Davosa Argonautic BG (Review) – Cool diver!

Today we are gonna review a diver from a company called Davosa, I have been wanting to review something from this company for a long time and finally, they sent me a view sample of their latest release called Argonautic BG, which has an updated bracelet from the previous Argonautic.

Davosa manufactures high‐quality Swiss timepieces and is a long‐established name in the watch industry. Davosa watches are characterised by a classical approach throughout. From elegant to sporty, they have everythings from classic watches to pilot‐style chronographs, large regulators with a peripheral hour hand and robust diver’s watches.

The history of DAVOSA Swiss Watches can be traced back to one of these families of farmers and watchmakers from the Jura Mountains. The Hasler family was a family of four brothers. Two of them left their small mountain village in the “Valle de Joux” to work in watch factories in Geneva and Biel. The fourth brother, Abel Frederic Hasler (born 1861), began manufacturing small series of silver pocket watch cases with the greatest precision craftsmanship from 1881.

Six of his sons went on to inherit his watchmaking talent. For one of his sons, Paul Hasler (1883-1977), watchmaking became both a passion and a vocation. Even as a small child, he was fascinated with the complicated watches he discovered on his father’s work table. Upon completing his watchmaker training, he saved up a little capital and a few years later, was able to found his own business, Paul Hasler Terminages d’horlogerie, which specialized in watch assembly for a range of prestigious watch brands.

Difficult years ensued from 1930 to 1936. It was a time of high unemployment and many companies were forced to close down their operations. Paul Hasler managed to prevail thanks to his high standards of quality, which were greatly valued by his customers. By this stage, he was already employing twelve additional watchmakers.

David Hasler (1897-1951), who had already worked for his brother Paul as technical director for many years, joined the company in 1946. This partnership marked the beginning of Hasler Freres. The company soon began designing their own creations and transforming them into finished timepieces. Their circle of customers was not only limited to Europe; one of their most important export markets was the United States. Licence holders from all over the world without their own production process profited from the services of the Hasler brothers. The company finally moved into its current premises in Tramelan in 1953.

Business continued to prosper. In 1961, a third generation of Haslers, Wilfred and Eric Hasler, joined the business as joint partners after completing their watchmaker training. Kurt Wittwer joined the company in 1964 to support the commercial side of the business. He succeeded in opening up new markets and supervised product development from the initial creative idea to the finished product. The company began specializing in timepieces with sophisticated mechanical clockwork.

During the 1970s, Switzerland started to come under pressure from watchmakers from the Far East. The technical revolution brought about by the introduction of the quartz watch almost succeeded in ousting the traditional mechanical watch from the market. In response to this new market demand, Hasler & Co S.A., a legal entity from 1974, also began incorporating quartz watches into its product range.

1993 marked the beginning of sustainable development of the DAVOSA brand. 1993 was also the year in which Hasler & Co S.A. began cooperating with watch distributor, Bohle GmbH, who had been active on the German market since the 1960s. The mechanical watch was already experiencing something of a renaissance in Germany, where a high-quality, limited collection of mechanical timepieces under the brand name DAVOSA became a resounding success.

This collection included 3-hand automatic chronograph with 7750/7751 Valijoux caliber, as well as power reserve and regulator models and a mechanical alarm watch. Watch retailers and watch aficionados alike appreciated the combination of superior workmanship, high mechanical precision and contemporary design which is classic enough to endure.

The success of this first collection prompted further successful series and the cooperation between Hasler & Co. SA and Bohle GmbH became ever closer over the years. In 2000 Corinna bohle took over responsibility for strategic brand development, and both marketing and distribution are now managed from Germany. The contours of the characteristics DAVOSA design were further honed and brand quality was optimized through the acquisition of new specialist suppliers. Today the DAVOSA brand, carried by an independent, family-run company, has a global presence and is an integral part of the mechanical watch world.

The watch that Davosa sent me is from their already existing Argonautic BG line, this is their updated version with oyster style bracelet. The “new” models come in 3 colour variations (blue, grey and black) both with rubber or bracelet versions. I chose the blue one on the bracelet as it looks the best and how can you resist a blue dive watch?

The watch arrived in a pretty regular clamshell style box. The wooden box is in black laquer and the inside is from white leather-like material. Inside the box, you will find the manual, warranty and the watch. The first thing that I noticed about the watch is the bracelet has a lot of links and that actually is good to see because many brands forget big wristed people and I even had brands that send me the watch and the bracelet is short by 2 links to fit me, and my wrist is average-sized (18cm). The only thing that I don’t like is that the end-links don’t fit the case as they should, they have a little gap between the case.

