By Gary Girdvainis
When the press releases come in from Deep Blue showing its newest watches, you know you’re in for a happy horological moment. It still boggles the mind how the U.S.-based Deep Blue can put such a great kit of components and finished watch into such a small retail price.
Lately our lead man at Deep Blue has broken away from traditional colors and added fashion-forward findings to the brand to create the Juggernaut V, the Rally Diver 1000 Swiss Automatic and the Ocean Diver 500.
While these somewhat playful takes on timepieces may look like lightweight fun, the reality is that each and every one of these lively liberators of conventional coloration is built on a solid base that will take the abuse – and beg for use.
Commonalties abound within each of the three series featured here, which is also a big part of why they can be made so well at such a low price.
In watchmaking, volume matters. If you can buy cases, movements and other components in larger quantities, you can (if you choose) pass the savings along the end customer.
As any micro-brand maker can attest, buying and building 500 watches can be an expensive endeavor on a per-unit basis. Double, treble or larger multiples will quickly bring pricing down. What Deep Blue has done is to take the canvas of a solid 44mm case/crystal/bezel combination and painted radically differing pictures in timekeeping upon them.
Each watch in these collections shares the recently released Ronda Cal R150 automatic winding mechanical movement inside the 44mm by 15mm cases. For those not familiar with the R150, Ronda first introduced it to the press in 2016, but it has been slow to come to market inside branded watches. It beats at 28,800 with a typical power reserve at 40 hours, has 25 jewels and is similar in size and spec to the ETA 2824 series.
All three of these Deep Blue collections also feature AR-coated sapphire on the front as well as an exhibition back. One small difference in the case is that the Ocean Diver incorporates a helium-release valve to bump up the water resistance to 500 meters from 300 meters on the Pro-Diver design.
What’s clearly different are the dials, hands, straps, bracelets and colors. The effect of changing from any of the straps to a fully integrated bracelet creates a very different vibe.
Matching or contrasting the panoply of colors with the right strap makes the most of Deep Blues new hues. Retail prices are in the $600-$800 range but Deep Blue often runs specials that seem almost too good to be true, so it’s always worth checking the site: www.deepbluewatches.com.