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Loving red – The Expedition Kit Maroon from DIY

Today we have a real treat but unlike a finished product, we must build it: It is the Expedition kit from DIY watch club. The DWC Expedition it’s one of our favorites series. It has everything we need starting with a good-looking case, great proportions, and this time it has a twist, a lovely red maroon dial. Because of the latter, the watch feels far from dull, it is punchy with lots of character.

We already covered the process in detail on how to build this model with a blue dial (check our review at the Time Bum here) and although the process is a delight, we will go straight to our impressions on why this dial makes so much sense.

Trends in watches are generally very conservative. In the last few years, we have seen an explosion of colours that deserves attention. Blue has dominated the scene followed closely by green. We also have yellow and of course red. Although other industries chose red as a primary palette, the watch world doesn’t seem to be completely in tune with it. If you think about it, there aren’t many brands offering their iconic models in red, but why?

Therefore, I started to investigate, and I found some good ones: the Cartier Must (discontinued) in a deep burgundy, the iconic Rolex Oyster Perpetual and the Oris Pointer date which is one of my favorites. Although they exist, they are not easy to find and hardly advertised which makes me comeback to that original ‘’why?’’ question.

The main response I found is that red is very loud colour, is not subtle. It shines quite bright and consequently becomes very hard to pair with clothes. It really overpowers your outfit, especially when it comes from a watch, which is a very small piece of jewellery on your wrist.

The watch and specifications

Coming back to our subject that we have for the review today, the red toned down version from DYI Watch Club makes much sense to me. The colour is a mix of brown with red making it closer to a burgundy velvet shade. In addition, the watch has a matte dial making it less shinny an more tool like. The dial not only has a simple layout and a sandwich dial, but also comes with your choice of C3 or BGW9 Superluminova.

Being an ‘’explorer’’ inspired dial, the watch is focused on legibility and minimalism. There is nothing that detracts you from reading the time. A date window at 3 nicely framed is the only complication we can find. The Seiko NH35 movement can be viewed from the exhibition case back, reminding you this is a mechanical piece.

The case is well finished having a good number of polished surfaces and brushed elements. The case of the Expedition measures 38mm in diameter with a lug to lug under 47mm. These are dimensions of an everyday watch. The Expedition also comes with a 20mm solid end link bracelet, feels well-built and robust but because the watch has drilled lugs, I found myself adding a nice beige nato strap to complete the look.

On the wrist

Wearing the watch was easy, not only for the weight, but also because it really goes with anything. It blends well with any sport activity and also with more casual wear. The size it is part of its secret, and although the red is very muted, in my opinion it wouldn’t work as well on a 42mm watch, these colours need to be more under the radar.

The watch is also very light with a good amount of wrist presence. I found myself changing straps quite often to alter the look, it is a strap monster. The crown at 3 o clock tucks away nicely and provides the watch with 100 meters of water resistance.

Concluding thoughts

As a conclusion this was a project that I’ve enjoyed quite a bit. I was lucky enough to build 2 of the coolest watches in my collection. The blue Expedition version is more versatile, it goes with everything, and it is very much on trend. But there is something charming about a crimson dial, it is different, a bit of a rebel. It might not be your GADA or one collection watch. But surely is something that you can wear and feel special. After all this is a watch that you built yourself, it is special by its nature.

The Explorer D03 Kit starts as low as $290 US with no tools and a “Lite” edition bracelet and ranges up to $460 with a full boxed set of pro tools and a standard bracelet. Right now, they are on sale, so those prices run from $245 to $390. This is very reasonable — even more so when you consider that you only need to buy the tools once. You can find more information or order your own at


  • Case: DWC Expedition series 38mm 316L stainless steel case (Sapphire Crystal) – 10ATM

  • Case Back: Exhibition case back (Mineral Crystal)

  • Movement Holder: Movement holder for TMI NH Series

  • Crown: Standard expedition watch crown with logo (Stem pre-assembled for TMI NH Series)

  • Dial: DWC D03 Blue Sandwich Lume Dial (TMI NH Series) – with BGW9 lume

  • Hands: Diver Hands with C3 Superluminova Lume (TMI NH Series)

  • Movement: TMI NH35 by Seiko

  • Strap: DIY Watch Club Stainless Steel Bracelet (Lite / Regular options) – Lug size: 20mm


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