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⭐Tourby Lawless 40 Blue REVIEW













INTRODUCTION







“Imperium Neptuni Regis”. The latin phrase is inscribed proudly on the back of The Tourby Lawless 40 Blue and translates to “The Empire of King Neptune”. Neptune is the Roman god of water and the sea and when sailors in both ancient and modern times cross the equator they are initiated into the rank of “shellback’ through a ceremony featuring King Neptune. In some navies it is a tradition to present the new shellbacks with a certificate or medallion bearing the phrase “Imperium Neptuni Regis”. Tourby Watches uses a version of one of these medallions for their caseback designs on their Lawless range of dive watches. With their latest diver release, the Lawless 40, the small German brand has entered a roiling sea of mid-size dive watches. The Lawless 40 Blue (or L40B) takes the traditional diver form and seeks to infuse it with contemporary materials and design and the craftsmanship of traditional watchmaking to create a premium diver.






Can the Lawless 40 rise to the surface and show its dominance over the waters? Grab your trident and hippocampus and let's dive in!












SPECIFICATIONS






My measurements of the Tourby Lawless 40 Blue - taken using digital calipers.
Case Diameter – 40.0mm
Bezel Diameter – 40.0mm
Crystal Diameter – 30.5mm
Lug to Lug Length – 47.6mm
Lug Width – 20mm
Total Height (bottom of caseback to top of crystal) – 11.9mm
Apparent Height (bottom of midcase to top of bezel edge) -9mm
Height of Midcase –6.3 mm
Bezel Thickness (height) – 3.3mm (approximate)
Crystal height (above bezel) – 0.6mm (approximate)
Crown Diameter – 6.3mm
Weight – 152g on bracelet, sized for my 6.75” wrist







The Lawless 40 is available in 4 variations. The standard black and blue dial/bezel variants, along with 2 “JNT Editions”, also in black and blue, which feature no crown guards, a larger crown and some additional red highlights. The L40 also has its larger siblings; the Lawless 42 which shares the same styling as the L40 and a 45 in black and blue for the larger wristed, that has a similar dial but bolder case.





The Lawless 40 Blue comes in at a price of 1450 Euros. The matte black dialed variant is 1250 Euros. It is interesting that the blue dial carries a 200 Euro premium over the black dial. I suppose there is greater cost in producing a sunburst blue dial as opposed to a flat black, but it is uncommon to see a markup based on dial colours and textures. While I love and appreciate black divers, I was captivated by the blue dial and I felt it was worth making the jump for.










ORDERING / ARRIVAL





Tourby Watches is a small German watchmaker that specializes in making bespoke watches across a variety of styles. They boast over 50 models and offer many of their models in a variety of sizes and dial colours. Tourby is unique in that they don’t hold stock of their watches but make each piece to order in their workshop in Hagen. Their production is on a small scale, making fewer than 500 watches a year over the last 12 years. Your personalized watch will be made for you after exchanging emails or phone calls with Tourby to refine your preferences and to home in on whether you want the stock offering or something more special. This personal attention allows a buyer to customize his or her watch to specific tastes, whether that is a change of case finishing, hands or more elaborate decorations to movements and dials.






Tourby first came to my notice when I saw a picture of the fabulous caseback of their original Lawless diver. While I loved the caseback, the original watch itself was too large and bold for my humble wrists. Since then, I have kept a casual eye on Tourby and their refining of the Lawless diver line. When I heard they were going to be making a smaller 40mm version of their best-selling Lawless 42, Tourby had my attention.





Communication with Tourby was very good and they patiently answered all my pre-purchase questions (a lot!), instilling confidence. One particular aspect that gave me peace of mind is that Archer Watches, renowned for their Omega work, is Tourby’s North American service partner. Without too much info out there about Tourby, and especially the Lawless 40 Blue, I felt I was stepping out a bit in placing an order, but I finally wrote to them that I was ready to order the L40B with a couple personalized touches in mind. Payment was made smoothly by PayPal and I was quoted a 2-week assembly time for my watch.









I was thrilled when, exactly 2 weeks later, my watch was on its way from Germany and arrived in less than 24 hours after shipping!








The L40B arrived packaged in Tourby’s unique leather travel case. It is a robust rectangular leather case with a firm inner shell that provides good protection in travel and is clearly made with quality materials. It would be a handy travel case and will certainly be different than the more common watch boxes or travel rolls. The case is a little oversized for the L40 and is clearly made to accommodate larger watches.









Also included was a nicely printed certificate and warranty card, 2 high-quality Tourby polishing cloths and the extra bracelet links.







The overall ordering process was very smooth and a unique experience for dreaming up a special personalized watch. In ordering a custom watch like this I did experience a new feeling of nervousness, wondering if Tourby would get all the requested details correct. I was relieved to discover upon opening the case that the watch was exactly as ordered. This really should have been no surprise, as this is what Tourby does, they make watches specifically to their customers' requests. The one hiccup was that I asked for the wooden display box as opposed to the leather case, which comes standard. After a polite email exchange, Tourby shipped off the wooden box as originally requested. While boxes and cases often disappear into closets, at the price point of the L40B it is appropriate to feel that you are getting a premium product and experience and the Lawless 40 delivers with its overall package and presentation. While I didn't really need a large watch box taking up space, both the L40B and the wooden box are so nice that I wanted that little extra positive experience when opening the box to take the watch out.








