Be it well know, far and wide – I do like a good dive watch. I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating – while my own tastes have gone more towards compact and thinner pieces (GMT or otherwise), I still like the good ol’ dive watch. Even though I’m not a diver, they seem ready for adventure. Not in the “Get your motor runnin'” sense, but more along the lines of “load up the cooler and get your boots, we’re off to the woods” sort of adventure. I dare say that the Nauticfish Thûsunt will be down for whatever.
First off, who is Nauticfish? I came into them quite serendipitously, as it turns out. I’ve got a friend who has started getting into moon phase watches, so we were talking about various options out there. My mind wandered over to the very cool-looking (and luminous) ones from Schaumburg, and I reached out to them. While there’s no moon watch review in the works (yet, hope springs eternal), the conversation did pivot over to their dive watch brand, Nauticfish, and the fairly new Nauticfish Thûsunt. So, that’s how we go to today.
And today, we’re talking about a German-designed, German-built, Swiss-powered (ETA 2824-2 with a custom rotor), deep-diving watch. In the case of our review, it’s known as the Nauticfish Thûsunt blao vintage (aka, vintage blue). The name of the watch really gives you a big clue about what this watch is designed around. You see, thûsunt is an old (High) German word that means 1000. So, that’s the WR rating that the watch carries. Yes, super-overkill for any of us (except for the two of you who are saturation divers), but man is that a fun spec to rattle off.
Now, I have certainly looked at watches that have crazy WR ratings such as we have on the Nauticfish Thûsunt, and they generally tend towards the, shall we say, overly generous, when it comes to dimensions. I’m not going to say the Nauticfish Thûsunt is a particularly compact watch, but for divers of this ilk, it certainly is compact. 43mm in diameter and 15mm height paints part of the picture. What really surprised me is that, visually, it looks like a much smaller watch (say, 40mm or so). Yeah, the thickness makes itself known under a cuff, but for the diameter, wow.
I think this is because you actually see very little of the cushion case of the Nauticfish Thûsunt when you view it straight on. You’ve got the divers bezel (with a matte-finished insert, quite nice that) covering some of it, of course, and then you’ve got what is, proportionally, a very large dial for the case. The curved sapphire crystal also magnifies things a bit, further serving to make the case feel smaller than it is. Sure, your wrist knows what’s there, but if you’re used to divers, it’s not an issue. I just cannot overstate how surprising (and this was confirmed by others who handled the watch) how much smaller it seems.
I mentioned the dial of the Nauticfish Thûsunt, and that is a big attraction on this line of watches. They feature the sort of faded, vintage burst style where you’ve got the lighter color in the center, fading out to the darker at the edges. At those edges, the indices (standard circles and rectangles) stand out in sharp contrast, and glow rather nicely.
The handset of the Nauticfish Thûsunt is rather unique, and I can’t recall seeing anything quite like it in the past. They’re wide, and taken individually, they almost look like skyscrapers. They also somewhat have the appearance of having had a tritium tube mounted on them, but that’s not the case. Simply some ridges there that keep things interesting, and of course break up the lume. It’s quite an interesting handset, and fits well in the case.
I’ll also call out the date wheel on the Nauticfish Thûsunt as fitting in quite nicely as well. It’s dark and blends into the outer edges of the dial well, and even the cutout is not particularly noticeable (other than when the light catches it). So, yeah, Nauticfish definitely spent time on making sure the colors worked well together. Even the variety of blues, from the dial to the bezel to the leather strap, show the commitment to the theme.
I will admit I was a bit uncertain about the strap on the Nauticfish Thûsunt (which, as it turns out, is horse leather). I’ve had straps in that look somewhat like this, with a faded effect that generally is painted on. I got over that trepidation pretty quickly, and grew to like the sort of “faded blue jeans” look it has. In fact, I swapped the stock rubber strap in for but a day (it’s pretty standard, nothing much to write home about) and quickly put the leather strap back on. It just works that well. Sure, not for diving, but for desk diving, it is a-ok. I also want to call out the leather (in this case, cow) backing on the leather strap. It has an interesting texture that is comfortable, and keeps things rather breathable.
This is just an aspect of the Nauticfish Thûsunt that helps with the comfort of the watch. Tapering the strap width helps there, as does the steeper angle to the lugs. All in all, it makes for a tidy everyday sort of a watch. And that’s how I wore the Nauticfish Thûsunt. Since I’m not a diver (in any sense of the word), this was a watch that went with me about my day – to the office, around the house, and over the weekends. It’s a no-nonsense partner that did it’s job, and did it well. Of course, that blue palette (my favorite color, though they also offer the watch in green and black) clicked with me as well.
So, if you could not tell, I did rather enjoy the time I had with the Nauticfish Thûsunt. Now, you might thing – especially coming from Schaumburg – that pricing would skew to the luxury. And there, you would be wrong. Accounting for whatever current exchange rates would be, the Nauticfish Thûsunt comes in at $795 (once you remove VAT from the price) on the rubber strap, with another $95 for the leather strap. Apparently there is also a steel mesh bracelet ($114) available, but as we didn’t review that, I can’t tell you much about it.
Is a larger diver like the Nauticfish Thûsunt going to be for everyone? No, it certainly won’t be, and many of us wouldn’t need the 1000m WR rating. However, for those that just want a rugged “go anywhere” watch, the Nauticfish Thûsunt is ready to be your pal. Oh, and do note – for those with wrists on the smaller side, this could be a good way to get into a heavier-duty diver, given it’s more visually-compact profile. For everyone else, well, just wear and enjoy. As far as introductions to brands go, I have to say, this was a great first outing. nauticfish.com
- Brand & Model: Nauticfish Thûsunt blau vintage
- Price: $789 (795 EUR, incl vat)
- Who’s it for? You want a true blue dive watch that isn’t going to (visually) overpower your wrist
- Would I wear it? Indeed I would
- What I’d change: For this as it stands? Perhaps the blue shade on the strap. Past that, I wouldn’t mind seeing them explore a thinner case profile in the future (with the presumed reduction in WR)
- The best thing about it: The well-sorted overall look
Tech Specs from Nauticfish
- Case: brushed steel, brushed, bezel with fine detent and super-luminova point
- Case diameter: 43 x 43 mm, height: 15 mm
- Automatic valve for automatic pressure compensation, PVD coated
- Water resistance: 1000 m / 3280 feet
- Crown: screwed, diameter: 0,8 mm
- Glass: Domed lupe sapphire crystal with AR coating (inside, back steel
- Dial: Vintage style with color gradient
- Index & hands: super-luminova
- Movement: automatic, ETA-2824/2, Swiss Made
- Strap: 22mm, stitched and very flexible silicone strap
- Box: Big size outdoor box, water proof, pressure equalizing valve
- Option: vintage style leather strap (Made in Italy), steel bracelet (Made in Germany)