Pantor is a Hong Kong based microbrand that really wants your dive watch business.  Their goal is to combine outstanding performance, materials, design, detail and value. Without offering a large line of watches, at least at this time, Pantor has decided to concentrate on what I like best, dive watches.  I don’t dive, but there is something about these watches that really hits my ideal watch hot buttons as well as those of many other watch enthusiasts and collectors.

Until now, Pantor has been exclusively shipping their Sea Horse line, which is a 45 mm 316L, 1000 M dive watch with a Miyota 9015 movement on a beautiful 15 link 316L stainless steel bracelet .  I would love to review this model in the future.  Adding to the Sea Horse line will soon be the 42 mm Sea Lion, a lower price point 300 M dive watch, which is the watch I had for review. It is a 42 mm 316L cushion case design, and will be powered by either the very popular Seiko NH35A or the ETA 2824-2 movements.  Supplied with both a 22 mm silicone and a 22 mm nylon strap, it will be offered in three bezel/face colors; black, blue or green.  My sample had a face with a very nice dark gray sunburst finish, even though it is described as being black.

My preproduction example came with a Chinese version of the ETA movement and it was less than 3 seconds a day fast, which is about as accurate as you can get at any price.  Other than the Seiko and ETA movements, the two production versions of the Sea Lion will be identical.  This means the same brushed cushion case with polished sides, almost flush 9 o’clock helium valve, beautiful screw down engraved back, signed 3 o’clock gear crown and gear edged aluminum and stainless bezel.  There is no crown guard on this watch, and I am glad it was left off because it would upset the design proportions of the watch case.

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All 12 points of the face, except at 3 o’clock, are perfectly marked and have Swiss C3 Super Luminova.  Their is a nice lume dot in triangle on the unidirectional bezel, which I might add turns with authority and precision.  The second/minute markers on the face are exactly as they should be, in terms of size and definition.  The sapphire crystal with internal A/R is as expected.  The Sea Lion has a date window at 3 o’clock.

The date window on my example is white on black, but the website shows black on white; either works for me.  The hour and minute hands are perfectly sized chrome and lumed sword designs.  The lumed chrome arrowhead second hand is spot on as well.  To be a nitpicker, I would prefer the date window at 4:30 so the 3 o’clock position could have the same great lumed shield as found at the 6 and 9 o’clock positions.

The silicone rubber strap, the only strap I tried, keeps this watch as comfortable as I could want on the wrist and comes with a solid, signed brushed stainless buckle.  The strap does tend to attract lint and what not, but it is totally appropriate for a dive watch of this type.  Maybe a stainless link bracelet will be offered as well.  If you are looking for a dive watch and do not want to wear a well known brand or microbrand, you could not do better than the Pantor Sea Lion.  Currently it is available for preorder for delivery in about three months time.  The NH35A version can be preordered for $329, with no shipping or tax.  The version with the ETA 2824-2 can be preordered at $549, with no shipping or tax, both in your choice of colors.