Note from Ranch Racer: As most of our listeners know we had our biggest giveaway ever in December with the Swiss Watch Company Diver and our winner, @thebrewlou, has been kind enough to write up a reader review of his new piece for the site. Hope you enjoy!
Before I dive into this review (bad dive watch joke) I would like to thank Love ‘N Watches™️ and SWC for the incredible giveaway that enabled me to win this watch. I was so excited to hear that I had won this diver, and had been debating purchasing one for a while. Regardless, I will give an honest review and state any concerns I may have. I just wanted to get that out of the way before I begin.
Let’s get the basic specs out of the way shall we? These are taken from the SWC site. I added a couple of nuggets, and will discuss a few omissions on this list in later sections.
- Date window at 3 o’clock.
- 30 ATM Water Resistant
- 44mm Case size
- Oil pressed case back
- Ceramic diver bezel ring
- 22mm Lug Width
- 48mm Lug to lug
- 13.2mm case thickness
- Single domed sapphire crystal
- 5 layers of A.R. coating
- 120 click unidirectional ceramic bezel
- Swiss Super-Luminova x 20 layers
- Solid 3 link bracelet with divers clasp.
- Swiss made Sellita SW200 (26 Jewel) movement w/28800 A/h (4Hz)
The first thing I noticed about the watch upon opening the box was the quality of the finish. It is extremely well finished for the price point. In fact I purchased another diver a few months prior and comparing the two side by side the SWC blows it away. Every edge on this watch seems to be smooth. When you run your finger over the edges you do not feel any form of sharpness or lack of brushing. On closer inspection these results replay time and time again. The case back has very intricate etching due to the oil press technique and displays basic information such as sapphire crystal, Swiss Made, all stainless steel, and 300M W.R. I personally love the appearance of the stainless steel on this watch. It has a look that is almost polished and brushed at the same time. It catches the light well, but doesn’t give off that almost chrome/polished appearance that has turned me off of other watches.
The watch I received is simply named SWC Diver WHITE on their website. Say no more friend, I got you from here. The dial is (you guessed it) white, but it has a unique square pattern in the middle. It is not gaudy at all, but it does take up real estate on the dial. At times it seems to blend right in with the dial. At other angles I catch an almost 3-D effect from it. It is definitely something I catch myself looking at for no reason at all, other than it just looks cool. The date is at the 3 o’clock position which I am a fan of. 3 o’clock is where my eyes tend to go on a dial looking for a date, so I appreciate the effort of placing it there instead of at the 4:30 position. The date wheel is white which blends nicely with the dial itself. I would describe the white dial as white metallic with the date wheel being a pure white. The chapter ring is sloped with perfectly aligned indices. The Swiss Watch Company name is placed cleanly on the dial, while their logo appears to float above it; another little detail I keep finding myself staring at randomly. The dive bezel is black ceramic with bold number markers for 20, 30, 40, and 50. The S.W.C. logo appears on the crown. It’s the little things, right?
I decided to wear this for a week straight once I got it sized and ready to go. Rarely does a watch stay on my wrist for more than a couple of days, but I wanted to give this one a full week and see what I thought. Usually I would be looking forward to putting something else on, but I actually found myself going a couple days over a week and not caring. On the wrist it wears very well. It has a nice heft to it, but does not require you to work out in order to wear it. I found it slipped nicely under sleeves with minimal effort. I do not like tight cuffs on long sleeve shirts or jackets, so I did not run into any issues with that. It looked great when I was in jeans and a tee or in scrubs at work. The rotor is a touch on the loud side when the watch is off of the wrist, but while being worn the rotor was not noticeable to me. The lume is strong, but isn’t like a flash light if you walk into a dark room.
Speaking of lume, on this SWC diver it’s Swiss Super-LumiNova. With over 20 layers this thing glows! In comparison to the other diver I purchased a couple months prior, the S.W.C. has it beat hands down in terms of the longevity of the charged lume. I tend to wake up multiple times during the night and the lume lasted until the light was creeping through the blinds in the early morning. In all fairness I only average around 6hrs of sleep so it isn’t like I was hibernating with it on!
The movement is a Sellita SW200. Some people may gripe about it being an ETA clone or copy-cat but its toughness has so far stood the test of time. This movement is actually one of my favorites to set. Every turn of the date wheel is clean and crisp along with the date changing at midnight. It is an instant change and doesn’t take 2hrs or more to have the correct date displayed. The date changes over with a very quick and satisfying ‘click’. Unless you are a night owl like I am you will probably never notice this. When you wind it you are greeted again with a crisp winding motion and feel. For those who have experience with lesser movements you are probably familiar with the almost gritty feel some of these have when you manually wind them. Kudos to SWC for going with this movement over cheaper options that would have allowed for a lower price point.
Any knocks I have on this SWC are minimal. Before I comment further, understand this is my opinion only so take it for what it is worth. My first negative is that this diver does not have a double domed crystal. This allows for distortion of the view as you rotate your wrist. Let’s be honest though, how often do you have to continue looking at your watch face as you roll your wrist to tell the time? Breathe, take a couple seconds to check the time, and move on. It is not abnormal to lack this feature at this price point and it gives me something to put in this section.
The only other negative I have is with the bracelet/clasp. The bracelet links are held together with capsa pins. I have a love/hate relationship with this setup. Too many times I have had the pin sleeve fall out of the link and go tumbling onto the table or worse, on the floor. The disgruntlement that swells within me when I deal with a capsa pin bracelet rivals that of the father in A Christmas Story©️ while he deals with the temperamental furnace. As for the clasp, while secure and easy to use it does not contain any form of micro adjust or dive suit extension. I didn’t realize how much I relied upon having a micro adjustment until I didn’t have it. The lack of a divers extension wasn’t a big deal to me. If I am being honest this watch will see more time behind desk and keyboard than in the actual ocean. These clasp complaints are actually null and void though as the new generation of S.W.C. diver will come with a ratchet adjust style clasp that will allow this fine tuning. In fact I ordered one the day I won this watch, so keep reading to hear about the clasp addition!
The new clasp can be ordered from SWC for an insanely reasonable price. Once I got it on and resized the bracelet accordingly I was blown away. This went from feeling ho hum on the wrist due to lack of micro adjustment to absolute perfection. The clasp is a ratchet style meaning you do not need to push in the buttons to take out space. You do however need to push them in to expand the clasp. This new clasp adds more adjustment options than any other micro adjust I have used and I think it made the diver look even better!
Overall the bang for the buck you are getting with any of these SWC divers is through the roof. The other diver I bought was several hundred more than the retail of the SWC, and the SWC is a far superior watch in my book. The finish is better. The lume is better. It wears better on my wrist (especially with the replacement micro adjustable buckle), and it retails for several hundred less than most comparable pieces. If you have been debating buying one of these watches I say go for it. Buy it, put it on, and enjoy it! More info can be found at swcusa.com.