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Boatswain Reviews: HKED/EMG Watches Nemo (Prototype)





Intro



Capt. Nemo was the enigmatic, mysterious and resourceful commander of the submarine Nautilus in Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Joining together for their own aquatic adventure, three members of the WUS community, Ed (hked), Derek (chicolabronse) and Eric (goody2141 ) have collaborated to release the Nemo dive watch from HKED and EMG Watches. The Nemo has its design roots in the vintage skin divers of the 1960s, which rose to popularity 100 years after Verne released his visionary work on underwater adventure.



1960s skin diver watches provided recreational divers (real and imaginary) with a slimmer less water-resistant dive watch that was more attainable and practical for daily use than some of the larger and more robust professional dive watches of the time. The skin divers from various brands often shared a similar design aesthetic, using a simple 36-38mm case frequently distinguished by squared lug ends and often sharing other elements such as bezel, hand and dial designs. The practical application of such a watch is still desirable today and we are seeing some popular designs surface on the market such as the Oris 65, Christopher Ward C65 and others. But affordable and quality skin diver inspired watches with 200m water resistance seem to still be lurking in the depths of the market.



HKED/EMG are looking to chart a course where they blend the best design cues from vintage skin divers with modern materials. We hear that a lot in brand copy these days but how did HKED/EMG do with the Nemo? Grab your spear gun, wetsuit and lock the hatch. Let's dive in!





Specs

From EMG website
Width - 40mm
Length - 47mm
Thickness - 13.5mm
(including domed sapphire crystal)
Lug Width- 20mm





My measurements, taken using digital calipers.
Case Diameter - 39.8mm
Bezel Diameter - 39.8mm
Crystal Diameter - 31.2mm
Lug to Lug Length - 46.8mm
Lug Width - 20mm
Total Height (bottom of caseback to top of bezel) -13.8mm
Height of Midcase - 6.2mm
Caseback Thickness -3.3mm (approximate)
Bezel Thickness - 2.5mm (approximate)
Crystal height - 1.8mm (approximate)
Crown Diameter - 6.9mm
Weight - 151g on full bracelet, watch head only - 70g



Ordering



The black and green Nemos were loaned to me from HKED/EMG for thi review and as such I cannot speak directly to the ordering process. However, my communications with both HKED and the gents at EMG have been exceptional throughout the review process. They were polite, punctual and passionate in their responses. Communication is something I value highly in a micro brand. It establishes the trust needed for a purchase and helps to separate the quality companies from the fly-by-nighters, in what is becoming a crowded market segment. Both HKED and Eric and Derek from EMG Watches have several successful releases already under their belts.



There are 6 colour choices available for the Nemo; black, powder blue, dark denim blue, yellow, green and white.









The price is $450 USD pre-ordered from the EMG Watches website. The Nemo scheduled to finish production and ship by approximately January 2019.



The watches shown in this review are pre-production prototypes. They are very close to the final production versions as I understand it. I will highlight any areas where changes are planned throughout the review.



.

Arrival and Unboxing



The Nemo arrived well packaged in a sturdy cardboard tube. HKED/EMG are still finalizing the design of the tube that will come with the production Nemo, but it sounds like it will be similar to what was included with the 2 prototypes sent for review.



Tucked snugly into the tube was a soft canvas watch roll. The roll has 5 pockets and a soft black lining throughout. The roll is excellent. It is soft and thin enough to roll up easily, while at the same time still feeling robust enough to provide good protection and storage. I was easily able to carry both Nemos in it along with extra straps, bracelets and tools and still roll it up and tuck it into the tube. The included roll was a very convenient and sturdy way to travel with the watches.



One of the great things about purchasing from a micro brand is the sense of value that is often conveyed. In light of that, there is a fine balance between not paying extra for fancy packaging that disappears into the closet and also having a bare bones presentation that robs some of the excitement from a new purchase. I think HKED/EMG did a great job in providing something useful and special without going overboard and incurring extra cost. Overall the Nemo has a thoughtful and practical presentation.





