I’ve known Ross for a while now; even before he set up Hamtun. I was the first to review the Hamtun H1 – his first model; a really lovely watch at an incredible price. I didn’t quite like the bracelet too much visually, but that was the only fallback. The H2 looks even better – it’s all completely reworked – plus the bracelet is a much nicer design. It’s still incredible value, in fact – I think it’s a better option, with pledges starting at a pretty crazy £199. The Kickstarter campaign starts on March 5th 2019, so signup on their site to be kept up to date.
Let’s check it out (this is the first review), and see how it fares.
The video review
- Dimensions: 41mm diameter x 13.9mm height x 47.8mm lug to lug
- Weight: 128g
- Water resistance rating: 20ATM / 200m
- Movement: Seiko NH35 (this one) or Sellita SW200-1
- Accuracy: +5.9 sec/day
- Lug width: 22mm
- Warranty: 2 years
- Price: pledges start at £199
- Buy / pledge here: https://kck.st/2SjwGne
One if the most impressive selling points of the Hamtun H2 Kraken starting at £199 is that the case and bracelet are constructed with what Ross describes as scratch-resistant “tough” titanium. This means it has an extra, transparent coating on it, much like DLC on steel. Click here to read more on that. This means that the hardness rating goes up to around 1000HV, from 225HV (steel) or 350HV (usual titanium) – and results in a new looking watch for longer.
I love the matte finish to it – it diffuses the light so well.
It’s a perfect size at 41mm diameter – fits on my 7.25″ wrist very well, and looks like it belongs.
Sitting on top of the case is a flat sapphire crystal, with multiple layers of anti-reflective coating on the underside. Let me tell you, it’s one of the best AR coatings I’ve seen on a watch of this value – the crystal is so incredibly clear, with a beautiful flash of blue at certain angles.
The crown at 4 is comfortable as it does not jab your wrist, and personally, I like the jaunty angle as it keeps things a bit different visually. The screw thread is solid and easy to use, thanks to the thick toothing. There is the Hamtun logo embossed on the end in a neat fashion.
The bezel has a comfortable curved outer edge to it, which is gentle to the touch but still easy to grip. Within the bezel is a matte ceramic insert, with Super-LumiNova filled markings – which is all very neatly executed; whilst the finish matches the case perfectly.
Drilled through lugs are always a plus as it makes life easy changing straps if you need to. 22mm is a standard size so you’ll be able to fit quite the selection of straps.
The caseback will be changed, so I can’t really pass any comment on it. Here’s the new design:
The stark, arctic white is crisp against the grey of the titanium, providing excellent visibility. The white is incredibly eye-catching – I’m not usually the largest fan of white, but this dial is truly captivating.
The raised rehaut and the double inset date window provide decent depth to the dial, the latter being positioned at 4 (a turn off for some). It merged well into the dial design as a whole and actually lines up perfectly with the crown, creating a very strong line visually.
I am impressed with the design of the hour markers; their rounded edges are very modern and they are all excellently made. On top of that, they have great depth and the polished border.
The printing on the dial is crisp and clear – the blue colour used for the “Kraken” text and on the second hand provides a splendid splash of colour too.
The Swiss made Super-LumiNova BGW9 is impressively strong, some of the best I’ve seen on an affordable watch that’s not a Seiko. It charges quickly, glows bright, and lasts a good while.
The hands are a unique shape which is most welcome; bold and very easy to read. The thick borders work so well with the white dial base – as does the white coloured lume.
Being titanium, the bracelet is light, soft to the touch, and comfortable to wear.
The links are 3.8mm thick and are secured in place by screw pins. They’re a simple design; I certainly feel it’s an improvement from the H1.
The buckle is 20mm wide, with the Hamtun logo lightly engraved on top. Perhaps it would be nicer if this was embossed or engraved deeper, plus I think I would have preferred the folding inner workings to be slightly thicker / better constructed. But I’m really nitpicking here – and anyhow, it may even end up being upgraded anyway if the stretch goal is reached.
Here’s the design of the potential new buckle:
The Hamtun H2 Kraken has two movement options: either a Seiko NH35 or you pay an extra £100 for a Swiss Made Sellita SW200-1. The Sellita grade used is the superior elaboré – so whilst you can’t see it, you know it’s good looking behind the caseback.
Either option is excellent; the Seiko NH35 is so widely used it seems to be in every microbrand watch going (with good reason), the Sellita is a reliable alternative to the ETA 2824-2 (highly regarded as the best Swiss automatic going).
I think Ross has done a brilliant job in creating a modern, solidly-built, high specced diver for a very affordable price. Taking the first pledges into consideration – this is a whole lot of watch for £199. In fact, I’d go for it and say I’m struggling to find a better alternative at that price.
I love the stark white dial, the hour markers are very cool, and the hands are different yet bold. What’s really impressed me, however, is firstly the “tough” titanium – which is very impressive considering the cost – and also the stunning anti-reflective coating on the sapphire crystal.
All these things make a great proposition. I’m really happy to see another British brand making great watches, and I’m convinced the H2 Kraken will be a success long into the future.