CASE





The 316L stainless-steel case of the Lawless 40 was designed by Tourby and manufactured in Germany. While many very fine watch cases are made and finished in Asia, it is refreshing to see a German-made case for a watch with “Made in Germany” on its dial. 316L is the ubiquitous choice for a quality watch case, offering good corrosion resistance and taking a finish well.





The L40B’s classic shape is 40mm in diameter, 47.6mm long lug to lug and 11.9mm tall. For me and my 6.75” wrist these dimensions are absolutely spot on for a perfectly wearing sports watch. The critical apparent height created by the combined midcase and bezel edge of 9mm feels right at home and appropriate for a watch of this size and style, being neither too tall nor too delicate. All the dimensions are well balanced across the watch design and the L40B has a pleasing aesthetic that is strong yet refined all while providing excellent wearability.









The case shape of the Lawless 40 doesn’t stray far from the archetypical 40mm dive watch, however it does bring its own personality as well. The most notable aspect is the narrow pinched-in lugs. This lug design creates a nice roundness to the watch and helps to add some elegance while not becoming too dainty or familiar. The lugs have a pleasing downward curvature that allows the L40 to really hug the wrist and wear appropriately for the averaged wristed person. The inclusion of drilled lugs is a positive choice and a nod to the practical use of the watch. Given that it is a dive watch, it is not unreasonable to expect the L40B to find its way on to a variety of straps such as rubber or NATO. In that regard, the drilled lugs add great practicality for strap changes and give a stronger tool-watch look to the Lawless 40. In addition, the drilled lugs will keep your case back from looking like King Neptune tried to open it with his trident. Traditional crown guards flow out of the 3 o’clock case side offering suitable protection to the crown without obscuring it completely. The guards are well balanced to the curve and shape of the lugs. Tourby offers removal of the crown guards as an additional option for those who like a more vintage look. The case sides are relatively tall and flat, but due to the overall conservative dimensions and longitudinal curvature, they feel purposeful and complementary to the finely edged bezel that lies above.





Tourby hand finishes their cases in their Hagen workshop. The individual attention each watch receives allows you to customize your case finish if desired. The standard configuration of the Lawless 40 Blue is to have the top of the lugs brushed and the case sides polished. I requested to have the case sides brushed as well and to leave the lug edge bevel polished. I thought this choice of finishes would suit the L40B better as there are no polished elements to the dial and that it would also help to give the watch a stronger tool-watch flavour while complementing the matte white dial elements. In addition, having the tops and sides brushed allows the lug bevel to show more prominently and create some visual flow to the case. I have experienced on watches with both polished lug bevels and sides that the bevel oft disappears, blending with the polished sides, resultingly the case actually ends up looking plainer. The lug bevel on the Lawless 40 is elegantly executed, flowing gently out from under the bezel before broadening and cascading down to the lug tips. The bevel helps to highlight the curved nature of the case beautifully and ties into the polished coin edge of the bezel.





The case finishing of the Lawless 40 is very well done. The brushing has a soft satiny quality, is very even and has a subtle organic nature to it that I appreciate. The polishing of the bevel is clear and bright, with crisp transitions. While I generally love the more pronounced grain and finish that you may find on Omegas for example, the finish work on the Tourby is excellent. The L40B’s finishing also conveys a special feeling knowing that it was done by one watchmaker just for you. The one minor improvement I would have liked to have seen would be a small bevel on the bottom edge of the case, to both physically and aesthetically soften that lower transition and display a further level of detail.





Sealing in the 200m water-resistance of the L40B is a solid case back engraved with the “Imperium Neptuni Regis” motto and a picture of Neptune riding a chariot towed by two hippocampi. It is a beautiful picture and I can appreciate its significance. Around the perimeter cleanly and clearly inscribed is “Made in Germany”, “Lawless Diver”, “Saphirglas”, “200m Wasserdicht”, “Hagen in Westfalen”, and “Tourby Watches”. I always appreciate good case back art on a solid back and prefer it to display backs on divers. A solid back is a place to add some personality but also to remove another potential point of water ingress on the watch. While the L40’s back is beautiful, unfortunately Tourby falls victim to their own success here as the L40B case back doesn’t measure up to the deeply stamped back that is on the Lawless 42 and 45. I suspect that to create the same deep relief though for the L40 the case back would have needed to be made thicker. Even as a simple engraving it could still be deeper if allowed by the case back construction. As is, the L40B’s case back is quite slim though which allows the watch to sit comfortably low against the wrist. If a deeply engraved back would add noticeable extra height to the watch I probably would remain in favour of keeping the case back as is for its ease of wear. The case back is very comfortable with its rounded shoulders and the large engraved surface creates a pleasant amount of friction to anchor the watch on the wrist.





The 200m water resistance rating of the Lawless 40 is a nice mark as it keeps the overall height slim but gives the watch legitimate qualifications as a dive watch. The L40B will be able to accompany you safely anywhere in Neptune’s domain that us mere mortals could expect to find ourselves. You will have peace of mind whether free diving for sunken treasure in the South Pacific or power-washing a deck.







