The classic watch diver : Introducing the Blenheim Navi Pilot
That feeling of underwater exploration is something unique in today's world, I am not a diver (not even close) and to be honest not into water sports but that idea of being under the surface with no sound and surrounded by an ecosystem that you barely see everyday is very appealing. Maybe because I am a watch person I started to like diving and of course the watches which are being used. I love the design based on ISO 6425 certification, its size and legibility of the watches, they are just as cool as the whole sport itself.
I was lucky enough to go to World Divers UK which is an event covering all sorts of brands from different price points and in one the corner there was a very large crowd trying and buying a watch which I couldn't see, I came back later and only a few of them were left (around 2 or 3) so I manage to have a good look, when the owner Dennis approached me and asked if I liked the piece I automatically said yes, we were talking about the very good looking Navi Pro. I was there to cover some of the brands and the event itself so I wasn’t looking to buy anything but when the price was mentioned my first thought was there got to be a catch, this cannot be true. After speaking about watches for a bit, it was clear that the watch design was inspired on divers from the 60's which is not a bad thing, the size and proportions are spot on and together with a great automatic movement makes the whole package irresistible, join me to find out more.
The Navi Pro is 41mm which we all agree is the perfect size for a dive watch, a thickness of 15mm and a lug to lug distance under 50mm, it just feels perfect on my 6.25 inch wrist.
The case is 316L steel and its all polished giving the watch a more classy but vintage vibe that coordinates well with the rest of the design language. The dial is definitely one of the highlights of the Navi Pro, that monochromatic scheme makes it easy to read and that wood deck motive in the center is very aesthetically pleasing. Another stand out part is the bezel, its rounded and glossy continuing the nautical theme with a touch of vintage sophistication. The watch is powered by a Miyota caliber 821 which you can see trough the case back with a custom signed rotor, the choice of the movement is great because it gives the watch the robustness needed to wear it everyday.
Being a dive watch the Navi Pro also comes with a screw down crown and a water resistance of 100M more that you need when you are chilling on a boat navigating to the sunset.
On the wrist:
I wore the Navi Pro for a full week and it was as comfortable to wear as it was to look at, our version came with a 22mm black leather strap which looks and feels very elegant, the size is spot on as it hugs the wrist very well, I think a 20mm strap on this watch would have been too small taking some of the masculinity of the case. As mentioned above the watch is very legible and part of this legibility is achieved by the lume application, the hands glow in a different color that the rest of the markers making it visually impressive and also easy to spot in the dark, the bezel has it's lume application too with making the Navi Pro a tool watch ready for any occasion.
When I try watches like the Navi Pro from Blenheim I keep on thinking how much the bar has been pushed over the years in terms of price and quality, if the Navi Pro came in 2006 I am sure it would cost at least 4 times it's price, all the specifications and boxes that the watch ticks are the same ones that more established brands offered a few years back,
the issue is that these traditional houses haven't changed their approach and more and more new players like Blenheim are creating value propositions that are not only attractive in price but also in designs and specifications, I am keen to see what the brand brings out next, in my eyes they've challenged the classic diver proposition and came out successfully, what would be the next target?
More info at www.blenheimwatch.com
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