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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Earlier today I received my Ocean7 LM-1 dive watch. :) I will share my initial impressions first, show some real world pictures of it and try to provide some follow up as I wear it more throughout the upcoming days.















Introduction-
The LM-1 is the first in a series of watches produced by the Ocean7 Watch Company. The company started as a joint contribution between two watch guys, LaHugh and Mitch. According to their website, their design objective was simple "create beautiful watches that are tough and functional." They were both owners of PloProf's and decided the line would feature elements of the classic PloProf design. In November 2006, Mitch became sole owner of Ocean7. The LM-1 in it's early stages was proposed as an Asian built model in the sub $500 range. After much discussion on the Ocean7 Watch Forum, Mitch and LaHugh decided to move to a Swiss build with a sub $700 price. It has since been announced that the molds for this current LM-1 will be destroyed to insure it's limited status. A new production version of the LM-1 will be available in 2007 with some styling changes made.

Case-
The watch features a brushed 316 stainless steel case and bezel. It measures 44mm in diameter. The height of the case is 14mm. The watch is rated water resistant to 300m. Portions of the case including the ring around the crystal are beadblasted. This provides a very cool contrast in the steel. The signed crown is located at 4 o'clock location. In the discussion on the LM-1 there was talk on if the LM-1 needed protection for the crown. In the end the popular consensus was that a crown only design worked better with the simplicity of the design. Holding the watch now I think the right decision was made. The watch has a real weight to it. I don't have a scale but to me it feels slightly heavier than my Sinn UX and Damasko DC66. The watch also features a sapphire domed crystal. The amount of curve is very, very, slight. It looks like the inside of the crystal is also domed but I could be wrong. The watch also does not feature any AR coating on the outside of the glass. For some this may be a negative but not me. I have found that almost all AR coatings are able to be scratched and damaged. Even the ultra hard AR coating on the Sinn U series watches have been scratched. In bright light I was able to catch a slight blue tint that confirms the inside was coated and not overlooked. The bezel on the Ocean7 is a 120 click unidirectional design. The bezel feels much more decisive than other watches in it's price range. It clicks nicely with almost no play in it. It also features a nice lumed pip at 12. Each watch is individually numbered between #1 and #150. The case back was designed originally to carry both a serial number and a edition number. The manufacture reportedly thought the number was to represent the series number and made all the watches come with a #1 next to the SN and an individual limited edition number. In my opinion, having both a serial number and an edition number was redundant. A surprise for me was the watch has drilled lugs. All previous pictures of the sample case did not have the lugs drilled. So this only goes to further support it's tool watch status in my mind.








Dial and hands-
The dial and hands on the LM-1 are huge! Great for a tool watch. The hands are modeled after the classic Plongeurs. They look AMAZING! They are perfect in color and match the 7 on the dial perfectly. In my opinion, the color of the Plongeur is very important. I feel the Dreadnought orange color is too yellow and the MKii's are too red of an orange. I find the design and shape more true to the original with what looks to be slightly larger "handles" than have appeared on other recent watches. Anyone who has followed this project can tell of the mini revolt that came up when a preliminary drawing was shown with different hands than the classic Plongeurs. I really love the way the hour hand lines up perfectly with the top of date window at 6 o'clock and does not block the window. It's just another fine detail that shows how custom hands were used and not some found off the shelf.

For me, a watches lume is an area that is very important to me. I find the lume on the Ocean7 well above average. The dial and hands have been applied with C3 Swiss Superluminova. The hands glow like a Seiko Monster, which is awesome! The dial's lume is definitely above average easily besting my Sinn UX after a full charge. The lume on the dial is good but not as strong as the hands but that's because it's printed on a black dial. The watch features a white on black date wheel at the 6 o'clock location. In order to simplify the dial you will not find any distracting text on the dial but all the specs can be found on the case back. I don't know why more dive watches don't do this. :think: Do I really need to know that it's an automatic and was made in Switzerland all the time. :-S











Movement-
The watch features the bulletproof Swiss ETA 2824-2 automatic movement. It is said it has a metal spacer ring inside but I have no way to open the case and confirm this. The orange tipped second hand (thanks xtrooper) moves very smoothly.

An Initial Accuracy Report-

When I received the LM-1, I immediately set the time to sync with www.time.gov. I have worn the watch non stop since receiving it and I can report as of this morning it was spot on. It had not gained or lost any time while wearing it. :-!

