WatchUSeek Watch Forums banner
  • Hello WatchUSeek! We are hosting an Ask Me Anything with Ian Schon of Schon Horology and Schon DSNG beginning on Tuesday, February 23rd at Noon, EST and closing on Thursday, February 25th at Noon EST. If you don't know of him, Ian is a desginer maker and was a senior product designer at IDEO. He is an engineer, designer and machinist who manufacturers his own watches, and also pens! If you've ever wanted to ask a question directly to a one-man watch maker, don't miss out! You can find the AMA here.

1 - 20 of 42 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,768 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Halios Laguna



I had decided to buy the Laguna long before I ever saw it. The Holotype was a freakishly good first attempt by a new watch company and I loved its Tonka truck-ness (it was the Holotype that rekindled the WIS in me after a fair hiatus). The Bluering that followed was a real depature, though the existing Halios DNA was present in spades. It mixed uncompromising readability with a case so svelte it still catches my eye two years later. I was impressed with Jason Lim's capacity to bring an off-centre design sensibility into reality. It was this which made me take more notice of Halios than any other boutique brand. When he said he was making a sport oriented dive watch with a 1970's aesthetic I mentally cleared a space in my watch drawer before I had even seen the renderings.



Specs:
Brushed stainless steel case
43mm width, 49mm lug-to-lug, 14.5mm thick
4mm flat internal AR sapphire crystal
ETA 2824-2 automatic movement
Internal rotating bezel (non-screwdown bi-directional crown)
500m WR
C3 Superluminova hands, dial and bezel markers
Intergrated brushed stainless steel Halios bracelet
Isofrane 1968 rubber strap with Halios buckle



Initial impression:
The Laguna is a time warp. Its all about the retro feel and benefits from being dressed down slightly; leather, rubber, some nylon...mmm, nice.



Case:
Done in a fine brushed stainless steel. Its a good size in every respect and will suit many more wrists than other divers of similar heft. The bezel enclosure gives it height that looks a little like it's standing up saying 'looka me!' but it provides a unique profile to the watch and is a visual asset. The lug-to-lug is under 50mm which makes the watch look wider proportionally and, effectively, square. Together with the bezel enclosure this creates a sophisication that is well beyond the standard slab-sided boutique effort. Interestingly, this watch could just have easily been a hooded lug design and would have worked really well. The case is exceptionally comfortable (especially on the Isofrane) and the Laguna could be used as a daily wearer.



The lugs are well sorted and though the pin holes are set middle-ish to low there is no watch-head flop on rubber. There is a nice pin setup for the bracelet to ensure a snug fit to the watch (which is great attention to detail given the price point).

The case-back design is ok I suppose but seriously Jason, you really think the gracefully gliding blue shark engraving was better than my 'two palm trees and Halios moons on the water-front' effort??? Pffft ;-)



Bracelet/strap:
I don't wear bracelets but this one is a bespoke integrated effort; its really very nice, perfectly suited to the watch and fits precisely to the watch head. Halios have always put in an effort with their bracelets and this deserves genuine applause. The watch comes with an Isofrane 1968 series isoprene strap and stamped Halios buckle (on the underside) which look fantastic on the watch. I dont like big buckles at all but this one breaks the mold. It is shaped and chamfered perfectly to sit flat and be unobtrusive - its perfect. As a strap guy it doesn't really get much better than that - game, set, and match to the Laguna on the strap front. (sorry Raza)



Dial:
The dial is a matt black which looks dark grey under direct light. It is clear Jason spent a lot of time on the aesthetic balance of the dial and it is amazing that he has been able to maintain the trademark Halios legibility while refining the markers and hands to virtually dress watch appearance. Its quite a feat. There is no brand with better 'at-a-glance' readability than the offerings from Halios...and nothing has changed with the Laguna.

The date at 3 is centered and white on black as it should be. The date window has a gloss frame which I didn't feel thrilled about in the renderings but in person looks good. The Halios logo is similarly embossed/raised and provides a balance for the date window frame. The rest of the dial contains only the painted Halios and Laguna names and the 500m depth rating. Its clean and crisp. The crystal is sapphire with internal AR. Because the dial is relatively shallow reflections are minimal and the overall effect is to make it seem like there is no crystal there at all a lot of the time.



Hands:
These are just about my favourite part of the watch. A refined sword shape with chrome borders and awesome lume. They are correctly proportioned and Jason hasn't put anything stupid on the second hand (a really annoying trend of recent times)...no lego blocks, no anchors, tridents, or logos. Thank god for small mercies.



Bezel:
There is an internal bezel...urgh. I was prepared to put up with it as a gadget because I liked the look of the watch so much but truth be known I am actually liking it. The action is spot on - smooth (non-clicky) and heavy. It gives an elegant visual impact with no loss of dive watch function (so yes, I'm seeing the point of it). The bezel slants backward at a highish rake, providing real visual interest and finishes seemlessly at the dial to provide a coherent appearance. There is nothing 'tacked-on' about anything on the Laguna - there has been a lot of thought put into each element and the bezel really works well on this watch - visually and functionally.

The lume on the bezel and hands is slightly more intense and sits physically higher than that on the dial. In person this gives the watch an interesting 3D depth that you don't pick up in photos. Its very cool without becoming gaudy or distracting. Moving the reflector on full lume at night will push Star Trek nerd buttons you didn't know you had.

There are 3 bezel colours available and having spent time with the black am happy with it. I think I would be equally happy with the black and orange too.



