All watches do the same thing or at least the propose is similar which is to tell time, now with the digital era at its best, mechanical watches were relegated to be more of a statement piece or an object to mark an important achievement in life, this is not always a bad thing as the watch industry can focus more on craftsmanship than functionality. I personally love dive watches (even if I don't dive) but I did cringed when I saw the Panerai Due line up with a 30 meters water resistance although not all was bad, the final product and quality was miles away than those versions with an Unitas movement (believe me I have one). So with this in mind we can say that any brand can sacrifice functionally for quality but there are 2 things that in my opinion which are not negotiable when it comes to divers, a bronze case and good story. Pilot watches are different, a good chronograph or a good GMT is enough to persuade buyers to think that they have the real thing, if you don’t believe me look at Breitiling, apart from the Navitimer their heritage is almost non existing and pilots seldom use the brand, we still loved their pieces and see them as a aviation instrument or at least I do. When it comes to divers heritage or a great story is key otherwise the watches could feel a bit empty, it might be a great tool but it will be more of an object telling you: ''I not am the real thing..''.
Here is where the 220 watch company comes into play, their Diver Bill watch might not be from 1950 but it does have a cool reason to be here, a great story. The watch is a celebration to William Walker who is the man who re laid the foundations of the Winchester Cathedral in the 60's,
he achieved this by diving under the building and 5 years later using his bear hands he got the work done, to me this is more impressive that just diving to break a record, it was diving to save what is one of the most beautiful buildings in UK and in Europe, again he did it with a propose. I got in touch with the 220 watch company as the history and the watch caught my eye and we got their latest creation for a review, there is more to this piece than a great tale, join me to find out.
The Diver Bill is a tool watch but despite this tittle is a wearable one, the case measures 40mm and it has a thickness of 11.1 which makes it a perfect daily wearer.
The bronze case is an eye catcher and as you all know, bronze creates this beautiful patina making it unique for rest of the time you spend with it, no watch will age the same. The watch case contains 2 great features, one is the Swiss movement STP caliber 3-13 which is decorated with Genève stripes and blued screws, all visible trough the sapphire case back, but the feature that takes the price is the enamel dial. The dial is very dark, its deep but it changes as soon as a ray of light hits it, sometimes brown with a hint of red in other words, just a beautiful thing to behold. The watch was equipped with a very soft rubber strap which I think matches to perfection, there is something about a leather strap on a diver that doesn’t quite work so I am happy that they went for this combination, also a small touch of design that is appreciated is the bronze buckle! Thanks you 220 Watch Company.
On the wrist:
With dimensions spot on, the watch feels like home on my 6.25 inch wrist, not too big and not too small. The long hands contrast with the dial very well making it very easy to read and at night you can tell that the Superluminova C5 lights up like a torch making the whole tool watch feel appropriate for what it was meant to be. The bezel is a delight to use, easy to grip and not play what so ever, everything lines up perfectly while I am raising my eyebrow looking at more expensive Seiko divers in my collection.
There are many statements on the internet saying which are the best divers under 500 GBP, if had to consider which ones enter my personal list I would say the Bill Diver is the in the first 2 places, the whole package is irresistible from the story to the execution and believe me this is not easy to do, you have big established brands spending millions on marketing budget trying to do the same (please search #squadonamission from Breitling, it is just not working for them) and not getting the results. To me this is the kind of watch I like to collect, the one that hurts when it leaves your wrist, the one that you really miss and not the one that its desire is fabricated by a marketing campaign, the Bill Diver is that watch.
More information at www.www.the220watchcompany.com
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