Today we are gonna talk about a company called San Martin, they are a relatively big brand actually and if I’m correct they started making watches about 2-3 years ago. There isn’t much info about them on the web. All I know is that they come from China and are making mostly homages to IWC Pilot, Panerai, Oris and Seiko. What I think is that San Martin is actually a sub-brand of a watch factory that produces watches for many other brands. It just looks like it! But nonetheless, this brand has gained a lot of positive comments in the last year and is getting more and more popular! Chinese watchmakers actually are getting better and better with each year!
When San Martin let me choose one of the watches from their whole collection it was very difficult, but one stood out to me and the model is called SN002-G2 which is basically an Oris 65 homage. I chose the one with a green dial, but there are also versions with blue and red. I just like how the green looks with the bronze and stainless steel!
The watch came in a very nice watertight box. Inside the box, you will find the watch, screwdriver for the link removal and warranty. Right outside the box, I was really impressed by the watch! The bezel action is just superb and the bracelet is really well made. And the links are held together with screws which is amazing for the price! I even showed the watch to my watchmakers and they said that the watch is really well built.
The watch is made of 316L stainless steel. The case is very well manufactured, I must say it is flawless! I really like the mix of brushed and polished surfaces. The finishing is done exceptionally, every angle and line is sharp and pronounced! The case is round. The case diameter is 42mm, the thickness is 14mm, the lug to lug distance is 51mm and the lug width is 20mm. The proportions, in my opinion, are perfect as the watch wears like a 40mm despite it being 42mm. At 3 o’clock we have a signed screw-in crown with a very nice action! The 120 clicks uni-directional bronze bezel is superb, the clicks and action is something that you can find on a watch that costs probably 5 times more! The bezel insert is ceramic with a lume pip at 12 o’clock. The solid screw-down case back doesn’t let down too as it has a shark machined on it with some specifications around the edge. It is a really nice case back I must say as most of the companies leave the usually blank. On top of the watch, we have a nicely domed sapphire crystal! The water resistance is 200m which is ok for these smaller, more retro-looking divers. You can easily go swimming with this watch without a problem.
The dial on this one is basically the same as on the Oris 65 diver with some minor changes. The dial colour is green and the dial has a shiny finish. The applied hour markers are pronounced with silver frame and with that patina lume in the middle. At 3 o’clock we have a rectangular date window with a white date wheel, I wish they used a green date wheel, At 12 o’clock we have an LTM applied logo in silver colour. I don’t know why San Martin uses different logos on their watches. The hour and minute hands are big and very legible just as in day or night because of the lume. The lollipop seconds hands is a very nice touch too. The lume on this one is average, it isn’t the best, but it isn’t the worst.
The movement I actually don’t know as on their website it says it either comes with an H.K. Precision Technology PT5000 or with Sellita SW200 movement. As I don’t know the movement I can’t say anything much. I know the PT5000 is basically an ETA clone, with 25 jewels, it beats at 28,800 VPH, it is an automatic with hand-wind possibilities. About the Sellita SW200 you can already read a ton of review on my blog, it doesn’t need much explaining anyways as it is a Swiss movement and you can’t go wrong with them. Whatever the movement is, the watch is running strong at +7 seconds a day which is pretty good.
The bracelet is really good on the watch. Solid end links and links, screws holding the links together and the finishing is really good. The bracelet is done in this retro style, kind of similar to Tudor bracelets where the screw heads are slightly poking out of the links. I think they should include a couple more links in my opinion as I only took out 2 links to fit my wrist, for example, if a bigger guy buys this watch he will need to ask for spare links to the company. The clasp is really good too, it is solid and is quite secure.
Overall I really like this Oris 65 homage. It is a really solid watch and it breaks that “oh no, it is a China-made watch, must be bad” stereotype. Everything is really well made and finished, that even watchmakers who are repairing double tourbillons from Breguet and other high-end luxury watches said that it is a really solid watch! For the price, I think it is one of the best retro divers you can buy right now that aren’t on everybody’s wrists! Can I suggest buying this one? Yes!!!!
Price: $370 (Chinese movement) $570 (Swiss movement) @ sanmartinwatches.com
Movement: SW200/PT5000 [automatic mechanical movement]
Case: Material – 316L stainless steel
42mm in diameter (excluding crown)
Length:51mm (including lugs)
The thickness of the crystal is 14mm, excluding the 10.5mm
Lug width:20mm (with the inside of the strap)
Mirror: sapphire crystal bubble mirror
Bezel: ceramic timing copper ring, 12 o’clock scale luminous sign
Dial: enamel surface, available in blue, green and red
Hands: luminous hands
Luminous: C3 Super Luminous (Glowing Color: Green)
Crown: screw-in crown
Bottom cover: screw-in three-dimensional hydraulic bottom cover
Strap: 316L stainless steel strip, width 20mm
Buckle: single folding steel buckle
Waterproof: 200 meters waterproof
Warranty: Two-year warranty