Sunday, April 23, 2017

Time's Up - Wrapping up the Aquamariner

Time and tide, or something like that.  The point being it's time to wrap-up the review of he Hager Aquamariner.

As previous readers may recall, I was somewhat taken with the clasp of the Aquamariner.  And not to bang on and on, but I have to share some realities about "telescoping" wet-suit extensions.  A lot of watch brands out there are incorporating them.  And many of them simply do not work.  The clasp incorporated into the Aquamariner is smooth, precise, and secure.  And as the aforementioned spill on the deck attests - pretty damn strong.

But, a watch is more than just the bracelet that holds it to your wrist.

The watch face is clear and well laid out.  and yes, that is a wee small bit of lint I did not get off the crystal - but this is real life, not a posh photo studio ; )  

The date is visible in in everyday life and the red second hand is easy to follow against the black dial. 

And unlike a lot of divers, the lume on the Aquamariner is actually quite good. 

The bezel is clearly marked and easy to operate.  It is unidirectional, marked for 60 minutes with a 15 minute countdown.  But with a twist - you will note in the image above the number 20 is in red.  Doesn't need to be, and honestly I don't know what the design motivation was - BUT I LIKE IT!  Now you may recall that I said that black dialed, black bezel divers are what the people want?  Well, I stand by that statement.  BUT - when you add an extra little something, like a red number 20 on the dive bezel?  It's like a little wink, it's just that little something that adds to the overall look and feel of the watch.  

The case back is solid, and smooth on the wrist without the obnoxious deep texture of a monumental motif. 

Simple, and effective in communicating the pertinent information.  

Rated to 300 meters / 1000 feet this is a watch for the briny deep.  There was no diving for yours truly.  But several trips to the pool were made, and the internals remained safe and dry.

The screw down crown is smooth in its operation and easy to use and set.   And nicely branded to boot!

So it is solid, comfortable, legible, and water resistant.  

Great, but does it tell the time?

Yes!  As with many brands, Hager has turned to the folks at Miyota for a dependable, highly accurate self-winding movement, the 8215.  The power reserve went for 43 hours (and some change).  And the time keeping was very, very good.  Miyota advertises a fairly broad range for accuracy, but the average over several weeks was + 8/9 seconds per day.  Really not too bad.

Here are the pertinents, direct from Hager:


41mm Stainless Steel


Stainless steel case with a satin finished stainless steel bracelet equipped with a slidelock extension. Uni-directional rotating 60-minuted stainless steel engraved bezel with a black insert. Black dial with luminous silver-tone hands and luminescent dot hour markers. Minute markers around the outer rim.  Automatic movement with a 42 hour power reserve. Date Display at 3 o'clock. Scratch resistant sapphire crystal. Screw down crown with tube.  Solid case back.  Water resistant at 300 meters / 1000 feet. Functions: hour, minute, second.  Case diameter: 41 mm.  Case thickness: 12.75 mm. Lug to Lug: 50mm.  Band width: 22 mm.

So what's the verdict?

Let's view this from a place I like to live in, it's called reality.  At $450 this watch does exactly what it says on the box.  It works really well and looks really cool.  I realize that those are pretty basic comments, but in fairness this (or any basic diver for that matter) is a pretty basic watch.  And yes, gentle reader, that is a positive thing.  A dive watch should not challenge your intellect or abilities to set, wear, use and enjoy it.  It should have a bracelet that you can adjust yourself (and this one does).  It should look good, and this one does.  And overall, it should not represent a choice between a year of tuition for your child (state university with in state tuition).  The Aquamariner is a remarkably well-made watch at wonderfully reasonable price.  It is not a show pony or something to shove in the safe and wear only on special occasions.  This is a real watch to be worn by real guys and girls living real lives.  And quite honestly, if you feel that you need to spend more, then that is a personal choice (and one that I don't really get, but then again it is not up to me to get everything). 

But given the fact that Hager has now sold out of the black and the blue versions of the Aquamariner, and has only 10 of the burgundy bezel versions left?  

Well I think it is safe to say that I am not the only one with this opinion, and I personally might need to make a move on the burgundy bezel version before they're all gone!

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