Marnaut Dark Surge 300 T

There are two things you expect to see on the bottom of the sea floor. Sea anemones and lost diving watches – at least, that’s what I’ve come to assume is happening to the vast numbers of underwater-slanted timepieces being pumped out. In Croatian watch brand Marnaut’s Dark Surge though, there’s a fair bit of crossover between the two.

The first thing you notice about the watch is the dial and, more specifically, it’s the dots that, like emergency airplane lighting, lead the way from the centre to the indexes. These rows of lume-filled dots are actually taken from the symmetrical pattern of an urchin shell,  a striking if subtle (unless you know what to look for) link to the watch’s diving functionality.

At the end of the urchin shell patterns are elongated indexes and numerals at 12, 3, 6 and 9 that are easy to read, even if they feel a little pushed to the edge of the watch. They’re smaller than I’m used to seeing on a diver, but there’s enough lume that you’ll never lose them in low light. In fact, the SuperLumiNova C3 is very, very bright.

Marnaut Dark Surge 300 T

The bezel carries on the symmetrical consistency and white on black contrast with indexes to match those on the dial. The usual countdown markings of a diving bezel are missing, instead opting for a more minimal look. It’s still unidirectional, so you don’t need to worry about knocking it the wrong way.

The lozenge-shaped case is as solid a piece of metal as you could ask for from a diving watch, water resistant to 300m and with a good amount of retro charm to boot. It’s the perfect size in my opinion at 42mm, and the curved lugs help it sit nicely on the wrist. The rubber strap is comfortable too, making the Dark Surge one of the more ergonomically unobtrusive diving watches out there.

Marnaut Dark Surge 300 T

The final aesthetic flourish is the M engraved on the solid caseback, which matches that on the crown. I’d have liked to see the same sea urchin pattern repeated for symmetry’s sake, but for functionality’s sake this works better (and is likely less expensive) than a more ornate caseback.

Indeed, value for money is a big part of the Dark Surge. Marnaut opted for a Miyota 9015 Automatic with 42-hour power reserve which, while running just as well as a Swiss number, is less well-finished. Given that the watch has a solid caseback, who cares? Especially when it brings the price of this solid, unique-looking diver down to just £448.49.

Price & Specs:

Brand: Marnaut
Model: Dark Surge 300 T (Two Tone)
Case/Dial: 42mm diameter x 13mm thickness, stainless steel
Water Resistance: 300m (30 bar)
Movement: Miyota 9015 Automatic, automatic
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power Reserve: 42h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Strap: Leather strap & rubber strap
Price: £448.49

More details at Marnaut’s website.