The American boutique brand has introduced a (more than) affordable diver to its vast collection of tool watches. Currently offered at only $399 (the normal price is $499, shipping is not included in both cases), the new Deep Blue DayNight T100 OPS Diver features a rugged exterior design that somehow reminds me of Luminox timekeeper combined with a water resistance rating of 500 meters and an easily readable dial with twenty flat tritium tubes of different colors. Unlike the usual Superluminova or other chemical compounds, the mildly radioactive gas that fills the micro-tubes keeps glowing for at least twenty years without any need of being recharged, which makes it a perfect choice for those keeping their collection in boxes stashed in a chest of drawers while sleeping in their preassigned Vault-Tec shelters.
Compared to its sister model, the Deep Blue Daynight Recon 500M automatic diver that was released earlier this year, the new model doesn’t look as elegant but is also two times more affordable, which makes it a nice beater (if you don’t mind putting a scratch or two on its black PVD-treated body and bezel).
The movement here is also less expensive.
This time, the brand’s owner decided to use the simple Miyota 8215 automatic caliber. Built on 21 jewels and offering around 45 hours of power reserve, the movement features simple unidirectional winding and its second hand doesn’t hack, which makes it harder to correctly set the watch, but doesn’t look like a real problem if you don’t plan to launch rockets into space. The mechanism is popular among relatively small watchmakers like Magrette, Festina, and the likes, although Citizen itself uses it for its own cheaper timepieces.
Like many inexpensive mechanisms, it is not terribly accurate with -20/+40 seconds a day on a new movement being within the official specs of the engine. Also, with its balance wheel beating at a frequency of just 21,600 vibrations per hour, the seconds hand of your OPS Diver will move in a somewhat jerky fashion, which may irritate those who’ve already got used to a lot smoother run of a watch ticking at 28,800 vph.
The nighttime legibility, on the other hand, is perfect thanks to extensive use of flat tritium gas tubes making it a nice tool for those who plan to use the watch in murky water or in some other conditions where you just need your indicators and hour markers to glow as brightly as possible without the need of backlighting.
The hour marker at 12 hours, as well as the bezel pip, is equipped with yellow tubes, while the other indices and all three hands are equipped with green elements. Judging by the looks of it, the dial is easily readable, even deep underwater.
At less than 45 millimeters in diameter and with a lug to lug length of just 51 millimeters, the watch is not terribly oversized and will probably suit most wrists.
Photos: Deep Blue
Deep Blue DayNight T100 OPS Diver specification
Price: $499 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, caliber Miyota 8215, Made in Japan
Number of jewels: 21
Movement frequency: 21,600 vph
Power reserve: 45 hours
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Case: Stainless steel, black PVD
Size: 44.50 mm
Case height: 16.00 mm
Lug width: 22.00 mm
Numerals: Arabic (on the bezel)
Hour markers: Luminous, flat tritium tubes
Hands: Steel, luminous, flat tritium tubes
Water resistance: 500 meters
Strap: Black flat silicon strap
Back: Solid, etched