In the world of watches, there is no doubting the popularity of the dive watch. It’s an ever-present style in the broader category of sports watches, and it screams of robustness intended for hard use outside. The problem is – how do you make your dive watch stand apart, particularly if you’ve not got decades of history to pull upon? Well, you focus on a different aquatic sport, say, surfing. That’s what Shinola has done with the introduction of The Duck.

Why The Duck? Well, apparently that’s a move you do when you’re out on the board – you duck-dive when getting out onto the wave. Me, I don’t know spit from Shinola when it comes to surfing, so I’ll have to take their word for it. I am more familiar with the concept of a dive watch, of course, and the Shinola The Duck starts off with a 200m WR rating, so you’re good for most things. The 42mm stainless steel case looks to be on the thinner side (a benefit of quartz) which should make the watch wear more easily than some chunky brick, if you’re worried about weighing your wrist down.

It looks like the legibility on the Shinola The Duck is quite well-sorted as well (well, perhaps not as much on the stealthed-out version), particularly on the yellow dial. Sure, that blue dial is the one that calls to me, but that yellow, well, that just screams to get yourself outside. Shinola has also helped the pure usability here by having thick applied numerals filled with SuperLuminova on the dial, as well as a chunk lumed pip on the bezel as well.

The Shinola The Duck is a more casual take on the dive watch than we’ve seen from the brand in the past. Their Monster series has gone hard, in a sense to prove their bona fides in the category. Here, it looks like they’re comfortable in their own skin, and producing something that’s a bit more playful. The versions on a strap will run $650 while bumping up to the PVD case takes you to $700; the version with a stainless steel bracelet (and a rubber strap) will set you back $850. I know I recommend getting the bracelet when it’s offered, but a $200 upcharge for a bracelet feels a bit steep in my book. And you know what? Having the color rubber strap to go with the bolder dials just feels right here anyways.

Tech Specs from Shinola

  • Case
    • 42mm Duck 3HD Brushed Stainless Steel Case with Polished Stainless Steel sides
    • Brushed Stainless Steel Top Ring with Aluminum insert
    • 20mm lug width
  • Movement: Argonite 713 quartz
  • WR: 20 ATM (200m)
  • Strap/bracelet: rubber strap or brushed stainless steel bracelet

ByPatrick Kansa

A big data developer and leader with a penchant for gadgets, books, watches and beverages. You can find my work on WristWatchReview, Knapsack.News, and Slushpile. If you're on Twitter and/or Instagram, you'll find me there as @PatrickWatches.