The Case



The Nemo is made of 316L stainless-steel. 316L is the standard material for quality watch cases these days, offering good corrosion and chemical resistance while taking a finish nicely.





The Nemo is 39.8mm in diameter, 46.8mm long lug tip to lug tip and 13.8mm tall from the case back to the top of the domed crystal. The case size of just under 40mm is an excellent choice. It is a sweet spot, scaling up the traditional 36-38mm skin divers to a more contemporary size that will look good across a variety of wrist sizes and shapes. The lug to lug length just shy of 47mm looks proportionally correct, as well as being delightfully compact on the wrist. Lug to lug length is an oft underappreciated case dimension and it can really affect how well a watch wears, more so than the diameter. 13.8mm is fairly tall for a 40mm(ish) 200m automatic dive watch, but a lot of that height is made up of the domed crystal and rather tall caseback (more on that later). The apparent height of the Nemo is very respectable at 8.6mm. What I mean by apparent height is the combination of the midcase (excluding caseback) and the bezel height. This what your eye sees on the wrist and it can affect your perception and reality of how a watch wears on the wrist. These dimensions combined with the shape of the midcase and bezel allow the Nemo to wear as a much slimmer watch than its 13.8mm height may suggest.











The Nemo has a beautiful original case shape, defined by its elegant flowing curves. The polished case sides have what is called tumblehome on a boat. Tumblehome describes how round the sides of a vessel are, as opposed to a flat shape from the deck to the waterline. For example, the Tudor black Bay would have no tumblehome being a straight slab side. The Rolex Yacht Master is a case that has a nice round tumblehome to it. The Nemo has a gentle bulge about 2/3 of the way down the from the top of the midcase that provides both an aesthetic function in creating an organic soft flowing visual impact as well as allowing the case to pinch in just under the lip of the bezel edge for a better grip.



The lugs of the Nemo are well balanced in their visual weight, being neither too long nor too short and curve in gently to their tapered tips. They have a pronounced downward curvature and fine tips that help in how well the Nemo wears on the wrist. The underside profile of a case is a key factor in how well a watch wears and sits on the wrist, done well it will help to diminish the overall height and bulk of a piece. The Nemo prototypes have a circular brushing pattern on the top of the lugs, but I have been told that in production it will be changed to a vertical brushing pattern, running from 12 to 6. I was happy to see HKED/EMG include drilled lugs on the Nemo. For starters, it is fitting for the vintage divers aesthetic and practically it is a big help as the Nemo is wonderfully suited to a variety of straps. Taking advantage of the drilled lugs for strap swaps will keep the case from looking like it was repeatedly rammed by a mysterious underwater submarine by those of us who may have the dexterity of a sleep deprived narwhal. The 20mm lug width is appropriate for the case size and will provide lots of options for straps.





The crown can be found in its familiar location at 3 o'clock. Taking a cue from skin divers and omitting crown guards gives the Nemo a clean vintage look.



Don't be startled upon turning the Nemo over to reveal a giant squid engraved on the caseback, much like the ones that attacked the Nautilus in 20,000 Leagues. I am big fan of solid casebacks with good art being used on a dive watch. The Nemo's squid art is a nice creative touch. Display backs add an extra potential point of failure for water intrusion and unless the movement is extra special and worth seeing, I would much rather take the added security and artistry that can be provided by a nice engraving or stamping on a solid back. In addition to the squid, the usual caseback information can be seen.



The case of the Nemo is a little bit thicker than I expected, this is most likely due to the fact that the Nemo shares a case design with the 2018 WUS F71 forum watch, Emperor. The Emperor houses a thicker Seiko NH35A movement, as opposed to the thinner Miyota 90S5 used in the Nemo. The case employs a clever slimming trick though in bringing the visual line up from the bottom of the case. This leaves a little plinth or base beneath the polished case sides that the caseback screws into. As a pro it makes the midcase appear thinner, but the con is that the plinth and caseback combine in height to lift the lugs off of the wrist, so that they appear to float. I have seen this design trick used on other watches, but the Nemo accomplishes it to a better degree. The soft curves and tumblehome of the case sides combined with the short lug to lug length and nicely downturned lugs help to minimize the floating effect and on the wrist I don't notice the "float" too much. Wearing a pass under strap especially a NATO would exaggerate the height. It would be great to see HKED/EMG use a case that was designed specifically to take advantage of the relatively thin 90S5 which would potentially make it a very sleek watch on the wrist, something I love.





