Review: the new Dievas Maya MK III

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While Dievas might not be a brand that is as often mentioned in the general watch collecting community, the Germany-based manufacturer has built up a strong cult-following from collectors who swear by the brand’s well-made and impressive repertoire of tool watches.

First making its introduction in 2006, Dievas is a brand that focuses predominantly in creating tactical-looking and robust tool watches. Its watches, in a way, are representative of the common notions that one thinks of a German-made product: solid, functional, and non-nonsense.

Dievas Maya MK III

The Maya MK III, as its name suggests, is the third generation of the brand’s tactical diver’s watch. This watch follows on the success of the previous two generations, with a robust construction and functional characteristics.

The author personally had a chance encounter with Dievas watches almost a decade back, in the form of the brand’s FOCAL timepiece. The watch had provided the author with a lasting impression, given its relatively reasonable price point and its remarkable 6STEEL case. Since the other renowned timepiece with a hardened case – back then – is Sinn, the author was naturally impressed with the offering from Dievas.

Moving ahead, we recently have had the good opportunity to wear the Maya MK III for a few weeks. Although there has been a gap between this and the last Dievas timepiece that the author had spent time with, we certainly do not expect anything less from this German watch manufacturer. After all, the brand must have done something right in order to survive in this increasingly competitive market.

So, without any further ado, here is our take on this seemingly rugged and hardy timepiece.

The Case, Dial, and Hands

The Maya MK III, at first impressions, had already set the tone. Here, we have a watch that looks rather imposing – despite its slightly modest 41mm case dimension on paper. This is given that the watch features a rather large and chunky bezel (so that it can be operated whilst wearing a glove), as well as a relatively thick 13.8mm side profile. On top of that, it also features a Helium Escape Valve (“HEV”) at the 2 o’clock position. Think of this as a timepiece that is built to survive in challenging conditions underwater, like a submarine.

On that note, we have to talk about the case material. The Maya MK III is fitted with a stainless-steel case, but it features a Diamond-Like Coating (“DLC”) treatment to harden the case. This makes the case at least 3 times harder than a standard 316L stainless-steel. In other words, it is more resistant to hairline scratches and corrosion, which is a plus point for a tool watch. Additionally, the case also features a sand-blasted finish to give the watch its credentials, in terms of aesthetics.

The functionality bit continues to its bracelet and the deployant clasp. The high-tech coating is also featured on these two components, which truly showcased Dievas’ seriousness in turning this into a proper tool watch. Minimally, we can be assured that the bracelet and clasp will remain pristine, especially when we take the watch for some “desk-diving” actions. The clasp also features an extension, which is extremely helpful if the watch is worn over a diving suit of sorts.

Despite its construction and rugged nature, we have to say that the Maya MK III wears rather nicely on the wrist. This is firstly attributed to the fact that it is only 41mm – although it may appear to look larger than it seems. More importantly, the watch is only 49mm from lug to lug. This is attributed to its curved lugs, which allows the watch to fit much better on the wrist. Admittedly, it wears a little heavy on the wrist, but we do not expect anything less from a timepiece as such. The heft also provides the assurance that this is a solid and well-built timepiece.

Next, we move on to the dial. This particular version features a blue fumé dial, with orange accents in the form of hands and certain elements on the bezel insert. The colour combination works surprisingly well here, although there might be collectors who would have preferred the more subdued variant featuring a black dial instead.

Everything on the watch is relatively large, as it needs to be visible and highly legible. This includes the sword-shaped hands, to the large indices and numerals on the dial. The only exception to this is the date aperture, which appears to be small in the grand scheme of things. Granted, the date is one of the least important details when one is under water, and we like how Dievas had designed the date to be as unobtrusive as possible. However, we do reckon that some might have wanted a larger date display, since most potential owners will still need to utilise this function. Maybe Dievas can consider how to marry these ideas together for the fourth iteration of the Maya.

As we are on the topic of legibility, the Maya MK III is definitely no slouch when it comes to the luminescence game. The indices – both on the dial and bezel insert – as well as the hands are filled with SuperLuminova. The result is a timepiece that lights up vibrantly in a dark environment – which is definitely an important factor for a tool watch. We also appreciate that Dievas had opted for a different luminescent colour for the first fifteen minutes on the bezel insert.

The Movement: Sellita SW200-1

Powering the Maya MK III is the ever-reliable Sellita SW200-1. This self-winding movement is known to be a thoroughbred, and its reliability is well-documented. The movement beats at 28,800 bph, and it has an autonomy of around 38 hours.

The watch is fitted with a close caseback, for the purpose of retaining its prowess in water resistance. As a result, we are unable to ascertain the finishing of the movement. We reckon, as with most Sellita movements, that it should be fairly industrial, without any special adornment. Then again, for its intended purpose and price point, we do not expect anything beyond that.

Competitive Landscape

The Dievas Maya MK III is priced at S$1,712 (without tax) for the blue dial variant with the metal bracelet. The brand also offers a version with a rubber strap, at S$1,505.

In the space of modestly priced diver’s watches, there are a few timepieces that are currently in contention.

The first is Tissot’s Seastar 2000 Professional, which is priced at S$1,580. The watch offers great value as well, although it is perhaps not as capable as the Dievas. The Tissot also offers a lot for what it is worth, although we do think that the Dievas perhaps edges out with its hardened stainless-steel case.

Next, we have the striking Bulova Oceanographer 96B350. This 41mm watch features a bright orange dial, which contrasts very nicely with the bi-colour black and orange bezel insert (albeit 75% of it is in black). There is a very nice retro touch to this piece, and it certainly works for someone who is looking for a more casual timepiece. It is priced at US$750 (approximately S$1,010).

Lastly, we have the Citizen Fugu 4.0. This is another robust diver’s watch, and one that is relatively popular amongst collectors. The 44mm watch is definitely a tad chunkier and larger, but it is perhaps the closest to a proper tool watch like the Maya and the Seastar. Prices of the Fugu begin at S$738, and we reckon this is perhaps a timepiece that is suited for someone who is looking for something with a larger wrist presence.

Concluding Thoughts

We think that it is fair to say Dievas had produced a superb timepiece, in the form of the Maya MK III. It is a well-made and robust timepiece, and frankly it certainly gives many higher-end diver’s watches a run for its money. This is not just another obscure brand that produces a timepiece on a whim; Dievas actually produces well-designed and thoughtful watches that are worth its salt. The robustness and quality of the Maya MK III is a testament to that.

The only hurdle, in our opinion, is that Dievas is not a well-recognised brand. Yes, Dievas has a strong cult following, but it is not a brand that is familiar to many. This may turn some collectors away, but we think that the watch more than makes up for this shortcoming, if it is even considered as a “disadvantage”.

Overall, we enjoyed the time spent with Maya MK III tremendously. It is a great watch, and one that we can afford to wear without having to be overly protective. We certainly hope more collectors will give this brand a shot.


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