Boschett Reef Ranger Review

Posted on 24 February 2014 by Patrick Kansa

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Time and again, dive watches have proven to be one of the most popular design styles – and it’s not an allure I’m immune to. While I myself don’t go diving, there’s just something about having a watch that’s built to withstand those pressures (and the design language that comes along with it) that has an appeal. While many of the options on the market today are impressive (and massive) pieces, Boschett’s latest has gone in an different direction, creating one of the more compact modern divers I’ve spent time with.

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With this refresh of their first model, the Reef Ranger, Boschett knew that comfort had to a major component informing the design of the watch. The first step in accomplishing this was by keeping the case size as small as they could, but still keep the top-grade Sellita SW200 movement safe (with an appropriate bit of over-engineering for a safety margin). This means we’ve got a case here that measures in at 42mm in diameter, and is just under 13mm thick – which is pretty crazy thin for a watch rated to 300m.

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The other big component of the comfort equation is the bracelet. Aside from the solid end links, you’ve got 16 separate segments that make up the bracelet. In actual wear, this accomplishes two different things. First off, I was able to get a pretty good sizing fit by removing links (something that can be tricky in a bracelet with fewer segments), and by using the micro-adjustment holes in the clasp. Second, with those smaller links, you get a bracelet that can conform to your wrist much more easily, since it can curve to conform to your wrist.

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And while we’re on the subject of the bracelet, let’s touch on that clasp. It is a bulkier one, but if you’ve been around dive watches, you know why that is. This as an inbuilt ratcheting extension, which is nice for a couple of reason. First off, it’s simply sturdier than the flip-out extensions you’ve not doubt seen. Second, with the ratchet, it means you can fine-tune the amount of the extension.

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This is handy if, like me, you adjust your bracelets on the snugger side. As the day goes along, your wrist likely swells a bit (I know mine do on some days), which means the bracelet can get to be too tight. Well, with that ratcheting extension, you can just bump it out a click, and have a much more comfortable fit.

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Even for the bulk of the bracelet, I really didn’t have any issues with it digging in or causing any issues while I sat at a keyboard throughout the day. Which is good, because this was a watch I wanted to keep near at hand with it’s electric blue dial. Frankly, this dial is what first drew me to the piece, even before I had it in hand. I’ve had a handful of blue dial watches hit my desk in the last year or so, which are always a treat, as that’s my favorite color. With the Reef Ranger, this is probably one of my top three blue dials.Boschett-Reef-Ranger-03

On top of that cold blue sunburst, you’ve got the applied shield-style indices. Here, the repetition of the style is quite nice – they’re just shorter for the non-cardinal points, and wider at the 12 o’clock mark, allowing for proper orientation in the dark. Give the relative sizing of the indices, this really helps the white date wheel to blend in, in terms of the visual pattern you perceive. And, frankly, I don’t see how a date wheel could be color matched here, nor would a black one look right. So, surprise of surprises, this is one white date wheel I’m a fan of.

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And what do we have with the handset spinning over those indices? Ones that are appropriately sized, both in terms of proportion to each other and the dial. These are of course lumed, and the whole of the watch is quite readable when things get dark. Topping off the whole case is a sapphire crystal (mirroring the one in the caseback), as well as the de rigeur unidirectional bezel (which, it should be noted, keeps the same shield shape for the lumed “pip” – a nice touch).

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While the Reef Ranger is billed as a dive watch (and certainly could be utilized as one), this is one combination of form and function that I think would work just as well on land as it does in the sea. Yes, at it’s asking price of $825 (which will net you the blue or black dial) it’s a higher price than we’ve seen from other small-brand divers, but none of those were offering a top-grade Swiss movement in as compact of a package as we have here. Yes, we’re starting to bump up into another price bracket, but I still think it’s a solid contender. boschett-timepieces.com

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Review Summary

  • Brand & Model: Boschett Reef Ranger
  • Price: $825
  • Who’s it for?: The person looking for a dive watch that doesn’t dwarf their wrist
  • Would I wear it?: Without a doubt in my mind
  • What I’d change: Perhaps exploring replacing the metal insert with a lumed, flat sapphire insert
  • The best thing about it: Aside from that blue dial, the attention paid to making a comfortable, compact diver really shows

Tech Specs from Boschett

  • Movement = Top Grade Sellita SW-200 with Boschett signed rotor
  • 316L surgical grade SS
  • 300m water resistant
  • Sapphire crystals – front and back
  • Screw-down crown and caseback
  • Solid end link bracelet with screws
  • Superluminova treated hands and applied markers
  • Dimensions: Case – 42mm w/o crown, Height – 12.65mm, Bracelet – 22mm wide, Lug-to-lug – 50mm
  • Available with black and blue dials
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