The finishing on the Nemo I would describe as average for its price point. The polishing is clean and clear and while the brushing is even, I would like to see it done a bit heavier to provide more contrast and matte texture to the Nemo case, which would then better compliment the dial and bezel. The transitions are done well and edges aren't too sharp.







I like that the Nemo uses an original case design with a softer curved look that remains strong and sporty without being brutish. There are nods to the original skin divers but the Nemo works well in its modern size while still suiting the vintage cues that anchor its aesthetic. Overall, the Nemo case makes for a great wearing watch in a beautiful and unique package. Very well done.





The Bezel



The Nemo sports a 120 click unidirectional stainless-steel bezel with a lumed matte ceramic insert. The bezel grip has a thin coin edge that creates a very sleek lean profile to the bezel and subsequently the whole watch. The narrow gripping surface though can make the bezel hard to turn at times, especially in wet conditions. The action is very good with no play either vertically or horizontally, clicking into place reassuringly with no slop. I think it is amazing how thin the profile of the bezel is and it is such a positive defining feature that I wouldn't change it, even if that means giving up some of the usual gripping surface. The bezel teeth aren't too sharp but could be crisper for more grip for my tastes, though I know some gripe when bezels are too sharp. The alignment is slightly off but I don't know how much care is taken with prototypes.





The narrow matte black ceramic insert is fully lumed and slopes gently upwards to the domed crystal. A solid triangle denotes the 0/60 position and the bezel is fully graduated with minute hashes interspersed between Arabic numerals on the 5-minute intervals, with the exception of bolder hashes at the cardinal points of 15,30 and 45. The font and its weight used on the bezel are perfect. No mark is omitted yet the narrow bezel doesn't feel crowded or heavy. It conveys a clean sense of balance and functionality with a vintage look. Even more impressive is the fact that the fine markings are filled with X1 C3 lume. The Nemo has easily the cleanest and finest lumed markings I have seen on a bezel. Most lumed bezels tend to have thicker fonts to accept the engraving of the lumed material, which can then tend to give those watches a heavy bloated look. The lume is filled flush to the top of the ceramic surface adding to the very clean appearance and feel.



Ceramic is a scratch resistant material that will allow the Nemo to keep looking fresh throughout its adventures. The choice of a matte finish is excellent. It pairs perfectly with the matte dials, especially the black version. Gloss ceramic is becoming more and more prevalent, but it seems rare to find a nice matte ceramic insert on a smaller brand and even on the big boys. Besides the smooth aesthetic created by matching the matte insert texture to the dial, it was refreshing to not once need to wipe smudges, smears and sea slime from the insert during the review period. Worth noting positively is how thin overall the bezel and insert are. Ceramic bezels, especially lumed ones, tend to be rather thick to have enough strength for the insert and the depth required for the lume engraving.



The Nemo's bezel is fantastic. It is an excellent defining feature. I love its overall proportions to the watch and the thin matte ceramic insert is a thing of beauty. The bezel is an area where the Nemo excels at taking vintage skin diver aesthetics and greatly improving on them with modern materials. Excellent job on the bezel design and execution.





Crystal



Topping the Nemo is a scratch resistant double-domed sapphire crystal. The crystal stands approximately 1.8mm above the top of the bezel. The crystal has a nice rounded shoulder before gently arcing to its apex over the centre of the dial. The double dome allows for good low viewing angles and combined with the inner anti-reflective coating and matte dial, reflections are kept to a minimum. I found the crystal to be very clear as one would expect from quality sapphire. I really like the crystal shape as it adds a nice vintage character to the Nemo, like an old plexiglass crystal, without being overly extreme or exaggerated in its shape. When the light catches the edge of the crystal it creates beautiful sweeping arcs of light and colour shades across the dial. The Nemo's crystal adds a lot of personality without being obtrusive.













