The Visitor Duneshore Shallows is a watch like no other. In a world filled with identikit dive watches, it is always refreshing to see someone pushing the boundaries a little and creating something that stands out from the crowd. Phil Rodenbeck has certainly done that here. Such a design will always be polarising. For every watch fan who applauds the bold design, there will be another who experiences a sense of bewilderment. To be perfectly honest, I have flitted between both camps.
Promoting itself as a ‘fun-loving, unashamedly casual sport watch’ the Duneshore Shallows is based on a previous model (the ‘Duneshore’) with water resistance doubled to 200m, thicker case walls, a sold case back, thicker crystal and a screw-down crown. Visually, the addition of a rotating bezel and a switch from a polished to a brushed finish across the majority of the case push it into sports watch territory. That all ticks the ‘sport watch’ boxes, and there’s no denying the fun-loving aspects of the case and the dial.
At 44mm in diameter, the Duneshore Shallows is no shrinking violet. Size aside, the flowing—but also slightly jarring—lines make a bold impact too. What can look like a slightly angled cushion case from directly in front is suddenly much more complex in profile. I really appreciate the varying look and feel that the case can give off. The brushing helps to temper the unusual lines and both the brushing and the polished areas that remain are excellently done. My main reservation relates to the lugs which, while consistent with the rest of the design, are the first thing I notice when feeling that the watch wears slightly too big for my wrist. A 44mm diameter is perhaps only a couple of millimetres larger than I would ideally like, but the lug to lug length of 51mm is pushing my limits, and this isn’t one of those “it wears smaller than the specs suggest” type of things. It is a little large, and it wears a little large.
Another three dial colours are available to choose from in addition to the “Iron Jade” seen here. Teal, Orange and Grey all have their appeal, but I do like the depth of the green dial I have in front of me. The playful dial design includes large lumed areas filled with C3 SuperLuminova and polished frames. It’s not immediately noticeable in normal light, but the lumed minute markers showing through around the perimeter of the sandwich dial are an excellent aid to low-light legibility. The dial lume is also matched by the lumed areas on the bezel. Large and rounded indices like those on the dial need a set of hands that aren’t going to get lost – and that’s exactly what is delivered. I’ve questioned whether I find the hands overly ornate, but once again they suit the overall design well.
Turning the watch over and the extravagance continues. Not only is there a deep engraving of some mythical sea-creature, but the case back is curved which should hopefully aid comfort. There’s more than 2mm difference in depth between the shallowest and thickest parts of the watch. Ticking away beneath the case back is the Miyota 9039 movement, which is part of the same series as the well-known automatic 9015 but without the date complication. That means no date on the dial, and no date position in the crown either. This series of automatic calibres from Miyota is well regarded and offers good power reserve and reasonable accuracy out of the box.
Three strap options are available when purchasing the Visitor Duneshore Shallows, and I’ve had all three available to try out. The Milanese style bracelet is as wild as the watch, as exemplified in the highly decorated butterfly clasp. It may just be me trying to be a little understated, but the combination of watch + bracelet is a little too heavy and a little too loud for my tastes. The other strap options are a rubber strap, or a rubberised textile similar to a sailcloth strap. Both tame the watch pretty well, and I spent most of my time with the black rubber on my wrist.
So, what does $750 get you? An unconventional design? Undoubtedly, yes. A quality product? Again, yes. A ‘fun-loving, unashamedly casual sport watch’? 100% yes. A watch you can wear every day, and suited to every occasion? Maybe. I don’t think I can, but that shouldn’t stop anyone else.
- 44mm case diameter
- 51mm lug to lug
- 15.6mm case height
- 22mm lug width
- 200m water resistance
- Miyota 9039 movement
- Sapphire crystal with internal AR
- 120 click unidirectional bezel
- Screw down crown
- From $750