Once I published my list of Father's Day sales, I realized something: I am a father, and a pretty good one if I do say so myself. Why just this morning, my son joined me in a rousing chorus of Ramones songs, so clearly I am doing something right and this is precisely the sort of rightness that deserves a reward. I checked out the sales, found a suitable target, clicked the "Add to Cart" button, and three days later I was the proud owner of a Deep Blue Sea Ram 500.
Deep Blue is an American company based in New York that specializes in divers watches. Their popular Sea Ram collection comes in several models including Swiss Made quartz three-handers ($299-319) and chronographs ($450), and a Miyota 9015 automatic ($499). They offer a veritable rainbow of dial options ranging from sober black to sun ray candy colors to iridescent mother-of-pearl. Bezel inserts are tough, glossy ceramic with color-keyed markers. If you dig a splash of color on your wrist, you will have a blast choosing your favorite Sea Ram.
I chose a simple quartz with a white enamel dial, orange hands, a white bezel with orange markers, and a white silicone strap. My reasons were twofold. The first was my inexplicable desire to dress like a Creamsicle. (I'm not joking. I've been on a real orange and white kick this summer.) The second was its absolutely irresistible sale price of $99. That particular deal is gone, but Deep Blue frequently runs sales so it's worth keeping an eye out for bargains.
All Sea Rams share the same brushed stainless steel case - a heavy unit that makes no attempt to hide its bulk. It measures 45mm wide, 51mm long, and 15mm thick, with slab sides and blocky crown guards. The thick lugs are rounded and tapered, with only the slightest curvature on the underside. As a result, the watch sits nearly flat and takes up nearly every iota of my 6.5" wrist (52mm lug-to-lug is my usual limit). Deep Blue does make a 36mm women's version, the Sea Ramic, which is otherwise identical to the larger model. This might also be a promising option for men with smaller wrists if they can endure the terrible pun of a name and are secure enough to wear a watch marketed to women (seriously fellas, it's not like it has estrogen in it), but I suspect many will find the gap between 45mm and 36mm to be too much of a stretch.
The Sea Ram may have peacock tendencies, but it is a deep water tool watch at heart. To this end, it is equipped with a sapphire crystal, screw down crown and case back, and is sealed to 500 meters water resistance. The 120-click bezel is surrounded by squared and beveled teeth that provide an aggressive look and prodigious grip. The action is firm, but not overly so, and there is no back play. It hits each detent with a loud, satisfying click and stays put, just as it should. The signed crown features the same aggressive texture as the bezel. It is huge, which suits the proportions of the case and allows for easy operation with gloves.
The solid case back has a scalloped edge and bears the image of a scuba diver descending upon a tiny engraved production number (mine was 0029/5000). Oddly, my favorite aspect is not the decoration, which is a bit shallow and undersized, but rather the list of basic specs that encircle it as these letters are nice and deep. Inside, a Ronda 715 handles the time and date. It is not a sexy movement, but it is the high-spec, gold plated, Swiss Made version with 5 jewels, end-of-life indicator, and a 60-month battery.
My Sea Ram arrived safely nestled in a foam-lined plastic carrying case. It is fairly cheap plastic, but it does the trick and has more potential utility than the usual dust-catching display box. Replace the fitted foam with some pick-and-pluck and you could get three watches in there.
The watch looks terrific. Orange plongeur hands, dial text, and bezel markings pop off the white background. Color aside, the face is quite a conservative design with applied round and bullet shaped markers, a printed index, and a white date window at 4:30. SuperLuminova on the hands and markers generates a strong glow that I found still legible after a couple of hours. If I would change one thing, it would be the crowded branding at the top of the dial. The logo is fine, the Deep Blue name is a shade large, and "Precision Diver" is too much. It is too small to be legible without squinting and only serves to clutter the space.
The standard strap for the Sea Ram Quartz is a 24mm silicone, 125/75mm long. It is molded with the Deep Blue logo and tapers to a 22mm, signed, square, stainless steel buckle. Black comes standard, but I opted for white to maintain the color scheme. It is soft and comfortable, but if you care for something different, there are several strap and bracelet options offered through the Deep Blue store, including stainless steel and polyurethane link bracelets, several varieties of silicone, and nylon Zulus.
At the full $319 list, I'd say the Sea Ram 500 Quartz is competitively priced. As of this writing, they are on sale for $249, which is even more attractive. The $99 Father's Day special feels like I stole it. Whichever version you choose, you will be getting a hell of a lot for the money.
Pro: Broad model range has something for everyone ...
Con: ... almost. A 42mm model would be ideal.
Sum: Solid and snazzy. The Time Bum approves.