Microbrands have a distinct advantage in some areas of watchmaking over their larger, more established competitors. For one, they’re able to take more risks, changing their styles regularly and branching out into new areas of horology as and when they want to. The perfect example of this is Pompeak, the UK based microbrand that is launching their third collection, which is unlike anything they’ve done before: The Sub-Aquatic.
Their debut collection was a quartz chronograph, but it was their second outing that really brought them to everyone’s attention. The Gentlemen’s collection featured Japanese automatic mechanical movements, a cool open balance wheel and a uniquely textured face, all combined to create a very attractive and capable timepiece.
The Sub-Aquatic is their first dip into the arena of diving watches, and it marks an all-round improvement to every aspect of the watchmaking process, showing a genuine desire by the brand to learn from their releases and act on community feedback.
Stylistically, the Sub-Aquatic owes a lot to the iconic divers of the past. There is a definite Omega Seamaster 300 flavour in the bold ceramic insert bezel but that’s no bad thing, especially as the Sub-Aquatic is a literal fraction of the price and is punching well above its weight aesthetically. The 40mm 904L stainless steel case is also suitably rugged and exceptionally corrosion resistant for diving – which this piece is good for up to a depth of 200m.
A lot of the design process was completed with the brand’s community input, meaning that every nuance or design reference is exactly what the buyers want, and it just goes to show they have good taste. The collection was launched with two dial options, with a further being unlocked through their first Kickstarter stretch goal, all certainly fit the diving requirement of being super legible without compromising on style. The textured version is nice with its multi-layer effect from the applied indices, while the black-blue fade option can’t be dismissed either with its clear nod to the aquatic world.
In my opinion this the best looking Pompeak watch to date, and feels like a more natural timepiece from the brand. But it’s not just the exterior that’s had an upgrade in the new collection, this is the first of their watches to feature a swiss movement, the Sellita SW200-1. The progression from quartz to automatic Japanese movements and finally to automatic Swiss movements is an upward trajectory in quality that is promising for the future.
However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, the SW200-1 is by no means a horological masterpiece, but it is a very respectable movement with a solid 38-hour power reserve, a real work horse piece. And for the price, it’s hard to beat.
We’ve mentioned price a couple of times so, what is the price? Well on Kickstarter right now you can pre-order it for £419 as part of the Early Bird special, in addition to multi-piece discounts and strap options, including an offer of two Sub-Aquatics for £670. That’s insane value!
The Sub-Aquatic is expected to ship around November 2021, but the Kickstarter ends on May 5th so you’ll need to be quick to secure the best offers (up to 46% off future retail!!).
Price & Specs:
Model: Pompeak Sub-Aquatic
Case/Dial: 40mm diameter x 13mm height, stainless steel, deep blue/black gradient or 3D textured dial
Water Resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: Sellita SW200-1 calibre, automatic, 26 jewels
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power Reserve: 38h
Functions: Hour, minutes, seconds, date
Strap: Stainless steel or rubber
Price/Availability: £419 (pre-order price as part of the Early Bird special)