Hello 2020 ! Goodbye 2019 !
2019 has been a year of up & down for me, but the final 2 weeks of 2019 ended with 2 new watches for me to wrist-buse (a combination of wrist wearing & abusing in a single word) it for a thorough review. I was able to buy a used, pre-loved Gorilla Fastback (Phantom Black) and was loaned with a brand new production unit Neminus Master Diver 1000. Today’s review article is about Neminus Master Diver 1000, a recent successful kickstarter campaign that managed to raise SG$32k through 65 backers back in August 2019 and even delivered the watches as per schedule. I have no idea why this campaign did not hit the roof (eg. double or triple of the final numbers) whereas many factory brands has flooded kickstarter with their own OEM brand, offering a ridiculously low price but with copied versions of case or dial, and sometimes both too yet still manage to raise more than Neminus !
A quick introduction of the brand – Neminus was founded by Perry Khor in 2017. The brand describes themselves as “a new generation micro-brand”, and “aims to provide the market with fresh ideas, innovative concepts and unique materials with modernized manufacturing processes”. Ultimately, Neminus strives to “design and craft well-made watches that are affordable and readily accessible”. This is Neminus’s 2nd model after their first successful model Spacemen that raised SG$69k through 65 backers (same number of backers again !).
Technical Specifications :
- Case Diameter : 44mm
- Lug width : 22mm
- Lug to Lug : 52mm
- Case Material : CuSn8 Bronze
- Bezel : Ceramic Insert with BGW9, 120 Uni-directional Click
- Dial : Textual BGW9 on Hands & Indexes
- Dial Glass : 5mm Double Domed Sapphire Crystal with 4 Layers of
- Crowns : Screwed-In CuSn8 Bronze
- Water Resistant : 1000m / 3280 ft
- Movement : Seiko SII NH35A Automatic
- Strap : Customized Kevlar Leather Strap
Here’s what I think about the watch…
The case : To sum it up, solidly built ! The patina forming was spot on… the size is ideal but the weight could have been lighter if lighter material for some part of the case (eg. caseback, crown, etc.) was used. I also like how aesthetically balanced it was designed where the caseback incorporates the PVD rose gold stainless steel material to match with the bronze case. I like the overall case shape used here, which features the ceramic bezel in the same dodecagonal (12-sided) shape with the pip on the triangle and how the numerals is designed, resembling the perfect diving tool watch. Of course, how can you claim it’s a diving watch without a helium escape valve… So overall, the watch was designed to be the ideal diving watch in the sea as well as on the land !
The dial : Uniquely designed. Kudos to Perry for the creativity on the cracked and radiant dial concept. I really like how the dial looks as though the bottom of the sea rock is bursting out like a volcano, causing the ground to cracked. But I dislike how the branding was engraved on top of the dial with a glossy shiny gold material. It makes it hard to see and defeat the purpose of putting a brand on it… I like the thick minute and hour hands, adding a “manly” feel to the dial and accompanied with the weapon of Poseidon (God of the Sea), 3-pronged spear trident with a red tipped towards the end of it. Protecting the dial from the top is a solid 5mm thick double domed sapphire crystal glass with 4 layers anti-reflective coating for clear and easy reading of the indications. Now that’s top notch quality for this crazy price… Don’t even get me started about the lume on this watch… I don’t have to say much, I’ll just let the pictures do all the talking…
The strap : It’s a combination of kevlar on the top with red stitching on the side, and genuine soft leather in red colour at the bottom of it. The buckle that came along with it is also made from bronze. I like how they even designed the fixed keeper in black with red stitching whereas the loose keeper in full red to give it a contrasting feel aesthetically. I really like the strap choice (both material and colour combination). There was an additional green rubber strap included (thanks to the stretch goal met on Kickstarter).
The packaging : I like how much effort and consideration was put into when completing the accessories for the watch. It’s like the final jigsaw puzzle that some brands don’t take it seriously, but I appreciate what Perry and his brand Neminus has delivered. It’s the first impression that sometimes win back a repeating buyer for your brand, and that’s what Neminus has done here. The moment I opened the box, I see a watch travel case that can fits 3-4 watches depending on the size and how it has a green internal suede material to match with the unique cracked texture greenish teal dial. I also like how Neminus included a pretty big watch tool kit for strap swapping, a manual guide card and a “cleaning & maintenance of bronze”
Conclusion to my review :
For the retail price of USD699 / SGD953 / €634 / £545 / HKD5,470 / TWD21,333 I can’t find any major flaw or fault that would stop anyone from buying a quality watch at an affordable price. Basically, you get what you are paying but I’m sure you get more than the value because Neminus is a brand that offers quality over quantity and value over profit. As my title goes, it is built for those who dare and I dare you all who are reading this article to consider this watch if you are in the market for a divers bronze watch. Definitely worth recommending to be added into anybody’s watch collection. Thank you Perry for loaning me the watch and I can’t wait to see what you are planning to create for your next model !