Today we are reviewing a watch that actually is one of the best deals for a dive watch right now! The company is called Akheilos and they are based in China, in the Guangdong Province – the Chinese central hub of all watch manufacturing. Of course, the Submariner style is going to be the most popular model of all factories, which is why there are a) so many brands offering them and b) why they tend to be very aggressively priced. Akheilos are yet another brand trying to offer every specification going, with a couple of minor tweaks to stand out from the crowd, at a ridiculous price. Yes, there are a lot of Submariner style watches available for far less (Looking at you Pagani and Loreo, haha). But for me, I feel that there are too many companies making them really badly, many lack the quality or sometimes the small tweaks kind of ruin the watch overall. But this one? Well apart of some dial designs in their Shark diver line up, I think is really well executed and the price for what you get is really good deal!
The watch cames in a green clamshell box. Inside the box you will find the watch, warranty card, screwdriver for the bracelet links (oh yes, it has screwed links, which is rare at this price point), spring bar tool and a lether strap. The packaging is pretty good and it comes with a lot of stuff which is welcome and surprising at this price point. The first impressions were pretty good although the bracelet feels cheap and the bracelet has some ugly gaps between the links.
The case is made of 316L stainless steel and is pretty well made with nice machine work. The finishing on the case is good with satin brushed finishing on top of the lugs and polished sides, but it only good because it has some small hairline scratches from factory that aren’t finished as good as it needs to be, even at this price range. The case diameter is 40mm, the thickness is 14mm and from lug to lug it measures at 48mm. The dimensions in my opinion are perfect to make it a very comfortable diver as daily wearer. At 3 o’clock we have some hefty crown guards with a signed screw-down crown. The crown action is pretty good and it has a really good grip. The best part of the watch in my opinion is the bezel and green ceramic bezel insert. Well made with clean, crisp digits. The action of the 120-click bezel is also very good – firm and smooth and surprisingly it alligns pretty good with the dial markers. Another cool detail that you don’t see a lot and little helium release valve at 9, centrally in the polished side of the case. The screw-in caseback is quite cool on this one as it isn’t another plain and booring case back, the Shark 500 features a vintage diving helmet. This is obviously a nod to the impressive depth rating, however as the name of the model is the “Shark” it is strange that you don’t see that name on the watch. The water resistance is 500m which is really impressive at this price range, so you can easily enjoy any water activities.
The dial is matte green with really cool applied arabic numerals and hour markers in polished rose gold colour. SuperLuminova BGW9 lume has been applied on the dial markers; however the handset has SLC3. The strength is certainly better than average, which is good – but some may not like the slightly different hues these two lume types display. The hands are standart Submariner style with Mercedes hour hand and the lollipop seconds hand. The hour and minute hands are also rose gold colour with polished finishing. The only thing that not only me, but others in forums have pointed out is the logo that actually isn’t that good to look at in my opinion, they should re-work it so it is simpler or maybe leave it as text, but in a different font.
The movement that is inside the watch is Japan made Seiko NH35, which is running at +9 to +11 seconds a day, at least for me. 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. Despite Seiko NH35 beeing a pretty good movement I would preffer a Miyota 9000s series movement better as it is just so much closer to the Swiss movements in quality and finishing.
The bracelet actually was a bit of a let down if I’m honest. The screw pins to secure the links and the clasp are probably the only good parts about this bracelet. The problems I have with the bracelet is that there is a significant gap between the center link and side links in some parts, basically they aren’t properly machined. The second thing is that sides of the links are sharp, like really sharp and they aren’t finished very good and the sides of the bracelet kind of cuts in my wrist. It’s worth noting that the watch comes with a spare strap too, a beautiful thick, well-oiled genuine leather strap. The quality is top-notch, a lovely oaky brown colour, and it’s really supple out of the box. On top of that, you get a pin removal tool to be able to switch them out, as well as a screwdriver to resize the bracelet which is always nice to see in one package.
Overall the watch is good for the money, but it has it’s flaws, If I was buying this piece, I would only wear it on the supplied leather strap or maybe find a green rubber strap. The design I actually like with those arabic numerals on the dial and it kind of makes the watch look less like Submariner. For the price 299$ I think it is quite worth it and you can actually get this without a bracelet on a rubber dive strap for just 259$ which in my opinion is a good deal!