Tourby has created a beautifully simple case for the Lawless 40 that exudes a calm strength and refinement that cohesively suits its personality. Form and function blend seamlessly, resulting in an endearingly wearable case.
















DIAL







The Blue in the “Lawless 40 Blue” clearly is directed at the watch’s focal point, its German-made sunburst blue dial. I should start by saying that this dial and the watch overall, I have found quite tricky to capture accurately in pictures. Sunburst blue dials are notorious for looking purple in pictures and that certainly is the case in my efforts seen throughout this review. The blue of the L40B’s dial though is a true cool-toned blue that does not appear purple to my eye in real life. It has a wide colour range, transitioning from a deep dark midnight blue, to a rich navy and then in direct light to a vibrant electric blue that is reminiscent of the fathomless waters of the open ocean beyond the continental shelf. These tones of blue and the shades in between blend together as the sunburst is activated. The L40B’s sunburst finish is stunning. It is simply the best sunburst blue dial I have seen in person. It has an incredible range and a gentle subtlety that keeps it from feeling too vibrant and flashy. The colours fan out beautifully and don’t become too linear and focused, which can tend to make a sunburst dial wash out into an undefined muddiness in the dark areas. While there is great colour range, the contrast between the light and dark blue areas are always nicely balanced with an even gradient of transition. Upon close inspection, the dial has a captivating organic metallic graininess to the sunburst lines which adds a real richness and feeling of quality, echoing the brushed hand finishing of the case.






The L40B’s hand-set indices are matte-white applied batons with pointed ends. These indices are anchored to the dial and don’t just rely on an adhesive. At 12, the index is close-set and bifurcated, creating a more prominent marker to orient and ground the dial. The indices are relatively small for a dive watch, but I think that is part of the appeal and uniqueness of the L40B’s dial. They create plenty of open negative space on the smaller dial and due to the fact that they are a consistent painted matte white, they don’t disappear or shrink as polished indices can on a dial in different lights. If they were in a polished metal finish, the indices may appear too small. But as is, they are perfect. With the L40B’s matte white indices on a reflective sunburst background in direct overhead lighting the contrast between indices and dial will diminish more so than a dial with either a matching matte dial surface or one with polished markers which will then pop more to add contrast. With that said, the time was always easily readable across all conditions. The white index colour is a great choice, as it provides excellent texture, contrast and legibility to the dial. It helps the dial feel unique but also tones down the whole watch so as not to feel too flashy with the sunburst dial and sapphire bezel. The height of the indices is always apparent and coupled with the sunburst blue dial there is a great depth to the dial. The clean sharp shapes of the markers are familiar yet fresh and are reminiscent of small boats as they float on the blue sea of the dial. The indices are filled with lume that is cleanly and evenly applied. The lume sits flush to the deep-welled markers’ tops.






Uniquely, the hour indices are set relatively close to the centre of the dial. This makes room outboard of them for the minute track printed in white. The graduated circular ring is marked with heavier hashes at 5-minute intervals. The printing of the ring is very crisp and weighted perfectly. If it were any heavier it would crowd the dial and look ungainly. It looks beautiful and gives a delightful nautical feel to the dial, like a compass or other navigational instrument. Tourby also left a little space outboard of the ring where the blue dial pushes right to the extreme edge to meet a plumb rehaut that drops into the dial like a sheer ocean cliff. The minute ring is an interesting design decision, I usually prefer very discrete minute markings but the delicate ring of the L40 coupled with the indices looks beautiful. It helps draw the eye outward from the centre of the dial and creates a legible, balanced and beautiful dial that feels more open and expansive than its size.





A white numeral on matte black background date window resides at 6 o’clock inside a subtle beveled date aperture. The 6 o’clock date provides everyday practicality and excellent symmetry to the dial. I love a balanced dial and often lean towards no-date watches for that reason. I am then often surprised how much I miss the date and don’t realize how often I use it until its gone. The L40B’s date is perfectly executed. With the inset hour indices, the date numeral lines up perfectly where the 6 o’clock index should reside. Sometimes when a date replaces an index it can feel either too small or too big depending on the style of indices used. On the L40 it is perfectly balanced, the white numeral complimenting the delicate hour indices. I usually recommend using a contrasting window to replace an index so the dial doesn’t feel like it has a gap-toothed emptiness, but in this case that would have meant a black numeral on a white background, with the resulting white square being too large and not balancing the indices. The date wheel is perfectly aligned, and the font used is complementary. The charcoal coloured background of the date may be contentious to some that love to see a colour-matched date wheel, but with the variance in the sunburst blue dial it would have been impossible to match the date wheel to the dial colour. The charcoal colour looks great when in the dark sector of the sunburst but is noticeable when in brighter lights. The colour of the wheel ties in perfectly to the charcoal black of the hands so as not to feel out of place. I imagine Tourby made the choice for efficiency between the black and blue dialed models.






Below 12 lies the Tourby star logo and “Tourby” printed in white. Above 6 o’clock “Lawless Diver, 656 ft/200m” is printed, again in white. The font used feels appropriate to the overall style of the L40B. And lastly, tucked discretely into the outer moat at the bottom of the dial “Made in Germany” is printed proudly. The printing is very fine and clear and sized so as not to crowd the dial with too much text.






