Some brands hit the market like a tsunami, leaving enthusiast forums abuzz for weeks and months. Others make a splash, only to fade off quickly into a ripple. And then there are others yet who fly unjustifiably under the radar (pardon the mixed metaphor), quietly going about the business of making good watches. After having experienced the Havsornen in the metal, I think Octon is part of the latter.
Octon makes dive watches and only dive watches. But they market their timepieces in two different ways. Some, like the Havsornen, can be purchased off the shelf as regular production models, or as limited run editions. However, Octon also allows the buyer to build his/her own watch through the aid of a web-based application. With six dial choices, ten bezel options, more than twenty strap possibilities, and two Japanese movements (NH35A and Miyota 9015), Octon presents a variety of alternatives from which to customize your experience. Octon watches are assembled in Sweden, and will usually ship direct within one to two weeks.
Customization aside, the draw of production models like the Havsornen is that they offer design elements not normally available through the customizing app.
The name Octon is derived from a specific period of time in the eclipse cycle. Havsornen means “Sea Eagle,” and it is also the name of a wooden Swedish sailing sloop built in 1937, and still making waves in the regatta circuit today. Like all watches from Octon, the Havsornen case clearly draws inspiration from the 1950s-era Submariner, and as such, comparisons with the more contemporary Black Bay 58 are just as valid. But it is not an homage in the strict sense of the word. The Havsornen Moss Green pictured here, for example, deviates entirely in style, not just in its colour palette, but in the baton-style indices and hands, which are both treated in a vintage Swiss Super-LumiNova. The bezel insert is matte black DLC with matching dive increments, similarly lumed, and a pip at twelve with a polished stainless steel surround. The end result is much more sporty and playful.
On the technical side, the bezel, itself, is 120-click and uni-directional. The crystal is domed sapphire with an AR undercoat, and the crown and caseback are screwed down. The Havsornen also offers a hefty 300m of water resistance.
The 316L stainless steel case measures 40mm in diameter and is 13mm thick, but has a slightly larger lug width of 22mm. It is predominantly brushed, but for a slim chamfer of polish running the along the outer edge of the midcase. The caseback offers an interesting touch, being engraved with a funky tentacled creature wearing a diving helmet. The Havsornen comes on a fully articulating oyster bracelet that has screwed links and a milled clamshell clasp with four increments of micro-adjust. It also ships with an extra rubber dive strap, and comes in a very nice, water-tight, impact-resistant case.
This version of the Havsornen is equipped with the Seiko NH35A which is a 3Hz workhorse, vibrating at 21 600bph. It offers hacking and hand-winding, as well as a power reserve of 41 hours.
|Case||316L Stainless Steel|
22mm Lug Width
Screw Down Crown & Caseback
120 Click Uni-directional Bezel
300m Water Resistance
|Dial & Crystal||Domed Sapphire Crystal|
41-Hour Power Reserve
|Strap||Stainless Steel Bracelet with Milled Clasp|
& Quick Release
Octon have partnered with an environmental organization called SeaLegacy. The charity has pulled together creatives from around the world in the hopes of generating conversations and stories that inspire people to look at the ocean and act. Their photographers and videographers produce powerful media and art that highlight the beauty and the issues beneath the waves. SeaLegacy was co-founded in 2014 by Cristina Mittermeier and Paul Nicklen, both renowned photographers.
Given the price point, it is not hard to think that the Octon Havsornen is punching well above its weight class. As such, it is also difficult to criticize. A quibble, albeit a small one, would be the ghost position on the crown, as the NH35A is a movement with a date. That being said, I prefer the symmetry of this no date design.
The Octon Havsornen is a solid watch. While the case design could be considered derivative of Rolex or Tudor, the overall appearance is much more roguish. The matte black DLC bezel is quite fetching, and does well to set off the old lume look of the minute markers. The repeated shapes on the inner index of the dial–including the inverted pyramid at twelve–really focus your attention. It’s a motif that is apparent in the choice of handset, as well, which provides the watch with a nice sense of balance and unity. While the timepiece is also available in a Limited Edition Baltic Blue, I have to say that the Moss Green is an inspired choice. Even though the Havsornen is positioned as an entry-level diver, there are certain details throughout that would lead you to believe otherwise–the razor sharp chamfer of polish, the snappy action of the coin edge bezel, and the stainless steel pip surround, to name a few. However, I was also impressed with the smooth action of the screwed down crown. Ghost position aside, it was pleasure to operate. Couple this thoughtful extras like screwed links and a quick release mechanism on the bracelet and you quickly realize the Havsornen for the value proposition that it is.
The Octon Havsornen retails for $349USD. For more information, please visit the brand website.
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