- Posts: 10059
- Joined: September 17th 2011, 10:00pm
Dan Henry 1975: Retro-futurist dive watch
This one didn't work out at first, hence the delay in reviewing. It didn't keep time at first (like, hours out), I contacted DH and asked to return it, they refused, said the battery might be flat, I had to take it to a watchmaker and they'd reimburse me if I sent them the bill. I was a bit disappointed in their approach to customer service. As I saw it, it's a brand new watch, there's almost zero chance the battery is flat, and so something is defective. If it was my company, I'd send a consignment note/courier satchel, take the heavily marked-up Chinese watch back, and send a new one. No harm done, avoid inconveniencing a customer, avoid potentially less than fully satisfied reviews. Luckily I live in Morley where it seems almost everybody is cool as fuck, including the local mall kiosk watch guy. He opened my watch, confirmed the battery is of course perfectly charged, sealed it back up and said don't worry about the money, he's just curious to hear how DH will respond.
After the battery had been reinstalled, the watch kept acceptably good time (by quartz standards). Don’t ask me the accuracy, I just know that if I look at it it’s going to be within a couple of minutes of my phone. I figure there was some issue where the contact was not touching the battery, and whatever the watch repair guy did fixed the issue. So I kept the watch, and here it is.
Putting aside my disagreement with how DH handles an obvious QC issue, I gotta say that I really like this watch. I bought it because I missed having a bright orange watch (yeah, I know) and figured it would be ‘fun’ (yeah, I know) for summer activities and fashion (yeah, I know) culminating in a holiday at a Fiji resort. Turns out I wear it as much or more than any of my others. Why?
It (now) always shows the correct time. No need to wind, set, or anything like that. It has no date, so it always doesn’t not show the correct day, negating any need to not set the day/date. It’s thin and light and on a strap so it is very comfortable. It’s rugged and waterproof so I don’t have to worry about changing it after work. I think it looks cool.
Weird, but cool.
It’s weird because DH calls it the Skin Diver and it is meant to be inspired by the skin divers of the 70s (and 60s? I dunno). So it doesn’t have extreme water resistance or a screw-down crown, that makes sense. But it has a sapphire bezel overlaying black and silver and a bright orange dial (my version at least) and so the look in the metal, on the wrist, is maybe hinting at retro but much more fancy and modern and techy.
It’s a cheap watch and you can see that in places. All of the cost it seems has gone into the sapphire bezel and beautiful box sapphire crystal. A little was spent on the dial just to try and keep up. The case is very basic in it’s finish. In this respect, it reminds me a bit of an 80s/90s Tag. Oh, and they spent big on the caseback – my favourite feature along with the crystal and bezel. Check this out.
Baby got back!
Almost makes up for the god-awful buckle. Seriously? Even on a cheap watch, that’s a fucking disgrace.
Anything else of note? The profile is indeed very retro and probably most reflects the skin diver inspiration. It came with one of those stupid blue plastic stickers on the crown and I when I took it off the DH engraving was full of stupid blue plastic and I was worried it wouldn’t come out. A summer of beach and resort and snorkeling activities seems to have removed it finally. The strap is weird to me. It’s FKM ‘rubber’, otherwise known as Viton. Unlike other rubber and rubber-type straps (e.g. silicone) it’s more or less frictionless, feels perfectly dry. It’s not unpleasant, it’s just weird if you’re used to rubber. The vintage tropic-style print is too cool. One good thing about the cheap basic case is I have no worries about getting scratches and dints, let alone hairline swirlies. I like how the bases of the hands are painted orange so they sort of look transparent/floating.
In summary, the watch looks good (IMO), it’s taken a bit of a beating this summer and is still ticking (no thanks to DH) and it was really cheap (US$290 I think). I’m going to wear it again today (a Saturday). Says it all. Oh, and the mall kiosk watch guy is a legend. Dear Dan Henry, give him a call, learn something about how to look after a (potential) customer.
If it thinks, it stinks