The Dial





The Nemo has several dial colour variants, all with a matte finish and applied polished markers.



The black dial is really a rich dark charcoal colour and seems to have just the tiniest hint of sparkle and texture to it in direct light. I can sometimes dislike matte black dials which can appear too washed out in direct light, looking more a pale grey or brown. The charcoal colour of the black Nemo is really pleasing though, especially with how well it ties in to the matte black ceramic bezel.



The green Nemo leans towards being a warm green. It is lively without being loud and reminds me of a slightly paler version of British Racing Green. Getting the tone of the green just right was important, as it needs to work well with both the bright red printing and the yellowish-mint tone of the C3 lume. The green colour works well with the matte texture, looking good in both direct and indirect light. I felt that I could always tell it was green except in the darkest low light situations where it started to look black. It is a unique choice and I imagine if you are drawn to green dials this should appeal to you.





The hour indices are applied polished rectangular steel markers that have broad sloped ramps leading to the centre of the dial. The 12 o'clock index is wider with a small dividing bifurcation to help orient the dial. The side walls of the indices are relatively thin but still pop brightly in the light with the larger surface area of the ramps standing out more. The indices are filled with X1 C3 lume that sits flush with the tops of the markers. Besides giving a clean look to the indices and allowing the reflective frames to be easily visible, this indicates a higher quality style index that is hollow and then filled with lume. In turn this should help increase the lume intensity, due to the increased depth of application, even with a smaller surface area. The indices are clean and legible, providing a nice weight and balance to the dial, without being too heavy or dominating the Nemo's face. I really appreciate a dial that is highly legible while still being clean and crisp looking. Well done on the indices.









The outer rim of the dial is made up of a white chapter ring on the same horizontal plane as the coloured centre. The white ring encroaches about a quarter of the way along the hour indices, helping to unite the different elements of the dial. Printed in red on the white rim is the minute track. A fine red ring runs through the middle of the white section and on its outer side are the minute hashes and the inner side is subdivided into ¼ seconds. On top of the hour indices are Arabic numerals 01 through 12. The printing is fine and delicate. Aesthetically the white and red chapter ring is interesting and ties the various colour elements of the dial together. Unfortunately, the low contrast red on white printing, the delicacy and added busyness of the minute and sub-minute markers combine to make it difficult to read the time to the minute off of the track. Another complicating factor is that the domed shoulder of crystal obscures the track when looking head on to the dial. I would have preferred to see black on white printing used and omitting the sub-minute hashes and Arabic hour numerals. With that said, it is so finely printed that it isn't a visual distraction and I was always able to intuit the time. Where I mostly noticed it as a challenge was when I was setting the time accurately.







Below the 12 index is a polished applied logo. I understand this to be the logo used by HKED on his previous projects and is related to vintage Chinese aviation chronographs. I like the added weight and class that an applied logo provides to a watch's dial. Above 6, "NEMO" is cleanly printed in red and below that "20ATM" in white. The dial doesn't feel crowded by unnecessary text, as if Jules Verne was issuing another serialized installment of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. There is a nice balanced sense of negative space to the dial.





Bringing all the aforementioned elements together, the Nemo presents an open, clean and balanced dial that is suitably legible and has plenty of visual interest without being distracting or busy. With all the colour choices available you can keep it serious and versatile with the black, dark blue or white or unleash a little fun with the more vibrant yellow, pastel blue and green.









Hands



The Nemo uses polished steel tapered batons for the hour and minute hands. They have central lume plots of X1 C3 and are beveled along the midline. The beveled shape allows the hands to catch the light and minimize the times of being "blacked-out". There is also a unique feature that I haven't seen before of what appears to be black line running longitudinally down the centre of the hand ridge. It is quite subtle and not always visible but will show up in some lights, adding some extra depth and interest to the hands. The hands are a great balance between sporty and dressy. They are easily legible, feeling well weighted visually against the dial indices. The minute hand does overlap the minute track a bit too much and the plan is to shorten it by 1mm in production. This should allow it to trace the red ring on the minute track as opposed to overhanging it, as it does on the prototypes.





