Crafter Blue is a new Hong Kong based watch company begun in 2013 by Steve Chan, a Seiko enthusiast. The first product line manufactured by Crafter Blue was and is their high end curved rubber straps, primarily made for various Seiko dive watches. No one else makes vulcanized rubber curved end bicolor rubber straps for these watches. Added to the line for 2018 are Crafter Blue Professional Diver’s Watches in six models. The watches are not a homage to any recognized dive watches on the market, except for hints of some Seiko and Rolex models. Crafter Blue has managed to put together an affordable line of high quality, rugged, dive watches that are very attractive and eye catching.
For this review I have two models. The first is the model MOSS002.SB.RB with a Pepsi bezel, blue face and stainless bracelet bracelet. The second is the model MOSS008.O.R, the same basic watch with a gray and orange bicolor vulcanized rubber strap, and matching gray face and orange and gray bezel. Both watches, based on my measurements, are 45mm in diameter by 15.8mm thick, 52mm lug to lug with an unusually stout 10mm in diameter by 3.4mm thick signed, gear edged, o ringed, polished, screw down crown at 9 o’clock. These watches are not petite. In addition, the watches each have a 3 o’clock helium escape valve and a polished and engraved inner bezel that looks great. The watches beautifully finished and sculpted, brushed, 316L stainless steel case is polished on the sides of the case (and sides of the SS bracelet) along with the crown and crown guard. It is easy to see how this watch gets a rated 300M water resistance rating.
Both the stainless steel bracelet and vulcanized rubber straps used on these watches are superb, in my opinion. The stainless steel bracelet combines a conventional, micro adjustable push button release, with a modern Rolex Submariner type clasp. The machine work on the clasp, the bracelet and the folding links is superb. The bicolor, vulcanized rubber strap is very soft and comfortable, and it tapers from 22mm to 20 mm. It is combined with 15 round cornered, rectangular adjustment holes with a well finished, brushed stainless steel buckle and signed stainless steel loop that keeps the watch strap close to the wrist without ever being too tight or loose. The bracelet model also hugs the wrist well, considering its size. Incidentally, the lugs of these watches are drilled, and the vulcanized rubber strap has a nicely moulded diagonal pattern on the inside of the strap that helps keep it from sliding on the wrist.
Powering these watches is Crafter Blue’s version of a Seiko NH35, called the 3531. It is the most popular, automatic watch movement on the market as used by many micro watch brands, and it needs no further introduction. Crafter Blue modifies, decorates and regulates the movement to the point where it is extremely accurate. It’s too bad the decorated movement is hidden behind the beautiful case back. If you are looking for a substantial, rugged, beautifully finished and accurate dive watch that doesn’t try to hide itself, the Crafter Blue Mechanic Ocean line of dive watches should be on your list to check out. Crafter Blue has a MRSP of $599 for the stainless bracelet models and $499 for the vulcanized rubber strap models. The watches can be currently purchased with a 15% discount with preorder pricing of $510 and $425 respectively, in effect for December 2018 delivery. crafterblue.com
Bert Kanne is a freelance contributor to MBWW with a love for well made dive watches and chronographs. All photos by Bert Kanne unless otherwise noted.