It is a beautiful thing when a watch exceeds your expectations. When I first encountered the Reverie Sea Spirit online, I could see this sporty dress watch had many desirable elements like a sapphire crystal, Miyota automatic movement, and 100 meters water resistance. I could also see that it was going to be an attractive watch with its brushed and polished cushion case and distinctive spiral guilloché dial. All the indications were good, but I was still pleasantly surprised when I opened the box. Delighted, in fact. I might have made an "Oooh!" noise, but no one can prove that.
Come to think of it, my excitement began before I even opened the box. The watch arrived in its padded display box all tied up with ribbon, accompanied by a handwritten note. In a world that is largely automated and where much social interaction comes through a computer screen, a personal touch goes a long way.
The Sea Spirit is by any measure, a gorgeous watch. Photos only give you a rough idea of the textured dial. Reverie claims it was inspired by ocean waves; something that is readily apparent when the dial catches the light to create the illusion of movement. The watch is available in black and the sample's lustrous deep blue color. The layout follows that of a traditional deck officer's watch with its prominent Arabic numerals and railroad track index. The offset small seconds dial tweaks the conventional design a touch, and to good effect. By moving it from the traditional 6 o'clock position, Reverie has liberated space for a full set of markers.
The choice of a diver's style handset is another deviation from the classic model that still carries the nautical theme. The white luminous material on the hands provides ample contrast for excellent readability in all light conditions. I love the way polished hands look on a dress watch, but they tend to reflect dark surfaces and disappear under all but the most optimal of lighting conditions, rendering the watch unreadable. The white lume on the Sea Spirit solves this problem and looks damn fine in the process. A strong nighttime glow is icing on the cake.
Cushion cases wear much larger than comparably sized round cases. For example, the Heuer Monaco is just 38mm square and no one could accuse it of being undersized. I have found most square or cushion cases sized 42mm or larger to be too large for anything but weekend wear. The Sea Spirit is 41mm wide, 47mm long and hits that mid-sized sweet spot, large enough for a sporty presence, small enough for a suit and tie at the office. It was a perfect fit on my 6.5" wrist. The case also draws attention with its deft use of shape and finish. A beveled edge surrounding the case and the radial brushing on the otherwise polished case add a pleasant dimension to the watch. The 3 o'clock push-pull crown is fluted and signed. Overall fit and finish are excellent, with no sharp edges or corners to detract. There is perhaps a nod to the 40mm Panerai Luminor in the design, but the Reverie stands handsomely on its own. Indeed, to my eye, the Sea Spirit is the prettier watch.
Peering through the display case back you will find a Miyota 8218 with a skeletonized rotor. This hand winding, 21 jewel automatic movement vibrates at 21.6k bph and has a power reserve of over 40 hours.
Between the short, angular lugs sits a 22mm strap. The Sea Spirit ships with two: leather on a butterfly deployant clasp, and black sailcloth on a buckle. Both are signed, equipped with quick release spring bars, and are quality prices. The deep blue model arrived on padded brown leather with contrasting stitching that gave it an appropriately sporting look. The sailcloth strap is leather backed and is both thinner and lighter than the padded leather. The brown leather is a perfect pairing with the blue dial, but I found the clasp to be uncomfortable over long periods of time. It sat on my wrist in such a way that the outer edge was in contact with my skin. I confess, I am not a great fan of butterfly clasps in general, but the strap itself is very nice, and of course, there is another option in the box. My clasp issues aside, it is great to have two straps, and the quick release mechanism makes swapping them a breeze.
The Reverie Sea Spirit is a remarkably satisfying watch and at just $420 USD shipped, it is a solid deal. The refined case, modest size, robust specs, and dazzling dial have made it my go-to piece over these past two weeks. For more information or to order one of your own, head to ReverieWatches.com.
Pro: Stunning dial, elegant case.
Con: Pinchy clasp.
Sum: Lovely and well made. The Time Bum approves.