Kickstarter watches have been springing up left and right of late. Hamtun Watches from British product developer Ross Davis is among the latest watch to join the Kickstarter race to create the latest price-competitive yet high quality automatic Dive Watch.
Using Grade 5 titanium, the Hamtun H1 is their modern take and inaugural attempt at creating a contemporary dive watch. Despite its Tudor Pelagos-esque aesthetic, the 41mm Hamtun H1 titanium Dive Watch is completely designed from scratch, sole exception being the robust Seiko NH35A automatic movement. So far, reception for the Hamtun H1 dive watch has been resounding, it launched on Kickstarter on 27th September with a goal of £20,000 and it was fully funded within 20 minutes. That said, while the early bird Kickstarter packages have been sold out, the Hamtun H1 is still available for GBP190 Pounds and given its construction and design, a strong contender against other entry dive watches on the market.
Designed in Southampton UK and built at a specialist factory in China (now, before you pre-judge, it’s worth considering that your iPhones (among the best constructed phones in recent history are built there), the H1 titanium dive watch from Hamtun aspires to true affordability and high quality. More importantly, the H1 titanium dive watch also eschews the me-too Rolex clone route by going the minimalist route. Arguably, there are many minimalist Kickstarter watches on the market right now but few are using high-grade titanium with matte ceramic bezel – the result is a 20ATM automatic dive watch with double domed sapphire crystal coated with AR (anti-reflective) coating inside and out.
The Details: Hamtun H1 Grade 5 Titanium Dive Watch
The Seiko NH35A movement straddles that line between dependability and cost effectiveness while still being remarkably featured filled with hand-winding and hacking seconds (second hand stops when the crown is pulled to wind/correct). The hand-winding aspect, a feature notably missing on many other automatic movements within the price bracket, ought to save you some time and effort when time comes to have it off your wrist for a while, that said, given its specs, there’s a good chance it becomes your daily beater. Off wrist and fully wound, it packs a decent 41 hour power reserve as well so it’s close to 2 days worth of run time.
Then, there’s the sandwich dial. It’s detail not commonly used by Kickstarter watches in this price bracket either. Introduced in the 1930s, sandwich dials were commonly found on many brands including the Longines 13ZN chronograph but its proliferation and construction is attributed to Officine Panerai and used in their famed Radiomir series. The sandwich dial arose due to the functional requirements of deep sea expeditions – a sausage or painted dial like those on older Rolex dive models or a dial with recessed indexes couldn’t quite hold enough luminous material to make military dive watches bright enough at a certain depth. Panerai’s solution was a sandwich dial – initially made of three layers (Perspex layer protecting the radium) rather than the two layer modern versions we see today. As a result, you can consider the Hamtun H1 to be one of the brighter glowing titanium dive watches.
You can pick from three Hamtun H1 watches, a “stealth” with grey markers, the blue with blue hour indexes, and the one with white hour markers. Usually, I’m have OCD about crowns not being at 3 o’clock but in terms of overall aesthetic, I think the crown positioned at 4 o’clock works here because of the way the date aperture balances it at 4 o’clock. Also, it reinforces the nature of the Hamtun H1 as a daily beater for rough wearing and even sports (try doing push ups and find the 3 o’clock crown jabbing into the back of your hand. That said, the date wheel which follows dial colour merits additional praise because it’s quite often that the date wheel is often an after-thought which comes in default white- that the date wheel blends seamlessly into the dial while presenting pertinent date information is quite a welcome change.
Regardless of model, it comes on either dark gray silicone strap or their custom titanium bracelet. The bracelet is reminiscent of the old school riveted ones opting for screws rather than pins and it’s a nice detail for an affordable GBP199