PUBLISHED BY Joshua Clare-Flagg ON 11 Jul, 2016.
This is the first Sea-Gull I’ve reviewed – I’ve never actually seen one in the metal before. I’ve been looking forward to it, as they have a reputation for high quality at affordable prices – which is right up my street.
The Ocean Star is their very latest release – and I’m pleased to say that this is the first full review available of it, and I personally think it looks great. Right now it’ll cost you $350 / £260 – and for that you get a high beat movement, solid build quality and decent looks. Let’s see if it’s really worth the money.
- Dimensions: 44mm diameter x 13mm height x 50mm lug to lug
- Weight: 178g
- Lug width: 22mm
- Crystal: sapphire
- Movement: Sea-Gull ST2130
- Water resistance: 200m
- Warranty: 1 year
The case is on the larger side, at 44mm in diameter. However, the lugs are sensibly shaped and don’t protrude too much. Therefore, it sits pretty well on my 7.25″ wrist. The height isn’t too bad either, it’ll fit under a cuff pretty easily.
The case is fully brushed bar the underside, the top shoulders of lugs and the top of the crown guards which are polished. This multi-faceted appearance of the case makes it look more luxurious than the price tag suggests.
The bezel has good grip which is also polished, and the blue insert matches the dial. The action is a little stiff, but is useable. The markings are all very neat and tidy and the pip at 12 is applied perfectly.
Sitting on top of the case is a flat sapphire crystal, raised higher than the bezel – so watch the edges. There is a cyclops date magnifier located at 3 which is straight and actually works pretty well.
The screw-in crown has the Sea-Gull logo embossed on the end; unfortunately it doesn’t line up, although no watches do around this price range. It has decent grip and is easy to use – plus the thread feels good quality.
The screw-in caseback has a central blue motif with the model name and a little depiction of an ocean and a star. Whilst this is a nice touch, my personal preference is that it should be in a nicer font – it’s a little too “Comic Sans”. This motif is set within a mottled ring, which in turn is surrounded by various engraved watch specifics.
The case is surprisingly well engineered and finished for the price – it certainly looks and feels equivalent to a Swiss counterpart worth double.
The dial is a deep flat blue, although at times it does seem to have a sunburst effect. The color is pleasing to the eye: a dark hue that looks quality.
The craftsmanship of the applied elements is superb – the baton hour markers have a polished edging and lumed centre; double marker at 12 and all others single.
In addition to this, there is a small applied star in the centre of the bottom half. Considering the size of it, the multi-faceted nature of it has really impressed me.
However, I feel there’s one thing missing: an applied logo. Obviously this would cost more money, but I feel that it would take this watch onto another level and it’s a shame that it’s not there.
The hour and minute hands are pitched sword shaped with an exaggerated tip and are constructed in the same fashion as the hour markers. The second hand is a straight stick with pleasantly shaped counterweight and tip, which is lumed.
The date window under the cyclops has a refined polished border to it, to match the hour markers and hands. Within this is a white date wheel with black numerals, maintaining legibility – after all, this is a dive watch.
The printing across the dial is all accurate with no smudges or signs of poor manufacture. It’s interesting that they’ve included “China Made” at the foot of the dial – this is a brand that is not ashamed of its roots.
Ali things considered, the case and the dial are both very well made and definitely perform better than the price of the watch suggests.
The movement powering the Sea-Gull Ocean Star is, funnily enough, one of their own: the Sea-Gull ST2130. This is basically a clone of the ETA 2824-2, therefore it has all the usual specs that come along with that label.
It’s high beat running at 28.8k bph (8 ticks per second), has a 40 hour per reserve, 26 jewels, a hacking seconds hand and hand winding plus automatic winding capabilities.
Whilst you can’t see it on this watch due to the closed case back, the movement is pleasantly finished with pearlage on the bridges and rotor.
There’s a wonderful breakdown here (image above was borrowed from this review):
This is a guy who really knows his movements, and his opinion is that it’s a step above the usual Chinese movement, and that whilst there’s a couple things here and there, overall it’s well finished and put together. Good news then!
The general impression I have is that this is a solid, well made bracelet. The links are thick and well machined and finished – it’s oiled well and is smooth and comfortable on the wrist.
Measuring 22mm wide at the lugs, reducing down to 20mm at the buckle, it’s sensibly sized and matches the weight of the case to ensure there’s no spinning or misaligned balance.
The links have polished sides and edges with a brushed central bar – a nice variety of finishing which looks classy. Solid end links fit the case very well with very little wiggly or gap.
The buckle is double locking – you need to flap over the top bar and depress the side buttons to open it. This has always proved to be super secure AC I don’t see this being any different.
It has the Sea-Gull logo engraved at the top, which in my opinion could be a little deeper – it’s a little gentle and light. The buckle also has micro adjustment capabilities so you can get a perfect fit.
I’ve found that the bracelet is very comfortable when on and definitely develops the overall weight and quality feel of the watch.
I feel that the Sea-Gull Ocean Star is a real competitor for the Christopher Ward Trident 300. That watch will cost you a little more, at £300 – and is very similar in build quality and appearance. There’s a plus and minus on either side however; the CW is a mere quartz vs the decent high-beat automatic in the Sea-Gull, and the CW is Swiss Made vs Chinese Made for the Sea-Gull. Feel free to consider either, as they’re both great watches.
Whilst I’ve been wearing the Sea-Gull Ocean Star, I’ve been really impressed by it. A couple of my work colleagues have worn it too, and agree. It’s also good getting to see it on someone else to get an outsider’s perspective – and I must say, it looks pretty awesome from afar. It gives the impression of a high quality timepiece, thanks to the variety of brushed and polished finishes and the general high quality fit and finish.
I personally think the design is excellent too – it’s a pleasure to look at with a number of eye catching elements.
I’m struggling to find any fault with it; the only thing that springs to mind is an applied logo, but that’s an improvement that’s not necessarily required.
For £260, the Sea-Gull Ocean Star is a stunning timepiece that looks and feels excellent quality. Highly recommended.