Fancy something a little bit different? The Neminus Xtreme Diver is a 300-metre diver’s watch with an eye-catching selection of dials.
Neminus Xtreme Diver 300 Review
Neminus kindly lent me an Xtreme Diver for a week, so I could share my opinions on the watch. A Kickstarter campaign last month demolished its goal, and the watch will be available for sale soon after the backers have received their watches.
The watch arrived in a beautiful leather watch roll within a red bag, within a cardboard box. I’d have been happy with the watch roll alone, but I am not sure if this the retail packaging or just for transportation purposes. The watch roll is superb: very soft, suede-like leather with a premium feel. The red stitching is neat and tidy, and there’s room for four watches, straps or combination thereof. The review video shows the full unboxing process.
Case and Movement
One of the first things that jumped out at me when I picked up the Neminus Xtreme Diver is that none of it seems to comprise of catalogue parts. Often, I’ll point out that a watch features a clasp I have seen before or a familiar case design. In this case, everything seems to be bespoke. That’s reflected in the $699 USD asking price but does go some way towards explaining the RRP.
I really like the case design. First, it is solid-feeling without being too heavy. A bracelet might have made it unwieldy, but it does balance well on the wrist. I like the drilled lugs (making strap changes simple if you remove the supplied quick-release watchband) and the finish is excellent. The 120-click bezel has a very positive action with zero back play. The case could perhaps do with a little more curvature towards the lugs: it will sit a bit flat on a smaller wrist, but this watch is not designed to be hidden under a cuff! It’s 44mm in diameter, 15.4mm thick with a 22mm lug width. On top is a 4mm double-domed sapphire crystal with five layers of AR coating – this is a really chunky watch!
The crown is finished with precision, the deep-cut knurling and signed logo look superb. I was, however, disappointed that it does not sit centrally between the crown guards. I wonder if a thinner movement in the original design was later changed to the Seiko NH35A (a good movement but usually found in watches at a lower price point)? The star of the show is the stunning case back: a deeply embossed skull design which is simply superbly executed. There is not laser etching on this watch: everything is properly engraved – even the model and serial number – and that is what sets apart a premium timepiece from a pretender.
Dial and Hands
I was unsure if to switch around the traditional order of my review headings because it seems odd to be this far into a review without mentioning the dial. The review sample is called the “Nuclear Reactor”, and has one of the most unusual dials I have ever seen. It’s hard to convey in photos or even on video just how good the effect of the dial actually is. Each section of the cracked orange design (which brought to mind the Thing from the Fantastic Four) is independently curved in three dimensions, like the segments of a tortoise’s shell. That, along with the superb painting gives the watch a look like no other I’ve ever seen. There are two more designs, which are equally striking.
The hands are again bespoke, thick and legible with plenty of BGW9 lume. Dial markings are conservative – a sensible choice given the background – and there is a rather cool “roulette” date wheel with alternate dates showing red or black (31 is green). Although everything is well made and applied, I did struggle to make out the text against such a busy background. It’s an acquired taste, for sure, but it certainly isn’t the “black dial, black bezel diver’s watch” I get so bored of seeing!
Strap and Buckle
The Neminus Xtreme Diver came with two straps. I am not sure if it comes with the natural leather Zulu as an extra or if this was just a Kickstarter add-on, but it was a really nice strap. It’s soft and supple, made of dyed natural leather with thick, high-quality hardware. I wouldn’t have it as my primary choice, but it certainly makes a suitable dress-down alternative to the canvas strap.
The three-layer canvas strap is the real star of the show. It’s made of a piece of yellow material sandwiched between a black leather backing and black canvas with yellow stitching. It’s thick, supple, comfortable to wear and – like the rest of the watch – very eye-catching. I noticed some fraying at the edges and have given the benefit of the doubt that this is because the review watch will have been through many people’s hands before mine. Keep an eye on owners’ reviews to see if it is an issue in the real world. I was particularly impressed by the design of the buckle: the place where even the wildest watch designs often resort to a catalogue part. Not Nemimus: they designed a unique buckle that works well and looks cool.
Neminus Xtreme Diver – Video Review
What I Liked
- The design is bold, with no use of catalogue parts
- The watch feels great to wear with excellent balance
- The construction is outstanding
What I Didn’t Like
- The crown is not centred between the crown guards
- The text on the dial is hard to make out against the background
- The RRP of $699 is high for a watch with an NH35 movement
Neminus Xtreme Diver – The WRUK Verdict
Overall, I was very impressed with the Neminus Xtreme Diver, but I have a few caveats. I always review a watch with the criteria “is it worth the money”: you’ve already decided if you like the design when you clicked on the review. So this watch is well made, with everything that I usually find to complain about done just right. The bezel is excellent, with no back play. The case back is superb and properly stamped out: no laser engraving here. Everything is bespoke, and nothing is a standard part.
The downside of this is the cost: $699 for a watch with a Seiko NH35 is expensive. At the Kickstarter super early bird price of $329, this watch represented an absolute bargain. At twice that, it lands firmly in the territory of other quality brands such as Christopher Ward (who almost always have a discount code or sale going on). So, the decision you must take is: do you like the design enough to pay the premium price? If you do, you will get an excellent watch that looks like it will last a lifetime.
Buy a Neminus Xtreme Diver
Neminus sell direct to the public from its website: https://www.neminuslab.com/