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The Diving SECTOR - Comprehensive review with pix

Introduction. I like basic dive watches. They are honest, straightforward, robust, powered by uncomplicated movements, and have a purpose. For these reasons, chronograph divers usually don't appeal to me. Then I learned about Sector and found a diving chrono I liked.

I had heard of Sector watches from watch magazines, but a post on another board about Sector divers piqued my interest. They looked tough and purposeful, which always appeals to me, but also stylish. I conducted some research and, as it turned out, my favorite dealer had a preowned Sector 600 in stock. I viewed a photo of it and the watch started to grow on me. I went to my dealer, viewed the watch, handled it and liked it, but delayed pulling the trigger. When I checked back on the 600, it had been sold. I was disappointed, but it was all for the best. Shortly thereafter, I found an online authorized dealer who agreed after some negotiation to sell me a new Sector for the same price as my local dealer. This time, I did not hesitate. I pulled the trigger. Four days later, the FedEx man pulled up with my Sector. It arrived ahead of schedule, which delighted me.

Packaging. I opened the package and found a fairly standard gift box. Inside, a round plastic case with a 360-degree see-through window housed the 600.

A credit card-style warranty card and a manual in six languages accompanied the watch. Decent packaging for the price point but not as impressive as similarly-priced competitors such as Zodiac.

Dial and Rotating Bezel. The Sector 600 sports a black, wavy-patterned dial. The markers are large, well lumed, and appear to be applied to the dial. Lume is good. The dial is a little busy. Minutes from zero to sixty are noted outside the markers; 24-hour time is displayed inside the markers. Eliminating the 24-hour scale would clean up the dial nicely.

The hour and minutes hands are large and easy to read. I really like the seconds hand, chrono minutes hand and fractional seconds hand. They are oblong loops and are pointed at the ends, which make the scales easy to read without obscuring the figures.

The unidirectional rotating bezel features a nice, big lumed dot at the 60. I like that a lot. I don't like the bezel's stiffness. It is hard to turn and the polished teeth make it hard to grip. Hopefully the bezel will loosen with use.

Casework. The Sector 600 is big, solid and heavy, with nicely executed casework. It is 44 mm by 15 mm and made of 316L stainless steel. The sides of the lugs are polished and their tops are brushed. Allen hex screws secure the crown shoulders, which adds to the robust look. The wavy dial theme is repeated on the caseback.

A very cool hinged protector shields the signed, screw-in crown. The protector, which appears to be a stainless steel casting, hinges upward from the top shoulder. A lá Ball, with no pun intended, a ball bearing with corresponding dimple secures the protector at the bottom.

Care is needed to avoid engaging the protector's lower edge in a crown groove. If that happens, the crown cannot be operated. Otherwise, the crown screws in and out easily.

Screw-down pushers operate the chrono functions. A solid sapphire crystal tops the case.

Bracelet. The Sector 600's bracelet is also solid and follows the watch's styling cues. The outside link grooves are polished while the links themselves are brushed. Both the clasp and its attaching link are signed. The bracelet incorporates a clever, ratcheted diver extension.

Pins held by tiny collars secure the links. Fortunately, the collars are not as tiny as DOXA, which made sizing the bracelet somewhat less stressful. Unfortunately, there are no fine sizing holes in the clasp.

Movement. I believe an ETA quartz movement powers the Sector 600. Of course, with quartz, accuracy is a non-issue. The hour hand sets separately from the minutes hand and changes the date, a lá Rolex. This is a great feature and not always found in watches at the Sector's price point. Pulling the crown out all the way sets hacks the seconds hand.

Comfort. There is no doubt the Sector 600 is on the wrist. The 600 has great wrist presence - and is heavy! I don't have a scale, but the watch feels about as heavy as my DOXA Caribbean. The case and bracelet have a wide footprint. At times the 600 has felt tight on my 61⁄2-inch wrist. Backing out the diver's extension a notch solves that problem.

Conclusion. The Sector 600 has a lot going for it. It has some great features usually found in more expensive watches, such as the separately-set hour hand, hinged crown protector and ratcheted diver's extension. The 600 has a tool-watch theme with a stylish execution. It is well built and robust, and very good looking.

I like the Sector 600. The more I wear it the more it grows on me. It compares well with divers in the same price range. The 600 is a good value as long as you pay $375 or less for it. Anything more makes it overpriced.
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