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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I got my LM-1 two days ago and wow! What a fantastic watch! It's not only one of my most accurate watches at right around +1/s a day, it's also the best-made one. The full lume dial is as amazing as everyone says and the color and texture of the ceramic bezel insert just matches the cold carbon gray perfectly. And the bezel is amazing; Ocean7 should be justifiably proud of that. The action has virtually no play, the tension is exactly right, and everything feels so... authoritative. It goes beyond any prior notion I may have had of what makes a good bezel. It is, with only a small degree of exaggeration, the platonic ideal of dive watch bezels. I couldn't be happier... well, okay. There is just one thing.

My understanding is that the cold carbon hardening process has a high defect rate and that to achieve a perfect finish is very difficult. Mine has a number of out-of-the-box imperfections. I'll call them "rub marks" because they look like regions where the hardening process is simply much lighter rather than mechanical scratches made after the fact. The marks on the lugs are straight, but there are regions on the case and caseback that are more amorphous. Since these appear to be minor defects of the hardening process, I'd guess that I should have little future issue with the durability of the case, since all reports seem to support the efficacy of the hardening process. I fully believe those reports that claim that these sorts of hardened watches have survived all kinds of violent interaction with extreme conditions without a mark. But as far as out-of-the-box imperfections go, I wonder if I got a watch that was a bit closer than most to the scratch-and-dent threshold?

I've been wearing the watch for the last day-and-a-half, but I've got a comfortable desk job without alot of jumping off of bridges or diving into sea caves. These are not the result of user error and certainly the placement of at least some of these are unusual for desk-diving marks. These are assuredly out-of-the-box.

Here's a picture to illustrate what I'm talking about:



I started this thread singing the praises of the watch to an almost embarrassing degree because I don't want to give the impression that I'm unhappy at all. This is a great watch and would be so for twice the price. If I'd felt differently, I would have taken up the nice 3 day inspection and return policy. This thread is simply curiosity at how mine stacks up against against the norm.

Oh, and some other observations: The strap wrenches are kind of beveled, so it's almost impossible to find purchase against the hex bolt. Luckily, I had a pair of the right size already. "Sharper" wrenches would go a long way toward making strap changes as simple as they should be.

The stock rubber strap is very nice. I've never owned a nice strap of this sort of material, but this strap will certainly change that. The smallest hole is just perfect for my small wrists. At 6.75'', I'm probably right above the threshold where wearing the LM-1 falls into the ridiculous category (just made it!). But wearing the strap for a day has created a little peeling where the buckle meets the rubber. The hole is also looking just slightly ragged from contact with the tang. Having not owned a strap of this material before, can someone tell me if this is normal? I feel that, given how many people seem taken with the strap, I probably shouldn't worry.

As a postscript to this post: some observations about the Choisi watches that Ocean7 also sells on their site: I ordered one of these and while the quality of the case, crystal, and dial seem very nice, its condition was atrocious. Clearly visible from the caseback, the white plastic movement spacer ring was deformed and extending over the edge of a plate, possibly the result of an overtightened caseback. Of the six screws holding the caseback on, one was actually missing (despite the plastic cover!). Luckily enough, I picked up the watch to harvest its Unitas movement (the watch was cheaper than I could find a cote de geneve 6498 for), and that appears to be fine so far. But for someone looking to pick one up to wear, caution is probably warranted. I understand that this is basically a liquidation fire sale, but a missing case screw is pretty far off par.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Re: LM-1 Cold Carbon finish imperfections and observations on Choisi

Originally posted on the O7 forums, moved to Dive Watches.
 

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Re: LM-1 Cold Carbon finish imperfections and observations on Choisi

Oh, I meant to post this in the Ocean7 forum. I suppose it has some relevance to the dive watch community at large, but please feel free to move this to O7 forum, mods.
Hello ASRSPR,

I moved this from the OCEAN7 Forum to the Dive Watch Forum, as I feel it is better suited here.

You are correct the cold carbon hardening process does has a high defect rate, and we do our best to ensure that only the best cases are used, also the company that hardens them only will select the cases that are usable.

As for Choisi watches, there isn’t much I can say, we sell them as a favor to the company, we do not make any profit on them.

Thanks and Regards,

John
 

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It is a tool watch after all not a piece of jewelry. Such minor marks such as these would quickly be replaced by larger in use if the case were not hardened.
 

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10x - 20x magnification ? It's steel, its hardened, it's not perfect, but I don't see anything that would cause upset or disappointment. If there was a nick in the case, scratched bezel, smudged lume or something more obvious, then I would send it back. But in all honesty, the dust on the case is more discernable than the slight imperfections in case hardened finish.
 

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10x - 20x magnification ? It's steel, its hardened, it's not perfect, but I don't see anything that would cause upset or disappointment. If there was a nick in the case, scratched bezel, smudged lume or something more obvious, then I would send it back. But in all honesty, the dust on the case is more discernable than the slight imperfections in case hardened finish.

Its 10-20x mag???? Then I doubt the marks are even visible witht he naked eye. Seems like a case of looking to find issues
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
By strict definition, I used a 1x magnification lens (Canon 100mm f2.8). Of course, actual magnification will depend on display size and resolution.

You can see the size of the marks relative to case elements. The LM-1 does not have an especially small crown and the OCEAN7 wordmark on the caseback is not miniscule. All of these marks can be seen under interior daylight from a foot away or more. It seems somewhat dishonest say that they aren't *visible* when there are case elements that are the same size as the marks.

That said, these aren't scratches - they appear to be imperfections of the hardening process. The color differences are not pronounced, except for the caseback (and that's, well, on the caseback). I'm extremely happy with the watch - its other superb features (which I outlined in the original post) certainly outweigh these small imperfections. If I were not so, I'd have sought a replacement.

I was just wondering if this has been the experience of others as well for Ocean7 cold carbon cases.
 

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Mine has a couple marks on the caseback but I attribute this more to my wearing it (although not sure how it could have happened) rather than arriving in that condition. Something to keep in mind is that this hardening process is not impervious to dings - it did not factor much into my purchase of the watch.
 

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Again, If I pay for a new watch I expect nothing else then a 100% condition. No lint, dust, stains, marks, smudge, scratches, dinks, or whatever...
Until the first 2 minutes and all of the above is made by me.

Great watch !
 

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I gotta say that I'd be pretty bummed if my new purchase arrived in that condition... but maybe that's just me. I have indeed seen "scratch & dent sale" watches in better condition. However... it's a great looking piece... maybe a little too big for me these days... but striking never the less! :-!

Is there a disclaimer of sorts from O7 stating that these imperfections are inherent to hardened steel?

Paying the extra hundred or so bucks for a watch that may have some slight finish issues.. as small as they may be... doesn't seem like the best deal IMHO. I'd pass on that upgrade and just get the regular SS model that should be pristine from the factory.
 
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