Manufacturer: Octon Watches | Price: from €249 EUR ($280 USD, £220 GBP approx)
Here we have a very unique approach to selling watches from microbrand Octon Watches. Fully automatic timepieces designed in Stockholm, Sweden. Octon believe individuality is key – giving you, the customer, the options to customise your own watch, your own way. Octon sent me one of their pre-configured neptune blue & aurora green 300m dive watches. So let’s dive into the review and see what we are getting for our hard-earned cash.
- Dimensions: Case Diameter – 40mm | Thickness – 13.1mm | Lug to Lug Length – 47.2mm | Lug Width – 22mm
- Movement: Seiko NH35 Automatic, 21,600vph (3Hz), 24 Jewel, Hackable, Self Winding, 41hr Power Reserve
- Case Material: Brushed 316L Stainless Steel with Polished Accents
- Weight: 142g on Bracelet Extras: Textured Rubber Strap
- Bracelet: 316L Stainless Steel Bracelet
- Crystal: Domed Sapphire, AR Coating
- Bezel: 120 Click Unidirectional Aluminium
- Water Resistance: 30ATM / 300m / 990ft
- Lume: Black Swiss Super Luminova® Grade X1
- Crown: Signed, Screw Down Caseback: Screw Down Stainless Steel
- Warranty: 2 Years Where to Buy: octonwatches.com
- Options: Movements – Seiko NH35 / Miyota 9015 / ETA 2824-2 | Straps – Bracelet & Rubber Strap or Bracelet & NATO
Delivery & Packaging
Delivery of the Octon diver took 3 working days to arrive here in Scotland from the Octon base in Sweden. Octon do offer free worldwide shipping, which I feel is extremely generous of Octon, considering the price point of these watches. The packaging is great in my opinion with everything contained in a small but incredibly sturdy pelican case.
The pelican case itself is extremely well made. I’m guessing you could throw this thing at a brick wall and it would be fine! Upon opening the case you are greeted with an intricately cut foam insert that contains the watch itself, fitted on a stainless steel bracelet, a spare textured rubber strap, a rather nicely made little strap changing tool and of course you get your warranty card and information pamphlet.
The case itself is mainly brushed with rather nice looking, very neatly done polished accents along the top edge of the case and continuing down the edge of the lugs. The lugs themselves are drilled, which is great for quick & simple strap swaps. The caseback sports a giant octopus lightly etched into it with the usual highlights of the specifications engraved around the edge.
The case, caseback, bezel and crown are all brushed stainless steel. The overall height of the case, with the inclusion of the sapphire crystal I measured at 13.1mm, with the lug to lug being 47.2mm on this 40mm diameter diver. The signed crown, with the Octon logo is at the 3 o’clock position.
The overall fit & finish is surprisingly very good. It’s definitely the best I’ve seen on any watch under £250. In fact, hand on heart, I would say the fit & finish is way better than the hugely popular Seiko SKX range. Seems like quite the bargain now doesn’t it!?
Oh, before all the Seiko fan boys start bumping their gums in the comments section below, I have owned quite a few SKX’s in the past, so I would say I’m more than qualified to comment on them. (Insert Rab C Nesbitt – Get it up Ye! meme).
Stainless Steel Bracelet / Textured Rubber Strap
My sample of the Octon diver came with a stainless steel bracelet and a textured rubber strap both included in the box. Starting with the rubber strap, it is very nicely made with a matching signed buckle, however, for my 7″ wrist they’re just a smidge too long at 120/80mm. (I’d have preferred the more standard size of 120/70mm). Due to the extra length, you get that hideous extra flap on show once you’ve fitted it to your wrist. This is the exact same issue I had with the Christopher Ward hybrid strap that I mentioned in my Christopher Ward C60 Trident Pro 600 Mk3 review last week.
Anyway, moving on to the bracelet. It is made from stainless steel and has great features than you might not expect at this price point. Solid end links, very nice finish, push pins for resizing and even a milled signed clasp! No screw pins though, but we can’t expect it all!
The movement fitted to this Octon is the microbrand go-to movement of choice, the super-reliable Seiko NH35A. A great workhorse that is a 21,600vph, 3Hz, 24 jewel movement with self winding and of course hacking. Checking the accuracy after running the Octon for just under a week, mainly in my winder and occasionally on wrist, I thought the accuracy was pretty much as expected, with it showing an average of +9 seconds per day.
The movement also has a 40 hour power reserve meaning a fully wound Octon will last for almost 2 days while off the wrist or not in a watch winder. There isn’t much else to say about the NH35 movement, it is what it is. However, as Octon take the modular approach with these, you can upgrade the NH35 to a 4Hz, smooth sweep Miyota 9015. Want to take it further? Choose the Swiss ETA 2824-2. The cost for choosing the Miyota 9015, would bring the total to £282. Selecting the ETA 2824-2 would bring the total cost to £356. Utter BARGAIN!
Dial, Bezel & Hands
The Octon has a 120 click unidirectional bezel with an aluminium insert. The bezel itself is brushed stainless and is of great quality with everything lining up perfectly. The bezel action is great with very minimal backplay.
The dial itself has very neatly applied indices. The Octon logo is printed and text below shows the words automatic and the depth rating of 990ft – 300m. The words “Custom Swe” are at just under 6 o’clock position.
This colour variant that I have here, sports a blue matt dial with green accents. The hour, minute and second hand have a very distinctive look about them with the hour hand sporting a Tudor style snowflake hand, the minute hand with a nice sword style. When it comes to the second hand though, it is designed with a bolt of lightning style. Very unique!
This level of watch for under £250!? Definitely a total bargain! It is a very unique looking watch for sure and there are a lot of nice touches included, even with the entry level movement selected. If I was buying one though, I would spec it with the Miyota 9015, a pastel blue dial and a black 12 hour bezel.
Unfortunately, the neptune blue with green accents that I was supplied with just didn’t suit my taste. All I could see when looking at the dial was an old firm Rangers v Celtic clash. Once I saw it, I just couldn’t unsee it. As previously mentioned, I’d have opted for the pastel blue dial with black 12hr bezel.
Still a fantastic watch though with great fit & finish, a good bunch of extras, all at an excellent price!
Thank you very much to Octon Watches for sending out this example so promptly. Excellent communication and service from the team.
To view the entire collection or to customise your own visit Octon Watches.