We reviewed some weeks ago straps supplied by Zulu Alpha straps.
Ever since we dealt with them they have been very keen for us to look at a watch brand that they have a particular affinity with. This is due to a commonality of military backgrounds between the owners of both companies, so keen were they that I was sent the watch they own to have a look at, obviously with the Zulu Alpha strap attached.
So up to bonny Scotland came the Sangin Instruments Neptune.
First impressions, good packaging, quality box, a bit of external quality and evidence of some thought going into the presentation is always a good sign of things to come.
Open her up and you are presented with a fine looking timepiece for your $695
There is no doubt that this watch has been designed and built to be tough, perhaps the only thing missing from the “tough” list is a ceramic bezel but in this price range, with all the other features I would not worry a jot about that.
It is a proper 40 / 20 watch, so great size and a strap monster, I did not have the chance to try the stock straps but I would expect them to be as impressive as the watch.
So beyond being tank tough what else has the Sangin got to say for itself.
Well for me it is difficult to escape the similarity in looks between the Neptune and the Bremont S300 /500 range, and it very much reminds me of the Endurance watch minus the GMT and the monster price tag.
This is not a bad thing and while similar in aesthetic the crown at 8 o clock really does make the watch both wear and operate significantly differently.
Now the crown at 8 o clock is a somewhat “marmite” location (you either love it or hate it). On the plus side, depending on where on your wrist you wear your watch and how big said wrist is having a LHD watch saves the inevitable digging of the crown into the back of your hand, which for many is a boon.
From my point of view it is a pain, my life is probably too sedentary to keep the Automatic SII NE15 fully wound, so some manual input will be needed at some point, and I do like to wear my watch 24/7 so it is a pest having to take it off to wind it and change the date once a month, but it is a very minor pain.
The 8 o clock crown does make it look different from most other watches of a similar nature at a similar price and so while not my cup of tea, from a user point of view I do like it from the point of view of how it makes the watch look.
My second observation that again will split folk down similar Marmite lines is the bezel. It is what I would call a soft click bezel, that feels more like the winding in of a quality fishing reel rather than the hard click bezel you would find on say the previously referred to Bremont, that feels and sounds more like a football rattle.
It is horses for courses as to what sort of noise and feel you prefer from your bezel and while on the one I reviewed there is a smidgen of back play on the bezel, it is certainly nothing of any concern on a watch of this price.
This watch will launch today the 15th of May, go on sale at approx 6 pm UK time and it will sell and sell out fast, the last run took under an hour to sell out.
So visit here Sangin Instruments if you want to get in line.
So should you and would I buy it?
Cards on the table I am not going to be in the queue for one of these at 6 pm tonight, but if you are looking for a tank-tough watch, that will survive diving to 200m though will most likely just have to survive you cleaning the BBQ and mowing the lawn but that is also smart enough to be worn with a suit for everyday wear and your budget is around $700 or your equivalent local currency then this should be a serious contender.
It is what Sangin themselves call a “gentleman’s combat diver” and I think that is a most suitable description.
It is not just a Subby Homage or a Seiko Clone, it has its own image and an image I very much like, so check them out.
Case Width: 40mm
Lug to Lug Length: 49mm
Case Thickness: 13.2mm
Lug Width: 20mm
Bezel Width: 41mm
Case Width: 40mm
Case: 316L Stainless Steel – brushed finish case with screw down crown, recessed to prevent damage (concentric brushing on case back).
Crystal: Flat sapphire crystal with a multi-layer blue anti-reflective coating applied to the interior surface of the crystal.
Luminous: SuperLumiNova BGW9 rated after full charge.
Bezel: 120-click uni-directional nickel edged bezel with aluminum bezel insert.
Water Resistance: Tested to 200m (20 ATMs)
Movement: SII NE15 – Manual winding / Automatic winding with ball bearing Stop second device / Quick date correction / 21,600 bph / ISO 6425 attributes, such as antimagnetic to 4800 Amp and shock-resistant (calibrated in three positions).
Power Reserve: 50 hours power reserve (SPRON510 mainspring).
Strap: The NEPTUNE will ship with a nylon strap with solid stainless steel buckle and keepers (pictured here). In addition to a rubber divers strap with solid stainless steel buckle and rubber keepers.