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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I've been wearing my new Cave Dweller II (With Miyota) for a week straight now. Here's a little review on my observations. As always, your mileage may very. Forgive the dust and dog hair in the pics. When you have 3 dogs, it's impossible to not have it everywhere.

Case:
This is a HUNK of steel! on the bracelet, the watch weighs 8.37oz (0.52 lbs!). I knew coming in that this was a chinese case (made by longio I believe), so I gave it a thorough going over.

A few things I've noticed: I assumed the case would be milled from a single piece of steel, but it appears that the lugs are welded on. I could be wrong about this, as it is seamless and looks great, but there is a slight color difference where the lug meets the case which is common at a weld joint. This isn't a flaw by any means, a properly done weld is stronger than the metal surrounding it, and the weld appears flawless. I had just made an assumption that appears to be wrong.

You can see a slight light line along the diameter of the case, where it meets the lug.

The shape of the case is fantastic. I love the beefy beveled lugs. The thick lugs allow the chunky case to sit nicely on the 22mm bracelet. The combination of the curved surfaces and hard edges on the lugs remind me of some of the old muscle cars of the late 60's and early 70's. To borrow a phrase from Paul Sr. on American Chopper, this watch is the "Cats butthole, you don't mean to look at it, or even want to, but you just cant help it."

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The case has a nice brushed finish that lends a very tool watch feel to it. Between the lugs, there is a more defined brush pattern which runs parallel to the bracelet, I think it's intended to match the brush of the bracelet and make the transition to the case more seamless, and it works well.



The case back has a nice engraving of a Cave Monster and all the typical spec stuff.



Bezel:
The bezel on the CDII is the best of any of my watches (which is to say it's better than an Orient Mako ;-) ). It's easy to turn, but it's still stiff, not too easy to turn. It's tight and obviously has tight tolerances. On mine, there is a very, very slight gap between the bezel and the case at one point, but we're talking less than a millimeter here, and I'm really just nit picking. There is no up and down play in the bezel. The outer edge grip notches are another very unique feature of the watch which really drew me to it. They're plenty grippy, and I have no problems turning the bezel quickly and precisely.



The PVD around the number ring is fantastic. The ring is raised roughly a mm above the rest of the bezel, I initially thought this was the PVD thickness, but after looking at other's pictures, The steel is actually raised. The PVD is thick though, and after a week of constant wear, I have no marks on the bezel. No scratches, no dings.

Crown:
The crown in BIG! It's not long, and it doesn't dig into the back of my wrist, but it's wide! 9mm diameter x 4mm tall to be exact. The large teeth on the crown are easy to grip and a little sharp. Not like cut you sharp or anything, but they're quite grip-able and it makes it easy to get a nice tight screw down. I've had other screw down crowns which start to slip in your fingers when you unscrew or screw them in, and this one does not have that problem. The Boschett logo on the crown is a nice touch.



Movement:
The standard Miyota in my has been fine. Winding is a little louder than I was expecting, but it's not a big deal. No one else has noticed it, and I only really notice it when I'm wiggling my wrist (a habit when I'm wearing autos, I like to wind them). Accuracy has been more than acceptable. I'm running about +20 seconds every 3 days or so, well within my standards for a $36 movement.

Dial, Hands, Lume:
The dial is a gorgeous blue, very deep and uniform. The lume is good, and the blue color on the lume is a very nice touch. Blue is my favorite color, so I really have been wanting a blue lume watch for a while. The hands have a bar across them which breaks up the monotony. The hands are black, and I can't see any flaws in them. I think the black works a lot better than chrome hands would.



The orange highlights are amazing! I was hesitant to get the blue dial because I'm not really a fan of orange, but the contrast against the dark blue dial and black bezel really makes it POP, and it's grown on me a LOT! :-! The text is simple and readable, without cluttering the dial. The sapphire crystal makes everything clear and readable as well. The indices are large, with the 12 and 6 taking up 3 minutes each, and 3 and 9 take up 2 minutes. The large indices make it easy to read at a glance, and especially easy to read at night.



Bracelet:
Ah the bracelet! Really makes this watch look mean. The solid end links have very tight tolerances, they hug the case very well and the way they're cut makes it look like one piece almost. The bevel of the lugs matches the curve of the end links which again, makes it look more like a single piece.



The bracelet is a true 5 link and the links are solid. Again, the thing is HEAVY. It has a huge presence on the wrist. The shape of the links makes the bracelet supremely flexible and comfortable. I've had it grab a few arm hairs here and there, but it hasn't kept me from wearing it. I'm talking maybe 3 or 4 times in a week.


The soild end links also have a little ledge which grips the case to keep them from rotating or rattling around

The Clasp:
The clasp is FANTASTIC. When I first got the watch, I was worried. I had to wear it a bit tighter than I typically do because the watch is so heavy. This made it uncomfortable in certain situations where I have to bend my wrist back, because it would dig the case into my forearm. The clasp has an impressive ratcheting dive extension which makes adjustments on the fly simple and convenient. I adjust the clasp frequently as I swell and shrink throughout the day. If I'm doing something that I know requires a lot of wrist motion, I reach down and press the button to give myself a little more room. If it starts to flop around, I reach down and clip it a little tighter. The clasp makes this watch 100% more wearable. If I had to bust out a pin to move a springbar every time I needed to adjust the bracelet, I'd keep it on the rubber all the time.



