BACKGROUND Last month PANTOR Watches sent me their latest prototype divers model, the Sealion which was produced in partnership with a 25 years experienced watchmaker - to see what I thought of it. My findings are, below.
I‘ve had prior experience with Pantor’s flagship diver, the Seahorse which was a pretty decent diver if not (for want of a better word) a bit of beast of a watch. You can read my review of it HERE and you can see what the blue dial version looks like HERE.
The Sealion by comparison has been designed to be more wearable than its heftier sibling – not necessarily a dress diver but something that could be worn comfortably with a shirt or even by the fairer sex.
DESIGN The Sealion is based on a classic cushion cased diver from back in the day. The cushion case is arguably one of the most popular vintage dive watch styles – simple, elegant and timeless. There are loads of them about but with good reason.
This cushion case has been paired with a selection of color-coded dials and bezels of which three colors are available: black, blue or green. The green version shown here is quite reminiscent of a Sub Kermit in its coloring – when the light catches it, the GREEN really pops.
DIAL The Sealion’s dial is pretty unfussy – a good thing on a diver. Some might say generic in its style but it works. The text is really small, hands are pretty nice though – a combination of sword for minutes and block for hours. All hands and markers are lumed with C3 SupeLumiNova. Even the seconds has been lumed.
CASE The vintage inspired Sealion has a 316L Stainless steel case. The case has these beautifully beveled and polished sides with circular brushing on its top. The contrast of the polished sides and brushed tops is pretty stunning in the light.
DIVERs features of the Sealion include: a screwdown caseback and crown, a flat anti-reflective treated Sapphire crystal and a unidirectional rotational divers bezel with a white dive-time scale and luminous pip at 12 o’clock.
If I’m to be critical the lume pip is ever so slightly off-center. Not such a fan of aluminum inlays with painted on markers either – where’s the ceramic? On the left side of the case at 9 o’clock is an automatic HEV. Water-resistance is 300m/990ft.
The divers bezel is nice and tight, though – its movement isn’t exactly smooth but there is no unwanted play. The crown is a little fiddly but is sturdy enough. It has been signed with a small Sealion motif.
The same Sealion can be seen engraved on the watch’s caseback. It’s a little bit cutsey-cutsey but at the same time as certain amount of charm to it. We can’t expect all our dive watches to be named after sea monsters!
On the WRIST The Sealion measures 42mm by 12.6mm thick with a lug-lug length of just 45mm – so you can see, these proportions are quite comfort inspiring.
The watch comes on a lovely soft, but not flimsy silicone rubber divers strap which combined with the ever so slightly downwardly curved lugs means that the watch is very comfy on the wrist – you hardly notice it’s there.
MOVEMENTs The Sealion comes with a choice of two automatic movements – a Japanese made Seiko NH35A or Swiss made ETA 2824-2. The prototype that you see here is fitted with the ETA – unfortunately there is nothing on the caseback to signify this – however, I am assured that all production models will say whatever movement is powering them on their casebacks.
Final THOUGHTS The Sealion while a little predictable in its styling does have plenty of charm and appeal. It has been put together very nicely and with a certain amount of care. There are a slew of vintage inspired divers on the market –
some have bolder personalities than others, but the Sealion is one of the most affordable and understated of them and makes a nice change from wearing a brick on your wrist.
PRICEs start from 329USD – 549USD. Follow the link HERE or embedded, below for more info.