Right at the tail end of 2022 Ralf Tech made a splash in the dive watch scene with the launch of The Beast, a 3,000m diver to rival the deep-sea watches of both Omega and Rolex. Naturally, we covered its launch at the time, but I couldn’t shake the desire to see the watch in the metal – if for no other reason than to try on a 47.7mm diameter watch and see how it feels.
Taking The Beast out of its case, its sheer presence in the room is unavoidable. This is a watch that is incapable of subtlety. It is unapologetically in your face. It’s… big. The facetted, cushion case is broad and thick, emphasising The Beast’s presence to an even higher degree. You can’t help but be swept up into its bravado and even I, a person who knows that any watch bigger then 42mm doesn’t suit me, begins to think that I could pull it off.
Strapping it on, it quickly becomes apparent that I cannot in fact pull it off. The lugs practically overhang the sides of my wrist and it’s only a small exaggeration to say that the case feels like it’s going the full length from my wrist to my elbow. There’s also the weight, made from stainless steel it has a substantial heft to it. But then, this is a watch designed for use underwater where weight has less of an impact.
With it sitting on my wrist, I can easily picture that this watch’s character would totally change under water. The oversize dial, the chunky durability, the black PVD case, the 3,000m water resistance would all make sense beneath the waves. It all comes back to that element of unapologetic-ness I described before: this is a dive watch and so it has design elements that make it good at diving, considerations about how it wears on the land be damned. It’s an attitude I wish more watchmakers would take; watchmaking wouldn’t be quite so stale as it can sometimes be.
Flipping the piece over reveals a solid caseback with an engraving paying tribute to the French movement housed within as well as its limited-edition number. The movement is the RTM001 from Pequignet, an automatic calibre with a 77-hour power reserve. It’s also a limited edition of 77 pieces, which can’t be a coincidence.
The best way I can describe this watch is Beast by name, beast by nature. Would I wear this watch? Not really. Am I glad it exists? Undoubtably. If only so that Omega and Rolex aren’t stuck in a two-horse race to the bottom of the ocean with similar designs in the Deepsea and Ultra Deep. The Beast offers a fresh alternative within the realm of deep divers. This version with PVD coating is priced at €7,000 (approx. £6,160).
Price & Specs:
- Model: Ralf Tech The Beast Manufacture First Edition
- Ref: TBM 1101 (black PVD coating)
- Case/dial: 47.7mm diameter, stainless steel case with black PVD coating, black dial
- Water resistance: 3000m (300 bar), 4000m (400 bar) in static conditions
- Movement: Pequignet calibre RTM001, automatic
- Power reserve: 77h
- Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
- Strap: Black canvas fabric with black leather backing
- Price/availability: €7,000 (approx. £6,045), limited to 77 pieces
More details at Ralf Tech.