Manufacturer: Albany Watches | Price: from $375 USD (£290 GBP, €345 EUR approx)
The AMA Diver from Albany Watches is inspired by the old tradition of female Japanese ama divers. Japan, being a seafaring island, has a very long history of diving and underwater exploration and the ama traditions are said to go as far back as almost two thousand years. These females would freedive down to as far as a depth of around 30 meters, to obtain food and various other riches of the sea, sometimes in nearly freezing conditions and barely wearing a stitch of clothing. Personally, I’d just nip down to the fishmongers’ counter in Tesco’s, a lot bloody easier (and warmer)! 🤣🤣
- Dimensions: Diameter – 41.2mm, Thickness – 12.6mm, Lug to Lug – 48.1mm, Lug Width – 20mm
- Movement: Miyota 9039, Automatic, 28,800vph (4Hz), Hackable, Self Winding, 42hr Power Reserve
- Case Material: Brushed 316L Stainless Steel
- Bracelet: Brushed 316L Stainless Steel, Beads of Rice, Solid End Links, Screw Pins, Signed Milled Clasp
- Crystal: Domed Sapphire, Underside Anti-Reflective Coating
- Bezel: 120 Click Unidirectional, Sapphire Insert, Fully Lumed
- Water Resistance: 300m / 30ATM / 990ft
- Lume: Swiss Super Luminova® BGW9
- Crown: Screw Down, Signed
- Caseback: Screw Down, Etched AMA Diver Logo
- Warranty: 1 Year Where to Buy: Albany Watches
- Options: Colour – Abyss Black, Black Pearl, Navy Fume | Strap – Beads of Rice Bracelet, Leather Two Piece
Albany Watches - The Company
Case & Crown
The case of the Albany AMA Diver has a diameter of 41.2mm. The lug to lug is 48.1mm and the overall thickness, including the domed sapphire crystal, I measured in at 12.6mm. The entire case, caseback, bezel, crown and bracelet are all 316L stainless steel. The finish of the watch is brushed, with not a single polished accent to be found anywhere.
The AMA Diver has a water resistance rating of 300m, thanks to the screw down caseback & crown. The proportions of the watch are very nice indeed for my average sized 7″ wrist. This is all due to the great lug to lug length of just around the 48mm mark. The AMA Diver does wear extremely well on wrist and it’s also very comfortable on the optional bracelet.
The signed crown is fantastic and looks great with it’s deeply etched logo. There is absolutely no wobble whatsoever when the crown is in use and you can also feel a very nice pop as you unscrew it. You can also see and feel the amount of work that has gone into the crown, making it feel rather premium. The caseback has a very nicely etched Japanese female Ama skin diver on it with the usual various specifications etched around the edges. Very nice!
Straps / Bracelet
The version of the AMA Diver that I received came fitted with the optional beads of rice stainless steel bracelet. To keep the cost down you could always opt for the AMA Diver on leather. The bracelet itself that I have here only costs an additional $45, and trust me, it’s definitely worth that extra small outlay of cash. It is of excellent quality and is very comfortable on wrist. Solid links & end links, screw pins all round and a signed milled clasp. That’s brilliant value!
The chosen movement for the AMA Diver is the high beat, Miyota 9039, the no-date version of the highly popular 9015 from the same manufacturer. It is a very slim Japanese made 28,800vph, 4Hz, smooth sweep, 24 jewel movement with self winding, hacking and a very nice 42 hour power reserve.
Checking the accuracy after running the AMA Diver for just over a week, mainly on my wrist and occasionally in my watch winder, I was very happy with the results, with it showing an average of just +4.9spd. Very nice indeed!
This is within Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC) specification, although the Albany AMA Diver isn’t officially COSC certified.
Dial & Bezel
The black pearl version that I have here, sports quite a funky looking effect that glimmers in certain lights although I did find it quite difficult to capture it in my photos. If I have to be brutally honest though, I’m not really a fan of the effect and would’ve much preferred if they had sent me one of the other toned down versions. To other people though, they might actually love this pearl effect that’s on the dial. Each to their own, as they say.
The indicies, I feel are slightly too small in relation to the rest of the dial. The double batons however, at the 3, 6, & 9 positions, as well as the triangular marker at 12 are all a good solid choice. The hands on the dial I wouldn’t change though, as they are probably the best design choice that’s been picked for the AMA Diver. Very precise and clean looking.
The lume on the Albany AMA Diver is pretty good, although I do feel it could do with more, but this is down to the actual lume real estate that’s available on the hands and indicies. Even if the lume is initially quite bright, it does tend to fade quicker than others I’ve seen. The actual lume that’s been applied to the AMA Diver, is Swiss Super Luminova® BGW9.
Overall, this is a lovely watch and it’s fantastic value for money. The AMA Diver has been very well thought out and designed, utilising a slim Japanese 9-series movement from Miyota and the rest of the specs are pretty much everything that all us watch enthusiasts desire in a watch. Well, I certainly do anyway!
If I was choosing one for myself however, I’d probably opt for the blue fume dial version. Why, I hear you ask? Because I’m not overly keen on this black pearl version plus the fact that I’ve always been a bit of a blue dial fan boy. Making the indicies larger would suit the watch much better in my opinion, it would also give more real estate for more lume.
Albany Watches – A very nice watch indeed, that ticks all the boxes in terms of the use of premium materials. Great job!