I’m a total watch collecting newbie here, and this is my first attempt at a watch review, so all of you more experienced guys please bear that in mind. I hope this information will be helpful to both my fellow newbies and the more experienced collectors as well. Since I’ve joined this forum, you guys have completely changed my taste in watches, and I’m better off for it. I have a much better understanding of watches than I had before, and a wider range of watches that I like. I now have many watches on my wish list, and I had not heard of one of them before joining this forum. I have found the wealth of knowledge on this forum to be invaluable, and hope that I can make a small contribution to it with this review.
I first found this forum while doing research for a watch purchase. I lurked for about six months before joining, but I’ve spent some time reading on these forums almost every day since I discovered them. When I first joined, I was only interested in quartz watches. I couldn’t imagine why anyone would want a mechanical watch, with their higher cost, lower accuracy, and usually fewer complications. But the more time I spent on the forums, the more interested I became in mechanical watches. I just had to see what all the fuss was about, so I tried one, the Seiko SRP005. It was a great watch for the money, the sweeping seconds hand, the quality and craftsmanship of a small little machine on my wrist… I was hooked. I seemed to longer have much interest in quartz watches at all.
So now I wanted a higher level of mechanical watch, I couldn’t afford the Breitlings, Omegas, etc., so I started looking at the boutique brands. They seemed to offer a lot for the money, and from what I could tell, the quality was very close to those higher end brands, but the price was much lower. I looked at several of the boutique brands that I found recommended here on the forums, many of them are great, but in the end after months of saving and research, it was the Boschett Ocean Mariner for me.
So… on to the review.
From Boschett’s web site:
Movement = Gold plated ETA 2824-2
316L surgical grade SS
300m water resistant
Screw-down crown and case back
Solid end link bracelet
Superluminova treated hands and applied markers
Dimensions: Case - 42mm w/o crown, Height - 13mm, Bracelet - 22mm wide,
The watch comes shipped in a leather, zippered, two watch carry case. This case beats the boxes that you get with a lot of watches that then just sit in a drawer unused until you want to sell the watch. The case is actually decent quality and useful for traveling with your watches. I’ve used mine a couple of times already.
The Ocean Mariner comes with a Gold plated Elabore grade ETA 2824-2 movement, with the upgraded shock protection, which I believe is called incabloc. This is a hacking and hand winding automatic, and while I can’t speak for every movement of this type, I can say the one in my watch is very good. When I received my watch it was running about 15 seconds per day fast, but it was very consistently always 15 seconds a day. I waited a few weeks for the infamous break in period to see if anything would change, but it didn’t. I knew that if it was that consistent, that I should be able to regulate it to be very accurate.
I’m almost afraid to put this on here because I know there will be those out there who will accuse me of lying, but all I can do is tell the truth. After tinkering with it for a couple of days, I was able to regulate it to about +1/2 a second a day. I think if I were able to make a small enough adjustment that I could regulate it to be dead on, but I’m not skilled enough to do that, so I’ll just leave it alone where it is. It actually seems to be pretty much dead on when I wear it, but then will gain about ¼ second if I leave it face up overnight, and lose about ½ second if I leave it 6:00 up overnight. So by leaving it face up 2 nights, then 6:00 one night, I’m never more than about ½ second off the official time. As I write this, my watch is dead on with the official time, and I haven’t set it in 40 days, and I’ve never been more than a second off either way in those 40 days. To get my measurements, I checked the time several times a day with www.time.gov, and kept records of all of my measurements.
I know not everyone who purchases one of these will get that kind of accuracy, but I suspect that if you’re willing to tinker with it a little that you can get close. I was also impressed with the way the date changes almost instantly on this watch at right around midnight. On my Seiko, it starts gradually turning at around 10:00 pm, and doesn’t finish till early in the morning hours. I’m sure this doesn’t mean much as far as quality, but it’s one of those little details that make a difference to me.
The Dial & Lume:
I chose the blue dialed version, without the date magnifier. The blue is really incredible, and perhaps one of the best features of the watch. Pictures just really can’t do it justice, but fellow WUS member Pallet Spoon’s pictures come as close as I’ve seen, and all of the pictures in this review are his, except for the wrist shots and the leather case, which are mine. The quality difference in the wrist shot photo vs. the other photos should make it plain why I asked him if I could use his photos. He also did the best job of describing it when speaking of the blue dials he told me; “They are radiant and do shimmer in the light, but do so in a very sophisticated manner. They are not what I would call "bright" but rather term them "deep". They have depth and character.” If you are a fan of blue watches, you won’t be disappointed in this one.
