Swiss brand Davosa is what I’d describe as a full-service watch brand. It offers every style, a variety of materials, men’s and women’s watches, quartz and mechanical. You could build an entire collection out of Davosa watches, and you’d probably be fairly content, though perhaps without a flashy standout piece. With that in mind, I’m here to advocate for the Nothing Special watch. Watches that check off all the boxes but don’t stand out in the crowd. Watches that are reasonably priced, and well-made, but never get their time in the limelight. These are the watches that most people probably end up with, the horological ho-hum that keep us all going. One of the brand’s newest models, and a paragon of the Nothing Special watch, is the Davosa Argonautic 39, a sized-down version of the existing Argonautic that delivers straightforward design, no-nonsense specs, and an enjoyable experience on the wrist.

The Davosa Argonautic 39 is, in fact, 39.5mm, though I suppose “39.5” doesn’t look or sound as good. The case is perhaps one of the more no-frills designs you’ll find in a diver. No polishing, no chamfers, just crisply brushed slab surfaces. But where many slab-sided watches wear thicker, the Davos manages a modest presence on the wrist. Despite not having any design elements in the case to provide visual slimness, the 12mm case (not nothing on a 39.5mm watch) never feels too tall or thick. It is still blocky with its nearly square lugs and angular crown guards, but that only gives it a functional, durable aesthetic. That aesthetic is reinforced with a hardening coating that makes the watch virtually scratch-proof. The lug box is squared off, too, borrowing from classic skin divers, though the watch has 200m water resistance and crown guards, so it steers clear of the skin diver categorization.

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Of particular note is the ceramic bezel. I was immediately impressed with it, not for the deep blue ceramic and its perfect match with the dial, nor because of the brightness of the lume pip. Rather, it was down to the most important part of any bezel: operability. The bezel here is easy to grip and turn, doing so with a satisfyingly audible and tactile click and almost no wiggle. I’ve reviewed plenty of divers, and this bezel is among the best. A bit less stellar is the bracelet, which has a generic feeling from the end links all the way around to the clasp (where you’ll find the only polishing on the watch). It does have a fold-out extension, plus a few holes to fine-tune, but it was just a notch below what I’d expect given the build of the rest of the watch; there aren’t even quick-release pins on the end links. For that reason, I ended up wearing this on a variety of straps. Due to the large, boxed lugs, the Argonautic doesn’t do well with very thin straps (and I don’t wear NATOs), but I found it to be right at home on a number of other straps, from canvas to rubber to leather.

The dial on this version of the Argonautic 39 is a deep blue, matched with the bezel. What I like here beyond the dial is the cleanness of everything. There’s no real clutter, and everything seems to have enough space to breathe. Most of all, though, I love the brushing on the indices and hands. There are lots of watches that feature entirely brushed cases or at least cases that are very tool-forward yet are paired with polished handsets and indices. It creates discordance within the design. Here, the brushed hands and indices, all with Super-LumiNova BGW9, match the rugged look of the case and give you the sense that every part of the watch is purpose-built for being outdoors.

The dial’s deep blue is a comfortable hue for any watch nerd, perhaps only exceeded in popularity by black (boring). The contrast between the white/steel markers and hands and the dial makes for excellent legibility, and the bright and even lume keeps that going in low light. The Davosa Argonautic 39 in steel with a ceramic bezel is also offered in green and black, plus two-tone case options in blue and black and steel bezel options in white and black. The blue here is lovely but I’d probably be just as happy with the green or the steel-bezeled white.

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The Davos Argonautic 39 is powered by what the brand labels the DAV 3021. The specs had me opening up the caseback to confirm that this is a Sellita SW200-1 movement. This automatic Swiss caliber has a minimum power reserve of 38 hours (41 hours average) at 28,800 vph. Davosa is not a movement house, as far as I’m aware. I don’t know that it’s ever even modded a movement for one of its models beyond a custom rotor (which this has). Maybe if it were chronometer grade, I could give it a pass, but relabeling a watch solely for marketing purposes isn’t the type of thing I love to see. The SW200-1 is a great movement, and any brand in this price range should boast proudly of using it.

Nothing Special doesn’t mean nothing good, and the Argonautic is evidence of that. You don’t need a fancy case or wild colors to deliver a robust, high-quality watch, and the Argonautic delivers a great experience across the board, only falling slightly short with its average bracelet. What might have really brought this one to life for me, beyond its Nothing Special appeal, is how easily I was able to swap straps and enjoy some extra bursts of color. That may be the real draw of the Nothing Special watch: a nearly blank canvas that can go with anything. The Davosa Argonatuic 39 is priced starting at $949 USD. For more information, please visit the Davosa website

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