Rarely, if ever, does a small watchmaker get it right. Watchmaking, and making money at watchmaking, is a difficult, if impossible business. The giants hulk over you at every turn, the boutique shops won’t touch you, and you’re constantly lured by the siren song of Chinese manufacturers pumping out faceless pieces for pennies. Thank you, then, Bathys, for getting it right.
The Bathys Hawaii 100 Fathoms is a diver’s watch that owes nothing to anyone. It is not a Panerai-alike nor is it a Seiko knock-off. It doesn’t look like anything else out there. It’s PVD coated, brightly lumed, and ultimately designed to get wet.
Founded and created by John Patterson, a Hawaii native and avid surfer, Bathys makes one model. The 100 Fathoms uses a quartz big-date Ronda swiss movement in a stainless steel PVD coated case. The face is abundantly chrisp – the standard date read-out is quite pleasing to the eye and the back, slightly reflective face keeps things in perspective. The huge hands and large red second’s hand are easily readable in many environments and the huge numbers at the odd hours glow with a vengeance.
John thought of everything when he put this $375 package together. The 100 Fathoms comes in a branded waterproof box with rubber and leather straps. The rubber straps are springy and thick and fit just right. The leather strap is of high quality and looked great on the watch right out of the box. The purchaser would be better served, however, if the 100 Fathoms came on the rubber strap straight from the factory. As it was, I removed the leather strap immediately and swapped them. Both have signed buckles.
The Ultraviolet aka Purple cased model is quite beautiful. I don’t think I’ve seen a purple-cased watch before, and this makes things really stand out. Unfortunately, the UV is currently out of stock – so sad – but John promised a new shipment this year along with one with an automatic ETA movement.
Oh, this watch isn’t all sunshine and puppy dogs. This thing needs a bezel. It’s just not a diver without a bezel, and I know that this may reduce the overall solidity of this piece, but give us a bezel. Please.
The 100 Fathoms doesn’t look like anything you’ve seen before. That is good. It is a strong piece and it is clearly designed for surfers. The screw down crown is easy to grasp and the map of the Hawaii islands on the back of the watch are a great navigational aid for those stranded out at sea with only a watch, a surfboard, and a package of Twinkies. Many a man has been saved from Davey Jones’ locker thanks to John’s quick thinking.
We love watches that stand out and demand to be noticed. This diver is a unique piece, lovingly designed. Let’s see how long he can keep them this cheap.
Product Page [BathysWatch]
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