Cincinnati Watch Co. Diver's Edition

Review and photos by Mike Razak

Well, it’s happened. I’m a fanboy. I admit it feels a little gross. But I can’t help it. Cincinnati Watch Company keeps putting out great watches, and I keep getting to review them. And then I really like them. It happened with the P-40M. And the Cincinnatus Field. After bringing their assembly in house with their new partner/watchmaker, Cincinnati Watch Co. has done it again gain with the Diver’s Edition. The brand’s first foray into the jam-packed field of microbrand dive watches doesn’t disappoint.

Cincinnati Watch Co. Diver's Edition

The standout of the 41mm Diver’s Edition is it’s “stadium” bezel. Instead of your traditional outward-sloped or flat style, the bezel slopes inward, towards the dial. To accommodate this, the bezel itself is quite tall, allowing for much easier grip—especially if you’re using it while diving and have gloves on. Lots of bezels focus on being as subtle as possible and limiting their disruption of a case's clean lines. The Diver’s Edition bezel manages to maintain the design excellent design while being exceptionally usable, with no back play, a satisfying click, and smooth action. All while keeping the thickness at a very reasonable 14.2mm.

Cincinnati Watch Co. Diver's Edition

For those who see that thickness and think it may be too much, calm your nerves. Thanks to the contours on the case, with a long curve through the 48.5mm lug-to-lug, the watch sits exceptionally well on the wrist, and its height is never an issue. The 20mm lugs are slim and blocky (not in a bad way, it’s just the best way to describe them), and have a nice gradual swoop that helps grab the wrist.

Cincinnati Watch Co. Diver's Edition

At three o’clock is a perfectly sized screw-down crown, conveying 200m of water resistance and nestled in blocky crown guards. If you haven’t caught on, the Diver’s Edition perfectly blends sharper angles with gentle curves, and creates further contrast with the use of both brushed and polished surfaces.

Cincinnati Watch Co. Diver's Edition

The watch features a wonderful sapphire crystal whose huge dome is accentuated by the bezel that dives toward it. Domes this high can sometimes catch an undue amount of Flecto™, but the Diver’s Edition somehow avoids such a pitfall. Thank god for that because the dial is a treat.

Cincinnati Watch Co. Diver's Edition

While the model comes in black with gilt accents, the blue dial would be my choice. The deep blue sunburst finish matches the matte blue ceramic bezel insert. The dial is well balanced, with a thin minute track around the outer edge and large, easy-to-read applied hour markers. The trapezoidal cardinal hours complement the large hands. The framed date is well-positioned at 6 o’clock, avoiding any imbalance to the dial.

Cincinnati Watch Co. Diver's Edition

The handset is big and unapologetic. A plongeur-style hour hand and a looooong sword-style minute hand. The seconds features a trapezoid at the end, which echoes the markers and is rimmed in orange to match the 12 o’clock bezel triangle.

Cincinnati Watch Co. Diver's Edition lume

The lume is the best yet for the brand. While the P-40M and the Cincinnatus Field both suffered from uneven and partly dim lume, the Diver’s Edition features bright and even C3 Super-LumiNova. The lume is applied to the hands, the markers, and the bezel pip. It passes muster on each of the five facets of great lume: charging speed, brightness, longevity, evenness, and execution. I’m happy to see their lume game finally catch up.  

My only gripe—and boy, is it a small one—is the dial text. For all the boldness throughout the rest of the watch, the dial text seems feeble. It lacks the decisiveness and oomph that the big hands, crown guards, or tall bezel afford. The A’s feature a delightful swoop that lends some character, but still leaves me wanting more from the dial text. It’s an unbelievably small issue, but one I noticed, so one I must mention.

Cincinnati Watch Co. Diver's Edition

Turning the watch over, a wave-motif in concentric circles surrounds the center where you’ll not only find the brand, model, and depth information, but also a reminder that part of the proceeds from each watch will go to the Dive Pirates Foundation. The Dive Pirates Foundation trains, equips, and conducts dive trips year-round for individuals with spinal cord injuries. As with every watch prior, the brand has chosen an exceptional cause to benefit from our little hobby.

Cincinnati Watch Co. Diver's Edition

Under the caseback is the Swiss Sellita SW200-1. This ETA 2824 clone has long since proven its mettle in myriad watches and features hacking and a 38-hour power reserve. And as mentioned above, it is regulated and cased by the brand's new partner and watchmaker, Jordan Ficklin.

Cincinnati Watch Co. Diver's Edition clasp

Attached with fitted end links is the stock bracelet. It’s quite thin and is a style I’d call a flat jubilee. The wide outer links and three narrow, polished center links are the trademark jubilee style, but herein they are without the big humps found on Rolex’s version. And that’s a good thing, as it completes a gradual taper that goes from the case to the lugs to the bracelet. Unfortunately, the milled (yay!) clasp is thick and looks a bit awkward on such a thin bracelet (boo!). It functions splendidly and features micro adjustments, but I would’ve been just as happy with a stamped clasp if it meant some continuity of thickness.

Cincinnati Watch Co. Diver's Edition

(Continuity of Thickness is my debut novel, and early reviews say it’s “definitely a book” and “has a plot, if you read carefully and take plenty of notes.”)

Cincinnati Watch Co. Diver's Edition

I had quite a bit of fun with straps this go-round. From leather to canvas to nato, from brown to orange to black. This watch takes to plenty of straps, so you’ll be quite happy if you’re a filthy swapper like I am.

Cincinnati Watch Co. Diver's Edition

The Cincinnati Watch Co. Diver’s Edition is a great watch. The design, functionality, and specs are top-notch and make for a wearing experience that rivals ostensibly superior watches. But if this watch is so good, how can those watches be superior? It’s a riddle, and the answer is, they may not be. And that seems even more true when you realize that the Diver's Edition is available at preorder for just $395 (the watches will deliver early 2021). That’s a steal. Even at the eventual retail of $450, I’d say this watch is underpriced and offer huge value. The brand is doing you a favor. You can be gracious and accept their kindness by buying a Diver’s Edition here.

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