If you want a diver’s watch there is almost too much choice out there. The Time Locker Kouriles is the latest entrant into the crowded marketplace.
Time Locker Kouriles Review
The TIme Locker Kouriles is coming to Kickstarter this month. Designed in France, the brand is inspired by 1950s combat divers. The watch certainly does feel macho, with a real heft to its 42mm case that makes it feel more like a tool than a fress watch.
That 42mm case has a solid case back to protect the Seiko NH35 automatic movement and is topped by a slightly domed sapphire crystal. The case shape is reminiscent of Tudor with its pointed crown guards, and the oversized crown is really easy to manipulate. The 120 click lumed ceramic bezel operates smoothly but doesn’t slip and there is not the slightest hint of play. The Time Locker Kouriles is a really well-made watch, in my opinion.
The downside of that closed case back is my pet hate – light etching. It’s not bad for a watch in this price range but I do prefer a deep, stamped case-back or a plain one most of the time.
Dial and Hands
At first glance I thought the Time Locker Kouriles was “yet another dive watch” but on closer inspection it has some really nice touches. I like how the applied indices on the dial appear in the centre of the dial as well as the edges, making the most of an underutilised space. The hands are legible in all lighting conditions, and the yellow and red highlights on the second hand add a splash of colour. The sense of depth is fantastic, especially viewed at an angle through the crystal.
The downside to me was the date. Although perfectly centred in its window, the window itself is situated at about 4.40 and not centred between the 4 and 5 markers. This is typically because manufacturers have not replaced the stock date wheel – I would always prefer a new date wheel to moving the hole in the dial to make it fit.
Strap and Buckle
Although the Time Locker Kouriles will ship with a leather and a NATO strap, the review loaner only has a NATO. It is a standard, cheap NATO with a big Time Locker branded buckle, but I found it was very short (on my 7.5 inch wrist it did not make it round to the second keeper) and rather unexciting. The colour is a good match for the watch, but it is nothing to write home about.
Time Locker Kouriles Video Review
What I Liked
- The case is well made and feels very solid
- The splash of colour looks great, especially when paired with the right strap
- The dial has great depth and is very legible
What I Didn’t Like
- The date wheel is not centred between hour markers
- The strap is poor, and I can’t judge the alternative leather option
- The asking price puts this watch amongst some very tough competition
Time Locker Kouriles – the WRUK Verdict
If you like the look of the Time Locker Kouriles, there is nothing that would cause me to steer you away from it. Personally, I think it inhabits a tough space, with not just microbrands like Deep Blue and factory direct brands such as Spinnaker but also Seiko themselves in direct competition. Yet another strong dive watch contender for 2019, and another I can happily recommend.
Buy a Time Locker Kouriles
The Time Locker Kouriles is coming to Kickstarter very soon. Sign up at https://geni.us/timelocker_watches to find out more. The watch will start at the early bird price of €250 including a 2-year warranty and two straps.