[Updated to reflect the revised launch date of October 7th 2019]
Aereotec is a Malaysian brand that is bringing their first watch to market via the crowdfunding site Kickstarter in October. What is the WRUK verdict on the Aerotec Sea Hunt?
Aerotec Sea Hunt Review
The Aerotec Sea Hunt is presented in a really good presentation box. It looks and feels high-quality and the inner is made of a lovely brown (presumably faux) leather. Inside you get the watch and a space for the optional bracelet.
The watch case looks, at first glance, to be a similar shape to the “standard” dive watch template. It has some nice touches such as the squared lugs and it is finished well. The bezel assembly is rather tall, which makes the watch look a bit top-heavy but it wears really comfortably. This is a loan review watch that is doing a circuit of the world, so be aware that it may have picked up a few knocks and scratches when reviewing my photographs.
I love the case back, which has a deep stamped diver’s helmet with a little window through which part of the Miyota 9015 movement is visible. I think this is a really nice touch and full marks to Aerotec for the quality of the case back which is not a thin etching like so many other microbrand watches. The crown is easy to grip, but a little too deep in my opinion, protruding perhaps a little too far past the crown guards. It has an engraved Aerotec logo with a little lume pip – nice touch! Perhaps the bezel could do with a few more numbers and not just markings but who actually uses the bezel on their watch except to point it back at 12?
Dial and Hands
I found the dial and hands of the Aerotec Sea Hunt to be a little too “mixed and matched” for my liking. The dial itself is similar to that of a 5-digit Rolex Submariner, with small raised indices. The date at 6 keeps the dial balanced well, and the applied logo adds a touch of class. A nice reddy brown sunburst makes the dial pop beautifully in the sunlight.
I was less convinced by two elements: the hands and the lume. The hands are a combination of what looks like a Mercedes hour hand (without the Mercedes style design) and a sword minute hand. For me, they just don’t fit. I have the same problem with the fancy hands on Christopher Ward Tridents and accept that some people love them and will love this watch’s hands. They’re just not for me. Nor is the lume, which is too green for my liking and doesn’t match between markers and hands. Thankfully, this is being fixed for the final production run.
Strap and Bracelet
Backers of the Aerotec Sea Hunt will receive the watch with a vintage leather strap which is quite superb. It’s comparable in terms of quality to the Spinnaker straps I reviewed earlier this year. Supple and thick, it exudes quality and is one of the best I’ve seen on a microbrand. I love the now almost-ubiquitous quick-release strap pins. I was less impressed by the optional bracelet. It is basically the same as the one on the Alcadus Opus (incidentally another Malaysian brand) with a thin clasp, few micro adjustments and push pins. It does have solid end links – which is a positive point – and at the price range it is acceptable, but compared to the strap it’s a bit of a letdown.
Also supplied was a seatbelt NATO that will be offered as a stretch goal. As NATOs go it’s a good one, but I don’t think it quite matched the red on the watch. If you pick one up for free, it’s going to be a quality addition to your strap selection.
Aerotec Sea Hunt Specifications
- Case size: 40 mm
- Case thickness: 14.1 mm excluding domed sapphire crystal
- Lug width: 20 mm
- Lug to lug: 48 mm
- Weight: 98.9grams ( case ) 113.2 grams ( with leather strap )
- Caseback: Unique stamp logo with sapphire crystal caseback
- Crown: Screwdown embossed A signed logo
- Movement: JAPANESE MIYOTA 9015 Automatic
- Dial : Meteorite or brushed dial with applied 3D indexes filled with C3 Super-Luminova
- Crystal: 3.3 mm Double domed sapphire crystal with anti reflective coating underneath
- Water resistant: 50 ATM / 500M
- Strap: Italian aged leather and stainless steel bracelet
- Packaging: AEROTEC packaging box
- Warranty: 1 Year International
What I Liked
- You’ll get a lot of value for money, the box and strap are significantly better than you’d expect at the price point.
- The build quality is great – especially that neat case back!
- The sunburst dial looks superb in natural light
What I Didn’t Like
- The design is perhaps a little too derivative of the Rolex dive watch template
- I wasn’t sure about the shape of the hands on the watch, I think I’d prefer just sword or just Mercedes style
- The bezel is a little too high and the crown a little too deep for my taste
Aerotec Sea Hunt – the WRUK Verdict
Overall, for your AUD399 (about £225) you are getting a really good watch. Presentation is top-notch and the build quality of the strap and case are well above the standard at this price point. Although the bracelet is not great, it’s easily worth the asking price of 45AUD. I’ll cautiously recommend this one – provided that lume colour is fixed in the final production.
Buy an Aerotec Sea Hunt
You can pre-order an Aerotec Sea Hunt on Kickstarter from October 7th. The watch and strap will be AUD399, with an optional meteorite dial upgrade at AUD150. The bracelet is AUD45 extra, and the NATO strap will be offered as a stretch goal if the campaign significantly beats its target. Sign up for updates at http://www.aerotecwatches.com/