Today we are looking at a watch that’s from a company called Makara. I have actually been aware of them for some time as I really like their robust watches. The watch we are looking at is the Sea Turtle II which is a continuation of the first model. I have read on some forums that the first Sea Turtle has had some quality control issues and the lume has been very poor. But if Makara is continuing the line, then I guess they have dealt with all the issues.
Makara is a Canadian brand and a sister brand to Helgray. I have actually reviewed one of their Silverstone models. They make these very chunky, masculine watches in limited quantities, so when they are gone, they are gone for good. All their watches are kind of keeping to the same case style and I like that companies are kind of trying to do a lot of things with one case design so people keep remembering them, just like with Rolex and Oyster case, you just know it is Rolex. What also is good, is that the watches are really cheap, for example, the one we are taking a look at today is just 395$ which is pretty cheap! The Bronze one is sold out and the Black version is still available for the same price.
The Makara Sea Turtle II came in a small cardboard box, inside you will find a nice travel box with a zipper. Inside you will get of course the watch and some paperwork. The first impressions were good and actually, it is bigger than I thought it will be. It really has a BIG wrist presence with that chunky case and dome crystal. I really like the dial and that orange accent on the minute hands just makes the dial pop out more. The buckle is also pretty cool and funny in the same way as it looks like brass knuckles. All together I really liked the watch, even wore it for the first days ignoring anything else I have received in those days in for a review, haha.
The case of the Sea Turtle is made of 316L stainless steel. The case has a pretty good machine work all over the case, but when it comes to finishing, there is some unevenness on the case sides at the lugs. The finishing all over the case is satin-brushed. On top of the case, there is a fixed bezel with a nice polished line just by the main case. The case shape I would say is square. The width of the Sea Turtle is 44mm, the thickness is a whopping 17mm (with the domed crystal) and in the length, it measures at 52mm. Well, the watch isn’t for everyone, even I have a hard time pulling it off, my father is a big guy and on his wrist, it even looks big. But the watch is really comfortable on the wrist, maybe it is just me who has used to big and heavy watches, but for me, it feels really comfortable. Before I started to write the review I was searching for the watch and then my girlfriend said to me that it is on my wrist :D. At 3 o’clock we have a nicely signed screw-down crown. The crown action is really smooth and it is very easy to grip the crown too! The solid screw-in case back is really pretty with sea turtles engraved on it keeping with the theme of the watch. Around the case back there are also some specifications engraved on it. On top of the watch sits a double domed sapphire crystal with an AR coating. The crystal is probably the biggest I have seen on any of the watches I have reviewed so far, it sits 3mm over the case. The water resistance is 30ATM (300M) so diving with this is no problem. I actually am surprised that it is only 300m water resistant because it looks like it can go 1000m deep!
The dial on the watch is kept very simple. The dial itself is matte black. Around the dial, we have a white printed minute track. All the applied hour markers are white and outlined with nothing in the middle. At 6 o’clock we have a date window with a white date wheel which actually doesn’t look bad. The hour hand is shaped like an arrow and is very short. The index minute hand is orange. The second’s hand is white and reaches to the edge of the dial. All the hands and hour markers are lumed. The dial is very legible, at first it is very hard to get used to the hour hand being soo small, but after some time it is very easy to read the dial. The lume on the dial is ok-ish, but it still lacks the brightness.
The movement that you will find ticking inside is the Seiko NH35, which is reasonably well regulated at +10 to +12 seconds a day. This movement is pretty popular in the microbrand world as 50% of watches that are coming out have this movement inside them. It has proven it’s reliability and easiness to service within many years. You just can’t go wrong with Japan made movements from Seiko. It is an automatic 24 jewel movement with 41-hour power reserve and beating away with 21,600 BPH.
The silicone strap that comes with Sea Turtle is black silicone strap with 24mm with and with a straight cut. The big strap is matched with the beefy looking case of the Sea Turtle and they go very well together! The rubber used on this strap is very soft and supple, not that they usually don’t come very soft, but I have had some watches with very stiff rubber straps. On the wrist the watch feels good, I actually highly suggest you put a big watch on a rubber strap, this way it will feel more comfortable than on a metal bracelet or leather strap. The brass knuckle design buckle is made of stainless steel and is also pretty beefy. I actually like it and hate it at the same time, half of me thinks it’s childish, and the other half thinks it’s cool, nonetheless it is made very well and it works like it should.
Overall I really like this watch. The size for most of my readers could be a big concern as it is a really big watch, but for some of my readers who have larger wrists, it will work great! But I hope they will make at least a 42mm version for smaller guys like me and then it would be a killer watch! They actually have a 42mm case watch called Sea Serpent coming in December 2019, but that has a bit different case and style. I really like the dial, hands, that small pop of orange gives it a vintage vibe, the big double domed sapphire and everything just works so well together with the Sea Turtle case! Makara really nails their designs with that bold look and I like that they are original and aren’t copying Panerai or any other bold, masculine watch brand!
Price: 395$ @ makarawatches.com
8 thoughts on “Makara Sea Turtle II Stainless steel (Review)”
Love the watch but after a couple months of use the crown threads stripped. Months later and multiple attempts to get in contact with makara support they have yet to respond. Worst customer service. Would not recommend.
Maybe they are to busy! Microbrands usually are a 1-2 man operation + they had a new release so it could be a bit hard to reach them! Keep trying until you reach them or write to them on Instagram and facebook!
Yeah, I received mine a month ago, but it came in the wrong color. 4 emails over the past month, and NOTHING! I’m getting pissed off!
Hmm strange, try to contact them on Instagram or Facebook
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I ordered the Sea Serpent almost a year ago. After many delays -some caused by COVID of course- the watch should have been delivered in June. It was on its way. But Canada Post was somehow unable to deliver it in Hongkong. So it went back to Canada. Since June I’m trying to reach out to Makara customer service – without ANY reply. 299$ gone in the wind. Fraud!
My recommendation: Don’t ever give them your money!
I feel your pain, Andreas. I did receive mine, but it was the wrong color. I’ve hit them up for months without a reply. (I guess I should feel lucky I got a watch at all!).
Bummer you got ripped off. They have a Facebook page with nothing but similar complaints about the lack of customer service.
Update on my Makara case: Several weeks ago I received a mail from Nad stating that they would clear their storage to make place for new projects. So I replied that I‘d love to finally get hands on my ordered and prepaid Sea Serpent. Guess what! He replied and last last week the watch finally arrived. This time I chose my German address for delivery which means that I still don’t get my hands on it because I’m corona-stuck in China but at least the watch is there.
That said, this will still be my last experience with that brand. Seen from the pictures the watch doesn’t look brand new but actually pretty dirty and possibly also scratched. But I have to find that out by myself because I don’t want to bother my parents too much with taking pictures in this light and that light. Plus it wouldn’t help since the last thing I’d do now would be sending the watch back and hoping for replacement. Hahaha.
Lieber ein Ende mit Schrecken, als ein Schrecken ohne Ende.
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OMG, you actually heard back from him? Lucky you! I never received a reply about my incorrect order. I’m glad you did not get *completely* ripped off.
Maybe I should try emailing again…