ANDREAS S. GREGORIADES SEPTEMBER 2017
“Fresh out of the box and it already has an imposing posture that commands respect”.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a professional reviewer, blogger or otherwise have any experience with watch reviews, especially for modern watches.
When Raymond Chan asked me to review the Andersmann Oceanmaster II I was quite taken aback to be honest. I have never ‘reviewed’ a watch before, not in the context of how a watch review is understood nowadays. Granted I am a watch dealer and surrounded by watches all the time, but frankly, I have never been a big fan of reviews. They are usually too ‘nice’ or too long to keep me interested to continue reading or they read more like an elaborated description of the spec sheet that can easily be found on any brand’s website.
I will therefore leave the spec sheet for the end of this document and quickly get started to describe how my week-long experience with the Oceanmaster II was. I promise not to get carried away with this document.
Fresh out of its pelican case and it already has an imposing posture that commands respect, it is not a flamboyant ‘peacock’ kind of watch that would anyway catch your sight. Granted, it is not a small watch either but I have seen plenty of big watches that frankly make you want to look the other way. The Oceanmaster II’s simple looks, straight lines and ‘rugged class’ are just a few of the elements that lock your eyes on it. It looks back at me with its sandwich dial with the “I’m not just any watch” look that is making me be very careful about my next move.
The Andersmann “Oceanmaster II” 1000m is a watch that takes its looks very seriously and it manages to do that extremely well even under urban B&W conditions. A bold, no-frills tool watch, it quickly erases your critical eye with a ‘no, I did not need that’ just as you start to think ‘what if this or what if that’. I have a certain respect for watches that ‘do not try too much’ to look good. They just do. The “Oceanmaster II” 1000m is one of them.
As yet another urban day began for me, I swing round the post office for a few chores. The Andersmann ‘Oceanmaster II’ shows me that it does equally well in the water but also in a more urban environment. The old style colourful post box in the background once again reminds me of the subtle, yet bold and adequately classy design of the watch. The palm tree reflection at 6h on the domed sapphire crystal makes me look forward to a day at the beach.
As I was lining up a lume shot, I had a flashback of my first night and wreck dives when I was training for the Rescue Diver specialization back in the late 1980’s.
During night dives or wreck dives with limited visibility, a diver needs information to be to the point and fast. It gets stressful and sometimes even scary under such conditions while diving. Last thing a diver needs is to have to ‘sieve’ through busy lume dials, different colours or ‘sparkling stars’. The Andersmann ‘Oceanmaster’ II does exactly what a diver needs: quickly and clearly shows you the time under low-visibility conditions.
As the late afternoon warm light settles in, the Andersmann ‘Oceanmaster’ II reminds me what a gentle of a giant it is. While a big watch with a 47mm case diameter and 56mm L2L it wears unbelievably well on my 7.5” wrist; and this comes from a vintage watch fan who is known to regularly sport <40mm watches. Without a doubt a bold presence on the wrist, which is nevertheless ‘softened’ by its classy, no-frills design and general colour scheme. The smooth bead-blasted steel case tones the whole look down even further, giving the whole visual design a very pleasant aspect overall.
Early morning mirror shot with coffee and keys in hand, shoulder workbag and a white linen shirt to get me through the hot summer day ahead. I momentarily get a cool temperature drop as the elevator door opens at -1.
The Andersmann ‘Oceanmaster’ II reminds me that a good-looking watch will just look good at any angle. I am looking forward to another great day with it today. I might start taking a closer look at its many details by the end of the day.
As I get ready for a quick trip abroad, I switch from the rubber strap to the plush cinnamon brown strap that comes with the Oceanmaster II which contrasts nicely against the rugged wood deck. Earth colours fit the watch very nicely. A 6mm tapering takes the strap from 26mm at the lugs to 20mm at the buckle end. I like that a lot as I’ve never been a fan of big buckles.