The second hand is a simple polished needle with a large red rectangle to hold the lume. The red adds a nice bold pop of colour and matches well to the dial text and chapter ring. Aesthetically, it would be nice to see the lume rectangle moved out just a smidge, so it traces the inside edge of the hour indices, but I am not sure if on the technical side that would put the weight too far out on the hand to be properly balanced.





The Nemo's handset feels both familiar and fresh, which I think is a great achievement. We often see handsets that are overly familiar or a bit odd for the sake of being unique. The Nemo's hands feel very much again a blend of a traditional skin diver with some modern inspiration.







Lume







The Nemo's nocturnal glow is powered by Superluminova X1 C3. The hands, dial indices and bezel markings are all lumed. "X1" is the top lume grade designated by Superluminova. Below X1 lies "Grade A" and "Standard". X1 is supposedly 60% more effective than Standard Grade after 2 hours. It is unclear how much better X1 is to Grade A. There are several factors that influence lume intensity aside from grade, such as depth, surface area and quality of mixture and application. Therefore, it is challenging to compare the quality of the grades unless you had 2 identical watches, one lumed with X1 C3 and another with Grade A C3.





C3 has minty-yellowish daytime colour and glows a bright green in the dark after charging. C3 is the brightest colour Superluminova
produces. It will have a very bright initial blaze and then settle into a moderate glow for the long term.





I am very pleased that HKED/EMG elected to use the strongest C3 lume instead of being tempted to go with a fake patina-ed Old Radium yellow lume. For one, aesthetically getting the yellow just right is challenging at best, especially with coloured dials. Two, when the vintage divers that inspired the Nemo were new the lume did not look as yellow as Old Radium. Three, I don't like things pre-distressed. I can put my own holes in my jeans, thank you very much. And if I can wear a watch long enough that it develops a patina, lume or otherwise, that is our story to tell. Don't get me wrong, some vintage inspired watches look great, I just prefer a new watch to look new.



The lume application is clean and even on the Nemo and the intensity is well matched between the hands, dial indices and bezel triangle. The other bezel markings are weaker, but I would say that is expected with how thin they are. In fact I think it is remarkable how well the bezel markings glow despite their slender design,

The Nemo is very legible in the dark, presenting a clean uncluttered layout. I appreciated that the minute hand lume plot lands short of the hour indices. With both having a rectangular shape it made it very easy to pick out the hands and indices even hours later when the lume is subdued. Sometimes watches with exciting initial lume shows can become a blurry mess by the middle of the night. The Nemo's lume is simple and effective in its application.



I would rate the lume on the Nemo as good to very good. If you love lume on your divers (who doesn't?!) you won't be disappointed, but it won't be the brightest you have seen either. It charges quickly, even in indirect overcast light. I found the Nemo to be easily visible with dark adjusted eyes after 8-10 hours of sleep, with no intentional charging beforehand. I am sure if Capt. Nemo was wearing his namesake watch on a star-studded night, blazing a phosphorescent wake across the ocean's surface and checked the time before ramming an unsuspecting vessel, he would be satisfied with the lume.

Below I have included some photos taken at intervals, so you can see how the Nemo stacks up against some C3 champions. Included is an Omega 2264 SMP, Seiko SPB079 and a Halios Seaforth. I thought the Seaforth an apt comparison as it has similar sized lume plots.















Crown



The Nemo has a threaded, polished stainless-steel crown with a fine-toothed grip and rounded cap. The crown screws in and out smoothly and is positive in its positions. There is the tiniest amount of stem wobble present, though much less than average. It takes 2.5 full 360 degree turns to unthread the crown.



The production crowns will be engraved with the same HKED logo as the dial.