Strap and packaging-
The watch comes delivered with a black strap with steel buckle. The strap is unique because it not made out of rubber but instead silicone. This makes the strap incredibly soft and has no stiffness to it. The strap has a great deal of elasticity to it so it is incredibly comfortable. The buckle is very unique and nicely signed. The straps overall design is a throwback to the vintage ploprof design. |> the watch on the supplied strap wears very nicely with no balance issues.

I had planned on replacing the strap with either a custom Delaurian strap or the black leather Ocean7 strap available next month. One of the huge selling points for me on the LM-1 was it's 24mm lugs. |> I have always been jealous of all the straps available to Panerai owners but could never justify a Panerai's price tag.

The watch comes nicely in black Pelican waterproof case. Inside is a warranty card, warranty paper, pillow and hangtag. The case has an Ocean7 logo on it.






Overall-
I have to say I am blown away with the quality of the LM-1. :-! It is a very nicely made watch! I know it's a cliche, but the quality beats some much more expensive Swiss brands. The obvious thing is that it is a BIG watch with large lugs. For some this may be a turn off, not for me. Any watch that can accommodate 24mm straps is going to have big lugs. I was concerned looking at early pictures that the lugs edges were going to be sharp but they are not at all. The inside lugs on my new Spirit of America are much sharper than the LM-1. Strangely though at 44mm it still wears smaller than expected. I think the large dial size is partially responsible for this. It is very comparable in size to my Kobold Spirit of America, Damasko DC66 and Sinn UX.









In conclusion, I want to thank Mitch for providing such an in depth view of what has gone in to making the LM-1 and the upcoming 5 models through the Ocean7 forum. I can't think of another watch project that allowed as much feedback, provided as much info, and given watch enthusiasts instant access to the owner of the company. Sure there are other small watch companies that have offered great insight to the watch industry but I think Mitch has raised the bar. When I look at the LM-1 I see more than just the sum of the parts but I also see the sum of the thoughts, suggestions and ideas that went into making it. It has been exciting to see the birth of a watch company and the LM-1 celebrates it's arrival. :-!
 

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Great review and great pics. This was the first watch review I've read. I am used to reading and writing audio gear reviews. There are a lot of similarities especially in terms of the enthusiasm that that goes into writing them. I am particularly interested in this one as I would like to buy the watch. It turns out that Mitch lives about 15 to 20 minutes from me so supporting a local guy is a plus. I've been in this hobby for about 3 weeks and have already bought a Sinn 656 and Breitling Superocean. I am a little concerned that the watch may be too much for my wrist. My Superocean is 42mm so 44mm might not be too much of a stretch. I will have to go into a local jewelery store to try on a 44mm watch. Great job with the review and enjoy the watch!
 

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Thanks for the great review, Cannon!

One thing I forgot to mention that I see in the pictures, is the shape of the lugs. The manufacturer originally mentioned that they would not be able to keep the curved tops when they went from the sample to full production. Obviously, they found a way.

All watches paid for that are shipping by UPS, will go out tomorrow. Global Express EMS will go as soon as possible.

Mitch
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Great review and great pics. This was the first watch review I've read. I am used to reading and writing audio gear reviews. There are a lot of similarities especially in terms of the enthusiasm that that goes into writing them.
Thanks! What's funny is before becoming a stay at home dad, I worked at a high end wine shop in the District and after that I sold high end audio and video gear for the last 5 years. Both jobs required reading a fair amount of reviews. :) I guess reading all those reviews has influenced my writing style. :-D
 

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Awsome review and Pics....I cant wait for mine to arrive!!! :-X
 

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Looks like quite the beast! Will have to look around for a 24mm strap.
 

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Kudos, Cannon, for your well-written, very informative review! It has really fired me up to get this great, new dive watch on my wrist! :-!
 

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Re: Excellent review!

I'm really happy to hear that the lume is top notch. I can't understand why in this day and age with what is available why any manufacturer would not use Superluminova. Kudos to Mitch for staying on top of that.

I'm also pleasantly surprised to see that the overall graphic effect of the watch bears some resemblance to the UX. I loved the look of that watch but wished it was an auto and not so expensive. Looks like I will get my wish afterall... :)
 

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Re: Excellent review!

I'm really happy to hear that the lume is top notch. I can't understand why in this day and age with what is available why any manufacturer would not use Superluminova. Kudos to Mitch for staying on top of that.

I'm also pleasantly surprised to see that the overall graphic effect of the watch bears some resemblance to the UX. I loved the look of that watch but wished it was an auto and not so expensive. Looks like I will get my wish afterall... :)
Hi Peter,

I'm surprised, too. The lume on our sample dials was not good at all. I was told that the coat of luminova was too thin, but I wonder if they used Asian luminous material, which isn't even close. The cost difference isn't that much. Even if it's a few dollars extra for the real stuff, it's worth every penny.