Having spent the weekend in a large room with many other watch dealers, I was pleasantly surprised [more than a few times] when other dealers would ask me what watch I am wearing while I was standing in front of their tables looking at their watches. Almost all of them asked me to hand it over for a closer look and when I mentioned the package and price they were all very impressed.
At the airport getting the shuttle between terminals to catch my flight back home and things are getting a little cold. Thankfully my jacket matches the watch’s beautiful sweep hand well.
A few noteworthy details:
Although some brands do use it, it is not common to find a display back on any type of diver watch. The Oceanmaster II chose to go this way, displaying the ETA Cal. 2892-A2 in all its glory. This photo also allows you to see the exquisitely designed crown and crown-guards. Straight lines in abundance again, make the overall look quite pleasing.
The watch comes with two straps; a black rubber strap and a calf leather strap. The 6mm tapering is quite a good touch and makes the whole wearing experience more comfortable. The ‘side-flaps’ on the rubber strap are a great detail, allowing a more secure fit with the first of the two floating rings.
I had to look at this watch for a long time to find something I might have personally done differently:
- In theory everyone loves a display back, but on this watch, I would have preferred a closed back, being a 1000m diver. Also, the size of the movement [only 11 ½’’’] makes it look very small in the 47mm case.
- I would have made both straps 1-1.5cm longer. With a 7.5” wrist, I was on the second pinhole on the rubber strap and on the third pinhole on the calf strap, with the strap tail almost completely covered by the floating holders. On the calf strap, which only has one [wider] floating holder, I would have most probably chosen to make it less wide.
- If I had to be really critical, I would change the shape of the lume pip so it would not be the same round shape as the round dial indices. A triangular lume pip would have made it even easier to quickly find it during a night dive, as it would create a ‘clearer’ view/contrast being of a different shape than then 1-2-4-5-7-8-10-11 hour indices.
- Post review surprise: Well ain’t I a silly billy. Al Graef will love this. Check out what I found at the bottom of the box while packing the Oceanmaster II away … a second, longer rubber strap. I got to give it to you Raymond this is a VERY nice touch. And yes, that makes 3 straps in the box! The long one is the standard strap, the short one was extra for the group!
In summary, I have found the Oceanmaster II to be a pleasure to wear. It is well thought and designed, with straight and simple lines. Its no-frills general ‘approach’ gives it a classy visual result and self-presentation. The numerous design details could make it a conversation piece for a whole evening, nevertheless they are ‘hidden well’ by their minimalist lines, that result in a very satisfying visual result. The Swiss movement, sapphire glasses, choice of two straps and pelican case make it a very good value for money at CHF1,480 MSRP.
The specifications, from the brand’s website:
MOVEMENT: Swiss automatic movement ETA 2892-A2
FUNCTIONS: Hours, minutes, seconds, 42 hours power reserve
MATERIALS: Bead Blasted 316L Stainless steel
CASE: Diameter 47mm, screw-down winding crown
CASE LENGTH: 56mm
LUG WIDTH: 26mm
CRYSTAL: Double curved sapphire 4mm thick with anti-reflective coating
BEZEL: Anti-clockwise unidirectional rotating black DLC bezel
BACK: 4mm sapphire crystal
DIAL: Black grained dial with luminous dot and hour markers
WATER RESISTANCE: 1000m
STRAP: ANDERSMANN personalized natural rubber strap
LIMITED PRODUCTION: 100 pieces
REMARK: All watches come with box with warranty card.
About Andreas S. Gregoriades
Andreas is a passionate vintage watch collector and professional vintage watch dealer. His main interest is in chronographs of the 1930’s – 1970’s, military watches from the 1930’s – 1960’s and divers from the 1960’s – 1970’s. He was born, raised and lives in Cyprus but has travelled and worked worldwide extensively. He has founded 5 Facebook groups: Diver’s Watches, Chronograph Watches, Aviator Watches, Vintage Timepieces and Celebrity Watches. You can find his online stores on eBay [for watches and watch accessories] or on his private store [for watches only].
Andreas S. Gregoriades is a member of Diver’s Watches Facebook Group.