The case of the Argonautic BG is made of 316L stainless steel. The machine work on the case is very sharp and well finished. The satin-brushed finishing is well done and is even throughout the case. The case diameter is 43mm, the thickness is 13,5mm, the case length is 51,2mm and the lug width is 22mm. The sizing for the watch I think is pretty good, it doesn’t fee very big or too small on the wrist, it is just where it should be. At 3 o’clock we have a signed screw-down crown with Davosa logo. Around the crown, we also have the crown guards just to be extra safe and make the watch almost bulletproof. At 10 o’clock we have a manual helium escape valve with the helium atom engraved on top. A helium escape valve protects the watch when ascending to the water’s surface. When underwater, helium can permeate any seal, but it cannot escape quickly enough from the case when resurfacing. The danger is that the glass can burst out of its case. However, thanks to a manual helium escape valve, a controlled equalisation of pressure inside the watch can be achieved when ascending to the surface.

Around the dial, we have a 120 click uni-directional bezel with a blue ceramic insert that also has a blue lume in the numbers and markers. The bezel action is really good, the bezel is very tight and sits very close to the case with no play at all. The grip is also good on the bracelet so timing something with wet suit gloves will be easy. The solid screw-in case back is pretty well made with a polished ring on which we have some specifications engraved and Davosa logo in the middle. On top of the watch, we have a flat sapphire crystal with AR coating. The water resistance is 300M (30ATM) which is more than enough to swim and dive.

The matte blue dial has white hour marking with yellow accent line around them. Around the dial, we have a minute track in white. At 12 o’clock we have the Davosa name and logo. At 6 o’clock we have the watch name Argonautic BG in yellow and water resistance and automatic in white. Right at the 6 o’clock hour marker, we have Swiss Made. The hour hand is short and shaped like an arrow. The end triangle portion is in white and the rest is blue. The minute hand is sword-shaped and also the end is in white and the rest is in blue colour. The second’s hand is a blue stick-shaped hand with yellow end and lollipop counterweight with lume in the middle. The hour markers and hands are lumed with Swiss Superluminova which glows in blue colour. At 3 o’clock we have a rectangular date window with a white date wheel. Usually, I would say that a blue colour matched date wheel would be a better choice, but here a white date wheel is a better choice because of the legibility.

Inside the Argonautic BG, we have a DAV 3021 Automatic calibre, which basically is a Sellita SW200 or ETA 2824-2 just with few tweaks making it in house. But when I tried to search more info on the movement I found out that recently they switched to using only the Sellita based ones. Sellita SW200-1 isn’t actually the best movement as I would rather want to get ETA, but it is an ok Swiss-made automatic 26 jewel movement. It is a pretty popular movement that is getting used more and more in microbrand watches as it is cheaper than the ETA, and Sellita gives movements to almost any company, not like ETA. I have it in a couple of my watches and it actually works pretty good and very precise, just the problem is that from watchmakers perspective it isn’t very well built or well finished. Anycase my example was running at -7 to -8 seconds a day which is right where it supposed to be.

The bracelet is oyster style one with solid links and end links. The end links are probably the only let down of this watch as I think they don’t fit snug in between the lugs as there is a little gap. The removable links are held on with screw-in rods. For my 18cm wrist, I took off 3 links and changed the micro-adjustment on the clasp. So the fitment isn’t a problem for any wrist. The clasp is milled and feels very solid and secure. The clasp is signed with Davosa logo on top and it has 4 micro-adjustments and diving extension. The clasp is brushed just like the bracelet, but the edges of the clasp are polished.

Overall the watch is really good, it was everything I expected for it to be! The blue colour, the yellow accents, the build quality and finishing is amazing! For the price of 798€, it is well worth it. Of course, at this price, you also have other options like Christopher Ward or even a used Oris, but in my opinion, those ones are too played out and this is something more unique with its own original design from a great brand with a long history in watchmaking dating back to start of the last century.

Price: 798€ @ davosa.com

Reference number:161.522.04
Lug width:22 mm
Plant:Automatic, DAV 3021
Waterproofness:30 ATM
Bezel:Unidirectional rotatable, high-tech ceramic, luminous scale
Digits:Indices
Caseback:screwed
Tape:metal
Length:51.2 mm
Collection:diving
Casing:stainless steel
Glass:anti-reflective
Functions:Date, helium valve
Dial color:blue
Light source:SuperLumiNova
Crown:screwed
Execution:Men’s watch
Length:51.2 mm
Height:13.5 mm
Width:43 mm

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