Manufacturer: McDowell Time | Price: $475 USD (£365 GBP, €430 EUR approx)
I can’t really remember where I first saw the McDowell Time Tidewater, but my initial thoughts of the images I seen were, “oooo, I like that!”. I was immediately drawn to the white dial & blue bezel version. I contacted McDowell Time requesting if they could possibly send me a review sample. Just over a week later it arrived, and to my delight they sent the white dial version. My first impressions were excellent, unfortunately though, the Tidewater isn’t perfect. Let me explain…
- Dimensions: Diameter – 41.9mm, Thickness – 13.4mm, Lug to Lug – 49.4mm, Lug Width – 22mm
- Movement: Sellita SW200, Automatic, 28,800vph (4Hz), Hackable, Self Winding, 38hr Power Reserve
- Case Material: Brushed 316L Stainless Steel
- Bracelet: Brushed 316L Stainless Steel, Solid End-Links, Screw Pins, Milled Clasp
- Crystal: Domed Sapphire, Underside Anti-Reflective Coating
- Bezel: 120 Click Unidirectional, Ceramic Insert, Fully Lumed
- Water Resistance: 200m / 20ATM / 660ft
- Lume: Swiss Super Luminova® C3
- Crown: Screw Down, Signed Caseback: Exhibition Display
- Warranty: 2 Years Where to Buy: McDowell Time
- Options: Dial Colour – Black (Black Bezel), Blue, White (Blue Bezels)
At McDowell Time, we have a deep commitment to our country and help create American jobs whenever possible. With assembly nearby, we can assess the quality of each watch we produce to ensure it is up to our exacting standards. We only work with vendors who are committed to providing the same level of high quality. This is why we source watch straps from B&R Bands, Hadley-Roma, BluShark and Clockwork Synergy. All of these companies are also American based; see the trend here?"
Case & Crown
The case of the Tidewater has a diameter of 41.9mm. The lug to lug is 49.4mm and the overall thickness, including the domed sapphire crystal, I measured in at 13.4mm. The entire case, caseback, bezel, crown and bracelet are all 316L stainless steel. The finish of the watch is entirely brushed with not a hint of polishing to be found anywhere. I’ve got to say, I do actually like this approach, as it gives the watch a very tool-like look and feel.
The Tidewater has a water resistance rating of 200m, thanks to the screw down caseback & crown. The proportions of the watch, in my opinion, are pretty damn good for my Mr Average 7″ wrist, even if I initially did think it would wear a bit big considering the lug to lug length, but it’s perfectly fine for me as it wears really well on wrist and is very comfortable.
The signed crown is lovely and looks great with it’s coin edge style that’s easy to grip and operate. The etched logo looks fantastic too. There is absolutely zero wobble whatsoever when the crown is in use and you can also feel a very nice pop as you unscrew it. The caseback itself has an exhibition display, although I’m not sure why McDowell Time bothered doing this as the Sellita movement powering the watch isn’t decorated or anything like that. I think a solid screw down caseback would have been a more appropriate choice considering the Tidewater’s overall tool-like aesthetic.
The bracelet that comes with the Tidewater certainly is a chunky motherf**ker! It is very well put together, although it won’t suit everyones taste, as it could possibly be a little overwhelming for some, as it does add a fair amount of weight to the watch. The bracelet itself tapers from 22mm at the lugs down to 20mm and back up to 22mm at the clasp.
Talking of the clasp, I think it’s the weakest part of the bracelet. It just doesn’t look right to me on this big chunky engineer style bracelet, as it looks a bit small in comparison. It is a milled clasp but I’ve seen better. It’s signed though, with a fold over clasp with the McDowell Time logo etched into it. There are only three micro-adjustment holes, and although adequate, I would have much preferred to have seen a couple more. Screw pins are utilised though for adjusting/resizing.
Dial & Bezel
The white dial version that I have here, has orange markers behind every hour baton which compliments the minute track around the edge of the dial very nicely. The dial itself looks fantastic with the chosen very nice matte white finish. The hour batons are all applied with a silver surround and there is double batons at the 12 o’clock position.
As you can see in the images, the hour and minute sword style hands are very nicely done with their very proportionate design in relation to the size of the dial. The seconds hand is spot on too, with it’s lumed lollipop section and orange painted finish reaching right out to the edge of the minute track when sweeping around the dial.
The lume on the McDowell Time Tidewater is fantastic and it has been applied very thickly, and just as important, very evenly. The actual choice of lume that’s been used on the Tidewater, is Swiss Super Luminova® C3, and as I previously mentioned, very nice it is too, as it shines brightly and lasts pretty much the majority of the night.
The Tidewater is a great watch, but I feel my previously mentioned small niggles have slightly disheartened my time with the watch. These might just be a one off, that has accidentally got through McDowell Times’ quality control department.
However, if these were fixed on the sample that I have, I know for sure, that the Tidewater would have received a much better review with nothing but praise and a higher, near perfect overall score. I have to however, state just for the record, the rest of the watch is an absolute beauty, with a fantastic specification and finish that is also superb value for money!
McDowell Time – Close, very close, but no cigar. Such a shame, as I really do like the Tidewater. Maybe have a chat with whoever is in charge of quality control, punch them in the throat and deliver, essentially what is, a fantastic timepiece.
To view the McDowell Time website, or join their mailing list to be informed of new models etc, visit McDowell Time.