hurt Nivrel that the Shark Sea has a striking similarity to the Yachtmaster either. The retrograde date indicator fits in nicely, and I like the red trim all over the dial in contrast with the black face and the gold bezel. Again, there is nicely applied power reserve indicator. You can’t help but like the blood-tipped looking dagger hands, and the angular lume rich hour indicators are functional and serious looking. It’s a watch meant to tell time, not a watch that tells the time as a second thought.

Speaking of gold, it is very prevalent on the Shark Sea. The really massive bezel is all gold with embossed numbering, and the chunky (good) bracelet has gold inserts in between the steel. Then, you have the all gold crown that just rounds out the look. This is a serious tool watch with luxury accents, but not a luxury watch in the strictest of senses. There is no glitz and glam. No super exotic materials or construction. Just really rugged German engineering with a solid Swiss movement. This is starting to sound like a German car commercial. Anyhow, check out Nivrel and Shark Sea, you won’t be disappointed.

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See Nivrel watches on eBay here.

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