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Related to the Addiesdive watch: NH35A H8
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I’ve been collecting automatic watches for a while now, from low end to high, and I am picky and hard to please. At this price point, I expect to be disappointed. Which is why I said “wow!” out loud as soon as I unpacked this one.
It’s a flagrant copy of a beloved collector’s watch made by Seiko, called the “Captain Willard”, but that’s not why I said “wow!”. It’s called the Captain Willard because one was worn by Captain Willard in the film “Apocalypse Now.” Seiko has reissued the watch under the model number SPB153. The Seiko, though, is much more expensive than this Addiesdive. Whether or not it’s ok to make “homage” watches like this is a hot topic with collectors but it’s outside the scope of this review. I’m just going to talk about the watch itself.
Construction quality is top notch at this price point. It feels as solid as my Orient Mako or any Seiko 5. The unidirectional bezel is smooth as buttah, has limited backplay, and you can feel every one of the 120 clicks. This bezel feels nicer in my hands than the Orient bezels. Unlike the Captain Willard, there is no pip in the triangle at 12:00, but that little detail is unimportant. In fact, it looks cleaner without the pip, and since the bezel insert is lumed, you don’t need a pip anyway. Those are there to ensure you can find the arrow by feel even in the dark. By the way, the lume on this thing is fantastic! It’s bright AF at first, dims down quickly, and when you’re dark adapted, allows you to see the time all night long.
The movement has hacking (it stops when you pull out the crown), hand winding, and a quickset date complication. I threw it on my timegrapher and found the results to be slightly better than average; mine loses about 15-20 seconds a day, with a 0.2ms beat error, and an amplitude of 259 degrees. That beat error is good, and the amplitude indicates the watch has plenty of energy but is not going crazy. I’d prefer if it gained time instead of losing time, but this result really is pretty good for any automatic watch except the high-end stuff. Ditto for the rate of 21,600 beats per hour. Higher-end watches often tick a little faster at 28,800 bph, so the sweeping of the second hand looks a little smoother, but it’s really a small thing. The listing says it’s an NH35A movement, which is made by Seiko. This movement is behaving well.
The signed crown here is a screw-down type. It screws down to keep water out, so it’s important to keep it screwed down except when setting the time or winding the watch. But, you won’t need to set the time often as the watch winds itself on your wrist. You will have to advance the date by a day every time there’s a month shorter than 31 days; this is the case with most watches, even Rolexes.
The dial is jet black, with applied markers and a nicely printed logo and index markers. At some angles, the dial looks bluish because of the antireflective coating on the crystal. I think the effect is lovely. By the way, the crystal is synthetic sapphire. You will have to work very hard indeed to scratch it. Long after your watch is all beat to hell, the crystal should still look new. It has a beveled edge which sits proud of the case; this looks great and gives the watch a premium feel (and also, the original Captain Willard had the same crystal shape, although it wasn’t sapphire.)
To me, the worst part of any entry level watch is often the strap or bracelet. Especially steel bracelets… when they’re cheap they’re usually unpleasant. Not so here. This bracelet is not as nice as my high end bracelets but it’s leagues ahead of most of the random Chinese brand watches I have. It actually looks and feels like my Orient and Seiko bracelets. The clasp is stamped metal with a push-button scissor lock and a safety lock. It’s the cheapest, worst part of the watch and it’s still fine. There is no diver’s extension for wetsuits, and no one who buys this watch will want or need that anyway. Anyway, these days I wear steel bracelet watches 90% of the time and I’m picky about comfort. I often replace the bracelets but there’s no need here. This bracelet is just fine.
The whole watch wears well and comfortably on my 7.5 inch wrist. I have included a picture with some of the other divers I have handy to hopefully give a sense of size. The case is large, but the watch really wears like an old school sport watch like the Submariner. It’s not obnoxiously oversized, not too petite. I’d call it perfectly sized for me.
Anyway, I don’t hand out 5 stars often, but I am really quite delighted at how nice this watch is. I had heard that this brand, Addiesdive, had their watches manufactured by Steeldive which is a respect
-------------Writen by Eric L. Photographer | Los Angeles, CA