Today we are gonna look at a brand that I reviewed just when I started this website. The brand is called Briston which is an exciting French watch company founded by the multi-talented Brice Jaunet. As a veteran of the industry, Brice’s CV makes a very impressive reading. Over the last fifteen years, he has worked for the Richemont Group, Cartier, Baume & Mercier, and Zenith. With experience at a directorial level, this provided the perfect qualifications to establish his own brand. Previously I reviewed the Clubmaster Vintage chronograph and that was a really beautiful watch that went to my uncle. Within the years they have really expanded their Clubmaster collection with divers and many other watches and also other collections. But the one that I really wanted to review, was the Clubmaster Diver with brushed case, blue dial with red accents and blue rubber strap. They sent me that watch, but funny enough it either got sold out or is discontinued when writing this review, haha. Anycase here is the review.
The watch came in a white rectangular box signed with Briston logo. Inside you will find a grey fabric travel pouch with the watch inside, instructions manual and warranty card. The packaging is pretty neat and I quite like the travel pouch which is handy and can be used even for your smartphone. The first impressions of the watch are good, I quite like this model and the finishing is really top notch. Plus I like that Panerai/compressor style case design it has and that high dome crystal is really cool!
The case of the Clubmaster Diver is made of 316L stainless steel. The case machine work is pretty good althogh where we have the lugs it lacks some machine work. The finishing on the case is very interesting as the top, left and right sides are satin brushed, but top and bottom sides and case back are bead blasted with matte finishing. The case measures 42x42mm as it is cushion shape. From lug to lug it measures at 50mm, the thickness is 14,8mm and the lug width is 20mm, The dimensions on paper actually sound big, but in reality it wears like a 40mm watch in my opinion. On top we have a fixed bezel in satin brushed finish. At 2 and 4 o’clock we have two crowns. The one at 2 o’clock is non screw down crown that makes the inner rotation bezel to rotate bi-directionally. The crown at 4 is a screw down crown to whitstand the 200m of water resistance. Both crown are polished and signed with embossed Briston logo on the top. Both crowns have nice grip and fairly good finishing. The solid screw in case back is bead blasted with matte finishing. In the middle we have the Briston logo and the name of the watch “Clubmaster” engraved. Around the logo we have some specifications and other stuff like serial number engraved on it. I wish Briston did something more interesting with the case back actually as even cheaper watches have much cooler case backs. On top of the watch sits a highly domed mineral crystal of 2,8 mm thickness. Now this part in my opinion is really strange, I actually thought that this is a sapphire crystal as from the sound and touch it feels just like sapphire crystal. This was kind of a let down for a watch at this price point as most of watches that I review here in that price range come with sapphire crystals. None the less mineral isn’t particullary a bad crystal to have on watch, especially so thick like this, just be careful not to scratch this! The waater resistance rating is at 200m and it is plenty enough for any swimming although I’m always pretty skeptical on watches with inner rotationg bezel who’s crown isn’t a screw down one, but if the brand claims the WR rating, then it must be true + there is always a warranty with these ones and can be easily fixed.
The dial on this watch is pretty nicely done in my opinion. The dial I went with is a blue dial with red accents on the inner rotating bezel. So around the dial we have a inner rotating bi-directional bezel with printed hour markings in white with red line from 9 to 12 o’clock. The hour markers on the middle portion are applied with rhodium plated finishing and with C1 white Superluminova in the middle. Around the middle portion of the dial we have a white printed minute track which actually would look better on the rotating bezel. At 12 o’clock we have a printed Briston logo which design wise looks pretty good. At 6 o’lock we have printed text “Clubmaster, Automatic and 200m/600ft”. At 3 o’clock we have a rectangular date window with white date wheel. I wish the date wheel was in matching colour with the dial so that it looks a bit more symmetrical. The index shaped hour and minute hands are polished and filled with lume in the middle. The seconds hand is in white colour in arrow shape with lume on the tip. The dial is pretty interesting in my opinion and what’s important is that it is very legible in almost any condition.
The movement that is inside the watch is Japan made Seiko NH35, which is running at +15 to +17 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,beating away with 21,600 BPH and it also has hacking and hand-winding. 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 and it would fit more of the price point of this watch at 520 euros.
The strap that came with the Clubmaster Diver is a one piece rubber strap. I kind of don’t like these one piece, nato, zulu straps as I don’t like that it adds to the thickness of the watch with the strap going under the watch. Anyways the blue rubber strap isn’t bad and it is well made. On the top it has this line texture and the underside has Briston logo pattern. It also have these ”slots” where the spring bars drop in which is quite neat to position the watch, although it limits the placement of the watch on the strap and I know many people like to wear it differently than intended. The strap is 20mm wide all the way so putting a two piece strap is also an option as there are a lot to choose from! While I was testing the watch I actually tried several leather and rubber straps with it.
Overall I really like the watch I just wish that at this price point the watch would have a better movement and a sapphire crystal, it is actually pretty strange that it doesn’t have it. Anycase the watch is pretty cool enough to get it in my opinion as it still has a decent Seiko movement, that high dome mineral crystal, inner rotating bezel, 200m water resistance, good rubber strap and also a cool packaging. I surely can reccoemend this watch, but I would get it on sale or find some retailer that carry these and have them on sale there!