A Week on the Wrist – Diewald Seahorse II

Diewald Seahorse II

The first watch from Diewald, the Seahorse, was an absolute stunner of a dive watch at a giveaway price. The Kickstarter campaign for the Diewald Seahorse II  ended in April, doubling its goal, and the company were kind enough to lend us a review sample so we could give it the once over.

A Week on the Wrist – Diewald Seahorse II Review

If you are in the market for a microbrand 200m dive watch you are spoiled for choice. The Diewald Seahorse II is a second generation of the company’s dive watch and combines a low price point with an impressive build quality that will give watches two or three times the cost a run for their money. The movement is a reliable Seiko NH35, which is accurate and easy to service. The Kickstarter price started at €179; full retail price will be €299.

First Impressions

The Diewald Seahorse II was shipped to us in a zipped travel case, complete with embossed Diewald logo and a branded zip. Although other brands ship in higher-quality boxes, this is a far more practical option than most, and is a lot better than the “nothing” most big brands provide!

Case

The 316L stainless steel case is solid and well-proportioned. It sits on the wrist very comfortably and is just heavy enough to feel high-quality without being cumbersome. The crown is nicely knurled and laser-etched with the Diewald logo. Extra marks are added for the lugholes which will make strap changing far easier and reduce scratches to the underside of the case.

The only negative we could find with the case on this prototype was that the laser etching on the case back was rather rough. A proper “deep” engraving would look fantastic but would have significantly added to the price. There will be a slight change to the production models, our prototype shows the model as “Seahorse” but it will be changed to “Seahorse II”.

Dial and Hands

The dial is finished in a nice gloss black on our review model, although orange and a stunning blue are available. The blood red dial option was unlocked in the Kickstarter campaign and that is definitely our favourite. The dial design is a “sandwich” type with luminescent dots and a fully-lumed bezel which looks great in the dark.

The finish of everything is top-notch, and the watch is extremely legible. We must admit that we preferred the triangles of the original Seahorse to the Seiko-esque dots of the new model, but it still looks fantastic.

Strap and Buckle

The supplied rubber strap is really nice. It is thick and comfortable and has a concave underside that will wick away water well. The buckle is nicely brushed and finished with a Diewald logo. We would have loved to have had the option of a bracelet, but the rubber strap is perfectly acceptable on a tool watch.

We also were sent a couple of NATO straps (which Diewald have kindly offered as a competition prize) which were great quality, signed with the Diewald logo. We have no doubt that the leather and purlon straps are equally well constructed.

What we liked

  • The case is excellent: well-balanced and just the right weight. Wrist feel is superb and the dimensions are just about perfect
  • The dial and full-lumed bezel look fantastic in the dark as well asthe light. The dial is finished with a lovely sheen that oozes quality.
  • At the asking price, it is a steal! It holds its own aginst other microbrands and even mainstream watches up to about double its price-point.

What we didn’t like

  • The lack of a date function is disappointing, we’d have liked a date at 6 O’clock, although Diewald assure us that none of the designs they tried with a date looked right
  • The circular markers are not as distinctive as the original Seahorse’s triangles, the watch looks good, but is not as “unique” as its predecessor
  • The case back laser etching is not very deep and feels low-quality compared to the rest of the watch. Having said that, at the price point we don’t expect Omega Seamaster levels of engraving!

Diewald Seahorse II – The WRUK Verdict

Overall, we loved the Diewald Seahorse II. It’s a great, solidly built dive watch with just enough unique features – the sandwich dial, the cool choice of colours, the low price – to stand out from the crowd. We would not hesitate to recommend getting one (if there are any left after the Kickstarter orders are fulfilled!)

Buy a Diewald Seahorse II

Although the Kickstarter campaign has now ended, you can contact Diewald watches through their website to preorder any remaining watches – but be quick before they sell out.

Author: Mike Richmond

Usually found skulking around eBay or the International Watch League forum, Mike writes for a living and spends what little money he makes building up his collection of timepieces.

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