It has “sword style” hands, with a red tipped seconds hand. The markers are applied, and have a silver outline around the square white lumed markers. The markers at 6, and 9 are larger than the other markers, with the marker at 12 being slightly larger still, and the date window is at 3:00, so no lumed marker there. Although the markers are white, the Superluminova BGW9 glows a very nice looking blue in the dark. The hands seem to glow a slightly different color than the markers, I think this may be because the hands have a little more lume applied to them than the markers do? It also has a lumed pip on the bezel. The lume is average to good, and one of only two areas where I think improvements could be made to the watch. I don’t have a Seiko monster to compare it to (which seems to be the standard comparison here on the forum), but it does glow as well as my Seiko SRP005 (which is more of a dress watch, than a diver, so take it for what it’s worth), and it is legible throughout the night. C3 is probably brighter also, but the lume does have a neat blue glow to it, so you sacrifice some brightness for the color of the lume. It would be nice if it was a little brighter, but it is good enough.
The crystal is sapphire and mine is still scratch free after a couple of months of daily wear. However, this is the one other area where I think the watch could be improved if the crystal had AR coating on the inside. In the price range of this watch, some other brands have AR coating, and it would be nice if this one had it too. That having been said, I’ve never had any problems telling the time because of glare.
The bezel is an ever so slightly darker blue than the face is in direct light, and goes perfectly with the color of the face. It has the standard 10 minute increments marked on it, with markers at 5 minute increments in between them. It has one minute hash marks for the first 15 minutes. It has 120 clicks, and the action is very positive, with no play, and seems to have just enough resistance so that it won’t turn accidentally, without being too difficult to turn. As with most of the watch, Keith seems to have gotten it exactly right.
The case seems very solid, and has the perfect combination of brushed and polished surfaces for me. The fit and finish are excellent. It has a screw down crown with the Boschett logo on it, I’m not sure how the logo is applied, but it looks to be laser etched, it could just be painted on though. Either way, it has shown no signs of wear yet. The crown seems to be very well made, and has always just screwed right in for me, without giving any indications of wanting to cross thread etc. The crown guard looks good, does it's job, and doesn't interfere with using the crown. It winds very smoothly also, but of course the winding isn’t necessary with daily wear. It has a screw down case back as well, and is WR rated to 300m, far further than this desk diver will ever take it.
The bracelet on this watch is amazing, and in my opinion is probably worth the price of the watch by itself. It is a solid end link bracelet that is a true five-link bracelet, not just polished to look that way. It has two small polished links, and three larger brushed links on each link. The fit and finish is immaculate, and it matches the watch perfectly. It’s the most comfortable bracelet I’ve ever worn. It is easy to achieve a perfect fit with the four micro adjustment holes, and it also has a diver’s extension. This extension just flips out, rather than the ratcheting type you see on some divers. I think the ratcheting type might be more useful, than just the one size fits all approach that this one takes. But that is really the only knock I can find on the bracelet at all, and since I don’t dive, it’s no problem at all for me. The clasp is double locking and very secure, there is also a Boschett logo engraved on the small locking part of the clasp.
The Company, and Customer Service:
The next thing to consider when spending a lot of money on a product, and $600 is a lot of money for me to spend on a watch, is the company and people you are dealing with. With the bigger companies you pretty much know what to expect, which is usually average customer service from someone sitting at a desk and answering calls all day. With Boschett, as with most of the boutique brands I would expect, you get to actually talk to the owner of the company all the way through your buying process.