The Lawless 40 Blue’s white and blue dial aesthetic evokes a strong maritime feel. It is easy to picture the shifting blues of the sea and sky punctuated by the white of crashing waves, lofty sails, scudding clouds and wheeling gulls. It is an original, clean, legible, practical dial with detail, depth and fineness that exudes quality and attention to detail. The blue and white dial is mesmerizing, and I am thrilled with my choice. Excellent work by Tourby.















THE BEZEL



The Lawless 40 Blue is equipped with a 120-click unidirectional steel bezel with a lumed sapphire insert. The bezel has a stunning, fine coin edge created by very precise machining of the small teeth. The delicate vertical coin edge was one of the features that drew me to the Tourby Lawless 40. It looks absolutely beautiful, complimenting the case design and setting it apart from many heavier bezelled divers. The very thin bezel rim and teeth have a bright polished finish that reflects and plays with the light, helping to tie the bezel to the case visually, drawing upon the polished lug bevels. The edging provides a good grip when dry, though, expectantly, it is a bit harder to grip when wet. The grip is balanced by a moderately weighted action that has a pleasant soft click that feels both smooth and positive. There is no vertical play in the bezel and perhaps just a smidge of horizontal play, though that has a dampened feel to it, and it is in no way loose or sloppy. It is a very satisfying bezel to use and is best manipulated when gripped at 8 and 2.



Inset into the coin edge are 6 screws that are used to secure the bezel to the case via a flat retention spring. This is a similar system as used by brands such as Sinn or Breitling. While detracting from the clean aesthetic of the fine coin edge it does allow for easy removal of the bezel for maintenance if needed and lends a technical tool-feel to the bezel. On the wrist I don’t notice the screws or feel distracted by them. I am not sure if it is possible from a technical perspective, but it would be nice if the bezel screws lined up with the 5-minute hashes on the bezel in their vicinity. The screws may not line up due to the fact that the sapphire insert is installed after the bezel is attached to the case, thus achieving an excellent alignment. The bezel alignment on my L40B is perfect. If I had to choose, I would always take the overall alignment at 12 over the screws being aligned to the insert hashes.



Cradled within the narrow walls of the bezel is the sapphire insert. The scratch resistant properties of sapphire make it an attractive option for a bezel, though it has been reported that they can be prone to shattering, I am fortunate enough to have avoided that fate thus far. The insert sits flush with the edge of the bezel before rising gracefully to meet the gently domed sapphire crystal. This creates a pleasing arced surface over the watch that is wonderfully done and not as often seen as the more common flat sapphire inserts.





The use of sapphire allows the design of the bezel to be printed on its underside, adding a layer of protection from the elements. Sapphire’s competitor in the premium bezel insert arena is most often ceramic, which when lumed can sometimes suffer from discolouration and chipping. The design of the L40s bezel insert is clearly that of the Tudor Pelagos. That doesn’t bother me in the slightest as I think it is a practical, legible layout that compliments the L40’s dial without feeling to homagey. The L40’s bezel is printed in BGW9 lume; it starts with a large triangle stabilizing the bezel at 0, followed by simple hashes from 1 to 15 with, larger hashes at 5,10 and 15, and then 20, 30, 40 and 50 in Arabic numerals interspersed with large hashes at the 5-minute intervals. The larger 5-minute hashes balance the dial indices nicely and the delicate font of the 20-50 numerals ties into the dial’s minute ring. Sometimes bezels can feel too heavy or light, busy or sparse, compared to the dial, but the L40’s dial and bezel work in harmony. The printing is very crisp with sharp defined edges. Soft and blurry edge work can plague some sapphire bezels, but not so with the Lawless 40. The 10-minute numerals are just a hair too tall and are pushed out to the bezel edges making them appear cut off on their tops at some angles. The weight of the numerals also has some variance when scrutinized closely.








The background colour of the bezel insert is a very dark navy blue. The colour varies from navy in different lighting conditions and can often appear black or sometimes lighter as it picks up reflections. This is where my only real surprise came with the L40B. In some light the reflections on the blue sapphire insert can look purplish. As I have mentioned the dial doesn’t look purple at all, so it was an interesting discovery. The bezel reflections look very similar in tone to how a strong anti-reflective coating appears when catching a flash of light. In fact, I wondered if that was what I was actually seeing, an AR coating flashing from the underside of the sapphire insert. I asked Tourby and they said the L40B doesn’t have an AR coating on the bezel. I think there are a couple of factors at play here as the L40B’s bezel behaves differently than other blue sapphire bezel inserts I have experienced. One factor is that it is an extremely rich dark blue paint that is used on the bezel. In many lights it can be appear so dark as to look black, and it doesn’t wash out and look pale as I have seen on other sapphires where their bezels can in some light appear lighter than the dial as it diffuses light within itself, becoming lighter in tone. The L40B insert seems to absorb the light or reflect it off its surface. The dark bezel of the L40B helps to frame its dial nicely in a broad spectrum of lighting conditions. Another major factor in how the bezel behaves is the sloped and slightly domed outward facing surface of bezel. This makes the bezel catch and reflect light more easily and differently than the more typical flat sapphire bezels inserts which lie parallel with the dial. I think this coupled with such a deep colour underneath cause it to reflect differently and with a colour tone as opposed to the more typical white reflections experienced on other bezels. While different, the bezel presents exceptional depth and interest. Light frequently catches the inner and outer rims of the bezel, creating an intriguing flash of colour. The bezel (and the dial to a lesser extent) will look different in natural light and artificial light, also influenced by the intensity and direction in the light source. All that said, the bezel is not at odds with the dial but compliments it in a unique way. It took me a little while to reflect (!) on the bezel insert, its colour and how it behaves, and I can now confidently say that I really enjoy the rich depth, life and uniqueness that the bezel provides to the Lawless 40 Blue.