Mitch
 

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Great review!
After seeing the finished product I REALLY like it!
 

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Having just gone through this review, I must say that you must be complimented for such a well done, in-depth report. I think you clearly covered all the bases and have provided some very nice and interesting pictures. I like the perspective they provide when placed side by side in comparison with some very nice, high calibre tool watches.

Well done my man. I will be going back several times for sure over the next few days to reread and drool over the pics.

Thanks for the effort. This is a valuable, high calibre contribution to watchuseek and we are all the better for it. Thanks for taking the time and putting in the effort to get this to us. The time and effort have not been wasted. Very much appreciated!!

A very nice watch for sure. Hard to not like it .. alot!!

regards,
Tim
 

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My thoughts on the LM-1.....

I gotta say, Cannon's review is so spot-on that I can add very little without sounding like I'm copying him. These are the few niggling little details I can come up with after having it on my arm for a day...

1. It's hardly a big deal, but I would almost like the hour hand to be positioned on the canon pinion above the minute hand. Because the minute hand is so large, it blocks out the hour hand every time it sweeps over it. Again, not really a big deal!

2. The crown is perhaps a wee bit to tightly spaced next to the lug. Even 1 millimeter north would make it perfect. Once the crown is unscrewed it sets without a problem, but if it was just a smidge further from the lug it would be a bit easier to get at.

3. Mitch and I talked about the position for the lug holes after getting the prototype. He decided on drilling the holes further from the watch body, but the holes may have been drilled out a bit close to the edge of the lugs. The holes could have been 1mm closer to the watch body, but this is also a very slight detail. I have a thick-ass Greg Stevens strap in it right now and there is maybe a 2mm gap between the strap and the case. Which leads nicely into....

4. The thing REALLY calls out for a thick, substantial strap! The rubber strap may be the balls for diving, but for everyday wearing a Greg or some other 4-5mm thick strap is gonna be a must!

Those few points are the only things I can point to as being even remotely negative. The finish of the case seems far superior to the proto sample we had to play with and the contrasting bead-blasted finish on the bezel insert is great! The lume is extremely good...only bested by a couple of my Panerais, and SO much better than that prototype! It's a trip watching the glowing second had sweep across the dial in the dark after the watch has been in the sun for a while. The hand design is perfect for this watch...dive-specific and extremely easy to read. No extraneous ******** on the dial and no unnecessary magnifying cyclops over the date window. After only one day I can also say one thing is better than I expected...no annoying rotor-wobble! I fully expected to have the usual 2824-2 rotor spin but mercifully, it's not there! And after a day, even though I didn't set it to the atomic clock, I can say it seems to be keeping perfect time.

Overall, I'm thrilled with this first watch! Mitch should be proud of how it turned out and I'm pretty sure anyone who is lucky enough to get one of these 150 watches will be very, very happy! I'll certainly be dropping a ton of wrist shots with different strap combinations later, but right now I gotta get back to the Xmas preparations!

BT
 

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:thanks Mitch!
You did a great job with 07 LM-1 |> |> |> |> |> |> |> |> |> |> |> |>

Hi All, I got to work this am, and I could not believe what was sitting on my desk.
I have been sick for the last 2 days with the procelain bowl dance, anyway the LM-1 is awesome. A beast of a watch, the dial is gorgeous, and the hands stand out bar none. The lume is great. this is a big watch, the square look of the lugs with the large dial stand out, very sweet.
IMHO this watch cries out for a custom strap like the U1 where the strap is molded to the case- now that would be sweet.
Mitch way to go! I never knew just how much was needed to make a watch.
The only 2 critique's I would have at this point is the drilled holes are to close to the end of the lugs need to be back closer to the case, but I will get a custom thick leather stap and fill in that area ASAP. I am going to try and mod a 5mm thick rubber strap I have later today at work with the proper equipment if I get time.
I would make the crown a wee bit bigger as it needs to be for this massive watch, but I amnot complaining as I am presently enjoying wearing this on my wrist , pics to follow.

Thanks Mitch , UPS is the way to go esp at Christmas!
Merry Christmas everyone!santasmile
Regards
Robert
 

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Robert, I'm glad you're feeling better, and thanks for the comments. I am keeping a list of comments for possible incorporation into the regular production LM-1 coming next summer.

Even with a few 'rough' edges, I think I will always wear the limited edition, though.

I hope you enjoy the watch!

Regards,
Mitch
 
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