The Rubber Strap:
When I was researching this watch, the rubber strap was mentioned only in passing with the case it comes in. "It came in a nice leather travel case and with a rubber strap" was about all that was ever said about it. And If I wasn't obsessive about playing with all my toys as soon as I get them, that'd probably be what I was saying in this review. I am, however obsessive about playing with all my toys as soon as I get them, and this toy is wonderful.

The rubber is soft and supple. Very flexible, much more so than my Maratec silicone rubber strap. It has thick curved ends that meet the case beautifully. The bracelet dips down a little between the lugs, where the rubber goes straight across, helping it keep up with the height of the case.



On the rubber, I'd venture to say that the watch is actually more comfortable than the bracelet. Because of the grippy nobbies on the inside of the strap, I can wear the rubber a little looser without the watch flopping around. The strap is un-tapered and goes to a nice 22mm engraved brushed steel buckle. Overall, the rubber is a HUGE bonus that totally changes the look and feel of the watch, and I think it's been under appreciated in previous reviews. On the rubber, the watch still has a ton of wrist presence, and definitely looks the part.



Problems:
The only problem I have really is the inability for aftermarket straps to keep up with the watch. I like changing out straps on my watches, and I tried my 22mm straps on this beast. None of them really looked right. Best analogy I can come up with is a 6' tall body builder in capri pants. The straight end links didn't come up high enough to meet the case and it looked weird. The watch is so tall, it needs a beefy strap to keep, which I don't have. I'm going to try a few other things to see what I can work out. My plan is to order a 4 ring Zulu, and see if that'll work, and also try trimming a 22 or 24 mm strap so that it will fit in the solid end links from the bracelet.

Another minor annoyance is the double springbar holes. Theres one set for the bracelet and another set for the rubber. When the rubber is in the right hole, it holds VERY tightly to the case, but it's a bit difficult getting it in the right hole.




Overall:
This is a FANTASTIC watch for the money. Well worth the $440, probably a good deal more than that. Huge wrist presence, unique styling, great bracelet. I love it.






 

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Amazing review.

I cannot wait to get mine in the mail.

I've ordered the pvd bezel with the yellow dial.

This is going to be my second watch and I think and excellent compliment to my orange faced Sumo.

Hopefully either the red Muhle Glashutte Rasmus, the yellow Orient 300m or the Benarus Sea Shark II will follow.

It's going to be a good year for my business, maybe all three.... :-d
 

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Amazing review.

I cannot wait to get mine in the mail.

I've ordered the pvd bezel with the yellow dial.

This is going to be my second watch and I think and excellent compliment to my orange faced Sumo.
Can't wait to see pictures of the Yellow dial pvd version. I've been hesitating on that one and maybe some more pics will set me free to add to my blue dial.
 

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great review of a great watch.i had my one the same day as you and i have worn some of my others during the week but keep coming back to the cavedweller it feels so good on the wrist.
like you said the bracelet is amazing i usually ditch bracelets in favour of a leather or rubber strap but this will live on the bracelet for now.the rubber strap is on my monstrum as it is an exact fit and looks the buisness.

and i agree for the money it takes some beating a real bargain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
great review of a great watch.i had my one the same day as you and i have worn some of my others during the week but keep coming back to the cavedweller it feels so good on the wrist.
like you said the bracelet is amazing i usually ditch bracelets in favour of a leather or rubber strap but this will live on the bracelet for now.the rubber strap is on my monstrum as it is an exact fit and looks the buisness.

and i agree for the money it takes some beating a real bargain.
It is a beautiful watch, especially for the money. I'm glad to hear you're enjoying it. What color did you get?

Great review!
Seems like a lot of watch for the money!
:thanks

wonderful pics and report!
:thanks

good watch with a good entry price point .. thks review..|>
It definitely is! :thanks

I like it. Nice little review, nice photos :-!
:thanks

Amazing review.

I cannot wait to get mine in the mail.

I've ordered the pvd bezel with the yellow dial.
I'm intrigued by these loud yellow and orange dial divers, but I just cant get in to them. Congrats to you though, and I look forward to your take on the beast!.

Simply amazing review! Thanks for sharing this with us.
:thanks

Great pictures and review!


Looks like one solid watch! :-!
:thanks
Most definitely a solid, well made watch.
 

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i was so lucky to get hold of the exact watch i wanted in the uk.i had been looking at these watches for a few months before buying but the thing stopping me was the taxes and shipping expenses.
i happened to mention i wanted one in a thread on a uk watch forum and i had a pm in my box asking if i wanted to buy it because the owner had "weedy wrists" and couldnt get on with it.
i wont say how much i paid for it but lets just say it was cheap.



my photo's are not doing this justice but my blackberry isnt the most competant camera sorry.
 

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Those are great pics from a BlackBerry!
 

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I like the look of the rubber strap but i think the bracelt makes the CDII. Great review!



 

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Nice review Bleh.
 
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