The L40Bs bezel is evidence of the quality and refinement that Tourby has put into the watch. It is a delight to use and plays wonderfully with light to add a fathomless liquid depth and interest to the watch.










HANDS




Sweeping around the L40B’s dial is a set of bold sword hands. The hour and minute hands are painted a glacial matte white to match the dial indices and provide strong contrast against the oceanic blue dial. At the pinion, the ends are a lightly textured matte dark charcoal colour. BGW9 lume fills the interior of the hour and minute hands for low light legibility. Interior chevrons have been added for detail, strength and to emphasize the tips. It is a subtle detail in daylight but is more prominent when the lume is activated at night. The internal hand shape relates well to the pointed hour indices.



While overall the L40’s hands are relatively short compared to the total diameter of the dial, due to the inset hour markers they feel appropriately balanced and allow the perimeter of the dial to remain open. The broad hour hand’s sharp tip ends just inside the bows of the hour indices while the hour hand falls just shy of the minute track. I would have preferred the minute hand to be a tad longer and thus just graze the minute track, but it is fine as it stands. The alignment of the hands is perfect, the tip of the hour hand pointing perfectly at the tip of the hour index when the minute hand is at 12. If it were off at all it would be bothersomely noticeable due to how close they must pass tip to tip.



The seconds hand is another area where I made a personal request to customize my Lawless 40 Blue. The standard arrangement would be a white snakehead hand with a charcoal counter weight. I choose to have the tip of the seconds painted bright red. The lumed snake head is pretty far inboard on the dial so that it doesn’t overlap the hour indices. This is normally a good choice that looks clean and aids in nighttime legibility. On the L40B though this choice ends up leaving a long tip beyond the snakehead so that the tip of the seconds hand can trace the outer ring of the minute track. After stumbling across an IWC display I noticed that amongst their plethora of white and blue watches that I was most drawn to the ones that had a tiny hint of red. By adding red to the tip of the L40B’s second hand 2 things were accomplished; 1 - the apparent visual length of the tip has been shortened, as the red tip perfectly mimics the length of the minute hashes, 2 – the stark palette of the watch has a discrete added point of interest as the red tip traces the dial. The tone of red is perfect, being bright and deep and never appearing orange. I will admit I dithered on the red tip choice a fair amount and second guessed it plenty after ordering, but upon first seeing the watch in hand I knew it was a perfect choice for me and I am extremely happy with it ever since.






I am a sucker for a nice set of sword hands. They are clean, bold, elegant, classic and strong. Tourby’s take on the classic swords for the Lawless 40 handset is nicely done, providing excellent legibility and strong style.







.


CRYSTAL



Topping the Lawless 40 is a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with an internal anti-reflective coating. The L40B uses a low-profile double-domed shape. The domed shaped helps to add strength and water resistance. The crystal blends beautifully in a continuous arc with the sapphire bezel insert over the top of the watch. I appreciate the choice of the gentle dome. Dramatically domed crystals are popular with the nouveau–retro theme that dominates the market currently, but the subtle shape of the L40B’s crystal not only helps to keep reflections and height to a minimum but also presents a tidy, clean, contemporary look. The crystal is very clear, allowing the dial to shine and has good low viewing angles without distortion.











CROWN



A sharp-toothed 6.3mm crown is found at 3 o’clock to handle time-setting duties. It has a brushed finish to match the case and is signed with the Tourby star set in relief. The Lawless 40’s crown is very easy to use, equipped with excellent grip, threading in and out smoothly in 1.5 full 360-degree rotations. The crown snicks crisply into its 3 positions and has minimal wobble.








LUME





Superluminova BGW9 lume has been used on the Lawless 40 Blue’s dial, hands and bezel. BGW9 has a stark white colour in daylight and glows a cool blue in the dark. The choice of BGW9 is perfect for the L40B as it maintains the blue and white colour scheme. While C3 would have been more powerful, its more yellow/green day and night time colour would not have blended as well with the design. BGW9 won’t be as bright as C3 initially but will hold its moderate and low light glow just as well.





The lume application of the L40B is clean and even and when illuminated is balanced across all the elements. It is noteworthy that the bezel lume is equally strong at initial charge, as often lumed sapphire bezels are weaker than dials and hands as they can't have the same depth of application.







The lume on the L40B is very good and exceeded my expectations. It charged easily to a bright glow and was visible with dark adjusted eyes after 10 hours. The concise dial layout and handset made it easy to distinguish the time even when at a low charge. Sometimes watches with larger plots and hands blend together as darkness wears on, and as the lume dims the watch becomes become less legible. Surface area is an important contributor to lume performance and the L40B does extremely well considering how small its lume plots are. I suspect Tourby may be using the top X1 grade of Superluminova as the L40 lume does so well for its limited plot size. I also noted that the lume charged extremely quickly even in indirect overcast light, more so than other BGW9 powered watches I used for a comparison test. If you are familiar with BGW9 and allow for the small plot size, you will be well pleased with the lume on the L40B.