The 6.9mm crown is a nice size and design aesthetically for the Nemo. The rounded cap will be welcome to those that like to wear their watches loosely but I did find that due to the rounded end the crown was a bit hard to grasp initially for unthreading as the toothed section is fairly narrow. Some people with rather large fingers may have a hard time grasping it. Once unthreaded though I found it very easy to use and really you shouldn't be fiddling with the crown too much. The shape is so pleasing that I don't think I would change it, as the crown adds some character to the case shape, especially in the absence of crown guards.





Water Resistance



Should you find your-self kidnapped on board a mysterious submersible, only permitted excursions out to hunt sharks, battle giant squid and explore coral reefs, ship wrecks and Atlantis with your new mates, as the crew of the Nautilus did, you will be pleased to know that the 200m water resistance of the Nemo on your wrist will be up to the task.



200-300m is my ideal WR range for a watch. It provides plenty of security for adventures in and around the water as well as dealing with the mundane inevitabilities of daily life such as showers, dishwashing, kids and kraken attacks. Once a watch's water resistance tops 300m I find unnecessary bulk starts to get added to the watch for WR most of us won't be able to take advantage of aside from bragging rights.





The Nemo upgrades on the typical 50-150m water resistance found in vintage skin divers as well as some of the popular options in modern recreations like the Oris 65 range or Chr Ward C65.







Movement



Capt. Nemo's Nautilus is powered by electricity from sodium/mercury batteries. That may suggest HKED/EMG would follow suit with a quartz movement, but the production Nemo will use a mechanical Miyota 90S5 automatic movement. The 90S5 is a Japanese-made 28,800 vph 24 jewel movement. It is the no date sibling to the more common 9015. The 90S5 has a 42-hour power reserve and an accuracy range of -10 to +30 seconds per day. It is great to see HKED/EMG choosing to use a true no date movement and not just hiding the date wheel of a 9015 behind the dial. This also eliminates the "phantom stop" of the second date set position on the stem. I have read both sides of the debate. Some folks are OK with the phantom stop and hidden date wheel, while others see it as an assault on horological purity. I have owned watches with a phantom date and it doesn't bother me, but I do appreciate the use of a true no date movement. It has a sense of "rightness" to it. The prototypes use the 9015 movements with a date wheel. I didn't track accuracy too closely, but both watches were well inside the Miyota spec range and ran close to or within COSC spec. I have and have had several watches with the 90-- series movement and all of them have been very good timekeepers. My other watch with a 90S5 movement (Halios Seaforth) runs at about +5 seconds per day. I think the 90S5 is a good movement choice and spot on in the value range that the Nemo occupies.



The 90-movements have been criticized for having loud rotor noise and wobble from their unidirectional winding rotor. This is something that has never been a bother to me, but I can respect that others may be more sensitive. I have to say that the Nemo is very quiet compared to other 90-watches I have worn. This may be due to the thicker case that can also house the Seiko NH35A in the Emperor.



The Nemo's 90S5 is reliable choice, that isn't often seen, to power the Nemo on its adventures.





Bracelet



The Nemo comes equipped with a beads of rice style stainless-steel bracelet. It is very nicely made with solid endlinks and flexible 7 part links. The finishing on the bracelet is very good with brushed outer links, polished centre beads and no sharp edges. The 3.6mm thick bracelet tapers from 20mm at the lugs to 18mm at the clasp. The thickness of the bracelet is well matched to the case and lug dimensions.



The links are fastened with single sided screws. The screw heads are quite small and you will need a 1.0 or 1.2mm flat head screw driver to size the bracelet. HKED/EMG are looking into seeing if they can make it easier to size, but I suspect that may be challenging with how relatively thin the links are. You may be better off just preparing to take it to your watchmaker or jeweler to size or investing in a quality set of small screw drivers.





The clasp shown in the review on the prototypes will be upgraded to a more premium and solid style with beveled edges and possibly featuring an engraving of the caseback squid or HKED logo.





The endlinks will be changed to have tighter tolerances to the case in production but should remain the same aesthetically.



The bracelet is extremely comfortable due to the short links that drape effortlessly on the wrist. The beads of rice link structure and mixed polished and brushed finish catches the light wonderfully and the texture is also a joy to run your hand over.









