Aquatico Sea Star V2 Blue dial (Review) – Really good diver under 300$!

Today we are looking at a brand that has been featured on my blog a couple of times and we even have reviewed the same version of the watch in bronze and with different dial layout and colour. Today we are looking at the version 2.0 of the Sea Star in stainless steel. Sea Star collection which is a dive watch inspired by the Tudor Black Bay watches. What I like about the new versions is that they include a version with a Seiko NH35 movement for 299$ and for 499$ you can get the same watch with Sellita SW200. Although I don’t see paying 200$ more for a Sellita as it isn’t the best Swiss movement and ETA 2824 would be a lot better, but with current situation with ETA suplliers it is almost impossible to get if watches aren’t made in Switzerland, thus making them a lot more expensive.

Anycase, the version that Aquatico chose to send me is the Sea Star with a blue dial and bezel insert and with NH35 movement. There are many colour, dial and hand options and two movement options as previously mentioned. When the watch arrived I was actually surprised how good it looked in real life. The case looks really sharp, the ceramic insert is nice! The bezel has a very nice action to it! Plus it comes with an extra blue nato strap, maybe not the best, but it is there. And the best part? It costs just 299$ which is probably the best price for a dive watch out there in microbrand market, of course, other choices may be beeing Phoibos! The watch was very neatly boxed in a nice square box signed by Aquatico.

The case of the Sea Star is made of 316L stainless steel. The case is very well machined actually, a bit better than the bronze version that I have had for review. The case is finished in the satin-brushed finish, which is really well done, the edge of the bezel has a bit of polished finishing! I wish they added more polished edges on the lugs or any other details as then the watch would look a ton better. The case diameter is 42mm, the thickness is 14mm and from top to bottom the case measures at 49,5mm. The uni-directional 120 click bezel is pretty good for a watch at this price, sometimes even better than much more expensive pieces from other brands. Bezel has no play, the clicks are precise and it works really good! The ceramic bezel insert is pretty good and I like that red triangle at 12 o’clock and all markers on the insert are lumed with Superluminova BG W9 which glows in this blueish colour. At 3 o’clock we have a screw-down crown which is signed on top. The crown action is pretty good! The one thing I don’t like about the new version is that they removed the drilled lugs, which made changing strap easier, at least for me. The exhibition screw-in stainless steel case back has a flat sapphire crystal with specifications engraved around the edge. On top of the watch, we have boxed sapphire crystal with dome from the inside and AR coating on the underside. The water resistance is 300m (30ATM) which more than enough to swim with the watch without a problem!

The dial is blue and it really pops because of the sapphire crystal that is domed from the underside. Around the dial we have a minute track printed in white and applied hour markers with lume in the middle of them. The hour markers are made of brass btw and in my opinion they look pretty cool, gives the watch that gilt dial vibe. The sword hour and minute hands are also made of brass. The red second’s hand nicely accents the dial and I like that arrow shape it has. At 12 o’clock we have ”Aquatico” brand name with “Automatic” written under the brand name which in my opinion is unnecessary detail + it kind of cheapens the watch. At 6 o’clock we have writing like the name of the watch “Sea Star” and the depth rating “1000ft/300m”. I also quite like that they made it a no-date version, it just makes the dial cleaner and it is a plus for me as I don’t like date feature that much. If you own too much watches date makes the life much more complicated, haha.

The movement that is inside the watch is Japan made Seiko NH35. Seems like we have trend cause almost all watches I recently reviewed come with NH35 movement, haha. Mine example is running at +10 to +12 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, but at this price point I can’t complain at all!

The Sea Star comes on a bracelet. The bracelet is an oyster style bracelet. The bracelet is pretty decent with solid end links and links. The links are held together with push pins which is normal at this price range, but it would be better if the links were attached with screw pins, but I guess it would increase the price by a considerable amount. The bracelet is 22mm wide at the lugs and tapers to 20mm at the clasp. The clasp is milled and looks decent, although I wish the clasp outer part wasn’t pressed, but rather milled. For me the bracelet was pretty comfortable and surprisingly it wasn’t pulling hairs like the Akheilos Shark did. Also with the watch you get a blue nato strap, but it isn’t much to talk about.

Overall the watch is really good at the price. I just wish the bracelet was a bit better and then the watch would be just perfect. Maybe Aquatico can ditch the NH35 and use the Miyota 9000’s series movement and put a better bracelet with more solid construction with screw pins. And a solid case back wouldn’t be bad. All this together could cost a bit less than the Sellita SW200 version and it would be a really great watch. But at price point of 299$ I can’t complain much! It is really solid diver for that money! Plus the shipping is free worldwide!

Price 299$ @ aquaticowatch.com

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