Crown:
The timing crown is a solid feeling deep-grooved screw-down cap style arrangement at the 4 position and is well sized for fat fingers like mine. When you unscrew it you can see an external thread and gasket being exposed - the opposite system to the bulk of watches we see around here. The bezel crown is the same in every physical respect, although it doesn't screw-down and sits at the 2 position. Because it its not a screw-down you can use the internal bezel underwater.

The crowns are both easy to grip and function sweetly. The external thread on the timing crown engages easily and there is no wobble at all. Both crowns have the Halios logo engraved on their ends.



Movement:
The Laguna comes with the base ETA 2824-2 movement. A good choice and not a lot more needs to be said. Mine has kept good time since I have had it though I have not tested it for accuracy yet.


Pros:
Awesome case
Highly transparent crystal
Internal bezel
Clean dress oriented dial
Great looking bracelet
Best strap/buckle ever
Usual Halios lume levels
Price (given the package)

Cons:
Internal bezel
Dress oriented dial


Conclusion:
My first love in watches is beefy tool-oriented dive watches. The Laguna is dressier than I expected and when it first came out of its box I needed a moment to adjust to what it was rather than what I wanted it to be. I have worn it a couple of days and I am seeing the watch for what it is now. My SAS SEA-1 feels like it tries to bridge the tool/dress diver gap by being a toolish diver with a gorgeous finish and shape - like putting a suit on Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Laguna is much slicker than that. The Laguna is Daniel Craig with 70's sideburns.

There are a few watches whose design, execution and price make them horological sweet spots for the everyman. The UTS 500m and Korsbeck Oceaneer are great examples (I wanted the Bluering to be one of those watches but it isn't). The Laguna isn't either but damn if its not getting really close. Halios have a history of making the right watch each time and the Laguna is the right watch for Halios to build a brand going forward. Quite simply, unreservedly, you should buy one.

 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,512 Posts
Nice review, I am tempted by this despite the internal bezel. I would like to see Jason come out with an all orange bezel, I like the two tone one but really feel the more balance look would fit the watch style better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,990 Posts
That looks awesome, despite the Isofrane! I'm worried that it'll be a bit small for me, since the Bluering wears small for its size and this measures smaller.

One thing that's interesting though; the Holotype and Bluering both come with drilled lugs, but this doesn't? How easy is it to get the bracelet off? Because I'll tell you, I have tried forever to get the bracelet off my Chase-Durer and it just isn't happening.

What color does the lume glow?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,768 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
That looks awesome, despite the Isofrane! I'm worried that it'll be a bit small for me, since the Bluering wears small for its size and this measures smaller.

One thing that's interesting though; the Holotype and Bluering both come with drilled lugs, but this doesn't? How easy is it to get the bracelet off? Because I'll tell you, I have tried forever to get the bracelet off my Chase-Durer and it just isn't happening.

What color does the lume glow?
It wears bigger than the BR, the reflector opens up the face quite a bit. If you are ok with the BR size the Laguna will feel perfect.

It is green lume (C3 Superluminova) all over.

Strap changes have been really easy. I don't really like the way holes in the lugs look if they are 'undressed' so its neither here nor there for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
413 Posts
Well ****. I'd decided not to get this even though I really, really like it because it'd probably be too big for my chopstick arms, but this review is tempting me again :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37,087 Posts
Great review and I love your pics. Great job!
I also love the watch and have decided to re-rethink my decision:) I'll get one after reading your review:)
Thank you for sharing and wear it in good health.
Brice
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
768 Posts
This has just reinforced my happiness with ordering one of these. I'm expecting an orange/black variant, and as of today, it hit the US shores. I'm hoping to have it by Tuesday. This watch is going to be a great addition to my small collection......right now just my Tortuga. The two will make a nice retro duo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
606 Posts
Excellent review - very well done. Yours is the first if I'm not mistaken; others have a tough act to follow.
I'll definitely be picking up one of these soon. I myself like the black dial/gray bezel variant. It's a lot if watch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,140 Posts
Love your new addition, looks really cool. It reminds me slightly of à Glycine Lagunare, wear it with joy!

Eric
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,306 Posts
this one actualy has me rethinking my whole collection philosophy. I've got watches I like and are a fantastic value, but I think if I flipped a few for this that I'd not miss em. thanks for a great review
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
Nice watch. It's a winner. Definitely getting one of these! Thanks for the time you took for your review. |>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,059 Posts
Great review and photos, esp. how you show the hands with their different looks in the light. It looks terrific on the black zulu!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,479 Posts
"The Laguna is Daniel Craig with 70's sideburns"

That's a great description, love it.

Thanks for taking the time to write your review. Pictures are great and I really enjoyed reading it. I think it looks great on the Isofrane. It's pretty cool that he included it at that price point.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,768 Posts
Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Great review and I love your pics. Great job!
I also love the watch and have decided to re-rethink my decision:) I'll get one after reading your review:)
Thank you for sharing and wear it in good health.
Brice
Thanks Brice :)

I tried for a soft focus and light flare to fit with the retro feel of the watch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,151 Posts
Really well-written and a pleasure to read. Love all the detail and the great photos. I know it ain't easy to assemble so many excellent photos and impressions into a nice cohesive piece like that. Well done indeed! Reviews like this really make this place worthwhile, so thank you for taking the time and care to do it! :-!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,741 Posts
Wow, really good review Bedlam! I totally agree with your thoughts on the first time seeing it in person, that's EXACTLY what I thought! It's a tad too dressy for me but it also fits nicely in my collection of "tool" divers, kinda gives me a little diversity!
 
1 - 20 of 42 Posts
Top