Although for a great deal of customers the German brand H2O is quite obscure and, perhaps, even unknown, the company still has a number of die-hard fans. The reason for such intense love is, of course, an almost infinite number of customization options that they offer with every model. This new H2O Orca Dive Black DLC Automatic, for example, is available with four bezel variations, three front crystals, seven colors for dials, four hands finishes, and at least three different straps. Sound impressive, doesn’t it?
Yes, as inexpensive as it is (the base version is currently offered at their own online-shop at just $1090 sans VAT), there is almost a thousand of different combinations of styles and materials and the watch practically guarantees you that, even at some imaginable H2O Orca Lovers Bi-Annual Convention, there will be only a few persons that will wear on their wrist the very same setup as yours.
The version that we see on the picture has its massive 44 mm body treated with extremely scratch-resistant DLC coating. At a list price of almost $1300 (local VAT is included), this is certainly not your average daily beater, but even if you are quite careful with the piece, a normal PVD-treated watch may pretty soon start showing greyish marks all over its body. This “diamond-like coating” technology makes it a lot more difficult to scratch your watch even for a relatively clumsy or absentminded person. Even though not a silver bullet as it is, the DLC treatment absolutely justifies the modest increase in production costs.
With a water resistance rating of 2000 meters, this is a serious diving companion. No wonder that it has a unidirectional rotating bezel with a sapphire inlay. By the way, the sapphire crystal is here not just for the sake of bragging rights. The transparent, scratch-resistant ring of synthetic material covers the traditional diving scale, which is painted not with the usual contrasting paint, but with some luminous compound (probably, one of most common blends of Superluminova). Very light grey in broad daylight, it emits very nice bluish glow in total darkness making the scale actually usable deep underwater where there is not so much ambient lighting even in best scenario.
Upholding the color scheme, the H2O Orca Dive Black DLC also sports a black dial with white Superluminova covering its oversized hands and hour markers, and features an extremely sexy “ultra-strong” DLC-coated stainless steel bezel whole five millimeters thick.
As massive and rugged as it is, the bracelet ideally matches the body that, depending on your choice of sapphire crystal, measures from modest 13.50 mm to almost intimidating 17.50 millimeters from top to bottom.
As usual for small German manufacturers, H2O uses a time-proven ETA 2824-2 Swiss made automatic caliber to power the timekeeper. As reliable and cheap to service as it is, the mechanism looks like an almost ideal choice for a relatively inexpensive watch: a guy that has to break the bank to get this watch ordered, would be extremely pissed-off if he had to shell out a couple of hundred Euros every three or four years just to keep this beast going.
Whether you are into professional diving or just looking for a watch that would ideally match your posture, you should really check the piece.
Photos: H2O Watches
WWR preliminary verdict
Build quality: 4.5/5
Value for money: 4.5/5
H2O Orca Dive Black DLC Automatic diving watch specification
Price: $1297 (incl. 19% VAT)
Movement: Automatic, caliber ETA 2824-2, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 42 hours
Movement decoration: Black DLC oscillating weight
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Case material: Stainless steel, black DLC coated
Bezel material: Matches case, with sapphire inlay
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 44.00 mm
Case height: 13.50 mm – 17.50 mm (with 4.00 mm front sapphire crystal)
Lug width: No data
Dial: Black / Grey / White
Hour markers: Luminous
Water resistance: 2000 meters
Strap: Black calf leather strap / Italian rubber strap / 5mm thick ultra strong black DLC coated H2O stainless steel bracelet (optional, pictured)
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective (flat or domed)
Case back: Sapphire