Oceaneva was founded with the aim of creating stylish diving watches for accessible prices and the new Oceaneva GMT Automatic 1250m fits that design ethos down to a T. It’s based on iconic diver’s watches of the 1960s, although the specs are very modern with an impressive water resistance tested in the ocean itself.
Structurally, the Oceaneva GMT Automatic is based on their incredibly popular quartz edition from a few years back, the Deep Marine Explorer GMT (featured in our Best Microbrand Watches of 2023 guide). That means it has a 42mm stainless steel case with a 1,250m water resistance rating, which remains one of the highest water resistance ratings of any GMT on the market. Even the watches that inspired the Oceaneva, like the Rolex GMT Master II and Tudor Black Bay GMT, are only water resistant to around 100m-300m.
Plus, Oceaneva are one of the only watch brands in the world to test their water resistance in real life conditions and the first American-based watch brand to do so. What this means is that they’ve actually taken their watches into the dark, aquatic depths to see how they perform. Most watchmakers use tank simulations for their tests, not the real ocean.
In 2021, the Deep Marine Explorer GMT quartz was strapped to the outside of a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) and had its limits tested. Not only did it survive the submersion to its 1,250m rating, it surpassed it, reaching a depth of 1,362m – 112m deeper than its rating – before any issues occurred with the caseback becoming concaved. However, the submersible continued downwards to a depth of 1,623m and the sapphire crystal survived. The new automatic variant hasn’t yet had such an exciting adventure but as the case is the same it should have similar performance.
Aesthetically, there are nine different colourways available. First up there are three bright blue dial versions with GMT bezels in combinations of red/blue, black/blue, blue/orange and then there are four grey versions with the same bezels plus a fourth in black/green. Lastly there are a pair of dark blue and silver dial editions with blue/silver bezels. As for the display itself, the homage to past icons is clear to see in the over size circular, rectangular and triangle hour markers as well as the Mercedes style hands.
Beneath the surface is housed the Seiko NH34 GMT movement. It’s an automatic movement with a 41-hour power reserve and Seiko’s proprietary Diashock shock absorber system, keeping the movement ticking even if it takes a bash while you’re swimming. The calibre features hours, minutes, seconds, GMT and date functions.
What really secures the Oceaneva GMT Automatic 1250m as a formidable diving watch that you have to consider is its value. Its regular price is $999 (approx. £800) with a pre-order price of just $249.99 (approx. £200) ahead of expected delivery in June 2023.
Price & Specs:
- Model: Oceaneva GMT Automatic 1250m
- Ref:BK.BL.NH.BK.GMT.ST (black dial, black/blue bezel), BK.BL.NH.OY.GMT.S (black dial, blue/orange bezel), BK.GR.NH.BK.GMT.ST (black dial, black/green bezel), BK.RD.NH.BL.GMT.ST (black dial, blue/red bezel), BL.BL.NH.BK.GMT.ST (blue dial, black/blue bezel), BL.BL.NH.OY.GMT.ST (blue dial, blue/orange bezel), BL.BL.NH.WH.GMT.ST (blue dial, blue/silver bezel), BL.RD.NH.BL.GMT.ST (blue dial, blue/red bezel), WH.BL.NH.WH.GMT.ST (silver dial, blue/silver bezel)
- Case/dial: 42mm diameter x 15.5mm thickness, stainless steel case, blue, black or silver dial, blue/silver, black/green, blue/red, black/blue, red/blue or blue/orange bezel
- Water resistance: 1250m (125 bar)
- Movement: Seiko calibre NH34, automatic, 24 jewels
- Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
- Power reserve: 41h
- Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, GMT
- Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
- Price/availability: Pre-order for $249.99 (approx. £200), RRP $999 (approx. £800)
More details at Oceaneva.