- WIS Divemaster
- Posts: 8990
- Joined: November 12th 2011, 11:00pm
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- Location: Fremantle, Australia (GMT +8)
The sun is shining and the weather is on its very best behaviour for a reprise of my recent dive trip to the Ningaloo Reef. Spending time here gives me some hope. The place is a sanctuary and you see what that does to the amount of wildlife. We saw dozens of pods of humpbacks on every trip out on the boat. We had whales sleeping on the surface, whales breaching everywhere, whales flapping their tails and fins. Turtles, rays and mantas. This place is bursting at the seams. What a gem.
I brought the Bremont Supermarine S500 along this time. Its as pretty as a dive watch could be and still be taken seriously. Whilst on the trip I asked my dive buddy, who is a graphic designer, what his thoughts on the watch were from a design perspective. He was impressed with the case and the lug design in particular. In fact, he liked the design elements of the watch generally with the exception of the circular train track on the dial which he felt made things look more busy than was necessary. I agree.
The Supermarine isn't a cheap watch but you do get some genuine engineering bang-for-the-buck on top of it being a head turner. It has a Faraday cage around the movement and a proprietary shock absorption system. I really like its tough as nails build. Hardened steel and a sapphire bezel and crystal let me wear it anywhere without worrying about dings.
The movement is a COSC certified modified top grade ETA 2824. Bremont has modifications made to the main spring and balance spring and finishes the movement in the UK. The parts used in the movement modification are sourced from several movement houses and installed and finished by Bremont. I asked about the movement choice and was told the 2824 was chosen for its reliability, the integrated day-date calendar, and the ability to source and modify parts.
Using the watch for diving is a pleasure. Everything works well. The bezel action is crisp and nicely stiff. The crown action is quite stiff and there is no wobble. The dial display is extremely legible and easy to read. At night the thing looks like a star trek console display with the lumed bezel.
Clearly I am a fan of the S500, but what are the downsides? Well...the included 'dive' strap is well made trash. It isn't vented so when you over-tighten it for a dive you put stress on the buckle. This reliably results in the buckle's strap pin bending in the middle. The tang can then move backward and loses purchase on the buckle. Your expensive watch can now drop off your arm during the dive. I contacted Bremont and advised them of the design flaw and they thanked me for the feedback but don't intend to fix it. So this Supermarine now lives on an Isofrane.
Its other flaw is the crown. Its over-designed to the point where it loses function. I hate that. They chamfered the outside edge of the crown and made the last section smooth. This makes the crown small and hard to operate. Combined with a pretty stiff action its actually an issue. No points for Bremont there.
Overall impression? Its one of the watches I love to see on my wrist. It has huge presence but is supremely easy to wear. Its beautiful to look at and as rugged as they come. The combination of refinement and durability push my buttons in a really good way. People carry on about the entry fee but I think you get plenty for the money. Its one of the few watches I have owned to balance a luxury watch experience with uncompromising dive watch functionality as well as this. Bremont did good work with the Supermarine.
Until next time :-)