We usually stick with luxury watches from established brands at MONOCHROME, but we never ignore the expanding world of microbrands. Their independence and use of inexpensive (yet quality) movements, allows them to have a bit of fun with design and execution. That unbridled creativity is seen with pieces like the Humism Rhizome and Bangalore Cover Drive, and now with a vintage-inspired trio of dive watches from young microbrand BND Watches. Sporting a cool retro design and Seiko automatics, it’s an intriguing collection for cost-conscious buyers.
BND Watches was born after the founder sold his entire watch collection to finance its creation. You can see this passion in the design, which is admittedly simple yet recalls the three decades between 1950 and 1980. Great actors, race car/motorcycle riders and explorers had a lot of influence on the brand’s creator and he wanted the collection to reflect this period. The stainless steel case shows this to a degree at 39.5mm in diameter and 11.3mm in height (minus the crystal) – a bit small and old school for a contemporary piece, but certainly larger than those from the past. The finishing is brushed and continues on the 120-click unidirectional bezel with yellowish Arabic numerals every 10 minutes and a classic triangular marker. The double dome crystal is a retro plexiglass and the caseback is solid, while the non-screw down crown is partially guarded. Notwithstanding the crown, the watch has a water-resistance rating of 100 metres.
The dial comes in three colors – black, blue, or brown – with Super-LumiNova Old Radium paint for the round and triangular indices. The silver sword-style hour and minute hands are also filled with matching Super-LumiNova, while the second hand has an arrow counterweight and red triangular tip. Dial print is limited to the brand’s logo at the top and vintage anchor at the bottom, both matching the colour scheme. It all combines for a simple yet positively retro vibe.
Powering the watch is the ubiquitous, affordable, and always reliable Seiko NH35A automatic. It has 24 jewels, beats at 21,600vph (3Hz) with a 41-hour power reserve. Functions of this movement include central hours, minutes, and seconds, and a date, although the latter complication is removed by BND Watches. Accuracy is rated at -20/+40 seconds per day, although you may experience tighter parameters in actual use.
All models come with a 20mm sand-coloured NATO strap and a colour matching NATO strap, both with steel pin buckles. Prices are certainly affordable at EUR 396 (incl. VAT) or EUR 330 (excl. VAT) and deliveries are expected at the end of July and early August. Each watch is limited to 150 pieces. For more information and to place an order, visit BND-Watches.com.
Technical specifications – BND Watches Neo-Vintage Diver
Case: 39.5mm diameter x 11.3mm height – stainless steel (satin brushed) – double dome plexiglass crystal – steel caseback – brushed steel unidirectional bezel with yellowish numerals and marks – crown with partial guards (doesn’t screw down) – 100m water-resistance
Dial: three color options: black, blue and brown – Super-LumiNova Old Radium paint for round and triangular indices – silver sword-style hour and minute hands with matching Super-LumiNova – seconds hand has arrow counterweight and red triangular tip – dial print limited to logo and vintage anchor
Movement: Seiko NH35A – automatic – 24 jewels – 21,600 (3Hz) – 41-hour power reserve – central hours, minutes, seconds and no date (date removed) – average accuracy of -20/+40 seconds per day
Strap: two NATO straps in sand and dial-matching colors with steel pin buckles
Availability: each model numbered to 150 pieces with deliveries in July 2021
Price: EUR 396 (incl. VAT) or EUR 330 (excl. VAT)