In Focus Watches

Oceaneva Celebrate 5 Year Anniversary of Creating Accessible and Rugged Dive Watches

Oceaneva GMT Deep Marine Explorer 1250M

The watch industry is often a place where dreams and desires crash into the brick wall of reality. Yes, that Vacheron Constantin is lovely, but it also has a six-figure price tag. Yes, that Rolex is awesome, but it has a multi-year waiting list. One brand determined to combat these blockades of exclusivity is Oceaneva, who on their five-year anniversary are as committed to producing high quality, affordable watches as they were when they started this journey in 2019.

Taking us back to 2019 and the founding of Oceaneva, the brand started in the same manner as many microbrands. After 13 years in grey market watch sales and seeing first-hand the frustrations of customers, the founder wanted to show that it was possible to create watches in a customer-friendly way. With professional level specs, solid mechanical movements and very little mark up.

Oceaneva Deep Marine Explorer III 3000M
Oceaneva Deep Marine Explorer III 3000M

Oceaneva Deep Marine Explorer III 3000M, £439

After taking inspiration from a local statue of Neptune in Virginia, USA, for the logo and combining the words ocean and Geneva (the traditional home of watchmaking) to create the name Oceaneva, a new brand was created. Of course, a watch brand needs watches and after a sell-out debut timepiece, they’ve gone only from strength to strength.

Jumping forward a few years, Oceaneva released what has become one of their signature timepieces, the Deep Marine Explorer III. A 42mm steel dive watch housing the well respected Sellita SW 200-1 automatic movement with a mind boggling 3000m water resistance rating.

Oceaneva GMT Titanium Automatic 1250m

Oceaneva GMT Titanium Automatic 1250M

What’s more, instead of relying on lab tests, they actually strapped the watch to the outside of a submersible vehicle and sent it into the deep. They’re the first USA watch brand to undertake this type of real-world testing, which is something you typically only hear from prestige brands like Rolex and Omega.

Oceaneva Deep Marine Explorer II Titanium

Oceaneva Deep Marine Explorer II, £399

With watches like the Deep Marine Explorer II in 2023, they were also at the forefront of the titanium watch trend that would come to dominate the latter half of the year and which has continued to today, embracing the high-tech material with its lightweight properties and high strength while also making it accessible. When I say accessible, I’m talking about a 1,250m titanium watch with mechanical movement for £419. The value is incredible.

Oceaneva GMT Deep Marine Explorer 1250M

Oceaneva GMT Deep Marine Explorer 1250M, £183

The other signature element of Oceaneva watches, beyond their technical execution, is the sheer range of colours and variants available for each watch. Most of their references have a dozen or more colourways ranging from classic styles to more Avant Garde combinations with a healthy mixture of finishes and designs.

At time of writing, Oceaneva has seven core collections, meaning there are around 90 different watches available – while they may have started life similarly to a microbrand, it’s clear that on Oceaneva’s five-year anniversary they have quickly outstripped that label.

Oceaneva Deep Marine Explorer II 1250M Pro Diver Copper
Oceaneva Deep Marine Explorer II 1250M Pro Diver Mother of Pearl

Oceaneva Deep Marine Explorer II 1250M, £399

What about the next five years? According to the founder, “we plan to continue designing new products to meet the ongoing demand. Over the past five years, we’ve sold thousands of pieces and received several buyout offers from industry companies. However, I’m not interested in retiring yet. At 46, I still have a lot of ideas and am enjoying building the brand.” As to those new designs, the future holds more than dive watches, “we’re considering expanding our line to include a hand-wind dress watch towards the end of this year.”

More details at Oceaneva.

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