Manufacturer: Wicked Watch Co. | Price: from 199 CHF (£155 GBP, $210 USD)
I always do a fair amount of research before agreeing, or even reaching out to a brand, prior to getting any watch in for review. When I first heard of this Pearl Diver by Wicked Watch Co., I thought, fuck my life… here we go again, yet another copy & paste NH35 job from a new start up microbrand. However, after speaking to the owner (Pascal), I quickly realised that I was chatting to a proper enthusiast and not just another cockwomble looking to make a few quid and subsequently never hearing of again. When I also read recently that Pascal’s true focus wasn’t all about money, but more of bringing his dreams and designs to life, and once this bronze Wicked Pearl Diver finally arrived, I knew I was in for a treat…
- Dimensions: Case – 39.8mm, Thickness – 12.9mm, Lug to Lug – 45.2mm, Lug Width – 22mm
- Movement: Swiss STP1-11, 28,800vph, 4Hz, Hackable, Self Winding, 44hr Power Reserve (NH35 Option)
- Case Material: CuSn8 Marine Grade Bronze, Drilled Lugs
- Dial: Lumicast®, Date at 3, Fumé / Carbon / MoP, (Possible Meteorite Stretch Goal), N5 Rose Gold Handset
- Lume: Swiss Super-LumiNova® C3 Superior Grade X1 GL ef
- Strap: Italian Leather, Vintage Crazy Horse / Rubber & NATO, CuSn8 Bronze Hardware
- Crystal: Swiss Double Domed Sapphire, ARunic® Anti-Reflective Coatings
- Water Resistance: 200m / 20 ATM / 660ft
- Caseback: 316L Stainless Steel, Screw Down, Basilisk Dragon Artwork
- Crown: 7mm, Screw Down, Signed, Lumed
- Weight: 98g (On Leather Strap)
- Where to Buy: Kickstarter Campaign
- Warranty: 3 Years International
- Options: Date / No Date, Seiko NH35 / Swiss STP1-11, Bronze / Carbon Insert, Lume Configurations
Wicked Watch Co.
Changes for Production Models
- New Black MoP Raven Dial Option added
- Shorter hour hand, a bit longer seconds hand
- Spring bars instead of screw bars for easier strap changes
- 15 min lumed track on the bezel insert
- NH35A sapphire will have a blue shimmer AR-Coating
- STP1-11 dials will have SWISS MADE printed at 6 o’clock
- Anchor logos on buckle and crown changed to updated ‘W’ logo
- WICKED on the dial disappears and the updated ‘W’ logo with Lumicast® will replace it
- Possible Meteorite dial option – to be confirmed before end of Kickstarter Campaign
Case, Bezel & Crown
The case of the Wicked Pearl Diver has an overall diameter of 39.8mm. The lug to lug is rather compact at 45.2mm and the overall thickness, including the double domed sapphire crystal, I measured in at a rather nice 12.9mm. The case, bezel and crown are all marine grade CuSn8 bronze and the finishing of the watch is entirely brushed. The Pearl Diver has a total water resistance rating of 200m, thanks to the addition of a screw down caseback & crown. The proportions of the watch really hit that sweet spot, with the (just under) 40mm case diameter and the relatively short lug to lug length. If you’re not keen on the full bronze bezel, then you can opt for a forged carbon insert at absolutely no additional cost.
The Pearl Diver wears extremely well on wrist and is really comfortable on any of the included strap options. I like the way it wears so much in fact, it’s had a LOT of wrist time since the day it arrived. The signed, lumed 7mm crown is fantastic, looks great and is very simple to operate with tons of grip. There is absolutely zero wobble at all when the crown is in use and you can also feel a very nice pop as you unscrew it as it settles into its first position. The caseback is solid and made of 316L stainless steel, a sensible option for any bronze watch, as you won’t get any green residue left on your wrist from the bronze material. Wicked Watch Co also added a Basilisk Dragon with the usual specs around the edge.
