It is a while since we reviewed a diver’s watch, so it is nice to be able to start 2021 with one of the best for some time: the Reverie Diver.

Reverie Diver Review

The $490 Reverie Diver is now available direct from the manufacturer following a Kickstarter campaign last year. Eschewing the trend of ever-bigger dive watches, this is a modestly-sized watch with a nod to the 1970s lugless designs. This watch was provided to me free of charge so please bear that in mind when reading my review – and indeed any others if that is not declared.

Presentation is excellent, with a high-quality leather watch roll protecting the watch. I prefer a roll to a box as it is something I will actually use. Inside the roll Reverie provide a cleaning cloth, a rubber strap, a strap change tool (in case you change to a different strap as the supplied options are both quick-change) and a really well-made glossy instruction book.

Case

The 40mm diameter puts this watch in the same size bracket as the classic Rolex Submariner. It is relatively small compared to a lot of modern watches but – in my opinion – it hits a sweet spot that makes it wearable for the majority of people. The svelte 12mm thickness helps it balance on the wrist really well, and the finishing of the metal is well done, with a nice crisp transition between brushed and polished areas and all the case back engravings looking suitably crisp. The lugless case means that almost any strap will look good on the watch with no visible gap. I really like this design, which was popular in the 1970s.

Inside we have the Miyota 9039 movement. It is a high-beat, premium self-winding model that I see a lot in mid-range divers. In this example, it is fully decorated, including a ‘Seigaiha’ wave pattern on the rotor. This is unusual to see at this price point and is very welcome. It adds a touch of premium class to the otherwise understated Reverie Diver. The steel bezel turns easily with very little back play. My only slight criticism here is the crown: although it is beautifully knurled with a lovely embossed logo, I found it a little small and fiddly to use. Nothing deal-breaking, but I’d have preferred it a touch deeper and a touch wider.

Dial and Hands

The dial of the Reverie Diver is – put simply – stunning. A radial guilloche pattern catches the light and the outer ring with applied hour markers gives a real sense of depth to the dial, which is increased thanks to the gently sloped chapter ring. The hands are both easy to read and unique in their design. It can be hard to differentiate dive watches from one another, but this one has a character all of its own. 

 

There is no date option for the Reverie Diver, which is a shame as although it makes the dial balanced, is something I personally prefer in a daily-wearer.

Strap and Bracelet

The watch comes with two options: a steel bracelet or a rubber strap. Both have quick release pins – which is particularly unusual (and extremely welcome) at any price point, never mind here. The nearest comparison in my own collection would be the £850 Christopher Ward C65. The bracelet here is not quite up to the standard of the Christopher Ward, but for the money, it is better than I would expect. It even has a Rolex-style sliding clasp. Unfortunately only half of the sliding part can be used on my watch, as the bracelet cannot “click down” into place on half of the clasp. This may be the design or may just be an issue on my watch, but I was still able to find a good fit with about 5mm of adjustment either way: more than enough for me.

Although I tend to prefer bracelets, I found myself choosing the rubber strap very often. It makes the watch feel different from my other diver watches, it suits the light and slim case, and the rubber is very comfortable to wear. I particularly like the way the inside of the strap has the same decoration as the watch dial. The beauty of having quick-release straps is that switching the look and feel of the Reverie Diver takes seconds, and needs no tools.

Reverie Diver – Video Review

What I Liked

  • The watch looks great and has design features that differentiate it well. 
  • Whether you wear on strap or bracelet, the watch is slim, light and comfortable. 
  • There are premium features on the Reverie Diver rarely found in watches costing twice as much (or more). 

What I Didn’t Like

  • The crown is a touch too small for my taste.
  • You can only use half of the sliding clasp on the bracelet.
  • There is no option to buy the watch with a date window. 

Reverie Diver – the WRUK Verdict

The Reverie Diver is a great watch and a bargain at its asking price. I think it looks and feels great and can forgive my minor criticisms when considering the overall value proposition. Yes, you do not quite get the same level of attention to detail on the finish that you get with Christopher Ward or NTH, but those watches are in a different price bracket – the Reverie Diver is hitting well above its weight for half the price. I think it’s one of the best sub-£500 microbrand diver’s watches on the market right now.

Buy a Reverie Diver

The Reverie Diver retails at $490 (about £360), but you can get 15% off at https://www.reveriewatches.com/ when you use code WWRUK15 at the checkout.

Author: Mike Richmond

Mike spends what little spare time he has writing for WRUK; and what little money he makes building up his collection of timepieces.