The origin of the beads of rice (BOR) style is a bit murky, but it has adorned some pretty famous dive watches over the years especially in the 60s and 70s. The BOR style itself is a bit divisive, some will love it, others won't. I will admit I am now a bit of a convert. Before the Nemo arrived, I was pretty sure I would be getting it on to a strap ASAP. However, after wearing the Nemo on bracelet for a day, I realized how comfortable it is and how fun the play of light is. I do think though that the complicated link structure and polished centre beads are just a bit too shiny and busy for the Nemo. I imagine it would also have looked great on a 3-link oyster style or H-Link bracelet. The BOR bracelet does make the Nemo standout and gives it lots of character and interest. It is always great to get a fitted bracelet when you can for a watch as it adds a lot of value and can be hard to find later if desired.





("BEADS of rice??? Why do you call it that? They are called GRAINS of rice." - Mrs. Boatswain
"Ummm, I don't know why actually, people just do. You're right though. That's weird" - Boatswain)








Straps





If beads of rice isn't your thing, don't worry! The Nemo will look great on pretty much anything.





Taking advantage of the drilled lugs it was easy to swap between straps. I was excited to try both the green and black dial on a black Eulit Kristal Perlon and black tropic rubber. I think both looked great and that they drew out the vintage elements of the Nemo's design.





The Tropic Rubber had a sportier feel to it and filled the lugs nicely. The spring bar holes are in a sweet spot to allow straps to fit easily without creating an unsightly gap with the case.













The perlon also looked fantastic and suited the Nemo very well, providing a comfortable and versatile look.















For me I preferred both the green and black dials on a lightly textured black strap like those shown here. The matte surfaces of the dial and bezel tied in really nicely with straps creating a pleasant visual balance. My personal favourite combo was the black dial on black perlon.





I imagine the Nemo will also look good on other rubber straps, leather and mesh. Though it may wear rather tall on a thick NATO with how the case is designed.







Wearability



The Nemo is an excellent sized diver for my 6.75-7" flat-ish wrist. The dimensions are just spot on at a hair under 40mm diameter and 47mm lug to lug. I am really excited that this size is making a comeback and that HKED/EMG have produced a watch to fill this void. I would say the Nemo wears true to its size of just under 40mm.





The curved lugs minimize the taller case back and the 13.8mm total height appears much closer to the 8.6mm apparent case height from lower case bevel to bezel top. The case, crystal and bezel shape allow the Nemo to slide under even my tightest shirt cuffs. As mentioned earlier, I did wish it hugged the wrist a little more, but it is still very good.









The Nemo was very easy to wear and was very comfortable on the BOR bracelet. It was an easy going companion on the wrist all day for work or play. It was unobtrusive on the wrist, yet still had enough wrist presence to be enjoyable.



The Nemo is a versatile watch that can enigmatically change personalities, like its namesake, with a quick strap swap. The BOR bracelet pulls on the polished dial elements to give it a dressier look. When paired with a tropic rubber or perlon it takes on a much more adventurous and sporty persona, drawing on the more serious and robust matte elements. I could easily see myself wearing the Nemo as my daily watch, swapping straps to suit the occasion.



The Nemo could easily navigate its way through the many oceans of society and I think it would be equally at ease under a starched white cuff at a Commodore's Luncheon as it would be on a sand flecked sun roasted arm, spear fishing trevally jacks on a beach in Bora Bora.









Conclusion



I have admired traditional skin divers for some time now. They evoke an adventurous, simple lifestyle and speak to the heritage of the dive watch genre. Yet I have not found myself able to spend the money on a vintage watch with mysterious providence and functionality. The HKED/EMG Nemo provides access to the straightforward practicality and aesthetic of the classic skin divers but does so using improved, reliable modern materials and adding its own character.





The Nemo is very well made and packs excellent value and features into a beautifully simple design that looks as good today as it would have 50 years ago. If you are searching for a versatile vintage inspired diver that is as capable as it looks, then climb aboard with the Nemo!



