Back in March, we brought you word of the newest watch from the Filson and Shinola collaboration, the Filson Dutch Harbor. In that overview, I felt the watch was a slick take on a dive watch. How does that impression hold up now that I have spent some time with the Filson Dutch Harbor on the wrist? Let’s dive in and have a look.
As I mentioned in the previous writeup on the Filson Dutch Harbor, the variant with the blue bezel was the one that caught my eye, so that is what we had sent over for the review. Let’s start with that bezel. To look at it, you might think it is just a simple flat insert. And well, you would be partially right, as it is a flat insert, angling down from the raised crystal to the edge of the bezel. On the blue version, there is an additional light-colored strip running by the first 15 minutes. While this is just a coloration, it does give the appearance of translucence. The best surprise around the bezel is the fact that it is actually lumed. Often on these flat inserts they are just simple paint. Here on the Filson Dutch Harbor, we get a bit of additional glow added to what comes on the dial.
Oh, and one more remark on the bezel of the Filson Dutch Harbor. This is one of the most solid uni-directional bezels I’ve fiddled around with. The 120-click bezel moves solidly, with no play (side to side or up and down) in it whatsoever. Sure, the spring might loosen up some over time (and as you use it), but this has got to be one of the tightest I have experienced on a watch. The bezel is around a domed sapphire crystal (which does have an AR coating on it). While some may not care for the distortion you can get on a domed crystal at certain viewing angles, I rather like it on a diver – it’s just part of the visual appeal.
Under that crystal, we have the very crisp (and dimensional) dial of the Filson Dutch Harbor. While it is a bit tougher to tell on the black dial we have here, there are a couple of layers on the dial. The center is a lowest, with a slight bump up to the point where the indices are. These are actually raised and applied, giving you three planes within the dial. For myself, I just liked the bold indices, and the contrast between them and the dial. Along with the handset (which could do with a slightly longer hour hand), this made reading the time a breeze. You might also call to note that you don’t have the color difference in the handset that would mark an ISO-spec diver. That aside, the Filson Dutch Harbor does carry a 300m WR rating, so you’re good to go for a swim.
Not that I took our review loaner for a dip, but the rubber strap that the Filson Dutch Harbor came on would work very nicely for that. It also came with the roller buckle that we saw on the Filson Journeyman GMT. While not absolutely necessary for this sort of strap material, it did make getting things cinched in place easy. The knurled texture I found to be a nice touch as well (though it may require some vigilance to keep clean), as it reinforces the tough outdoorsy nature that Filson would be establishing for their products.
Which is not to say that the Filson Dutch Harbor is only appropriate for the outdoors. While the rubber strap might be a touch on the casual side for the office, I found the 43mm case of the watch gave a nice wrist presence (without being overbearing), and the styling worked well whether I was at the office or around the house. Basically, the Filson Dutch Harbor is a good all-around watch, particularly as we are getting into the warmer weather. In terms of an everyday watch, you would be hard-pressed to find something as versatile (and style-acceptable) as a dive watch, and the Argonite (Ronda) 715-powered Filson Dutch Harbor is a solid example.
So, in terms of styling and utility, I do rather like the Filson Dutch Harbor. As I mentioned in the previous writeup, though, pricing may be a concern here. Starting at $775 (which is the price on our loaner), you are paying a bit more than you might expect for quartz diver. In the scope of what Shinola produces, though, it’s well within reason, so it is not like the Filson branding on the watch caused a major premium to be incurred (though the caseback does seem like a rather nice addition). In short, if you like the styling of the Filson Dutch Harbor, I would say go for it. It may not be the most technically accomplished diver, but it is a good looking tool watch that will fit into your everyday life. filson.com
- Brand & Model: Filson Dutch Harbor
- Price: $775 and up
- Who’s it for?: You want a good-looking diver to wear all day, every day
- Would I wear it?: Indeed, I would
- What I’d change: Seeing the screwed-on crown guards become a integral part of the case would be nice
- The best thing about it: Just the overall look – the inky black dial sets off well against the blue bezel
Tech Specs from Filson
- Movement: Argonite 715 Quartz
- Case: 43mm, Stainless Steel
- Caseback: Stainless steel with brass PVD coating
- Crystal: Domed Sapphire, AR Coating
- WR: 300m
- Lume: Super LumiNova
- Strap: Rubber, Made in the USA
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