Hi to All of you Watch Enthusiast around the globe…
I have this watch from AQUATICO Company (specialised Watch Company for underwater activities), for couple of months now and that was actually third one which I bought from them. I started with Pilot One then Aqua One and when was available, I bought Dolphin 3000m.
My latest purchase from Aquatico is Nautilus 3000m, but about other watches from Aquatico in some other review, because now is time for Dolphin 3000m. As I wrote before, I have this Dolphin for some time now, so this review should be easy to write.
First of all, there are two case options, Stainless Steel and CuSn8 Bronze alloy (bronze will be my next purchase from Aquatico most likely). Second, there is option with Date window complication (my preferred) and without Date window. Third, there are options to choose between 4 dial colours. Black, Blue, Military Green and Brown.
Lets start with pure and dry specifications of Dolphin 3000m:
- Case material: Stainless Steel 316L
- Case dimensions : 44mm diameter, 52mm from lug to lug & 22mm between, 14mm overall thickness
- Movement: Miyota 9015, 28.800BPH, 24 jewels, automatic with 42 hr power reserve and ParaShock system
- Dial construction: Layered, with or without Date window complication and BGW9 SuperLuminova
- Front glass: Sapphire Crystal with inner AR coating
- Back side: Screw in/out stainless steel back with engraved logo
- Crown: Screw in/out with engraved Aquatico logo on the top
- Bezel: 120 counter clockwise unidirectional clicks with Sapphire Inlay and applied BGW9 SuperLuminova
- Water Resistance: 3000 meters or 300ATM
- Helium Escape Valve: Self release 9H Helium valve
- Strap: Isoprene strap with brushed stainless steel 316L buckle and Hex screw pins
Case is vertically deep brushed on sides, almost industrial brushed, except on top of case, where is almost satin fine brushed, which gives two different sides of this watch, rough on first sight but with soft and elegant feel on second look.
Bezel is bevelled on sides with almost coin look and with a lot of grip. On top of bezel is Sapphire inlay with applied lume on all bezel markings. 120 clicks are uniform with nice click between and unidirectional with almost no playing between each position. One of a better bezel I have deal with.
Crown have similar pattern as bezel and with a lot of grip when you need to screw it out or in and then setting the right time or date. Crown is at 4 o’clock position and on top of it is nice engraved logo. I would like to see logo little bit deeper engraved to be more pronounced. Also, another thing I do not like is a bit sharp end of crown. Nothing serious but if it is just a bit bevelled it will be nicer to see and feel under fingers.
On opposite side of case is self release H9 Helium valve embedded in case at 9 o’clock position. Even this is a 44mm watch and overall dimension from lug to lug is 52mm, thing that count is actually between centres of lugs pins. That actually measure 48mm and can be easily compared with 40mm watch with usual lug dimension. Because of that small distance from lug to lug, case below has small strap relief cut-out, so the strap could be as close to the case is possible. Instead if classic spring pins for fixing straps to case, here is used screw pins with Hex heads embedded in case. Nice to see and much stronger than usual spring solution. But it will be nice to see set of appropriate Hex key for strap replacement in box with watch.
Dial is available in four different colours, but mine is made as custom and because layered construction, it was possible to have two different colours on dial, in my case, blue and black. Of course, I paid extra for that, but it was worth every cent. Central parts of the dial have circular pattern and all writings and crosshair in print. Date window is between 4 and 5 o’clock position in base layer, but with cut-out in second layer of dial on which are applied indexes. Date window should be a little bit bigger, in my opinion, because double digit Date numbers are partially just on border with cut-off of Date window. I guess that design idea was to have opening for Date window in same size as circular hour indices. Nice idea, but still, I would like to see a bit bigger Date window.
3, 6 and 9 o’clock indexes are rectangular, 12 o’clock are double rectangular, while other indexes are circular, all filled with BGW9 lume, so orientation of watch is easy to find and lume is long lasting. Minute printed marking are on inner bevelled casing and minute hand is long enough to easily read each minute mark. Minute and Hour hand are broad, brushed and with cut-outs, filled with GLC3 lume in centre part.
No matter which dial colour you chose, layered dial definitely gives a nice depth to it and you do not see often that. Lume is strong and time is easy readable, day or night. On top of dial is thick and flat Sapphire crystal with double AR coating from inside.
Stainless steel back is screw down type and in central position is engraved mermaid on dolphin with all other usual info around. Bellow mermaid and dolphin is serial number of each watch. All Aquatico watches are made in small limited editions and this one is 07/30.
Straps are top quality, no question about that and are made by ISOfrane company, the best you could find on market. I’m not big fan of rubber (sticky) or silicon straps (dust magnet), but this one is something different, made from Isoprene material and I really like it. ISOfrane made it as non-allergic, non-toxic and added even more durability and softness to dive watch strap. I’m not joking when I say that this is probably the best strap you’ll ever have on dive watch and for sure, the best I ever had. At the end of short strap is stainless steel, satin brushed buckle with laser engraved Aquatico logo.
Conclusion in this case is simple and short. There are three things I don’t like too much and two of them are about the crown and one about Date window. Deeper logo and bevelled end of crown, together with a bit bigger Date window is all I want to see changed on this watch. Maybe even a millimetre or two shorter crown and Hex key in addition for strap change.
And my favourite part is dial, quite unique because it is made with two different colours, blue as basic and black with applied hour indices and on that, there is black sapphire inlay in bezel, so when you start from centre of dial, there is blue-black-blue-black combination. Also, there is a second hand with red coloured tip, which is actually from another model. I pay extra for this customization, but it was worth every $usd I paid for it. It is also worth to write that for this price you getting excellent and probably the best “of the shelf” automatic movement from Miyota. 9xxx series of Miyota movements are well done 28.800bph (beats per hour) movement which gives very smooth second hand movement across dial and it is very precise movement too. At my experience and from wearing, I usually have +2/+3 second a day accuracy, which is not just good, but excellent.
Aquatico is located in Hong Kong, founder is Calvin Lee and first time I heard about them was about two-three years ago and instantly was amazed with quality and price, definitely a excellent bang for money. You can find full length video review at my YT channel “Dado Ribich” of this watch.
Thanks for reading, take care of yourself and Happy Watch Hunt.