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  • #16
    Originally posted by Watch Carefully View Post
    Thanks for that assessment, George. Much appreciated.
    I'll throw in my two cents, as a very new owner of a similar product.

    Like George, I bought a sterile version which ticked these boxes for me:
    • Bronze
    • Classic FF looks
    • Durable
    • Low price
    So, for a couple hundred clams, I obtained a Fifty-Fathoms tribute in a bronze case, with a (claimed) Seiko NH35A movement. I would expect, as it appears that Helson and some other brands use this same MFR, it will last a while and be serviceable if needed. I've only had it on the wrist for a few hours, and have also hand-wound it (a nice change for Seiko-powered divers, IMO), and put it on the timer. Not too bad:

    +9 seconds or so with a good beat rate--perhaps this will improve with consistent use, but it's not far off expectation. I suppose I could break in and regulate it, if being a minute off every week gets to me. I did not test in multiple positions yet, so I may find it does OK on the wrist, or can be stored dial down or crown up overnight to lose some of the time it gains. Observation is called for.

    For the price, though, it's a solid piece. I could do without the OEM NATO strap (I don't want to add height to an already thick watch by putting a layer of fabric beneath it) and immediately switched it to a leather one...and I've ordered a bronze buckle to fit it. The cheap plastic storage box will be useful, perhaps, but I'd prefer to be rid of the box and NATO and have them deliver a more appealing strap option for the same price.

    One complaint I have is the YELLOW. At a distance, or at small magnification, there appears to be vintage lume (think Radium) which is wholly appropriate for the style. Up close, there a fake sort of yellow hue that is disappointing:

    At a glance, on the wrist, it's not as glaring. I can live with it.
    Under low-light conditions, all the yellow turns to white-blue/green as shown:

    Again, acceptable.
    The construction of the case appears substantial and good quality.

    My last comment is this (and hearkens back to George's caveat of knowing what you are buying). I thought I did know...I thought I was buying an un-branded version of a watch that Helson, STEELDIVE and others also offer. What I got is a STEELDIVE with no name on the dial. The box, hangtag, caseback, all have STEELDIVE branding. That's fine, too...but I either was inattentive, or the advertising was intentionally misleading.

    For the money, I'm really pleased. This is a design I like, and it's my first bronze watch, so I am keen to observe the patina setting in.
    I have no qualms about calling it a beater, though I'm not sure how much abuse it will get (when working on my cars or bicycle or using power tools, I generally remove a watch), so it may look pretty nice for quite some time.
    Nice one.


    • #17
      On sale Saturday Night...
      "So Many Watches / So Little Time"


      • #18
        and for an even better price from the Steeldive Store, where despite what Steve says, they're not sold out. STEELDIVE 1954 Dive Watch NH35A Sapphire Crystal Diver Watch 200m
        Last edited by Tim.; 10-04-2020, 01:18 AM.


        • #19
          Just a quick update...the patina is setting in:

          And I obtained a bronze buckle (it came on a Nato).


          • #20
            Wipe the metal with mustard and it will patina quickly. Let it set for an hour and wash off.

            I need a new watch


            • #21
              Originally posted by TKite View Post
              Wipe the metal with mustard and it will patina quickly. Let it set for an hour and wash off.
              Thanks, T. I'm planning just to let this one age naturally--I'm curious to observe the process.
              I even refrained from dipping it in the Chesapeake bay last weekend...not sure why.
              Sometimes I defy my own logic.