The first time I saw the Duneshore Shallows in a social media feed, I thought, “Well, this is different.” The next time I saw it, I thought, “I need to see this up close.” So, when Phil Rodenbeck offered to include me in the watch’s whirlwind promotional tour, I jumped at the opportunity. It has not disappointed.
The Duneshore Shallows by Visitor is part of their Calligraph line of watches. Rodenbeck, brand owner and admitted stylophile, incorporated a whimsical array of calligraphy-inspired design cues into the watch. The word unique is thrown around a lot. But in the case of the Duneshore Shallows, I think it fits.
The Shallows builds on the successful release of their original Duneshore back in 2014. It takes the unabashedly quirky crossover sports watch and transforms it into a serious diver. Well, perhaps ‘serious’ isn’t quite the right word. Like its predecessor, the Shallows doesn’t try to take itself too seriously. It’s a timepiece that celebrates individuality with sensuous curves and creative colourways, like Seal Teal (featured here), Tangerine Fission, Iron Jade, and Sharkside.
No matter. The Duneshore Shallows has chops. This reinterpretation is fashioned from beautifully brushed 316L stainless steel and comes in at 44mm in diameter. The water resistance gets a bump up to 200m with the addition of a screwed down crown and a solid caseback. The wall width of the watch has also been increased, and the sapphire crystal is a solid 3mm thick. With the addition of a curvaceous dive bezel, the watch really does offer the impression of windswept sand dunes.
The Duneshore Shallows has a slightly smaller dial than the original, as well. To accommodate this, Rodenbeck redesigned the handset, which is a stylized rendering of fountain pen nibs. The applied markers look like ink strokes, and all are generously lumed with C3—as are the bezel pips at 6, 9, and 12 in addition to the first 20 minute indicators. Unchanged is the sandwich-style chapter ring with lumed markers.
Visitor has opted for the high-beat Miyota 9039, which is a no-date execution of the more popular 9015. This provides for a silky smooth second hand sweep, leaves the dial clean, and does away with the ghost position on the crown.
The caseback of the Shallows is of particular note. Not only is it embossed with an attractive sea lion (complete with mane and a knocker in its mouth), but it is curved to fit the profile of your wrist.
|Case||316L Stainless Steel|
51mm Lug to Lug
22mm Lug Width
Screwed Down Crown
200m Water Resistance
|Dial & Crystal||Sapphire /w AR Undercoating|
Sandwich Dial /w Applied Markers
C3 Super LumiNova
42-Hour Power Reserve
Stainless Steel Beads of Rice Bracelet
NBR Dive Strap (Black or White)
Black Rubberized Textile
The Duneshore Shallows can be paired with one of four strap choices; however, the hybrid beads-of-rice bracelet is a highlight. The broad 22mm band runs without taper from lug to buckle employing highly polished links. The buckle itself is brushed and oversized, echoing the case design in both shape and finish. At the centre is an embossed, matte emblem of a lion door knocker. The clasp is operated by a cleverly hidden push-button system that when released opens up butterfly-style and is double deployant.
The Duneshore Shallows is a big watch that hides it size well through deft design. Nonetheless, once on wrist, it is difficult to ignore the 51mm lug to lug dimensions. Those with smaller wrists may find the Shallows out of their depth.
In a crowd of homage watches and vintage reissues, the Duneshore Shallows makes a splash. It’s case and bezel combination have an organic appeal that beg you to look at it first as an objet d’art and only after as a timepiece. You can almost imagine coming across it on some beach shining amongst pebbles–like sea glass, coughed up by the waters and worn smooth by time. It speaks of summer and sun and the outdoors. It’s playful and capable at the same time. It’s…well…different.
The Duneshore Shallows starts at $750USD. For more information, visit the brand’s website.
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