The first thing that I have to say is that I was looking forward to write this article, with everything going on in the market steel can be called the new gold, then among steel sports we have the most famous subcategory which is integrated bracelets. I wrote extensively about examples like the Chopard Alpine Eagle or the Bell & Ross BR-05 which compete in this arena so I won't dwell on that. As all of you watch readers know integrated bracelets and steel is a clear signature attributed to Gerald Genta but not exclusively used by him, yes we do look the Royal Oak and the Patek Phillipe Nautilus as references and the Rolex Submariner when it comes for a monochromatic dial but again this is not exclusively a Rolex trade. With that out of the way I began to wonder why are these pieces so popular? The strap cannot be changed unless an OEM is offered so we are stuck with the same look all the time, the watches usually wear smaller given the lug to lug distance and also they are usually very shinny (when is a steel band), so again, why? Then it hit me, watches are the only piece of jewelry that a man usually wears (unless you are into chains and ear rings which is fine too) so naturally an integrated piece becomes more a fashion statement than a tool which is a bridge that keeps fading more and more these years. With an integrated bracelet the watch becomes one piece, a personal item which you put on the wrist and then go, you don’t think if it goes well with your clothing because it usually does and of course you don’t have the versatility of adding different straps so easily. Then you have the most important part, which is the design element of the watch, the designer of the brand cannot create a case and then throw a strap, to create an integrated bracelet watch they need to think of the design as a whole, all the parts must perform in harmony, maybe this is why so visually appealing. Given the current climate and popularity of the sport steel models the prices have sky rocketed and anything with a blue dial and steel bracelet (weather is integrated or not) will cost a pretty penny, here is where our subject enters the scene, the D1 Milano Ocean 38 Ultra Thin. I believe not only the price shines on this watch but the execution and quality are something that in this price range is unheard off, if you want to scratch that steel sports integrated bracelet itch then I have to say that this is it.
The Ocean 38 as its name dictates has a 38mm case with a whooping thickness of 6mm! This plays some crazy tricks in your mind because it feels very delicate but the definitely is not. Then you have that blue, a matte marine blue that has a touch of vintage with a modernity of a new pair of jeans, the dial is all protected in sapphire crystal, this is another tick in the box as sapphire seem to be the way nowadays.
The crown is one of the best features of the watch, very angular looking with a black stud on top, it looks like a very fine jewelry detail that also provides a 5 ATM water resistance. Then la ''piece de resistance'': the bracelet. The bracelet is a so well executed from the top link to the clasp, I couldn’t believe the price of EUR 325 (I don’t usually mention pricing but I had to). The hands look as sharp as two pair of scissors and the baton indices are applied with a double one at 12 which contributes to the quality and cleanness of the blue dial, no seconds hands and no date, just pure time. The watch is powered by a Japanese Quartz which for me is a great choice adding to the whole classy low thickness that the Ocean 38 provides. Is amazing how quartz movements can give such a benefit, I never understood bulky quartz pieces so kudos to D1 Milano on this front.
On the wrist :
It would be impossible to review this watch with out mentioning how this bracelet feels on the wrist, the bracelet tappers in a very progressive way and becomes one of the thinnest I've tried so far, and that is a marvelous thing.z
The polished and the brushed surfaces found in the watch make the Ocean 38 a beautiful shinning object leaving the wrist feeling as classy as a Martini on a private party, probably in New York or London with a jazz quartet playing on the background. The butterfly solid clasp gives that sturdy feel when you open the watch, this is highly appreciate it. You can also read on the Ocean
38 dial the words: ''Ultra Thin'',
it is definitely something I would highlight, this watch disappears on the wrist making extremely versatile on every day occasions (t-shirt and jeans or more dressy attire), after all we are also talking about an fashion accessory, a great one.
As you can see the Ocean 38 has a lot going for it, the blue dial has taken a clear approach to minimalism, the polished and brushed surfaces are executed to perfection and the thin integrated bracelet which by itself is a work of art. To me the best part of this watch is how easy it is to wear, the simplicity of the dial matched by easiness of a quartz movement give us a piece ready to wear all year around. After spending time with the Ocean 38, I really understood why people are going after similar
designs. I've waited quite a bit to try something of this nature, always thinking that people overreacted by these elegant but sporty items, but once I've tried the D1 Milano my mind was poisoned, this watch made me realize that angular shapes and integrated bracelets are timeless.
I am sure that this beauty would look as good 20 years from now as it looks today.
More info at:
Follow on Instagram at: