I have said it many times before, and I will likely say it many times more – dive watches are simply one of, if not the, most popular styles of watches today. Most of them show on the wrists of those who don’t dive (such as this writer), so it really becomes more of a style choice. Sure, there is some appeal to the capability that a dive watch represents, but for most desk divers, it is the look of the watch that draws them in. So, then, if a new brand is bringing a diver to the market, it should offer something unique – and that is what we have with the Manchester Watch Works Tatoskok.
I will admit, that name is a mouthful. As it turns out, it comes from an American myth that predates the Loch Ness monster, something I uncovered in my review of a prototype of the quartz-driven version of this watch. Now, it’s been a year since I took a look at that watch, and there have been some changes made. Most significantly, this takes the form of the movement used – gone is the quartz, and in its place is a Miyota 9015 movement. This movement is a sensible choice (to offer a mechanical but still keep the watch affordable), and is only being installed in a 300-piece run (and fewer than a 100 remain at this point). Some other changes from the initial version I reviewed are with the handset (gone are the broad arrows and in their place are sword-style hands) and the inclusion of a date window. And that date window? It’s color-matched to the dial. If a small place like MWW can manage this, why is it so difficult for bigger brands to manage it? Not something I have the answer to, but I am glad to see that here.
Past that, the Manchester Watch Works Tatoskok is by and large unchanged – and that is a good thing. One of the best features of the watch is the dial, which has the look and texture of wet sand. IT makes for a unique look, and something that makes a lot of sense for a dive watch. Continuing with that theme you also have the 12 o’clock indicator which takes the form of the “diver down” flag. Given the overall thematic elements to the watch, it does seem a bit odd that sword hands are used, as the broad arrow ones seem much more fitting to a dive watch. Perhaps it is more of a nod to the fact that most of these watches will be on dry ground for a majority of the time, and therefore has some styling that fits more to a daily wear situation.
And, for daily wear, the 104g Manchester Watch Works Tatoskok is one of the lighter dive watches I have worn (especially one with a 300m WR rating), which certainly helps with the comfort. Ours of course came paired on a rubber strap (which is an upgrade from the original one we saw), and also came with a nylon nato strap, both sensible options for this type of watch. I rather liked the bead-blasted finish of the 42mm case, which keeps fingerprints at bay. I also rather liked another small detail – the finishing on the crown. This has the appearance of being knurled, but there are also two grooves cut into it. Nothing is polished there, but the way it catches light, it does give some brighter accents to the piece.
Speaking of knurling, it is worth mentioning it with regards to the bezel on the Manchester Watch Works Tatoskok. We are used to bezels on dive watches being protuding affairs, which makes sense if you’re needing to manipulate it while wearing gloves. For something of a different look, the watch here is using a sleek and in-line silhouette, with the bezel not protuding any wider than the case itself. Fortunately, the knurling gives it enough texture to grip with your fingers and easily adjust it. The bezel clicks confidently, with very little play in it.
All of these little touches on the Manchester Watch Works Tatoskok add up to a dive watch that gives you a look that’s a bit different than the archetype we’re used to, but still keeping it robust, just as we’ve come to expect from a tool watch like a diver. Another great thing about the watch is it’s pricing – this limited edition automatic only runs $310 (your choice of a date window or not), which is a tidy price for what you are getting here, in terms of design. In the end, I am fond of the blockier silhouette of the Manchester Watch Works Tatoskok, and appreciate all of the small details the brand worked into it. While you might be more familiar with their recent trench watch, this watch represents where the brand started out, and is worth getting yourself familiar with. Just move quickly – there are only (3) with date left, and (40) non-date left in stock. manchesterwatchworks.com
- Brand & Model: Manchester Watch Works Tatoskok
- Price: $310
- Who’s it for?: You like the utility and toughness of a diver, but are looking for something in a sleeker package
- Would I wear it?: Yes, I would – although, without a bracelet to pair it to, I think it remains more of a summer / warm weather watch
- What I’d change: Bring back the broad-arrow hands (or give an option for them)
- The best thing about it: Small details aside, it’s the straight line you have on the side of the case, which s relatively uncommon with an external bezel
Tech Specs from Manchester Watch Works
- 42.5mm corrosion resistant 316L stainless steel case with bead blasted finish
- 47mm lug to lug
- 11mm in height
- 20 ATM/200 m water resistance
- 22mm drilled lugs for easy strap changes and curved for comfort
- Robust, reliable Miyota/Citizen 9015 Automatic Movement, no batteries needed
- Textured black wet sand-like dial with thick, layered C3 lumed markers and a 12:00 marker inspired by the American diver down flag
- 43mm knurled unidirectional 120 click bezel
- Aluminum bezel insert with C3 lume at 12:00 and a swallow-tail 12:00 marker inspired by the international diver down flag
- C3 lumed arrow hands with red-tipped seconds
- 6mm knurled engraved 4:00 screw-down crown
- Flat scratch resistant sapphire crystal with inner anti-reflective coating to minimize distortions and reflections
- Screwed down engraved case back
- Brass movement holder
- Black PU tear resistant strap with blasted engraved buckle and custom designed MWW nylon strap with blasted hardware and engraved strap keeper included