Prior to the commercial sponsorship deals of the 1960s that would see race cars plastered in corporate logos, cars used to be painted in the colours indicative of the car/driver’s nationality. Racing stripes, also known as “Lemans Stripes,” would eventually be introduced in the 1950s to aid fans in identifying the different competitors and teams, and were quickly adopted by everything from Formula One to rally car.
The Roebuck Diviso–Italian for “split”–reminds me of these classic racers and their liveries.
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Founder, Guy Roebuck, is a well-traveled man–hailing originally from New Zealand and having now settled just outside Austin, Texas by way of an extended residency in London. As such, the Diviso offers nods (some subtle, some not so much) to numerous influences. The textured dial, for example, is inspired by the corrugated rooftops visible near his Texas home. In fact, it was the painting of an American flag on one such roof that became the genesis for the Diviso dial design. The caseback engraving of a water tower is a more direct homage to the city of Round Rock where the founder lives.
The Diviso is partly of two worlds. Certainly, there are distinct dive features. The internal rotating bezel and the double crown harken back to the 60s super-compressor. However, the dial speaks the language of sports cars and automotive racing. In fact, while not strictly a chronograph, the Diviso’s internal bezel double’s nicely as a lap timer. In addition, the external bezel has a slim insert of what appears like carbon fiber. And who can deny the appeal of the Gulf Racing colourway (featured here)?
Apart from its motorsport aesthetics, it is the case finishing which is most immediately arresting. The sides of the watch have been recessed in a bead-blasted execution that is particularly set off by the highly polished edge which encases it. This is a motif that is repeated with equal effect on both crowns. The lugs, for their part, are largely brushed, and the sides of the bezel return to a high polish. This mix of planes and polishes catches and plays with the light in surprising ways. When combined with the metallic effect of the textured dial and the highly polished indices, the Diviso can put on quite a show. The hands and aforementioned indices have all been treated with BGW9 Super-LumiNova.
In terms of size, the Diviso is 42mm in diameter, with a relatively long lug to lug of 49.77mm, and 22mm in lug width. However, at just under 12mm thick, it does not wear as large as it sounds. The piece sports a coated sapphire crystal and a screwed-down caseback–though the crowns are push-pull. In all, the Diviso offers 100m of water resistance.
Roebuck has selected the no-date Miyota 9039 as his engine of choice here. Beating out a solid 28 800 bph, the watch promises a smooth accurate sweep. The Diviso comes standard on an Italian leather strap with calf-skin lining. The stainless steel buckle is brushed and signed.
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|Case||316L Stainless Steel|
49.77mm Lug to Lug
Internal Rotating Bezel
Twin Push-Pull Crowns
100m Water Resistance
|Dial & Crystal||Flat Sapphire Crystal|
42-Hour Power Reserve
|Strap||Italian Leather with Stainless Steel Hardware|
Roebuck worked as a residential drafter in the architecture industry for twenty years before turning his design skills toward watches. He launched his eponymous brand in 2015. His mandate? Use shape, colour, texture, and quality to craft watches that stand apart from the crowd. The bold design elements and strong colours of the Diviso certainly achieve that.
While I am aware that a watch cannot be all things, screw-down crowns would have been nice. However, I will say that my initial worries about the bezel being moved unintentionally through wear proved largely unfounded.
The Roebuck Diviso is certainly a bird of different feather. That’s its charm. The role of a microbrand shouldn’t only be to recreate the tested designs that came before it at a better price point. Sometimes you have to push the envelope. The Diviso does just that. And it does it thoughtfully and with taste. Its finishing is beyond what you might expect of a watch in this category, and its movement is solid. As mentioned earlier, the Diviso (aptly named) is of two worlds. But these worlds do not appear to be struggling for ascendency in one design. Rather, they come together nicely as counterparts, making the Diviso a solid all-round sports watch.
The Diviso retails for $550USD; however, for a limited time only, you can use the code “FALL-21” at checkout for a $75 rebate. For more information, check out the brand website.
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