Straight out of the box, the Wicked Pearl Diver comes fitted as standard with a 22mm Italian ‘crazy horse’ leather strap with matching, signed bronze hardware. Also in the box, you’ll find a rubber strap with fitted ends, as well as a very well made NATO strap. All the straps come with their own signed bronze hardware, which is a rare, but very much appreciated touch. The quality of all three straps are very good indeed, but as you can probably tell from the images, as soon as the watch arrived, I fitted one of my very own SWC nylon velcro straps, just because I can and think it would look cool.
Movement / Accuracy
The Wicked Pearl Diver actually comes with a choice of two movements, the obligatory SII NH35 from Seiko or the Swiss STP1-11 with an Incabloc protection system. The Swiss made STP1-11 movement is self-winding, has 26 jewels and the oscillating weight spins up giving up to a very respectable 44 hour power reserve. The balance runs at 28,800vph and the movement is also hackable. After running the Pearl Diver for approximately 2 weeks, both on wrist and occassionally in my watch winder, it was time to put it on the timegrapher. I was very happy with the results, with this Wicked Pearl Diver prototype showing an average of just +3 seconds per day, with minimal beat error. A very good accuracy result!
Dial & Hands
As you can see in the images, the arrow style hour and minute hands are very nicely executed, although they are being slightly adjusted for production, with the hour hand being slightly shortened and the seconds hand will be made just a smidge longer. All of the hour markers are Lumicast®, as is the new updated ‘W’ logo. There is also the choice of either a date or no-date version for the Pearl Diver. The date version also utilises a negative date wheel, which I really appreciate!
The lume on the Pearl Diver is fuckin’ crazy good, even on this early prototype. In fact, I could probably write an entire separate article just on this lume alone! How is it so bloody awesome, I hear you ask? Well people, much like everything else in life, it all boils down to the actual preparation, way before there’s even a hint of lume applied. If you read my reviews regularly, you’ll know that I’m a 100% bonified lume junkie and although I’m no expert on various applications and formulas etc, I do know truly fantastic lume when I see it. It isn’t just all about the initial brightness or potency either, longevitity also plays a very important part in what could be an exceptional application of lume on any watch.
Before I start rattling on and writing way too much on the Wicked Pearl Divers lume, here is the relatively short version… Lumicast®, that improves the quality of lume pigments is one possibility of raising the afterglow performance. Another one is optimising the method of application of Swiss Super-LumiNova®. Usually, lume has always been applied either by manual application or pad/transfer printing etc. This new, far better performing method is to use Lumicast® pieces, which are highly precise luminous 3D-castings. The high concentration of Swiss Super-LumiNova® in these ceramic parts, result in a much higher brightness than you’ll see in common lume applications, giving a very long lasting performance of up to 24 hours. Combine Lumicast® with Super-LumiNova® C3 Superior Grade X1 GL ef results in the best lume I’ve every seen!
This conclusion is a rather simple one to write. I am backing this one on Kickstarter, as I believe this is a truly exceptional watch designed by a 100% certified watch enthusiast. As I mentioned in my introduction, I think Pascal and his small team at Wicked Watch Co., really are a brand that you should definitely keep an eye on. It takes a lot for me to back anything on Kickstarter these days, as I’ve backed quite a few over the years and by the time the watch is shipped, my tastes have usually shifted some what.
To put that into perspective, I have only backed two watches since 2019, this one and the excellent Mandala from Second Hour Watches. So, incase you’re wondering, I’ll be going for the Pearl Diver in forged carbon, with the carbon bezel insert, the date version of course, with the Swiss STP1-11 movement. So as you can probably imagine, I really do like this watch and not only am I backing it on Kickstarter, I’m also backing Pascal and his brand, as I truly believe they have something special, hence why I am gladly adding the Wicked Pearl Diver to Zaltek Reviews Elite List. Congratulations Pascal.