Aquatico’s latest release, the Super Charger, has been quite eagerly anticipated. Once more, I’m pleased to publish the very first review of another impressive watch. Calvin Lee, the owner and man behind Aquatico has been extremely friendly and responsive whilst we’ve been chatting on Facebook Messenger. This helps you appreciate that Aquatico is a close and dear project of an individual, and not a faceless company that doesn’t really care too much about their customers.
Only 100 have been made, and Calvin has told me he doesn’t have any immediate plans to do another run – so if you like it, you’d better order one sharpish. It’s a very reasonable price at $210 / £165, and at initial inspection seems a very impressive watch for the money. Let’s take a closer look to see if it really is.
- Dimensions: 44mm diameter x 16mm height x 54mm lug to lug
- Weight: 184g
- Water resistance rating: 30ATM / 300m
- Movement: Seiko NH36
- Accuracy: -0.1 sec / day
- Lug width: 23mm
- Warranty: 1 year
- Price: $210 / £165
- Buy here: http://www.aquaticowatch.com/super-charger-black-p-291.html
The case looks like it has come straight off an instrument panel in a submarine. Whilst it’s no doubt rugged and raw; for the price, it’s actually exquisitely made. Multiple pieces all interconnecting to create this simple, yet appealing visual treat. There is an inner barrel with corner bulges containing the bolt threads which hold the top and bottom plates together. These plates are squares with the corners chopped off; the bottom plate includes the lugs.
The entire case is brushed, which makes most sense as it’s a tool watch and will need to stand the test of time – polished finish would just not be practical. The edging is a little sharp in places however, such as the tops and bottoms of the plates and lugs.
The lugs are drilled through, with a massive void for the gigantic screws used for the screw pins.
The case features a very large screw-in crown which has excellent knurled grip which is very easy to use. The thread is solid and easy to screw and unscrew. It has the Aquatico dolphin logo embossed on the end.
The 300m water resistance is a good rating for this price – as always, the first time I dunked it in water (which was the sea no less) I was a little worried; but it stood up to the test without fault.
The flat sapphire crystal is surrounded by a simple bezel with an outward brush direction, the crystal being very slightly raised so be careful not to knock it. The anti-reflective coating is wonderful for this price point, no doubts about it – it’s so clear at certain angles it’s almost as if it’s not there. I feel a decent AR coating always makes such a huge difference to the overall impression of a watch.
The screw-in caseback is plain and practical, with an illustration of a mermaid riding a dolphin. The artistic quality isn’t the best, but you’re not likely to see this much anyway. Varied specifics surround this drawing; all are lightly engraved.
Aquatico make special declaration that their watches are specifically professional diving timepieces; however I can’t help but feel that there’s a tactical influence to the Super Charger.
It has a flat black base, and is technically a sandwich dial due to the hour markers at a lower level.
The hour markers are stylised double digit numerals at 12, 3, 6 and 9. I like the usage of the leading zero, as it keeps balance throughout. Batons are used everywhere else.
The printing is accurate and relatively minimal. There are crosshairs in the centre, the logo in top half and depth rating / automatic in bottom half. The dial is surrounded by a minute track on the rehaut.
The hands are interesting fish shape, filled with two lume compartments. The seconds hand is a straight orange stick with a square two thirds up and a lumed disc within.
The lume is above average for this price point – it charges well and lasts a suitable amount of time.
The Aquatico Super Charger comes on an isoframe rubber strap, which is black to match the dial. It holes all the way along: 4 larger holes in the top quarter of either side are for show only. There are grip ridges on the underside to keep it in place on the wrist.
There is an angled cut off on the bottom of the long length and channels on either side to keep it interesting. The rubber is soft to the touch and surprisingly supple – sometimes these steps can be very tough to loosen up but this has been easy straight away.
The strap has an epic tang buckle with the Aquatico logo engraved on the top bar. It’s very angular and aggressive just like the case, with an incredibly curvaceous tongue.
The movement powering the Aquatico Super Charger is the Seiko NH36, which is more or less exactly the same as the incredibly popular NH35, with an addition of a day indicator. Both of these are well known as being great and reliable workhorse movements, so it’s likely to hold up well for quite some time.
The specs are all the same: 41 hours power reserve, hacking seconds, hand winding, 24 jewels. According to my Lepsi Watch Scope, the accuracy is a superb -0.1 sec / day – obviously this has been regulated which is a very positive sign.
The Aquatico Super Charger sure is heavy at 184g – but it’s also extremely well weighted on the wrist. The AR coating is great and the general construction is superb at this price point. I’m not going to lie and say everything’s perfect; as there’s definitely room for improvement in terms of finishing the edges as they’re a bit too sharp, but that’s not that much of an issue in my eyes.
However, as great as the build is, the aesthetics are certainly unique and not for everyone; without doubt it’s a tool watch with a purpose and not really the kind of timepiece you can wear all day, everyday, at all times.
Still, for $210, there’s no doubt in my mind that this is a genuinely great watch for the money and comes highly recommended.