Octon Watch

There are a lot of Rolex Submariner homages out there and for good reason. After all, it’s an iconic, well-balanced design. People love them, and I own a few myself (homages that is, not real Rolexes. I mean, I am a cheapskate after all). Of course, even a good design gets tiresome after you have seen it a couple hundred times, so it is always nice to see a brand take that tried and true Sub template and shake it up a bit. Sweden’s Octon Watches has done just that, creating an eye-catching little number with multiple customization options for a crazy low price. 

Octon automatic dive watch black green

The watch arrived in a tidy padded case with a hinged and locking lid. It is a nice presentation and the sort of travel case that might actually see some practical use. Its dense foam insert held the watch, extra strap, strap tool, and warranty cards. 

Octon automatic dive watch black green side

In typical Submariner form, the Octon has a stainless steel case that is 40mm wide, 47.5mm long, and 13mm thick from the case back to the domed sapphire crystal. These are good proportions. I found the Octon fit neatly on my 6.75” wrist. It has a signed screw down crown, threaded case back, and is rated for a healthy 300m water resistance. There are no crown guards and the sides are flat. A slim polished chamfer runs the length of the otherwise brushed case. The lugs are drilled and set 22mm apart, a bit wider than the usual Sub-style 20mm. The case back carries a somewhat macabre engraving of a bizarrely tentacled diver. There are no surprises here, just a solid foundation for what is to come. My only gripe is that the crown requires a firm push in order to make sure it threads properly on the first try. 

Octon automatic dive watch black green case back

A good dose of the Octon's quirky charm comes from the odd assemblage of design cues in its dial. You get the typical circles-and-bars layout, but with Tudor snowflake hands and a Millgaus lightning bolt second hand. Octon dips deep into the palette to whip up Neptune Blue with Aurora Green accents, Meteor Grey with Solar Yellow, Lunar Blue (robin's egg) with white, and the intense Black and Aurora Green that I tried for this review. Clearly, they are not afraid of a splash of color. You will find that lurid green on the bezel index, handset, and text. It looks fabulous right until the lights go down, at which point you will remember that black lume - and I don't think I'm saying anything controversial here - sucks. It's just a simple fact that dark lume does not glow as brightly as light lume and black is by any measure a mightly dark color. You get a little burst at first, and the hands glow stronger than the rest, but it all fades rapidly. If lume is a priority, you will be better off with the white X1 SuperLuminova on the Lunar Blue and Meteor Grey versions. If not, then be sure to keep your activities well lit.

Octon automatic dive watch black green detail

Once you have chosen your dial, you get to pick a bezel. This one was a matching black/green but you can select any of the other color combinations on the 60-minute aluminum insert, or go for a 12-hour bezel in black/silver, silver/black, or a Batman blue and black. Regardless of style, the bezel provides the right amount of resistance and zero back play as it moves through its 120-clicks

Octon automatic dive watch black green

Straps are next. A stainless steel bracelet with a signed flip-lock clasp is the standard item. Straps include several colors of Perlon, nylon NATOs, two-piece fabric Zulus, leather, and rubber. The only strap that runs you any more is the leather, and that is only a $13 premium. The loaner came with a textured black rubber strap as the extra, and while it looked fine on its own and had a sturdy signed buckle, I didn't think it was the best pairing with this color combination. Of course, that is why Octon lets you play with so many. The right one for me is in there somewhere. The solid black rubber and neon green Perlon both look pretty tempting.

Octon automatic dive watch black green strap

Finally, we get to the movement. This is the one option that will really move the price, but even then, the difference is modest. A 24 jewel, 21.6k Seiko NH35 is the base engine. Another $63 gets you a smooth 28.8k, 24 jewel Miyota 9015. Big spenders can shell out the $138 premium for a 28.8k, 24 jewel Swiss ETA 2824-2. There is no bad choice here. All three are reliable, durable, and easily serviced. Its a matter of what is important to you. Personally, while I like the smooth sweep of the 9015 and 2824-2, I can easily give it up for the cheaper, quieter NH35.

Octon automatic dive watch black green wrist

Honestly though, the cost is hardly an overriding issue with the Octon. For the $225 base price you can order up the style of your choice of a bracelet or waterproof strap and the rock-solid NH35 inside, or you can get one "fully loaded" on leather and packing a 2824-2 for $377. Either way, you are getting a deal. If you choose one of Octon's off-the-shelf combinations, you get the bracelet and an extra strap for the same price. Better still, no matter what you buy, Octon will donate 10% to the Sea Legacy ocean conservation organization.

Octon automatic dive watch black green

I did not think I would enjoy the Octon as much as I did. Lume aside, the black/green dial is quite cool, and I love the value. For a tidy, practical, funky watch that will survive all manner of aquatic activities, you would do well to check out OctonWatches.com. ⬩

Octon automatic dive watch black green, black lume

Octon automatic dive watch clasp

Octon automatic dive watch black white rubber strap

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