From pre sale questions, to the actual sale, and dealing with any issues after the sale, Keith Boschetti was a pleasure to deal with. I did have a small issue with a small mark on the hour hand and seconds hand of my watch when it first arrived. It was so small that I didn’t notice it until after I had already sized and worn the watch. I notified Keith, and he wanted me to send it to him, but instead he handled it the way I asked him to, which was send me a new set of hands, and some money to have a local person put the hands on for me. I loved the watch and didn’t want to be without it for the week or so it would have taken to send to Keith, so I thought this way would be better, and I would only be without it for a day or two. I took the watch to a local watch maker, who was listed on the official website that Keith had sent me a link to. When I got the watch back, there was dust all over the inside of it, and the metal ring was missing from the outside of one of the hour markers. I tried to call the guy back as soon as I noticed it, and his answering machine said he was going to be on vacation for two weeks. In desperation, I contacted Keith. He never gave me, an I told you so, or anything, he just said send it to me. I did and he took care of it beautifully, I had it back within a week, and it was perfect. I would gladly deal with Keith again in the future and highly recommend him and his watches to anyone. If there is one contribution I know I can make to this forum, it is this: Unless you know a good watchmaker through personal experience (and I know that some of you know some, but I don’t), always send your watch back to the manufacturer for repairs. They are doing you a favor when they insist that you do that, it may take longer to get your watch back, but it will be right when you get it, and it will save you a lot of heartache in the long run. At least, that was my experience.
Before I give my final conclusion on the watch, I need to tell you about an experience I had with it recently. I wore it to my doctor’s office. As I’m sitting there watching him write out my prescription, I notice that he has a nice looking watch on, and it has a smooth sweeping seconds hand, so I know it’s an automatic. I figure it’s usually only WIS types who wear automatics, so I ask him what kind of watch he’s wearing. He nonchalantly answers, “it’s a milgauss”, then takes it off and hands it to me. The first time in my life I’d ever held a Rolex. I was very impressed with the quality of it, and I tried to compare it to my watch. All I can say, is that in my very inexperienced opinion, the Boschett compared very well to the Rolex. The bracelet quality seemed about equal to me, the seconds hand didn’t seem to sweep any more smoothly on the Rolex, and I thought the overall fit and finish compared very well. We talk watches a while, he asks about mine, I take it off and hand it to him, and he says, Oh yeah I’ve heard of Boschett. He was also very impressed with the quality of it, and commented on the deepness of the blue dial, and quality of the bracelet.
As I said earlier, I’m a watch collecting newbie, so take my opinion for what it’s worth. This is the nicest watch I’ve ever owned, but I honestly expected to come away from an experience like comparing my watch next to a Rolex really bummed out at how my watch compared to it. Instead, I came away very happy with the quality of my watch for the price I paid for it. Am I saying that the Boschett is as good as a Rolex? Absolutely not, I’m sure the Rolex is better, but I honestly couldn’t see as much difference as I would have expected, and I certainly didn’t see $5000 worth of difference, not that there isn’t $5000 worth of difference, I’m sure there is, just saying this newbie can’t see it. Obviously there are internal differences that I can’t see, and I know Rolex has an in house movement, and is a very prestigious company, etc., and deservedly so, and I know that’s a lot of what you pay for with a brand like Rolex. But the Boschett compared much more favorably than I would have expected based on the price, that’s all I’m saying.
In the final conclusion, I think with Boschett, you get a very high quality watch, for a very low price. I still think $600 is a lot of money for a watch, but for what you get with Boschett it’s a bargain. I couldn’t be happier with my first choice of a true high quality, Swiss made watch, it always gives me pleasure to look down and see it on my wrist. It is classy enough to go with a suit, but dresses down with at T-shirt and jeans just fine too. Also, I’ve never seen anyone else wearing one, although my Doctor may have one soon;-), and so there is some exclusivity there. Of course, no non-WIS has any idea of the quality of the watch I’m wearing, most of them probably think it’s a $100 mall watch, but I like that too. And I’ve even had several non-WIS types comment on the attractiveness of the blue dial. Ultimately, no matter how great a watch is and how much of a bargain it is, if you don’t like the style of it, you’re not going to buy it. But if you like the style of any of the Boschetts, I think you’ll find they compare very well to just about any other brand you’re considering. It doesn’t have the prestige of the big name brands with the in house movements, but with the Ocean Mariner you can own a very high quality watch for $595.
Finally a word about this forum and it’s members. I would never have made this purchase without this forum. Not only did I become aware of Boschett through the forum, but I was able to talk to several forum members who owned the watches I was interested in through PMs. Every person I have had contact with on the forum has been extremely friendly and helpful. Especially helpful in this purchase was member Pallet Spoon. He was more than willing to share with me his knowledge of the watches I was considering, and was very gracious in allowing me to use his photos, and even quote him in this review. Thank you, my friend.
The obligatory wrist shots:
on my 6 1/2" wrist.
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for taking the time to read my review, I hope you found it helpful.
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