Below are some comparison shots with other strong BGW9 performers; the Monta Oceanking 2, Gavox Avidiver and Steinhart Ocean Titanium 500. As you will see the Lawless holds up very well especially at initial charge, due to its smaller plots though it appears to dim more quickly.

















MOVEMENT




Safely guarded by Neptune is the beating mechanical heart of the L40B, a Swiss-made ETA 2824-2 automatic mechanical movement. The smooth-sweeping 2824-2 runs at 28,800 bph on 25 jewels, has a 38-hour power reserve and is hackable. The 2824 is a well-regarded movement that can been found across a broad price range in many watches. While not exciting or exotic, the ubiquitous ETA 2824-2 is reliable and easily serviced. This appealed to me for the long-term care of my L40B, knowing that service or replacement would be easily accomplished if necessary.



Tourby brings hands-on attention to the L40’s standard grade movement by adjusting each watch in 5 positions over the default of 2 positions from ETA. Tourby mentions that the movement meets anti-magnetic DIN standard 8309 and shock-proof DIN standard 8308. Those standards are inherent to the ETA 2824-2 from the movement factory and no additional work has been done by Tourby in those departments. My watch has been running consistently at +6 seconds a day, a result I am happy with.





While it would perhaps be nice to see a more exciting movement or higher grade of the 2824 used at the Lawless 40 Blue’s price point, I can appreciate the choice of a well-established movement that has been given individual attention. There is added value in that for me as it always feels with any movement that there will be some luck of the draw when it comes to timekeeping. And sometimes more complicated and pricy movements come with equally complicated and pricy service. The fact that Tourby’s watchmaker has attended to my movement provides peace of mind.








BRACELET



The Tourby Lawless 40 comes mounted on a German-made stainless-steel 3 link bracelet. The bracelet is 20mm at the lugs tapering down to 18mm at the clasp and has a thickness throughout of 3.2mm. The dimensions of the bracelet are spot on to both visually and physically balance the watch head. If the bracelet tapered down to 16mm it would look too light for the strong watch head. The thickness as well feels just right being neither too bulky nor too svelte.





Tourby has employed a familiar 3 link construction, however the outer links taper down to narrow outer links, that are more slender than the standard oyster style. These slim outer links look beautiful with the narrow lugs and once again add a gentle touch of personality to Tourby’s diver. The links are fully articulating, a premium feature that allows the bracelet to flow perfectly around the wrist. The links are fastened with convenient single-sided screws. Unfortunately, I can't tell you how easy the bracelet is to size. Why? Well, as another impressive touch of personal service Tourby asks for your wrist size as part of the order process and sizes the bracelet for you prior to delivery. I was amazed when I pulled the watch from the box, slid it on and closed the clasp to find that it fit me absolutely perfectly, without even touching a micro adjust! That’s service!







The adjustable links are only partly through drilled for the female threads to present a clean look on the wrist.




The finishing of the bracelet displays the same excellent quality as the case. It is satiny and smooth with again that subtle touch of hands-on attention. The Lawless 40 Blue’s standard configuration comes with a bracelet that has polished centre links and sides. I asked for the bracelet to be fully brushed to match the mostly brushed case which bestows a stronger tool watch feel without much flash. With the bracelet and case being finished by the same person the result is a perfect match between the case and bracelet. Many watches have their cases and bracelets manufactured in different locations making it challenging to achieve a perfect matching finish. The bracelet edges are clean without being too sharp. Perhaps another area of improvement would be to add a micro-bevel on the inside edges of the links for enhanced comfort against the wrist. The L40Bs bracelet is very comfortable, but this would help take an already great bracelet to the next level.



The solid endlinks are a precise, snug fit with no play. The endlinks are superbly shaped to the lugs and the bracelet appears to flow seamlessly from the case. I appreciate the dropping female endlink to maintain the benefits of the trim lug to lug length. It is always a pity to see a compact watch paired with a bracelet that has extended endlinks, thereby negating a sometimes well-conceived case for average or smaller wristed folks who would likely be the most common purchasers.



The Tourby Lawless 40 positions itself as a serious dive watch as it comes equipped with a ratcheting extension clasp. The clasp is 40.7mm long, 20.6mm wide and 8.6mm thick. From pictures prior to ordering I thought the clasp may be too large for my 6.75” wrist but upon arrival I realized it was more compact and refined than I expected. The same brushed finish is carried on to the clasp and it is cleanly engraved with “Tourby Watches” and the star logo. Longitudinal bevels soften the edges and there are no sharp corners. Sliding the triangular buttons releases the dive extension allowing for 13.6mm of extension in 6 positions. The extension served its intended purpose and allowed the bracelet to expand and accommodate a 4mm thick wetsuit sleeve. But in reality, it is most likely that the rachet will come in handy for hot or sodium filled days as wrists expand or as just another handy tactile diversion and point of engagement with the watch for idle hands. There are 3 fixed micro-adjust spring bar holes that will help to get a good neutral fit without needing to engage the ratchet. While I have become somewhat accustomed to larger clasps the L40B’s clasp does seem made to accommodate a bracelet with thicker links as there are gaps at the ends where the links attach. Due to how the 6 o’clock side of the bracelet attaches to the clasp I do not believe it would be possible to substitute a different clasp if the stock clasp wasn’t to one's taste. While this clasp is better than other ratcheting clasps I have used, I would have preferred It to be slimmer or done without the ratchet altogether. I am not sure if this is a stock clasp from a factory, but I imagine developing a custom proprietary clasp of high quality and unique design would be a challenge for a small company with low production volume such as Tourby. As is, I am happy (more so than I predicted!) with the clasp.


















