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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have been asked by a number of folks to create a comparison between the Marine Diver and the Vintage Sub. I hope you enjoy the review and comparison and please add your comments and pictures and let us all know how you feel about your watch and your version and why you love it.

Tisell is a small company from South Korea that makes some fine watches, but is not that well known outside of S Korea besides on the forums. That's unfortunate, as I have had nothing but excellent experiences with them. Mr Oh at Tisell is a true joy to work with. Very personable and very fast to reply, especially given the language barrier and that he seems to be a one man show. I am very impressed.

The two watches that seem to garner the most attention in these Dive Forums are the Marine Diver in its many forms and the newer Vintage Submersible. I own both. This will be my personal take on the two models.

First off, let's get this out of the way. Yes....these look eerily similar to the Rolex Submariner and to some, that's where they stop. The claims of 'It's a rip off' are the usual cry from many. Let me tell you, those who dismiss these watches are the ones missing out. If a label and a crown matter more to you than a great watch at an incredible price point, then that's your call. Me? I've had all kinds of watches, up to and including Rolex. I have no issues wearing these watches and I do so because I love them, not because they look like a Rolex (they do), but because they're well made and very reliable and also they're unique when you really take a moment to look at them close up. They are NOT 1:1 copies of any Submariner model and that's why I like them so much. They have their own distinct personality. The case design is the standard 40mm affair, but the lugs are thicker than the original Submariner and thinner than the new model, which is a great middle ground. I think that decision was perfect. The caseback sits closer to the case, making the watch sit closer to the wrist as well. Obviously having a look very close to a Rolex will draw criticism and scrutiny, but if you don't do your homework, you are really missing out. These watches feature the Miyota 9015 (or 90S5) movement and are all tightly regulated by Mr Oh. To be blunt, the Vintage Sub that I own from them has been the most accurate watch I have ever owned. Mine loses about a second every three days. Yes, I said one second every three days. I am still amazed at that level of precision. Is the movement louder than other movements when it winds? Yes. Is it noticeable? Not unless you hold it up to your ear or find yourself in an sound chamber.....so if you are that much of a purist and cannot handle that, then this is not the watch for you. But if a super solid watch that's very well designed and assembled, has 200m water resistance, and costs only $220 SHIPPED to you speaks to you, then read on. This is hands down the best $220 I have EVER spent on any product, let alone watch.

With the Marine Diver and Vintage Sub, the differences are subtle but distinctive.

The Marine Diver takes design cues from the older Submariner and the newer Submariner....it's a classic and modern look that blends very well. The Marine Diver comes with a flat sapphire crystal (double AR coating), a real ceramic bezel insert complete with engraving, a Glidelock design clasp (more on that in a minute), and much more. You can get this model in a variety of color combinations (black, blue, green, date or no date), and all watches feature BGW9 lume. The dial is a glossy design and very clean...the print isn't incoherent nor does it feature too much text. As previously mentioned, why this model isn't a Sub clone appears in the small details. The lugs, as mentioned, the crown guards are the newer Sub design, which work well on this case design. The bezel is different than the Submariner as well, it sits a little prouder than the Rolex....so it has a slightly different profile. All of these small design choices lead to a product that is its own look and feel. One thing is the end links....I want to discuss those. The Submariner has a very clean tucked in end link, whereas this model has ones that protrude slightly further out in the center link than on the Submariner. On some wrists, this may provide a protrusion of sorts, but for the most part, coupled with thw flatter caseback, this allows the watch to really hug your wrist flat.

The Vintage Submersible came out in early 2017. The watch uses the same case design as the Marine Diver but makes some sweeping changes that give it a truly vintage look and feel. If you want a modern take on a Rolex 5512/5513 or Red Sub, this is your watch. This model features a brushed and engraved ceramic bezel insert (something that is absolutely gorgeous to look at in person and I tried to capture it's beauty in the photos below and on my IG feed), a slightly flatter dial color tone with a subtle sunburst finish that in certain light looks matte black and in other types of light is a true sunburst (very good job by Tisell on this, I have yet to see another watch brand do this as well as they have), has strong C3 lume on the dial and hands, has a boxed sapphire crystal, and the bezel itself sits closer to the case and has more pronounced teeth than the Marine Diver. The dial also has a single line of text that is red, whereas the balance of the text is in vintage white. Both watches share the same end links and bracelet/Glidelock style clasp.

They wear the same, as they share the same case.....but they look different and that's a good thing.

Enjoy the pics below and please share your thoughts and pics as well. Also, please go to my IG page for a ton more pics. Not a self promotion, just where I keep all my pics. All the watches on this original post are my own.

If you are on the fence about these watches or think it's a ripoff, let me assure you, unless you are a label wearer, you will not find a better value watch anywhere. Hell, I wear these more than any other watch I have owned. Plus, if I happen to destroy one or lose it, I'm out $220. Even if you are wealthy, you can appreciate that.

In short, BUY ONE (or more). You will not be disappointed.

 

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Well-stated Dec1968! I have the Tissell Marine Diver in both blue and green and would be up for the Submersible. I could not agree with you more about the outstanding quality for $220. Of course, there is a hiccup or two, e.g. the glidelock is considerably less smooth than the Rolex version (wait! Did he say glidelock?), but the fact that it even has a glidelock, and that it works nonetheless, is both incredible and often under appreciated. Nice review and pics!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I neglected to explain the Glidelock (as mentioned in the review) and the reason why my watches do not have the Glidelock clasp......the Tisell take on it works fine, except that the links used are slightly wider than the interior opening, which prevents the links from going too far into the clasp itself.......something Mr Oh himself said to me.....so you have very little adjustment. I am a huge fan of folded clasps anyways, so I swapped mine out for folded clasps. To me they look better with the folded clasp.
 

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Dec1968, a well done comparative review and great pics. :-!
 
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I have seen a few threads on these watches in the past and have heard only good things. I’m surprised that a $200 diver from a small company is as nice as these seem but I think surely they are one of the underrated brands especially at the price point. Nice watch and nice review
 
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