The story so far has had twists and turns and plenty of controversy, but now it’s here is the Decima Scylla worth the money?
Decima Scylla Review
Let’s get this out of the way from the off: you’re going to find some pretty strong opinions if you start googling the Decima Scylla. The project was on, then off, then on again and it delivered late. So far, so standard for a Kickstarter-type project. But when the watches started arriving with its buyers more issues ensued. The green watches arrived with blue straps – and the promised rubber straps were missing altogether. The promised leather travel case was not with the watches. The supplied buckle was brass, not bronze. On some examples the bezels did not turn. Even worse, some watches were scratched between the lugs or had smudged printing on the bezels. All of this has – quite rightly – made a lot of customers very unhappy.
This review watch was lent to me by The Microbrand Store who bought up rather a lot of the pre-order stock and also had issues with missing parts and lax quality control. To their credit they have attempted to rectify the problems, and so this review combines the standard Decima Scylla watch package with some of the alternative strap options that Neil at the store has sourced for his customers.
The watch comes in a rather spartan and unremarkable box. If you’re not concerned by presentation you will not be concerned by this, but the original plan was for a presentation box so this is a little disappointing if you preordered the watch.
Enough negativity: This is a really well-built watch. The slab-sided 44mm octagonal case is just the right weight and it is very comfortable to wear. At the front is a sapphire crystal and twelve-sided bezel with a solid feeling action. At the back is a case back with an etched sea creature (the titular Scylla). I’d have like a deeper case-back like on the Christopher Ward Tridents but there’s nothing “wrong” with it.
On one side of the case is the large, knurled crown, at 4 O’clock and on the other side a helium escape valve. The Microbrand Store has made sure that any scratches on the case have been professionally refinished and sorted the bezels (which were all stuck on arrival). Because the watches are made of bronze, they will not always look this shiny – the material acquires a natural brown or brown-green patina over time as it is exposed to the air. I love bronze watches, and this is one of the nicest I have tried. The watch is powered by a Swiss Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement. A high-quality and reliable premium choice for a small brand.
Dial and Hands
The dial of the Decima Scylla is a stunning sunburst – in this case blue (green and brown are also available). The applied markers give a little depth, although not a massive amount, and the hands are unusual.
The shape of the hands may well be an acquired taste, but I liked them. The date at 6 O’Clock helps with symmetry. Overall, a good looking watch that has been described as a bit “TAG-Heuer” but which I think has a charm all of its own.
Strap and Buckle
Here’s where it gets more complicated. The standard strap supplied with the Decima Scylla is this leather-backed canvas strap (there were meant to also be rubber and soft leather straps supplied with the watches but backers who preordered have not received these yet). The canvas strap is… adequate. It actually feels very similar to the one supplied with the Christopher Ward C60 Trident Bronze, which I very quickly changed as it was uncomfortable for me. There is also a thicker leather strap in blue, which looks and rather cheap to me. You’ll notice that the stock buckle is brass, not bronze (I hold them together in the video review to show the colour difference) so the store supplies a bronze replacement too.
The Microbrand Store is also offering some additional complimentary straps. The one fitted to the review sample is a lovely Italian leather option which matches the watch colour really well.
There is also a range of rubber dive straps which are fine as dive straps go but not really my thing, I do not like the “ladder” design with its large holes but the quality is very good. These were supplied by The Microbrand Store to its pre-order customers and they’re available separately, too.
What I Liked
- I love the style and colour, it’s a great looking watch
- The case build quality is excellent
- The watch, despite its size, is very well balanced to wear
What I Didn’t Like
- The stock straps are unexciting, you need to budget for a replacement
- The presentation is a little spartan for such a relatively expensive watch
- The applied markers on the dial are a little thin – it would look great with a touch more depth
Decima Scylla – the WRUK Verdict
The Decima Scylla is going to set you back about £600 plus VAT. That’s a lot of money, but compares favourably to what I would see as its nearest competitor, the Christopher Ward C60 Bronze (click here to read my review). For me, the Christopher Ward edges it thanks to its cool 3D bezel and Christopher Ward’s peerless 5-year warranty, but the Decima is certainly competing at the same level. If you want a bronze dive watch, I would recommend you to add this to your shortlist.
Buy a Decima Scylla
This review sample was on loan from The Microbrand Store who offer a warranty and after-sales support, so if I were buying one I’d go there rather than direct to Decima. Price is around £600 – but don’t forget to budget for a 20% VAT bill when it arrives in the UK.
The Microbrand Store also has Decima Scylla with special extra strap bundles. These packs include both the rubber and Italian leather (as reviewed) and are about £630 at the current exchange rate.