Tourby has developed a strong, practical and comfortable bracelet that perfectly suits the Lawless 40.















ON THE WRIST





The Tourby Lawless 40 Blue wears absolutely perfectly on my 6.75” flat-ish wrist. I had a good feeling about how the case dimensions and shape would wear in real life and my lofty expectations were certainly met. The 40mm diameter, sub 48mm lug length and height a hair under 12mm are all spot on for balance for a watch of this style. 40mm is my sweet spot and the L40B wears true to its size or if anything a touch smaller due to the compact and focused dial layout. It is refreshing to see more and more brands returning to the 39-41mm segment and Tourby has done a great job, offering very similar models of the Lawless diver in both a 40 and 42mm diameter size. I am sure the Lawless 40 would look great on wrists between 6.5” and 7.5”.



The case sits perfectly low and flush on the wrist. This is facilitated by the slim case back and the curved lugs that centre the watch head so it doesn’t slither about or leave unsightly gaps as the bracelet drops gracefully down. The bracelet is very comfortable, and the ratcheting clasp ensures a perfect fit throughout the day and season to season. The L40B is effortless to wear all day long through a variety of activities. One sure sign of a watch that wears well for me is if it is comfortable even when slung below the wrist bone, especially for a watch on a bracelet. I found the L40B to be very comfortable worn either below or above my wrist bone and to look equally as good either way, which is a rare treat and testament to its design and execution. The low height, fine coin bezel edge and gently domed top allowed the Lawless to slip under even my tightest cuffs with ease. It is a true pleasure to wear. I have found the size and comfort of a watch to be a more and more important factor for me. That may seem an obvious statement, but I, and perhaps some of you too, have tried to enjoy or force enjoyment of a watch that I admire for many reasons but that is otherwise too big, small or uncomfortable for me. With the Lawless 40 Blue I know I can wear it with ease and joy for a very long time.















I have worn the L40B exclusively on its great bracelet and I haven't been tempted to try a strap yet. I am sure it would look good though on a variety of straps; perhaps a dark blue seatbelt NATO, clean black rubber or brown leather. Tourby has a nice fitted rubber strap for their Lawless 42 but they have said there are no plans to make one for the 40, I would certainly be interested in one if they ever produce one though. One day I will put those drilled lugs to good use, but for now it is too hard to move away from the perfectly suited bracelet.





I expected the brushed case and matte white dial elements to bestow a sombre rugged tool-watch aesthetic to the L40B, however, once in hand, the depth and life of the sunburst blue dial and sapphire bezel added much more pop and polish than anticipated. This adds a lot of versatility to the watch as it feels comfortable both as a dressier diver and as a more casual piece. I have worn it with both a suit and flip flops (not at the same time!) and it looked great in both settings and in everything in between. This discovery affirmed my choice to go with the all brushed case and bracelet. For me, adding more polished elements would have provided a bit too much of a flashy dress feel to the Tourby Lawless 40, but if that is more your thing the beauty is you could opt for a bit more shine with Tourby’s customization and it would also look great. The matte dial of the black Lawless 40 would be a great choice for the more somber minded; it would have been tempting for me as I love a good versatile black diver, but the blue dial was too much to resist and I have black pretty well covered already.







The Tourby Lawless 40 Blue is an intriguing and versatile dive watch that will look at ease in a variety of settings. It would be right at home on your sand-flecked wrist as you bring your sailing yacht to her moorings in the sapphire waters of the Azores after weeks at sea before slipping your tanned arms into a crisp white oxford shirt for dinner at the yacht club.











CONCLUSION





The Tourby Lawless 40 Blue has a distinct nautical feel with its sharp blue and white colour scheme and design elements such as the boat-shaped indices and graduated minute ring. The L40B evokes the depth and mystery of an ever-shifting sea, presenting many personalities and moods through the varying shades and hues of its shimmering blue sunburst dial and rich sapphire bezel. Tourby has blended classic and contemporary dive watch styling to create a subtle, timeless and enduring design in the versatile Lawless 40 Blue, one that should look as great today as it will in 50 years.



If you are searching for the best collection of specs at the lowest price the L40B may not be for you. But if you are looking to experience the satisfaction and quality of a watch that has been hand-crafted just for you by a small German brand, then the Lawless 40 blue is an excellent option for a bespoke timepiece.












Thank you for taking the time to read this review,

Boatswain


 

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Re: Boatswain Reviews: ⭐️Tourby Lawless 40 Blue

Awesome and been waiting for this to drop!
You rock bro.
 
