Manufacturer: RLG Watches | Price: $389 USD (£279 GBP)

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As microbrands go, there are still quite a few brands out there that I’ve yet to get in for review. RLG is easily one of them. Don’t get me wrong, I have tried to get some previous models of theirs in, but at each and every attempt, something went wrong and either I forgot to email them back, or they didn’t reply to me. As it’s been quite a considerable amount of time since I last tried to get in touch with RLG Watches, I thought I’d give it another shot and try again. Thankfully, Alson at RLG Watches couldn’t have been more helpful and agreed to send out the RLG Oceanfarer immediately for review and just a few days later, the ocean blue version landed on my desk. Let’s find out if it has been worth the wait shall we?

Specifications

  • Dimensions: Case – 39.8mm, Thickness – 12.2mm, Lug to Lug – 46.0mm, Lug Width – 20mm
  • Movement: Miyota 9039, 28,800vph, 4Hz, Hackable, Self Winding, 42hr Power Reserve
  • Case Material: Brushed 316L Stainless Steel, Polished Accents
  • Bezel: 120 Click Unidirectional, Coin Edge, Sapphire Insert, Lumed
  • Dial: Sunburst Blue, Applied Indicies, Fence Post Style Handset
  • Lume: Swiss Super-LumiNova® BGW9
  • Bracelet: Brushed 316L Stainless Steel, Solid Links, Pin & Collar, Milled Clasp
  • Crystal: Domed Sapphire, Anti-Reflective Coating
  • Water Resistance: 200m / 20 ATM / 660ft      
  • Caseback: Screw Down, 3D Stamped Artwork
  • Crown: 7.5mm, Screw Down, Signed
  • Weight: 144g (Sized up for my 6¾″ wrist)
  • Where to Buy: RLG Watches
  • Warranty: 2 Years International

Case & Crown

The case of the RLG Oceanfarer has a diameter of 39.8mm. The lug to lug is bang on 46mm and the overall thickness, including the domed sapphire crystal, I measured in at a rather impressive 12.2mm. The entire case, caseback, bracelet, coin edge bezel and crown are all 316L stainless steel. The finishing of the Oceanfarer is mostly brushed, but with the inclusion of lovely polished chamfered edges, that run down over the edge of the lugs. The Oceanfarer has a water resistance rating of 200m, which is great, especially when you take the overall thickness of the watch into consideration.

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The oversized signed coin edge crown is of great quality, with tons of grip and a nice wee pop when you unscrew it and there’s no wobble either when the crown’s in use. The etched RL logo on the crown is also nicely executed. The overall proportions of the watch are pretty much bang on too. You can tell, especially once you’ve got the watch in hand, as the pictures online don’t do this watch any justice. The best part? When you get it on wrist, as it’s extremely comfortable! As you can see in the image below, the caseback is also very nicely executed, with it’s deep stamped double anchors and diver’s helmet artwork on top a wave pattern, with the usual basic specifications rather deeply etched around the edge.

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Strap / Bracelet

The RLG Oceanfarer comes fitted as standard with a very nicely manufactured 20mm fully brushed 316L stainless steel bracelet. It is leagues above the usual off the shelf bracelets, as it has all the bells & whistles you would hope to find from a bracelet of this quality. Solid links throughout, female end links for better overall comfort as well as instant articulation, pin & collars keeping things secure and a fully milled clasp. You might have noticed I said pin & collar. Well they’re not the usual pull yer fuckin’ hair out, bash yer brains against your desk pin & collar set up. This bracelet was very simple to resize, as the collars are of great quality and of a decent size, that didn’t fall out at any point.

I think it only took me approximately 10 minutes, from start to finish to get this bracelet perfectly fitted to my wrist. The clasp itself does have chamfered edges, which is an appreciated extra little touch and it does match the overall aesthetic, giving the bracelet a little bit of extra “premium”. Fine adjustment wise, there are also a total of 6x micro-adjustment holes to ensure that optimum fit. The bracelet also has a very nice wee taper to it, going from 20mm at the lugs, down to around 17.5mm at the thinnest most part, heading back up to approximately 20.5mm at the clasp. Nicely done RLG!

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Movement / Accuracy

The chosen movement for the RLG Oceanfarer is the smooth sweep, high beat, Miyota 9039. The 9039 is a very slim Japanese made 28,800vph, 24 jewel movement, often compared to that of the Swiss made ETA 2824. Power reserve is also very good at 42 hours. Checking the accuracy after running the Oceanfarer for just over a fortnight, mainly on wrist and occasionally in my winder, I was extremely happy with the results, with the Oceanfarer coming in at just +2spd!

miyota logo

Bezel, Dial & Hands

The RLG Oceanfarer has a 120 click unidirectional bezel with a nice lumed sapphire insert. It is of outstanding quality and everything does line up 100% perfectly. The bezel action itself just oozes quality and has absolutely no backplay either. The printed text on this sunburst dial is clean & crisp, with the Richard Legrand logo at the usual spot of just below the 12 o’clock position, along with the model name and the word AUTOMATIC at just above 6, with the depth rating below.

All of the hour markers are applied, along with those great looking arabics at 3, 6, 9 & 12. As you can see in the images, the fence post style hour and minute hands are also very nicely done, with their proportionate scale and overall design. The lumed diamond tipped seconds hand is lovely too and reaches right out to the minute track. Unfortunately, there isn’t a date option for the Oceanfarer, which I feel is a bit of a shame, as it would’ve looked stunning at 6 on this dial design.

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Lume

The lume on the Oceanfarer is nothing short of excellent! The lume that’s been applied to the Oceanfarer is Swiss Super-LumiNova® BGW9 and it’s been executed and applied 100% perfectly. The image below was taken just after a few minutes of being outside, it wasn’t even given my usual burt of light from my UV torch either, as it quite simply, doesn’t need it to capture just how bright this lume is. Granted, it does fade over time, but it certainly lasts for many hours.

Conclusion

There is no doubt in my mind that the Oceanfarer from RLG Watches is an absolute beautiful timepiece. Not only that, it’s fantastic value for money, coming in at just under 300 quid, but with enough change for a half decent wee drinking session. All this with fantastic build quality and excellent fit & finish, you also get a high beat Miyota movement, instead of the usual NH35 that you’d normally find at this price point. There’s 200m of water resistance, yet still relatively slim enough to fit under any collar. It’s easily a diver with enough pazzaz to also be an everyday timepiece for any occasion.

If I had to nit-pick though, the only aspect I’d change is their full name Richard LeGrand logo. Although, saying that,, if you look at RLG Watches website, you will see, after a lot of feedback from the watch community, that they have actually changed it. Other than maybe a date option, there is absolutely nothing else I’d change. It’s stunning! Great job RLG. 👍

A massive thanks to Alson at RLG Watches, for agreeing to send out the Oceanfarer for review. Very much appreciated. To view the RLG website, or to join their mailing list, to be informed of new models etc, visit rlgwatches.com.
 
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