Vintage-inspired divers remain to be all the rage, and though dive watches are an already saturated category, we're continuing to see more brands (both new and established) nudging their way into the category. One such brand-the historically noteworthy Le Jour Watches-recently hopped on the vintage inspiration bandwagon with their latest offering. Though you've likely spotted the name before, this is not the same Le Jour of decades past. Back in the '70s and '80s, Le Jour was actually the North American rebranded distribution of the French watchmaker Yema, and long after going defunct the brand has recently been reborn. Though not directly modeled after historical references, the design of this new release (as well as of their Mark I Chronograph ) are clearly influenced by the brand's archives.

Priced at $800 and powered by an ETA 2824, to say the Vintage Diver faces some tough competition is an understatement, but after spending a few weeks with I can say that the brand did a fair bit to set themselves apart-especially in the case of this luminous dial variant. Luminous dials are few and far between as it is, and once you add in its unique oversized and stylized indices, and the fact that the dial has a faint gradient to it, well its safe to say it doesn't look like much else on the market. As a tradeoff, its luminous glow isn't quite as strong as something like a Damasko lume dial, for example, but it's still plenty legible in low-light conditions.

The case and bezel of the Vintage Diver are also very well executed for the category. Rather than going the more modern route of a lumed sapphire bezel, Le Jour fitted the Vintage Diver with an aluminum bezel insert that uses deep etching for its indices. The case itself is 40mm across and has a primarily brushed finish with prominent polished bevels on its lugs, which is ideal for something that's meant to be more of a daily-wear tool watch. A case thickness spec isn't available, and sadly I did not have a set of calipers handy, but I would safely estimate it to be somewhere in the 14mm range as it does not seem far off from my Tudor Black Bay. This is in part due to its faintly domed crystal-another nice touch that is properly treated with AR to limit reflections. Its crown is screw-down, and the watch is rated for a water resistance of 300m.

On the wrist I found myself especially happy with the fitment of the Vintage Diver. 40mm is generally a good sweet-spot for me in the first place, and its relatively stubby lugs keep the piece from feeling oversized. I'm generally not a fan of running a leather strap on a dive watch (for obvious reasons), but the stock red leather strap for this watch is a very comfortable one that is fitted with quick-release spring bars for easy switching to other straps. When I dug out rubber options to test as alternatives I discovered another great little surprise. The case and lug design is actually in line with a Rolex GMT-Master II, meaning that aftermarket case-fitted straps from Everest Bands, Horus Straps, and others will actually fit the Le Jour Vintage Diver nicely. Personally I found the Horus digital camo rubber strap to be a perfect combo (see for yourself below).

While there's a lot that I can get behind with this new release (in part being biased on account of my love of luminous dials in general), there's one thing that irks me-its name. Anyone who works in or adjacent the world of the internet knows what SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is, and the fact that this watch is called the Le Jour Vintage Diver just feels like a bit of an attempt to capitalize on the search characteristics of vintage watch enthusiasts on the lookout for a vintage dive watch made by Le Jour back in the day. I'll hand it to them, if this was intentional it's a clever play, but at the same time I would have been happier to see it be called just about anything else. Do I still like it, and would I still recommend it to others? absolutely.

Shop For The Le Jour Vintage Diver Here

Shop For Vintage Le Jour Dive Watches Here

Photo Credit: Justin Mastine-Frost