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Very much enjoyed reading your review and am very intrigued by the Tourby 40.
The blue version you chose is especially striking looking and your custom requests add to the nautical look.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Very much enjoyed reading your review and am very intrigued by the Tourby 40.
The blue version you chose is especially striking looking and your custom requests add to the nautical look.
Thanks so much Yankee

I am glad you enjoyed it.

I went pretty overboard on this review but I hope it’s helpful to others as there really isn’t much info out there. Especially for the blue which is so hard to capture.

Funny, as I shut the computer off after the review and walked away I looked at the watch and smiled and thought, “there is no way a camera can capture this”. I tried right there to take a pic of how it looked just so in the light...nope. Elusive and secretive. Intriguing is a good word.

 

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Thanks so much Yankee

I am glad you enjoyed it.

I went pretty overboard on this review but I hope it’s helpful to others as there really isn’t much info out there. Especially for the blue which is so hard to capture.

Funny, as I shut the computer off after the review and walked away I looked at the watch and smiled and thought, “there is no way a camera can capture this”. I tried right there to take a pic of how it looked just so in the light...nope. Elusive and secretive. Intriguing is a good word.

Hehe, you actually “shut your computer off”? How 1990s of you!

I don’t even shut my TV off ever and have several other screens streaming 24/7, with 2 iPhones and 4 iPads on in addition.

As a sailor, I enjoy your excellent photography with the nautical bits onscreen. Still melting snow here, but sorting out the 3 racing sailboats in the garage in anticipation of the upcoming season, scheduling regattas and planning travel to far off bodies of water.
 

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Wow! Amazing concise review as always. I think your reviews are ready for advertising $$ ;-)

So I wonder which of your divers is going to get the wrist time in the long term? Is the Tourby the new King?
 

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Boatswain -- Another exquisite review, and beautiful pictorial. You're raising the bar on yourself. I'll be curious to see where you venture next :-d

Cheers
RD
 
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Top bloke, sterling effort!

Fabulous review, read every word.

Great coverage for Tourby too... their own product images are basic at best, and you don’t usually find many reviews of them online. Your writing and photos are first rate Boatswain, and give the reader a complete understanding and appreciation of the watch.
 

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Boatswain — what can I say?! You have moved from being the best reviewer on WUS to among the very best anywhere. Congratulations on your best review yet!

I was especially excited for this one as I’ve been tracking Tourby ever since they started releasing 40mm watches (hear that, Muhle Glashutte!?) and been considering the Lawless as a potential next purchase. I’m afraid that your review may well have pushed me over the edge. I hope you will consider it flattery if I order mine w exactly the same modifications that you specified. Given how widely your reviews are circulating now, Tourby may have to offer the “Boatswain Configuration”

Two questions:

1). You wrote very eloquently about the dial, which is one of the watch’s main selling points. In several of the photos it looks black or almost black. Would you agree with that in the flesh? Do you know if it’s made in Pforzheim?
2). You also wrote eloquently about the ratcheting clasp on the bracelet. While I’m eager to finally have a watch w such a clasp, I worry (as you did) about it being too big and bulky — and it seems from your review, hard or impossible to swap it out if I wanted to. My wrist is same size as yours, or maybe a hair bigger. Just wanted you to confirm that you are happy enough w the clasp....?

Thanks again and congrats on this superb review. Big hat tip re the photos, which are superb. What kit do you use for the photos?.


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Excellent review as usual, B! You are an invaluable asset to WUS.

I knew that once you started taking a hard serious look, I was at risk, given our similar tastes. Yes, I think I'll be ordering one soon.

I will be reading this one over and over.

Keep up the good work!
 

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Maybe it's just an optical illusion due to the proportions of the midcase vs the thickness of the bezel, but in profile it looks like it would be taller than 11.9mm. If I had to guess, I'd say it looks more like a 13.5-14mm thick watch.
 

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Another phenomenal review! Have you thought about starting your own blog? Your reviews seem way more detailed than anything Hodinkee or anyone else is putting out!

Since you have both this and the Monta OK, how would you say they compare?


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Maybe it's just an optical illusion due to the proportions of the midcase vs the thickness of the bezel, but in profile it looks like it would be taller than 11.9mm. If I had to guess, I'd say it looks more like a 13.5-14mm thick watch.
+1. I’m very curious re this, as thickness is an increasingly important issue for me....


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Very nice review, I like the watch, just not sure it's a target for me or not. Unlike Kramer it doesn't have the kavorka... Yet. But this certainly helped push me closer.

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Well done Boats, seriously excellent review of a great looking product!

Very intrigued by this one, and would be interested in seeing your opinion as your ownership trucks on!

Oh, and as others noted, you need a blog my friend or a YouTube channel! I’d subscribe!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Wow! Amazing concise review as always. I think your reviews are ready for advertising $$ ;-)

So I wonder which of your divers is going to get the wrist time in the long term? Is the Tourby the new King?
Thanks C!

Tough to say. Since the L40B arrived it has taken all the discretionary wrist time available (a beater for work duty most days).

As I mentioned in the review it ended up being much more versatile than I expected. It’s hard to imagine wearing something else right now but I will swap to something else eventually.

It is very wearable which will give it a leg up on other watches too.

I can say it’s the king of my blue watches right now (I was cover the ears of the seaforths as I said that )

Still on today post review which is always a good sign

 
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