Thank you to HKED and EMG Watches for the loan of the watches and thank You for taking the time to read this review. Please let me know if you have any further questions or comments.
Cheers!

Boatswain

























@boatswainwatches
 

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I just love your reviews! You are just chock full of information and have gorgeous pictures.

Of course I wasn't paying to this but after this review, the Nemo is on my radar even though I swear over and over that I am done. That's definitely the mark of a good review.

EDIT: I think I will be looking at this review over and over.
 

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Brilliant review thank you.

The watch is also clearly going to be a hit. For me not, I like my divers to have a date but I can see these flying out the door.
 
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Thank you for a great Review boatswain. I love the pictures and the detail you include in your description.
This is a very interesting watch I love the dial, the BOR bracelet and Miyota movement...all excellent choices. The $450 price tag gives me pause. As you say this is a crowded field and I need to decide if the details are worth paying more than similar competitors.
That said, this has to be one of the most detailed and beautifully photographed reviews I have ever read. Thank you :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I just love your reviews! You are just chock full of information and have gorgeous pictures.

Of course I wasn't paying to this but after this review, the Nemo is on my radar even though I swear over and over that I am done. That's definitely the mark of a good review.

EDIT: I think I will be looking at this review over and over.
Thanks T! I always appreciate your thoughts and feedback as I know we have similar tastes.

The nemo could definitely be a versatile all rounder.

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Brilliant review thank you.

The watch is also clearly going to be a hit. For me not, I like my divers to have a date but I can see these flying out the door.
Much appreciated.

The no date gives a really balanced look but I am always amazed how much I actually check for the date. When I wear a no dater like the Nemo I have a moment of saying "oh right " when I glance on my wrist for the date.

I miss it sometimes but the design works for me and I search elsewhere for the date.

But I understand having no date will deter people. Maybe there will be a dated version down the road. Date at 6??

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Holy cow, that was an amazing review! One of the most comprehensive I've ever seen.

My only suggestion - don't forget to show pics of the clasp when reviewing the bracelet.

Fantastic job!
Thanks Gregory I am glad you enjoyed it.

You caught me. I appreciate the feedback. I didn't show the clasp as it will be changed for production and wanted to avoid confusion.

But here it is


And this is a render of what the production clasp COULD be. Better to email EMG for the details on it








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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you for a great Review boatswain. I love the pictures and the detail you include in your description.
This is a very interesting watch I love the dial, the BOR bracelet and Miyota movement...all excellent choices. The $450 price tag gives me pause. As you say this is a crowded field and I need to decide if the details are worth paying more than similar competitors.
That said, this has to be one of the most detailed and beautifully photographed reviews I have ever read. Thank you :)
DrW

Thank you kindly, it takes some effort and time but if it's helpful to the community that's a win

There are lots of watches in the $450 range. I think the fine lumed ceramic bezel, applied markers, 9015, BOR bracelet, lume etc.. make it a contender in that price range. If you like the style the value is there.

Happy watch hunting! Lots to love out there



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Great review. I'm in for the F71 Emperor (the sibling watch to the Nemo)..

As you said - it's alright for the price - I'm sure some folks could find way better specs-per-dollar pieces, or better expensive skindivers.... For me, a huge part of the appeal of the Emperor (and thus the Nemo) is that - it's a case and a design that just works. Okay, it's a bit funky, a bit retro, not ideal in some aspects (low caseback bottom), but it imo looks authentic, how a retro watch would have been designed. Plus, I bet it will the the right mix of small and thick and chubby, to give a thorough feeling of durability.
 

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I get the reasoning for no-date but always prefer a date for daily wear convenience and this does look like a daily wear diver.

Yes if down the line there was another a date at six would be the answer. I can live with date at 3 though it does upset the dial symmetry but loathe with a passion dates anywhere else especially where the date digits are canted at an angle. Yuck.

Once again brilliant review thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Great review, but man the photography is on point! Thank you!
Thanks a lot! I've taken some constructive feedback from past reviews and tried to incorporate some different stuff, macros, lifestyle etc...lots of great photographers around here for inspiration



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