For a small country like Singapore, there seem to be a growing number of microbrands in the watch industry today, brands such as Zelos, Ventus, Vilhelm, Dievas and many others. Another brand that has been in the market for a few years is Regia Timepieces; founded by Mr. William who is a watch enthusiast himself and the author of a very popular Seiko parts blog (where he often writes about his modifications and passion mainly about Seiko watches with its’ movement). Why Regia you may ask ? Regia means “Royal” in Spanish and Mr. William’s vision is to ensure every watches of his on every customer’s wrist is treated to a royalty timepiece.

Through the influence and inspiration of some historic Seiko Dive watches, Mr. William often find himself desire to create a timepiece that matches his passion. Through months of constant changes in the design phase, errors and issues to be resolved during prototyping phase, finally The Diver a.k.a Amour Fish is ready to be served. And we at MicroBrandWatchWorld were lucky enough to have the first dip to have a hands on review for the 2 versions – Gold & Silver prototype.

Technical Specifications :

  • Case Width 50mm
  • Case Lug to lug 50mm
  • Case thickness 17mm tip to tip
  • Movement Seiko SII NH35
  • Automatic HEV (Helium Escape Valve)
  • Lug width 24mm
  • Domed Sapphire crystal
  • 120 clicks bezel
  • Water resist 600m
  • 1 x Stainless Black PVD Shroud (mounted)
  • 1 x Extra Brass Shroud
  • Dial and hands Superluminova C3
  • Custom Made Thick Nato strap @ 5.8mm
  • Redesigned Spring Bar to perfectly fit the Shroud

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So, now you know what Regia Diver is all about, but what you really want to know is what are my thoughts on it, after officially testing it for the past few days… right ? Here’s my brief review of what I think about the prototype version of both Gold and Silver Regia Diver, but do note my opinion is based on the prototype version that was assigned to me.

 

  • Case
    • From my first touch, the case felt solid and well-made without any rough edges. The bezel turns uni-directional, which is pretty standard for any dive watch and it’s constructed tightly so that it doesn’t accidentally turn when no force is applied. The combination colour on the case for both version are well designed and well balance that both shroud (Black PVD and Brass) matches both cases.
  • Crown
    • The crown is located at 2 o’clock and it’s a screw in version. The crown is custom made with the “R” engraved. One special feature of this crown is when the shroud is removed, it can be converted into a pocket watch by putting a metal string around the bottom portion of the crown. My only concern is how the crown is positioned and the length of it, that it may constantly be touching ones’ wrist. It’s not happening to me during my testing, but just thinking it might, that’s all.
  • Shroud
    • 2 shrouds (Black PVD and Brass) are included in this current pre-order and both shroud colour matches the 2 version case (gold & silver). There are 4 mini phillip screw to secure the shroud onto the case and it acts as a protection layer. Through Mr. William’s experience in modding Seiko watches, he has designed that it requires 8-10 full turning of the mini phillip screw to secure tighter than the usual market (estimated 4-5 turns).
  • Dial
    • There have been debate that the hour marker on the dial looks like Benarus, and I do admit that it does hold some similarity but I believe the hour marker has not been patented or copyright officially and correct me if I am wrong, but I do recall that a similar hour marker was originated from a very old Seiko model and still exist today on some Seiko version (eg. Land Monster). Putting that debate aside, eventhough at 50mm lug to lug case but with an estimated 32mm dial size, it’s doesn’t look that chunky on my average Asian wrist size.
  • Lume
    • Wow. It comes with an amazing lume and it’s definitely comparable to Zelos Hammerhead! The picture of the lume shot speaks for its’ own.
  • Hands
    • I like the hour and minute custom made hands that is thick enough and with larger area of lume, would benefit divers during their dive (I am just assuming so…). The lume on the tip of the second hand is a nice touch and should be visible enough for divers to count their time during diving.
  • Caseback
    • Sushi anyone ? That is an amazing fish with a face helmet & crown on top (initially I thought it was fish hair, but Mr. William corrected me that it’s actually a crown sitting on top, hence the code name Armour Fish). But I still like my version of fish hair though…
  • Nato Strap
    • Another custom-made item by Regia specially for this range. The strap itself is slightly thicker than the norm, as it measured around 5.8mm. The idea behind having a thicker strap is to hold the watch comfortably on ones’ wrist. The holes on the strap are specially designed in square format to easily tuck the buckle in. Was told the finishing on the rings and buckle during the mass production would be slightly brush for the silver and more brassy for the gold.

Overall, I think this is a very good alternative to the common Seiko we see in the market today, with a slight twist to the dial, hands, size and movement. At the current pre-order price of US$420 (till mid May 2017), with such specifications and quality, I strongly believe this should be a nice addition to every diver(s) out there and also to watch collector like myself. I’m definitely gonna convince my Home Finance Minister to approve my request to add Regia Diver into my watch collection !

In the meanwhile… please enjoy some photoshots I’ve snapped of the Regia Diver with its’ original nato strap, after-market rubber strap and metal bracelet below.